Pin collecting has become the latest craze at Disneyland! As a child I remember my Mother purchasing an occasional pin here or there but we never traded them. Then as I started taking my children to Disneyland every year to continue the tradition my Mother started, we each purchased a year pin and a favorite ride pin. But it wasn't until 2013 when my daughters started trading pins that pin trading hit my radar. At that point, I saw it more as something that should be done in the middle of the day when the lines to the attractions were long. The following year I got more into it and now I'm hooked. In this post I'll attempt to help the aspiring Disney pin trader get started.
Getting StartedThe first thing to do is to acquire some pins to trade. An easy way to do this is to purchase a "starter set" at one of the many pin trading shops inside Disneyland, Downtown Disney, or from the Disney Store. Here's an example of what a starter set might look like:
|I actually decided to upgrade my lanyard to a wider model to be able to fit more pins on it. It also has a pouch at the bottom for my park tickets.|
|Pictured here are the Nesting Doll collection, Disney Mascots Collection, and the Couples Collection.|
|Here's a look at the year pin I bought in 2011. The characters actually spin around the 2011. We buy a year pin every year when we go to Disneyland. These generally cost about $13 each.|
|Here's a look at one of my Daughter's ride pins. The year she got it, Splash Mountain was her favorite ride. These cost anywhere from $10 to $14 each.|
|I was given this pin as a gift from my daughter, Alley. I'm not sure if I should take it as a complement or an insult... haha!|
Rules and EtiquetteBefore you start trading pins, it's a good idea to understand pin trading rules and etiquette. These rules apply for trading pins with Disneyland Cast Members. For starters, you may only trade 2 pins at a time with the same person. This is helpful when there is a long line of people waiting to trade pins. Another rule is that if the cast member already has a pin that you have, you cannot trade them that pin (to give them 2 of the same pin). Otherwise, the cast members are happy to trade what ever pin you want, as long as it has the official stamp on the back of the pin, as all pins you buy at Disneyland will have.
TradingOnce you've got pins to trade, it's time to trade them! First you have to find someone with pins to trade. Many vendors have a display of pins on the counter by the cash register to trade. Our favorite stores to trade at are those located in Frontierland. We also like The World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney, where the cast members that are located by the doors typically will have pins to trade. Every now and then you will also see a cast member roaming Disneyland and California Adventure with a lanyard on. You can also trade with other guests, but remember, they are not obligated to trade with you as the cast members are!
Disneyland will also occasionally run fun scavenger hunts involving pins. They did this in 2000 for the 45th Anniversary and again in 2016 in a fun hunt called PinQuest.
Whether you try to collect all the pins in a certain collection, try to collect as many pins as you can of a favorite Disney character, or just collect pins you like, pin collecting is a fun way to spend time in Disneyland, especially when lines are long or the temperature is hot. Trading pins has become one of my family's favorite things to do at Disneyland.