Walt Disney World

The Ultimate Guide to Disney Pin Trading

Disney's Pin Traders Shop

Disney trips are always an exciting experience. But you can add more fun to it by interacting with the cast members and other visitors and doing pin trading!

Pretty clear from its name, pin trading is where you trade marked Disney pins with other guests or cast members. Not only in Disney World, but this fun merchandise is also offered at Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and all other Disney theme parks.


Pin Trading is a fun activity where you can exchange Disney pins with cast members or other guests and collect souvenirs to remind you of your magical trip to Disney World.

In this article, we have discussed everything you need to know about Pin Trading.

  • Getting started
  • Rules for Pin Trading
  • Common types of Disney pins
    • Hidden Mickey Pins
    • Character Pins
    • Pin Series
    • Retro Disney Pins
    • Limited Edition Pins
    • Mystery Pins
  • Pin Trading locations
  • Tips for Pin Trading

Pin trading is a simple activity to have fun and collect souvenirs to remind you of your magical trip. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about it.

Getting Started

Disney's Pin Trading Pins

Now that you know what pin trading is, you have decided to try it. But how to do it?

To begin with the trade, you should have a few authentic Disney Pins. You can buy them from many local shops or online before starting your trip. Or from any gift shop around the Disney parks. You can trade them with the cast members’ pinboards. Simply look at all their pins and point (never touch) the one you want to exchange.


Walt Disney Company has offered collectible stuff in all of its parks from the beginning, but the concept of pin trading formally came into being in October 1999 during Millennium Celebration. Before Covid times, the cast members were seen roaming in the parks wearing the pins, and the guests would exchange theirs with the ones they already didn’t have. But due to Covid, cast members don’t wear the pins anymore. Instead, there are pin trading stations present all around the parks. (As of April 2022)

Wait in the line on distant markers with the pin you want to exchange. When it is your turn, put it in the box before you and point to the pin on the board you want to have, and it will be given to you. All the pins on the board are already sanitized.

Rules for Pin Trading

Disney's Pin Trading

It’s time for you to jump right into this unique activity. Here are some rules that are going to help you.

  1. The pins must be genuine. They should have Disney’s copyright symbol at the back.
  2. They should be clean and intact.
  3. Pin trading involves no money.
  4. Cast members probably won’t accept the pin they already have. Always remember that they can decline your request, so be polite.
  5. Once the cast member agrees, they will sanitize the pin before giving it to you.
  6. You can purchase Disney pins from local stores and online, but make sure the ones you plan to buy are authentic.
  7. Only two pins can be traded with a single cast member in one day.
  8. Name pins or those mentioning “Happy Birthday” or any other wish cannot be traded.
  9. A green lanyard means the cast member will trade pins only with kids.

Types of Disney Pins

Different Pins At Disney's Pin Trading Store

There are different types of Disney pins for you to choose from. A few of them are:

1. Hidden Mickey Pins

Hidden Mickey pins are the ones you cannot buy. They are only provided to the cast members, and they can trade them with you. There is also a hidden mickey somewhere on this pin. They also have their series number engraved on their back.

2. Character Pins

Character pins can be traded for pins containing the same character.

3. Pin Series

These pins come in series, and you might want to collect all of them. Sometimes, they look different with the same theme. While others may be joined together to make a puzzle or a map.

4. Retro Disney Pins

These pins feature Disney characters, attractions, or films from the past.

5. Limited Edition Pins

As clear from the name, these pins come in limited editions. They show “LE” along with their serial number on their back.

6. Mystery Pins

More fun can be added to pin trading for mystery pins. These are the ones lingering on the back side of lanyards or pinboards so that you can see only a part of them, thus creating more mystery.

These are only a few common categories. There are many others, including those only available for annual pass holders or others that mention “Happy Birthday” or “1st visit.” (Not eligible for trading.)


For Disney World’s 50th anniversary, much more has been added to pin trading as mystery boxes and Mickey-themed boards are added. Your favorite attraction’s pin can be found on Mickey-themed boards. At the same time, the mystery boxes might leave you in awe of what you get.

Cast members with Mickey-themed pinboards can be found all around the place. But for a perfect combo of mystery and anticipation, try choosing mystery boxes. It has 24 numbered boxes from which you will choose one and offer the pin you want to exchange. Then, the cast member will hand you a mystery pin from the numbered box you chose.

Pin Trading Locations

Outside Disney's Pin Trading Store

There are various locations in all four parks where you can trade pins. Among them, Magic Kingdom stands on top as it has most locations for pin trading than all others.

1. Magic Kingdom

  • Main Street USA Emporium
  • Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazar
  • Frontierland Trading Post
  • Ye Old Christmas Shoppe and Momento Mori
  • Fantasy Faire and Big Top Souvernirs
  • Mickey’s Philhar Magic Gift Shop

2. Hollywood Studios

  • 5 & 10 Store
  • Rock Around the Shop

3. Epcot

  • Pin Trading Central

4. Animal Kingdom

  • Africa Pin Station
  • Garden Gate Gifts
  • Discovery Trading Post

5. Disney World Resorts

Pinboards are present in most gift shops.

Tips for Pin Trading

Inside Disney's Pin Traders

Here are a few tips to make your pin trading experience perfect.

  1. Disney pins come in different colors, with green being the cheapest and pink being the most expensive. So when you are buying pins, buy only green ones. This would save you money. In addition, you can exchange these pins for expensive ones with the cast members, as there is no color restriction while trading.
  2. If you are new to this fun activity and want to buy some pins, you should buy a starter kit. This would cost you less as compared to purchasing individual pins. Moreover, if you don’t like all the pins in a set, you can trade and keep only the ones you want with you, so this is a win-win situation. A few starter kits also come with a lanyard, so grab one and start showing off all the pins you have by wearing them through a lanyard.
  3. It is highly recommended that you buy the pins before your trip. There are a lot of sellers on Amazon and eBay offering Disney pins in bulk which cost around $1 per pin. So buying them would save you a lot of money compared to the starter sets in the gift shops of Walt Disney World.
  4. Many online platforms offer sales and auctions where they are ready to give a massive number of pins for less money. Many of them might be authentic, but not all. So be careful if you are planning to buy from such platforms.
  5. You might have heard, “Early bird gets the worm.” Well, this is true in the case of pin trading too. If you are enthusiastic about it, try doing it in the morning. This is the best time to have new pins from the cast members, which will be exchanged with other guests as the day passes.
  6. While strolling in the parks, you might meet some professional pin traders. Unlike cast members, they will trade pins with you value-to-value. So if you want to trade with them, make sure that the pin you want to give them is equal in value to the one they are willing to provide you with.
  7. While buying or trading pins, try to choose a specific theme or a few characters so that your trading game revolves around them. Selecting a subset will save you from overspending/overdoing one activity. Also, you might be able to complete a series of specific pins. Who knows?
  8. Buy a lanyard or attach your pins to your backpack, and you are ready to flaunt all you have collected. But if you also want to display these cute souvenirs at home, consider buying pin bags or pin books from the gift stores around the Disney theme parks.


So, this is it!

We hope our ultimate guide will help you make the most of this unique activity known as Pin Trading.

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