Looking for the perfect Disney World souvenir? Try Disney pin trading. A few years ago, my sister and I started pin trading with our boys. I gave my nephews their starter packs for Christmas, and she gave my sons their first pin sets. Little did we know that we would enjoy pin trading just as much as they do! In our opinion, it is the perfect, collectible souvenir.
Pin Trading Basics
All throughout the parks and resort areas, Disney sells a wide selection of pins. There are character pins, park pins, resort pins, sports pins, holiday pins, etc. Whatever you love about Disney, there is a pin for it! The pins range in price from about $8 for a basic pin to about $17 for a special event pin. Cast members in the stores, at some ride locations, in guest relations, and throughout all the resort areas wear pin holders and are ready to trade. Wherever we go in Disney World, my boys love checking out the cast members’ pin selections and finding that perfect pin. They often try to find a collection of pins throughout our stay. They have searched for all Muppets pins, Toy Story pins, and character pins with stars. (Moms – enjoy shopping while your kids are pin trading!)
You will need a lanyard and several pins to begin. Disney sells starter packs which include the lanyard and four to eight pins depending on which set you buy. Look for deals. When we bought ours, Disney had a special where if you spent so much in their store, you could purchase the starter set for $19.99. Regular set prices are about $25 to $30.
Have Pins to Trade
Be sure that you begin with at least a couple of pins you are willing to trade. Our starter sets came with the classic Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, etc. The boys traded all of their starter pins except for Donald Duck, my oldest son’s favorite! For repeat visits, consider buying some miscellaneous pins from Amazon. Various sellers will sell an assortment of discounted pins for a very reasonable price. You don’t know what you are getting until they arrive in the mail, but you will definitely have pins to trade and maybe even a few surprise pins you want to keep! We usually purchase enough for our sons and nephews to have at least five pins each to trade when we begin our Disney vacation.
Purchase Good Pin Backs
The black, Mickey Mouse-shaped pin backs that come with most of the pins are bad about falling off. After wasting time searching for missing pins, we invested in some good pin backs. At Disney, you can buy a bag of lockable pin backs. I recommend buying a pack of these for those special pins you know you will never want to trade. I also recommend going to Michaels or Hobby Lobby before your trip and buying a pack of butterfly pin backs for your trading pins. While these pin backs occasionally fall off, they still work better than the Mickey Mouse pin backs. If you do end up pin hunting, check the bottom of your shoes. On a couple of occasions, after much searching and tears, we ended up finding our son’s missing pin on the bottom of his shoe!
Find that Special Pin
On each trip, be sure to find that special pin to remind you of your vacation. This could be a pin with the year of your trip or a ride-themed pin to remind you of a special experience. This past September, we went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time. Disney offers some wonderful special event pins. We picked out the Maleficent one! The year before, my youngest son picked out a Soarin’ pin to remind him of the first time he was tall enough to ride the attraction.
Take Advantage of Special Pin Trading Events
Disney World offers special pin trading events. Many of the resorts will host a pin trading time for guests. The Disney’s Pin Traders Store in Downtown Disney also has a large board of trade-able pins available to guests at select, unknown times. Unfortunately, my family has never been lucky enough to be there when the board is available. Cast members are always present and ready to swap, however!
Enjoy Your Pins Even When you are Home
After your vacation, you can still enjoy your pins. They even help with those post-trip blues! We have pin boards in each of our son’s rooms. The boards are a perfect way to display your pins year-round and think back to the memories you have made.