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Florida Guide > Disney General

Disney Pin Trading

One of the things which has taken off in Disney is Pin Trading.

If you’ve visited Walt Disney World in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed people, including Cast Members wearing large numbers of pins. Did you know that trading these pins is an enormously popular hobby? Well, it is for many Disney fans.

Disney World has sold pins as souvenirs for many years. In the early days, they were simply an inexpensive memento of your trip or gift for friends back home. That all changed with the Millennium celebration. During the celebration, pin trading became an official event at Disney World. If you haven’t heard of it, then basically you buy a strap which hangs round your neck and you fasten ‘pins’ which are badges with a stud on the back on to the strap.

The idea is you collect so many and then you can swap with other guests or cast members. There are pin trading stalls throughout the Disney parks and some other areas. Some people even carry books of spare badges so you can swap with them, a friend bought a starter kit at $25 which was a strap plus 2 lots of Mickey and Minnie badges.

You might be wondering why pin trading has grown to such a size. Well it's part good marketing and part that it’s a great way to meet people. Anyone can trade, old or young, male or female, novice or seasoned visitor. Pin trading can be an expensive hobby, and it is addictive. The more pins you have, the more you want. However even someone with only a few pins can enjoy the fun of trading and it’s even great fun to watch the traders in action. One of the largest trading station is in the Disney Village.

It seems that the Disney Cast Members cannot refuse to trade with you unless they already have the badge you want to swap or they have traded with you once already that day. So remember this when you get to the park first thing in the morning as this is a good time to find those different badges on the cast members. The cast members can pick up there pins from the many available for the staff to trade. To add a bit of excitement to the process Disney adds a few of the old and hard to find badges to the pot each day so that there is always a chance for you to find that long wanted badge.

Pin trading is obviously a big money maker for Disney because they encourage it by making new pins available almost daily in incredible numbers and at all the various Disney sites. You can find pins at Disney World and Disneyland, also at local Disney Stores, and in the Disney Store catalogue and online. Also to add to the game pins are also available at the Paris and Tokyo Parks.

Each location’s pins are unique to the location and issue. There were three different Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party pins last year, and each design was only sold after the previous one had sold out.

As a marketing excise and way to get people to continue to buy small pieces of metal it's superb. The more pins Disney produces the more people buy to trade. You can find people selling early pins, from before the trading era, on EBay for amounts which seem unbelievable.

So be warned this hobby can be both expensive and addictive.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 2 September 2004
Viewed 5110 times since 1 September 2008.

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