Pin Trading at Disneyland

I had wanted to write this post weeks ago, but time just got away from me.

It is doing that a lot lately.

Anyways, I did lots of research before our trip to Disneyland. And one of the fun things I read about was Pin Trading.

Basically, a few cast members at Disney are pin traders and will trade pins with people who have the Disney pins. These pins range from ANYTHING Disney so the options are endless.

There are some rules....

You can only have 12 pins on your lanyard at a time
Never touch anyone else's pins until they hand it to you
Only one pin trade per person
Only trade with Cast Members (my rule)


Cast members with green lanyards will trade with only kids, and in my opinion, had the best pins.

The first thing we did before we left was order a group of 50 pins from Amazon. We ended up paying about 50 cents per pin. I didn't price individual pins before we left but this turned out to be a really good thing....we saw some of our pins in stores for $4-8 each.

We also got the kids fun lanyards to pin them to. The girls' lanyards came with a little purse at the end, which actually came in very handy. (More on that later.)

In the car on the way down I let the kids divvy them up.

The kids were a bit shy in the beginning, but the cast members were super friendly about it. When we were making our first trade the man we were trading with realized that we were new at this, so he explained that most people collect either sets (you can tell by looking at the back of the pin if it is in a set) or themes. (Themes are could do all princesses, or Star Wars, or frontier land ones, or Donald Duck pins.....)

We were on the lookout for pins for most of the time we were was a good balance because probably only one in fifteen Cast Members were pin traders.

And for some reason we saw lots more pin trading Cast Members in Disneyland. In California Adventure there were a few, but they did not have them on a lanyard but on their vests.

One problem we ran into....the back of our pins kept coming off. We did lose a couple and finally started using the little bags at the bottom of the lanyards to keep our pins in.

When someone got a really special one (Dasher was going for all birds) they put it in My Sweetie's fanny pack.

We also never had a cast member turn us down....when the kids would walk up to one with a lanyard, they would interrupt what they were doing to trade.

Here you can Bookworm and her pins....

 This Cast Member below had a a twist to his pin trading.

See the dark space on the right side of his lanyard? He had some pins that were pinned backwards. You could blindly trade for that one......he hinted to Nutsy that those were usually a great deal so she took the bait.....

....and got a very cool Storm Trooper pin! She later traded it with her brother (who was collecting Star Wars, of course) but we did see that same pin at a pin store kiosk for $12!

In most of the stores in Disneyland there was at least one trader too.

This was a SUPER fun activity....the kids loved interacting with the Cast Members and got some very cool pins. Dasher actually traded enough to get a complete set, and all the kids got some very nice pins from their trading.

We all agreed that if we ever get to go back, the kids would definitely do the pin trading again.

Sea World
Universal Studios
California Adventure
Pin Trading at Disneyland