Disney Pin Trading 2023 – Tips, Savings, SECRET Spots
Disney Pin Trading is a fun, interactive experience where Disney Guests can trade specially-marked Disney pins with Cast Members and fellow Guests. Kids and adults alike can partake in the fun, collecting pins of their favorite characters, attractions, and parks!
While collectible Disney pins have existed throughout the park's history, Disney Pin Trading originated in 1999 during the Millennium Celebration at Walt Disney World. The pin-trading frenzy spread to Disneyland shortly after, and it has been hugely popular ever since!
There are several locations where you can participate in the magic of Disney Pin Trading. You can visit Walt Disney World, the Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris, anywhere Disney Vacation Club units are sold, and possibly some Disney Stores in your local mall. It’s rare, but I have seen some Disney Store Cast Members sporting a lanyard, such as at the Disney Store in Times Square, New York.
In this guide to Disney Pin Trading, we will cover how to trade Disney pins, where to find them, the different types of pins, and tips for the ultimate pin-trading experience at Disneyland and Disney World.
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Tip #1: Know How to Trade Pins With Cast Members
Once you’re at one of these locations, locate a Cast Member. Disney Pin Trading Cast Members will be wearing a lanyard or carrying a pin board, and are always happy to see what you have to trade. Some cast members will have specially colored lanyards that indicate they only trade with kids—these are teal at Disneyland and green at Disney World. These traders tend to have a better selection of pins because they don't trade with as many guests.
To trade with a cast member, find a pin on them that you want and exchange it for one of your pins. Remember to respect the cast member's personal space—never reach out and grab a lanyard for a closer look! Always ask the cast member to present the pin you want to look at. Cast Members are required to trade Disney pins with guests, so this is the most reliable way to a new pin to add to your collection.
The rule is that Cast Members may only trade one pin from their lanyard or pad, but this is sometimes bent for polite guests. Name pins, or a single pin out of a set that completes a phrase or picture, may not be traded.
Remember that the pin you want to trade should not already be on the Cast Member’s lanyard. While at a merchandise location, if you don’t see a Cast Member with a pin lanyard, ask at the checkout instead. Sometimes they will have a pad under the counter with a selection of pins for trading. We'll share pin locations across Disneyland and Disney World in this guide.
Tip #2: Trade Pins with Other Guests
You can also trade pins with other guests at the parks. This tends to be a bit more difficult than trading with a Cast Member, as guests can decide whether or not you have anything they want and are not required to trade. If they do want to trade, there is no limit to the amount of pins you can exchange! Trading with guests is a great opportunity to strike up a conversation about your favorite Disney characters or attractions.
Sometimes a fellow guest may have a pin on their lanyard that is no longer available for purchase, but you just don’t have anything they want on your lanyard. If this happens, try offering to buy them a current pin that they want in exchange. You may have to buy a higher value pin for them, but if it gets you that out-of-circulation pin you have your eye on, it’s a deal worth making!
Of course, courtesy and caution must be exercised, and you should never push to trade with another guest if they don't want to or if it's an inconvenient time for them. Remember that Disney Pin Trading intended to create a fun and interactive activity between traders, so always be polite and understanding to the needs and limitations of other traders. If they’ve had enough, be sure to thank them and send them on their way with a big smile!
Tip #3: Get Pins for the Best Value
Pins from Disney
You can buy pins at the Disneyland website, stores at the Disney parks, Disney outlets, or other online sources. Pins are usually rather expensive at the Disney stores, but starter packs and pin sets tend to have the best value for more pins. For example, this 4-piece Winnie the Pooh starter set is available for $34.99, at a little under $9 per pin, and this Mickey Mouse and Friends set goes for $29.99 (at about $5 per pin).
Disney releases new pins on a regular bases, including limited release pins that are available until they sell out. These are largely what you will find on the Disney website, with 2023 prices for single limited release pins and pairs generally ranging from $14.99-17.99. These prices can drop as low as $5.98 on sale, and special pins can appear at various higher price points.
In stores, the pricing for Disney pins is split into three color-coded tiers:
- Silver ($11.99)
- Yellow ($14.99)
- Pink ($14.99)
Keep in mind that you're able to trade silver-tier pins for yellow and pink tier!
Online Sellers for Disney Pins
For a cheaper option to get Disney pins in bulk for trading, you can buy them from Amazon or eBay from trusted sellers that have extra pins they are offering for purchase. After buying these, you can sort through them to see if there are any you might want to keep before designating the rest as trading pins. However, you do want to watch out for fake pins if you do this—we'll talk more about this below. When buying pins from Amazon, you want to make sure that the seller is trusted and has a high rating like this one for $34.99. Usually, sellers like these will offer between 25-30 pins.
Tip #4: Watch Out for Real vs. Fake Pins
When collecting Disney pins, there is a risk that you can come across counterfeit pins. Real Disney pins will have the official Disney Mickey Mouse ear backing, be brightly colored, and have a smooth finish. The material will be cloisonné, semi-cloisonné, or hard enamel metal. Fake pins, on the other hand, will look discolored or faded, have rough edges, and feel lighter than real ones. They are generally made from plastic, rubber, or other non-metal materials. ESPN and ABC pins are also tradable!
The only way to dodge the risk of obtaining counterfeit pins is to buy directly from a Disney site or location, and this can be quite an expensive ordeal. While fake pins are a frustrating issue for pin-collecting enthusiasts, Disney does not have an official stance on these. When you trade with Cast Members, they will accept “scrappers” for trade, and you'll often see these on their boards.
Tip #5: Know the Types of Disney Trading Pins
As you start your collection, you will find Disney pins based on characters, rides, parks, holidays, Disney movies, or holidays. There are various categories for Disney Pin Trading, and you can decide if you're interested in one particular type or want to collect a little bit of each one:
- Hidden Mickeys, which have a silver Mickey hidden on the pin (only available via cast members)
- Limited Release pins (these, as discussed earlier, will only be available for a limited time until they sell out)
- Limited Edition pins (there is a set release amount for these and they usually are not traded)
- Rack or Open Edition Pins (these are available until discontinued and can run for several years)
- Series pins that are part of a larger set
- Retro Disney pins from years' past
Tip #6: Know the Locations for Disney Pin Trading
Pins are available at kiosks, carts, and stores across Disneyland and Disney World. See the list below of all pin locations, and keep an eye out for additional carts and kiosks with pin boards!
- Disneyana on Main Street
- 20th Century Music Company on Main Street
- Emporium on Main Street
- Disney Showcase on Main Street
- The Star Trader in Tomorrowland
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland
- Westward Ho Trading Company in Frontierland
- The Briar Patch in Critter County
- Pooh Corner in Critter County
- Droid Depot in Galaxy's Edge
- First Order Cargo in Galaxy's Edge
- Resistance Supply in Galaxy's Edge
- Disney's Coronado Springs Resort's Panchito's Gifts and Sundries
Disney California Adventure
- Julius Katz & Sons on Buena Vista Street
- Seaside Souvenirs in Paradise Gardens Park
- Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street
- Rushin' River Outfitters in Grizzly Peak
- Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff in Pixar Pier
- The Collector's Warehouse in Avenger's Campus
- Off the Page in Hollywood Land
- Super Store in Avenger's Campus
- WEB Suppliers in Avenger's Campus
- World of Disney
- Disney Home
- WonderGround Gallery
- Disney's Pin Traders
- Grand Californian's Acorns Gifts & Goods
- Disneyland Hotel's Disney Fantasia Shop
- Paradise Pier's Mickey in Paradise
Disney World BoardWalk, Disney Springs, and Disney World Resorts
- Disney's Character Carnival
- Screen Door General Store
- Thimbles and Threads
- Disney's Pin Traders
- Super Hero Headquarters
Disney World Resorts
- Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa's The Artist’s Palette
- Disney Beach Club Resort’s Beach Club Marketplace
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s BouTiki
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort’s Calypso Trading Post
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort’s Conch Flats General Store
- Walt Disney World's Dolphin Hotel's Disney Sundries and Gifts
- Disney's All-Star Movie Resort's Donald's Double Feature
- Disney's Pop Century Resort's Everything POP Shopping and Dining
- Disney Contemporary Resort's Fantasia
- Disney's Port Orlean's Resort-Riverside's Fulton's General Store
- Disney's Port Orlean's Resort-French Quarter's Jackson Square Gifts and Desires
- Disney's Art of Animation Resort's Ink & Paint Shop
- Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas' Johari Treasures
- Disney's Riviera's Resort's La Boutique
- Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa's M. Mouse Mercantile
- Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa's Sandy Cove Gifts and Sundries
- Disney All-Star Music Resort's Maestro Mickey's
- The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort's Meadow Trading Post
- The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort's Settlement Trading Post
- Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park's Shade Shack
- Disney's All Star Sports Resort's Sport Goofy Gifts and Sundries
- Disney's Wilderness Lodge's Wilderness Lodge Mercantile
- Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge's Zawadi Marketplace
Disney World Parks
- Beverly Sunset Boutique on Sunset Boulevard
- Celebrity 5&10 on Hollywood Boulevard
- Crossroads of the World
- Mickey's of Hollywood in Hollywood Boulevard
- Resistance Supply in Galaxy's Edge
- First Order Cargo in Galaxy's Edge
- Tatooine Traders in Galaxy's Edge
- Rock Around the Shop on Sunset Boulevard
- Stage 1 Company Store in GrandAvenue (temporarily unavailable)
- Tower Hotel Gifts on Sunset Boulevard
- Tower Photo
- Der Teddybar in World Showcase
- Imageworks in World Celebration
- La Bottega Italiana in World Showcase
- Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay in World Discovery
- Northwest Mercantile
- Pin Traders-Camera Center in World Celebration
- SeaBase Gift Shop in World Nature
- Sunset Ranch Pins and Souvenirs
- Test Track SIMporium in World Discovery
- Village Traders in World Showcase
- World Traveler
- Chester&Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures in DinoLand U.S.A.
- Discovery Trading Company
- Island Mercantile
- Kilimanjaro Safaris Cart in Africa
- Mariya's Souvenirs in Africa
- The Outpost Shop (temporarily unavailable)
- Riverside Depot in Discovery Island
- Serka Zong Bazaar in Asia
- Tiffin's Cart (temporarily unavailable)
- Windtraders in Pandora
- Big Top Souvenirs in Fantasyland
- Fantasy Faire
- Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland
- Hundred Acre Goods in Fantasyland
- Newsstand (temporarily unavailable)
- Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar in Adventureland
- Ursa's Major Minor Cart in Tomorrowland
Tip #7: Collect more valuable pins and hold onto these!
Lanyards and pin sets can also be won or obtained through a promotional giveaway by any of the Disney affiliates, like the ones below, but you likely won't want to trade these away!
You may also find a special pin in a Disney DVD release, like these ones from the Zorro Season One and Season Two collector tins:
Another thing to keep in mind are the special-release pins for Annual Passholders. Simply ask any Cast Member about these at designated locations, and you will be shown a small selection of pins only available for APHs, like this one from 2006:
Tip #8: Decide How to Display Your Disney Pins
Once you have obtained your pins, here are some ideas on what to do with them once you get home:
- Buy an official Disney Pin Trading book to store your pins in. These come in a variety of sizes to suit the size of your collection! A Disney Pin Trading book will keep all of your pins in one easy to access place and even make it easier to display and trade later.
- Display the pins you plan to keep on a special jacket or hat, then wear these when at the Parks or around town!
- Display your pins on a wall. The most common technique is to use a board that you then frame, making your display of pins a work of art on the wall. For my wife and I, we like to display our pins on belts that we then hang on our bedroom wall. Each belt contains 13 pins (to commemorate our wedding anniversary on the 13th), each of which symbolizing a significant part of our yearly Disney vacation. For example, this year was our first time visiting Disneyland in California and the new attraction Cars Land, so we bought a Cars Land pin and added it to our 2013 Pin Belt.
Why Start Disney Pin Trading?
Disney Pin Trading can be a really fun hobby for any Disney enthusiast! It's also a great way to meet other people and make great memories at the parks. You don't need to invest a lot of cash in the beginning, and a little can go a long way for your first venture into Disney Pin Trading.
Disney pin trading is fun for all ages, and it's a fantastic way to build those Disney memories. You will likely remember when and where you received each pin—especially your favorites!
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Thanks for writing this awesome ultimate guide. Also, welcome back to writing at DisneyDose.com.
I have a folder that has about 200 plus pins that I am looking to selling. How do I go about finding a good amount to ask for to sell?
I would suggest messaging a seller on Ebay who sells Disney pins in bulk. Find someone who has a 100% customer service ranking and has been around for a good amount of time. Also contact Theme Park Connection and send them a note.
The best of luck to you,
This is a great article. However, wheather your pin is real or not, it’s still tradable. I bought a 25 piece lot off of ebay and all were fake, I went to Disney that night and traded all real pins. So it does not matter… real or fake.
The fake pins are NOT allowed. Regardless of whether Disney didn’t catch you that time, there are cases that they check. I had a CM find a fake in my bag (I didn’t know it was a fake) and refused to trade with me.
False. I bought a lot of 50 pins on ebay and traded all of them today. Nobody said anything to me. They don’t even bother to check.
I would think that the trading of false pins is like using counterfeit money. Just because your not caught, it does not make it right.
Just because a pin doesn’t have the words “Disney Pin Trading” on the back of it, DOESN’T mean its a fake pin. I have Disney Pins that have been given to me and some are from 1980’s and are verified off of http://www.pinpics.com. Disney Pin Trading didn’t even start until like 1999 according to Wikipedia so if anyone wants to call my pins fake, then I’ll tell them what to do with my pins and where to STICK IT! I trust http://www.pinpics.com, and the 8 I have from back in the day, are legit so 😛
Thanks for the comment. I am aware of these pins. While they are official pins created by the Walt Disney Company, these type of pins were not created as part of the Disney Parks and Resorts Pin Trading program. Regardless, these are a fantastic collectible.
When shopping for pins in store, be sure to peek behind the what you may think are duplicate pins. If you are lucky you will come across a rare pin hidden by a cast member . My friend looked behind a layer and found a very rare Hades pin.
Thanks for the tip Amanda! Next time I am visiting Disneyland I will be sure to look behind the stacks of pins. I know that I myself have hidden pins so that I could come back and buy them later.
Wow great tip Amanda. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for this guide. it is really good and helpful. Been trading pins for awhile but can always learn something new. The trading of the pins is a lot of fun.
I’m building a website to help disney pin collectors (like myself) track their pins. I’m eventually planning to build apps so we can track our collections in the parks. If anyone is interested in helping me create a great pin community site, please check it out at http://www.pinhoarder.com, and send me an email with any ideas or feedback you have!
I am looking for the finding nemo pins. Cast lanyard series, 2006 I need nemo, and dori does any one have duplicates they would like to share?
I just bought a pin with a “silver” color code on the back of it. What price range would this be in? Thanks for all of the great information.
im reading the comment that one person left about being proud of trading fake pins! Omg !!!! I’m horrified! Unfortunately there are so many people at the park who do that, my heart breaks for the young kid who just got into trading and bought a legit pin and In return gets a fake one.. That just sucks.. Who ever that person is needs to grow up and realize it’s not about ripping people off
I agree! I mean honesty…that person you may have traded with could have spent 17.99 on a pin and just got given a fake one! It makes me sooooo mad!
Exactly! It makes me wonder, if I should allow my daughter to trade pins.
new to collecting and trading. information was awesome. thank you. keep it up.
Glad to be of service.
Can you help me ID a cool looking pin I traded for? it is a Tinker Bell, it is all done in shades of gray, she is flying with a huge smile on her face.
I would recommend Pin Pics or another website for that. I don’t have a specific knowledge of what each pin is.
Disney acts like they invented pin trading, will do not do so no way. I was trading, buying and or selling pins along time before Disneyland or any other part of theirs was even at wide spot in the road. No one else that I know of does not allow buying and selling on their property. Hard Rock does not, no Olympics that I know does not, in fact they encourage such being done. I just got back from a Hard Rock event (Pinsanity 11) in Las Vegas where such is allow along with trading. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles where in Pin Trading (and selling) got started per the Olympics got its start. Before that through the years pins were produced for each Olympics, no a lot of such was done. Why is Disney so hipper about anyone selling on their property? No one else That I know of has such limits. Why also is Disney turning out the same pin here In SoCal & at other parks at the same time? I now see the words DISNEY PARKS on most of the cards that pins are mounted on which tells me that they do not like pin trading! How am I going to trade pins with someone in Florida for example with the same pin coming out in California ? If I travel from SoCal to Florida with such existing? Why all this and again you act like to invented pin trading (and selling which should be part of things any way?
where can i find what pins go with which sets? Is there a website that has all that info?
Take a look at PinPics.com for great info on this.
Thanks for the helpful article. I went to the Mouse Pins Online site to check it out and was wondering: are the starter packs just a random assortment of pins that they send you? There wasn’t a choice other than the lanyard color. What is the difference between this and a grab bag? (do those just not come with a lanyard?
Thanks for any info. Planning for my son’s first trip this year and going at Halloween time.
Maureen they are a separate website. I don’t really have information on their current offerings. Email their support team.
I’ll be at WDW with my Mum in early December and will have a few hours here and there to devote to some fast paced pin trading (while she’s otherwise occupied).
I’d love any suggestions of a good early morning pin trade route using the resort bus transport.
I’ll be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I figure I should plan resort – park/attraction – resort – P/A – R … pattern. As you can’t go from one resort to another directly. (Hmmm, except on the monorail… I hadn’t thought of that before)
I figured my first stop might be Downtown Disney. But perhaps they would t be the earliest place open. (Sun. Dec 6). Right now, I’ve got from sunup until around 1-2pm.
Would love a companion WDW best places to Pin Trade document. Maybe folks could suggest locations for this to you.
Thanks for the great post!
I learned a lot from taking time to read this posting about pin trading. Even though I have lived near Walt Disney World for 8 years, I am new to this, but already know about “Pin Sharks”. The Orlando area is full of them and since they are so easy to recognize, I avoid them at all cost.
Watch out for those pin sharks and never give in to purchasing a pin to trade.
This is a great article
Love the idea of putting the pins on a belt ! would be a great way to present them!
Glad that you enjoyed this.
Any advice on a site I can use or a place at wdw to verify the authenticity of my pins and possibly the rarity?
Well I’m not so worried about the authenticity. My pins are all from 99 when it started to ’03. I’m more interested in their rarity. My sister and I have some neat ones.
Bought a lot at Mouse Pins Online to start (And we love trading and collecting) but most if not all of the pins we received are in fact scrappers…just an FYI so you can make adjustments.
Thank you for letting me know. I will look into that.
Hey Gavin, any suggestions for a good gift to get a hardcore pin trader? He works at the Disneyland park and always gets the pins he wants….anything you’d recommend as a gift that isn’t a pin necessarily…maybe a badass display or something peripheral to the pins?
Sorry for the late response. A cool display would make a great gift.
Buy a Mat and Shodow Box frame. Mount to pins on the mat and add a favorite Disney photo.
How can you tell the difference between an authentic pin and a fake? I compare my pins to photos on pinpics and they look the same, but reading comments that people are intentionally trading fake pins with CM’s makes me wonder about the pins I have in my collection.
Pam, with the best fakes you will not be able to tell. Best of luck.
I bought a pin for 99 cents that another seller is selling for 350$(and it has not been bought yet) . Sure enough I looked on PinPics and the pin that I bought is the exact same and it is a LE 100.
I feel very lucky, but do these pins actually sell or are they are they just overpriced?
That’s so lucky! If someone is attempting to complete a set, those pins do actually sell.
Thanks For This Amazing Site. Really Helped My Son!!
This article has taught me a lot about trading pins. It was interesting to learn that pins can help you to remember special moments in your life. I hope this article can help us to know how to help my nieces to know how to remember special moments in their life.
do you know where i would be able to find a complete list of all the hidden mickey pin sets?
1. I started with a grab bag, and most of my pins have the “Mickey with ‘Pin Trading’ banner” enclosed in a circle. There’s something written within the circle, but even with the magnifying glass, I haven’t been able to read it. Those pins have the years written in such tiny print (to fit between the bottom of the banner and the edge of the circle) that they are usually unreadable as well. What’s with the circle?
2. How do you describe a pin that’s in the shape of Mickey’s head? There must be a word everyone uses to make it easy to describe a pin in that shape, but I haven’t been able to find it. “Mickey head” sounds like Mickey’s actual head . . . of which there are plenty of pins!
We went DLP at Easter and was doing pin trading with a cast member, he did not refuse directly to trade but wanted 2 pins for his 1. I thought that was unfair on my daughter. We had a great time as it was the birthday celebration and was given badges for the event, was a great surprise.
Is there a price guide for older pins? I don’t want to trade but am thinking ahead to splitting my collection between my grandchildren.
I collect pins from disney, universal, and hard rock. I was wondering if removing the packaging and backing deterred the value. Or if it doesnt matter as long as the pin itself is in good condition.
I see booster pins advertised all the time. what are disney booster pins?
Just wondering what a misprinted Mickey pin would be worth? I found it from Disney and want to keep it, I like having one that’s different
Thank you for answering all of my simple questions that I couldn’t find the answers to anywhere else. I’ve spent several days researching before finding your site. At least I found it before booking anything. I am so appreciative! We look forward to our Disneyland vacation now!
I’m new to pin trading and I follow your recommendation to Mickey Pin online and bought a package of 10 pins $24 and guess what… All fake!!! If you want maybe you should check and maybe take from your site.
Is mousepins online legit. Is a 25 pack enough to start. I love the classics. Will they be hard to obtain
I’ve just started Pin collecting and want to start trading. I purchased a set of pins online and want to find out more about them before trading them. What is a good source of information on pins in general? Thanks.
PinPics.com is a great site with a lot of information, pictures, and info on what to look for in “scrappers” and fakes. I haven’t been trading for as long as some, but this site helps a lot! It does go down from time to time, but it seems to be working fine right now!
I am hoping someone can help me out with a question. After reading the guide to Disney pin trading. If I am reading it correctly, you can trade a hard enamel pin as long as it has the @disney logo. It does not have to be a Disney trading pin like they sell at the park? I have seen Disney pins in stores like Walmart for example in Orlando with the Disney logo. Would those qualify? They are hard enamel and have the Disney copyright. It’s a Disney licensed pin. We are trying to find a legitimate inexpensive way to trade pins for fun. Thank you in advance.
I have access to a 50 year Disney employee service award pin. It is Mickey as Steamboat Willie in gold with the blue gemstone. Do you have anyone looking to buy this item?
I have a pin I can not identify, anywhere I can send a picture of it for some help?
Hi, another great way to display your pins is to pin the to a mat and put it in a shadow box frame with your favorite Disney photo. I used a stock photo from my Photopass cd.
This is some very good info. I was really looking for a picture of the Disney First Edition Pin Trading Book. Any idea what it looks like or better where to find it? Thanks!