Pin trading is an interactive, face to face experience at Disney World and the Disney Parks. You can go up to any cast member wearing a lanyard or a hip bag with pins and ask them-politely of course-if you may look at their pins. They are always glad to oblige. Here I am on my very first day of pin trading. I can't wait to see how this works.
My husband needed a way to get me to interact with others at Disney World on my first trip with him. I can be extremely introverted when placed in new or stressful situations. He's one smart cookie. He brought home a bag full of Disney pins and a lanyard and told me to have some fun.
Some people collect series pins, some collect hidden Mickey pins-where there is a little "hidden" Mickey head on each pin (it's not really hidden), some collect characters; there's no end to what you can collect if you get involved. These folks from Belgium came up to me because they admired some pins on my lanyard from an old series they were collecting. They had some awesome Stitch pins from DisneyLand Paris I wanted and so we all walked away happy! Be careful, pin trading is addictive! Not only do you get to meet and speak with the most fascinating people, you get to trade pins with them as well. Each resort has a pin board, book or even a special persona you can trade with. Just ask!
Animal Kingdom Lodge has "King Pin," his appearances are scheduled, so make sure you get to see him if you are over that way.
I found one I was searching for! The thrill of the hunt is another reason this can be such an addictive past time! Trading with other park goers can be an especially rewarding experience. I once traded a Baloo Bear to a guy who got a tear in his eye, he was so happy to have the pin! I keep the pins I really love back at the room and wear all the traders on my lanyard, that way if anyone wants something off the lanyard, they are more than welcome to it! Everyone is happy. Another perk to going up to a cast member and interacting with them is that you may get more than you bargained for! In this instance, I asked to see this cast member's pins and when he didn't have what I was searching for, he asked if I would like to be in the Jungle Jammin' Parade! Can you believe that?
My husband and I showed up at the scheduled time and our cast member not only had the pin I had been looking for, he placed us in the first float of the parade with Rafiki! What a special day that was! All because of pin trading!
This little boy was walking past me one evening and craned his neck so hard to see my pins as they were hurrying by, I remarked, "I sure do love to pin trade!" He made his mother stop and I turned around and offered up my lanyard for inspection. He was so thrilled to be trading with a "regular person!" He told me his whole life story and gave me a patriotic Minnie which I will cherish. All his pins were of a patriotic nature-his father was serving in the Armed Forces.
Of course, in the parks you might see anyone from a beginning pin trader to an all-out collector; you can see that some people just love to wear their pins everywhere! These people love to talk about their pins and show them off, but rarely are they for trading, admire their collection and let the folks know how awesome they look!
Disney has pins for every occasion, you could really get overwhelmed buying pins. Make a plan and try to stick with it. Pick your favorite characters and collect them, collect events, holidays, rides, resorts, oh my, the list goes on forever...many of these pins are limited editions so you need to keep that in mind as well.
Does this cast member look familiar? She was in the third photo from the top. We kept running into her each time we visited the park! You were guaranteed to have fun with her and her friends if you pin traded with them. If you decide that this seems like fun, buy a "lot," a large grouping of pins, from ebay. You will significantly cut your start-up costs. You can also find some of the more rare and unique pins there as well. Happy pin trading!