Pin trading is one of my favorite things to do at Disney. It is a fun way to interact with other Disney-loving guests and fun cast members. If you are new to pin trading here are some simple Disney Pin Trading etiquette reminders to help make your experience fun!
Disney Pin Trading Etiquette
What makes a Disney Pin Tradable?
The main criteria to judge whether a pin is tradable or not is that it must be a metal pin that represents a Disney Event, Location, Character, or Icon. Some pins from other companies are also tradable but must represent the company in a way that has a specific Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort affiliation. At one time Kodak, Coca-Cola, and other companies were affiliated with Disney.
Pins should be in good condition. You wouldn’t want a broken, scratched-up pin- so don’t give them to others.
How to Trade Pins With Disney Cast Members
Trade one pin at a time, hand to hand, with the backs attached (unless it is on a board).
You may only trade 2 pins per cast member per day.
You may trade only one pin of the same style with a Cast Member. ex. If you see 2 hidden Mickey Flag pins, you may only receive one of them.
If you see that the cast member already has a particular pin, you may not trade that same pin.
Please don’t touch other people’s pins or lanyards. If you need to see a pin closer, just ask them. I have never had a Cast Member get upset because I wanted to see something and then not trade.
Disney name pins cannot be traded and they can’t give you their name tags.
You cannot try to buy a pin off a Cast Member’s lanyard.
In addition to the 12 pins on Cast lanyards, some Cast Members may wear a “Showcase” pin. These “Showcase” pins are for demonstrations to Guests and are not available for trade.
Cast members wearing a green lanyard only trade with children under 12 years old. Last time I went, I was told that they really don’t follow that guideline anymore. It might be a YCMMV (Your Cast Member May Vary) type of situation.
Etiquette for Trading Pins with Other Guests
Other than trading pins with Cast Members you will also find that some (not all) guests are open to trading pins. These are things I have learned over the years about trading with other guests either online or in the parks.
When trading in the park, it is quite easy to find other Disney pin collectors. They either are wearing a pin lanyard or have a pin book. Simply strike up a conversation with them.
There are two main types of traders. Really serious traders that are all about the authenticity of the pins, they don’t accept scrappers. Then you have the ones that are doing it just for the fun of Disney pin trading. The more serious traders are very leery of trading with guests because of all the scrapper pins out there.
The casual traders are the ones you are more likely to have a trade in the park with. Basically, simple pin trading etiquette applies the same as with Cast Members. Ask before touching, and usually no more than two pins at a time.
If you are trading in an online group please make sure you are not trading ones you bought from a bulk order. Many times those are scrapper pins and are looked down upon. Take clear photos and do a little bit of research on the pin you have to know the value of the pin. For example, if you want a Limited Edition Pin, it would be hard to trade one that you just bought off the rack.
For more information on Disney Pin Trading please visit these pages, groups, and boards:
Post Originally Published March 9, 2013.