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Trade away! What are we trading? Pins of course! Disney pin trading has become a staple of the Walt Disney World parks like a Dole Whip. Over the years Disney pin trading has created a following from young to old who seek the rarest of pins. After 20 years, could Disney pin trading be making way for the next big thing? Grab your Disney lanyard we’re going search for answers, and of course pins! 

Cast Members are part of Disney Pin Trading
Disney Pin Trading with Cast Member

What Is It?  

At the turn of the century, 2000 that is, we’re not that old, Disney World celebrated the new millennium with a year-long celebration. Part of the celebration was the launch of a new concept called, Disney pin trading. At the root of it, Disney pin trading was designed for park guests to interact with each other around a common interest – Disney. Using the pin as a way to start conversations, guests would interact with each other during pin transactions. The new offering took off and has never looked back. 

Passholder Insights: One of the bigger Disney pin trading areas is in the center of Epcot’s Spine in Future World at Pin Central. 

Animal Kingdom Disney Pin Trading Cart
Disney Pin Trading Cart

How It Works 

Getting started is half the battle. Luckily, Disney World makes it super easy to get into the Disney pin trading game. All around the parks are different pin trading carts that have starter packs that include a variety of pins (usually 5) and a lanyard. Just like that, you’re ready to go. The hardest part is asking someone to see their pins and making an offer to trade a pin. Our recommendation is to start with a cast member for a couple of reasons. First off, not first order (sorry we got Star Wars Galaxy Edge on our brains, less than 50 days until opening!) the cast members are super friendly and are great at helping first-timers feel comfortable. Secondly, the cast members will always accept a trade, in fact, Disney provides pins to the cast members for this purpose. 

Passholders Insights: The lanyards can get heavy as you add more pins, a great way to display pins is attaching them to your backpack or hat. 

Epcot's Pin Central is the hub for Disney Pin Trading
Pin Central at Epcot’s Future World

Growing the Collection

Once you’ve got your trading skills locked down it’s time to grow the collection, because more is always better. Pins come in all shapes, from the everyday Disney characters to the limited edition pins like ones for the different Epcot festivals, and of course different sizes. A great way to grow your collection is through the multi-pin packs that include a variety of pins with some being mystery bags. Pins will range in price depending on the size and the limited availability of the style. 

Passholder Insights: All of the Disney Resorts have a Disney pin trading board to swap pins for, all you need to do is ask a cast member in the lobby area where to find it. 

Could the new Disney Pin Trading concept be part of the Disney Play App?
The Disney Play App

The Future Is Upon Us  

Less than two years from now Walt Disney World will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. The parks are gearing up for a celebration with new attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy, Ratatouille, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and many more. According to Len Testa from the Disney Dish, Disney recently filed a new patent designed around a technology that would allow guests to share digital collectibles with one another. On the same episode of the Disney Dish, Jim Hill confirmed that technology would be used in a similar fashion to Disney pin trading. 

How the technology would work is still up in the air, as the full details were not part of the patent. In the DVC Duo house, we’ve got a couple of ideas on how they could be used. Leveraging your cell phone, as the cell phone is a major part of a Disney World trip with My Disney Experience, Disney could use similar technology to that of Apple’s AirDrop. AirDrop lets you share different pictures or files from your phone to another person who is on the same WiFi network. We’re guessing the technology spin on it will be that guess could use either WiFi or Bluetooth on their device to make the exchange. 

Adding this feature to the Play Disney app would make a lot of sense. 

Our Thoughts 

Disney pin trading is a fantastic way to interact with other guests while taking home a fun souvenir. When the new technology is released we’d be surprised to see Disney pin trading end right away, more than likely they would run in parallel. There is only one question left to ask, what would it take for you to trade us your Steamboat Willie pin?