I went back and reread all our blog posts… and the comments. And I realized one of our loyal followers (my mom) asked us about Disney Pins, and I can’t find a blog post where we answered it… Oops. And it was legit like, one of our first 5 blog posts. So… yeah, I figured I’d better work on this, otherwise she might stop reading and commenting on our blog.
We mentioned in our post about what is in our park bag, that we both carry bags of pins with us at all times. Disney pins are officially licensed pins produced by Disney. You can buy them from the Disney store, or from any of the parks. They are expensive. And, if you are like me… if you pay $10 for a pin because you love it…. you don’t want to trade it. And Pin Trading is awesome, which, other than finding really special pins that you love and purchase, Pin Trading is the point of having pins.
We made the recommendation to buy your pins from ebay, just make sure they are real Disney pins. Disney pins have special backs, and are stamped on the back. Chances are, if you’re enough of a Disnerd to be reading this – you have a character or an attraction that is your favorite. It might be princesses, it might be pirates, it might be flip flops, it might be villians, it might be Tink. For me? It’s Tink and Belle. So, if I buy a lot on ebay, and I get 3 out of 50 that are a cool Tink or Belle, or… well, anything I think is cool, those go one of a few paces. If I’m SERIOUSLY in love with it – it goes on my pin board. If I sorta like it, it will go in a bag of “my pins”. If it’s just sorta cool but I might fall out of like with it – I put it on a lanyard maybe… The other 47, go into a traders bag or onto a trading lanyard.
What is a pin board? It’s different things for different people. For me and my girls, it’s a square canvas that we put our favorites on. Others use a cork board, others use… just go look on Pinterest, you’ll see a million good ideas. Here’s mine and my girls, you can see, they are lots of ways to do it, you can arrange them into a shape, or just stick your favorites on the board. But, these are on a wall on our balcony at home, to show off our Disney Pins and remind us of all the fun times we had trading.
Ok, so now you know what pins look like, and you’ve ready my tip about how to get them cheaper than buying them in the parks… what is this trading you talk about??
As you walk through the parks, you will see that all the cast members have lanyards with pins on them. You can walk up to any cast member and trade them one of your pins for one of their pins that you like. Each CM will have 12 pins on their lanyard. There are a few rules to it though.
- A CM with a teal/green lanyard will only trade with kids under 12. They usually have slightly better pins so that they kiddos can get cool pins.
- You can only trade 2 pins with each CM per day.
- You cannot trade a pin to a CM for a pin that they already have on their lanyard. This is so they don’t get stuck with 9 of the same pin.
- They can refuse a pin that is not a stamped with the Disney Trademark. (a fake)
That’s the basics, but there are a few fun options. Some CM’s will have a “mystery pin” meaning that the pin is backwards, so you don’t know what you are trading for. Sometimes, this means they are hiding a really cool pin and you just hit the jackpot. Or… sometimes it means that they have one that they can’t get rid of any other way. HA!! Either way – it’s fun. Sometimes, the CM will let you pick which pin will now be a mystery, or sometimes, they just take the one you give them and flip it backwards.
There are places in every park that have Pin Boards where there will have 20+ pins to choose from. Sometimes they are out at all times behind a counter, but usually you have to ask to see it. Any CM can tell you where the closest pin board is located.
So – some basic decency things here… Don’t touch CM’s. They will hold our their lanyards for you to look at. You’re already in their personal space – don’t touch them… Another one is just be nice. Talk to the CM’s, be nice. Don’t walk up and start with “I want that pin.” (Although, I’m guilty of this if I see an amazing pin, I try real hard to put my manners back in place and speak to them like the semi-normal human being I am, although, being excited while you say it is better than being mean and saying it.) Some CM’s will wear a personal pin on their uniform that is not on their lanyard. This pin is NOT up for grabs, or not necessarily. The only pins that they HAVE TO trade to you are the ones on their lanyards.
Another fun note – most pins are part of a series. Like the nerd characters, or the high heel shoes. Each of these will have a specific set of matching pins. There is also a possible completer pin. This really doesn’t matter if you just picked the Tangled high heel pin because you love the movie. But if, by chance you are in an ultimate, winner take all, bragging rights, go big or go home, family against family race pin scavenger hunt across multiple parks trying to get an entire set including completer pin… well… it matters. Ok? It matters. Not that we have EVER done that.
Katie’s family won.
No I’m not bitter, you’re bitter.
Ok, well… now that I’ve told you just how crazy we may or may not be… that’s about all I can think of that you need to know about pin trading. See mom… I read what you ask. I just forget to answer you for a year. 🙂