Pin trading is big news at the Disney resorts. While the simple act of trading pins with a Cast Member is easy to grasp, the finer points leave a lot to be explored. Check out these tricks used by expert pin traders.
1. Look beyond the lanyards
Cast lanyards are the most obvious place to look for Disney pins, but they’re far from the only option. You’ll find pins on all manner of items around the Disney theme parks. In some areas, pin boards and books are sitting out nearly all the time. At others, you need to ask to see these extra pins, but they’re nearly always available.
Every Walt Disney World resort (with the exception of the Swan and Dolphin) has pin trading somewhere. Just ask at the front desk or concierge and they can direct you to the resort’s pin board or other pin trading paraphernalia. If you’re at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, inquire about King Pin in the gift shop. This African King is a particularly fun character who comes out from time to time. He wears pins all over his costume and has traders step up on the red carpet to do their trading.
Some other pin trading items to look for include:
- Pin strollers at park stroller rental locations
- The Pin Drum at the photo purchase area of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Pin Oven Mitt at Main Street Confectionary in Magic Kingdom
- The D-Street Vinylmation pin book at Downtown Disney
- The Frontier Trading Post board at Magic Kingdom
- Popcorn Display pins at Big Top Store in Magic Kingdom
- Pin boards at the Magic Kingdom bus area (occasionally found out on benches)
- Pin trading book at African Outpost in Epcot
- Pin vest at The Outpost outside Disney’s Animal Kingdom
You’ll also see pin boards behind many merchandise registers. Pin boards at restaurants are more rare, but it never hurts to ask, particularly if you spot Cast Members standing outside the restaurant working as greeters. When there’s a rush and everyone’s busy, there won’t be time to pull out rare pin books and boards, but a Cast Member with free time may be able to let you in on secret pins available in their location.
2. Know where the best lanyards are
You’ll find pin lanyards on all types of Cast Members throughout the parks. Merchandise Cast Members wear lanyards the most regularly, but you’ll spot custodial and attractions CMs with them as well. Don’t forget Guest Relations. Not only can you find lanyards, they also have boards or books for you to browse.
Pins are refreshed most often for merchandise lanyards because these get the most trading action. This is great if you’re lucky enough to spot a lanyard just after it’s gotten fresh pins. However, merchandise Cast Members often have a poor pin collection simply because people trade with them so often.
Custodial and attractions Cast Members get fewer trades, so it’s always worth taking a good look at these lanyards. If you spot a manager or coordinator with pins, you’ll want to get a look at those, too. You may come across some spectacular finds.
3. Hit Disney Pin Traders at Downtown Disney
Disney Pin Traders at Downtown Disney is a small circular pin store that has one of the most spectacular trading opportunities on property. When their pin wall is open, you have the chance to check out dozens of pins. The wall is refreshed often, too, so this is a good place to find rare pins. Unfortunately, the pin wall isn’t always open. Ask a Cast Member for information on the next trading time. If you’re parked near this end of Downtown Disney, hit the pin store first so you can plan to come back later if you find out the pin wall will be open.