Disney Pin Fever: Your Guide to Collecting and Trading 

Come on, step into this captivating universe, and let’s discover together what all the fuss about Disney pin fever is!

Welcome to the magical world of Disney pins! Whether you’re a long-time Disney fan or just discovering the joy of Mickey and his pals, one thing’s for certain – the fun doesn’t stop at the theme parks’ gates. It continues with Disney pin collecting and trading. Think of it as your personal treasure chest of Disney memories, with each pin representing a unique piece of your journey.

Fasten your seat belts – we’re about to embark on an exciting adventure, exploring everything from the origins of pin trading to rare finds, and even how to trade like a pro!

What are Disney Pins?

Disney pins are miniature metal pieces featuring beloved characters, attractions, and symbols related to the magical world of Disney.

They serve as cherished keepsakes and mementos of special moments spent in Disney parks around the world. Each is skillfully designed and often enameled in bright colors, tells a unique story, or symbolizes a beloved character.

Besides being collectibles, Disney pins also play a significant role in the engaging and interactive pastime known as pin trading.

Pin enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy trading with other fans, or even its employees, known as Cast Members. The activity is an exciting way to directly participate in the shared Disney culture and camaraderie.

Disney pins selection is enormous, ranging from generic Mickey Mouse to rare ones featuring obscure characters or commemorating significant milestones in history.

Some collectors simply enjoy the aesthetic of the pins, while others seek out specific ones to complete themed collections or to commemorate special occasions and trips.

excited family standing in front of disney castle

When Did Disney Pin Trading Begin?

Disney pin trading, an activity beloved by Disney Park visitors of all ages, kicked off in 1999. It all started at the Millennium Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort.

The purpose was to connect guests from all around the globe via a fun and engaging hobby. The idea was simple yet brilliant, it would provide guests with colorful little badges of their favorite Disney moments to keep as mementos or exchange with fellow enthusiasts.

Pin trading offered guests not just souvenirs, but unique collectibles that celebrated Disney’s creativity across the globe. The initiative was a hit and quickly spread to other Disney Parks across the world, from Disneyland Paris to Hong Kong Disneyland.

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Just as no two visits to the enchanted lands of Disney are quite the same, no two collections of Disney pins are either.

It reflects the individual and what they love about Disney, creating a tapestry of interconnected memories from various adventures in the magical kingdom.

Over the years, trading has evolved significantly, yet it is still deeply rooted in those original principles of community and shared enthusiasm for all things Disney.

Disney Pin Language 101: Special Terms You Need to Learn

In the enchanting world of trading, understanding common terms and lingo helps you to trade Disney pins more efficiently. Here are some terms you’ll likely encounter.

  • Scrapper: A ‘Scrapper’ refers to unauthorized copies of real Disney pins, often of lower quality. Always watch out for scrappers during trades.
  • LE: Short for Limited Edition, ‘LE’ signifies pins produced in specific quantities. Disney stops production once the limit is reached, making LE pins often sought after by collectors.
  • Rack Pins: These are typically found on racks at Disney parks or stores. Rack pins are often mass-produced and reasonably priced, so they’re an excellent starting point for new traders.
  • Hidden Mickey: A special pin in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. These are usually handed out by Disney park employees and feature a tiny Mickey insignia.

There are more terms to learn as you dive deeper into Disney pin trading, but these should get you started!

Ground view of Disney Springs shops at night in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Disney Springs via Facebook

How Much Does it Cost?

The price of a Disney pin largely depends on its rarity and where you purchase it. On average, most pins at Disney parks and official stores range between $8 to $15.

However, the cost of limited edition or rare Disney pins can surge into hundreds or even thousands of dollars for collectors.

How to Get Your First Disney Pins

If you’re new to the world of Disney pin trading, don’t worry because getting started is easier than you might think. First, consider what kind of Disney pin you’d like to start with. Are you a fan of a particular character, movie, or theme?

Disney pins come in an array of designs, so you’re sure to find something that speaks to your interests. To get your hands on your first Disney pin, you have several options.

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One of the most popular ways is by purchasing a Disney pin at a Disney park or the official website. Parks offer a wide assortment of pins at various shops and kiosks, making it an ideal place to start your collection.

On the other hand, if you can’t make it to a park or prefer shopping online, the official Disney website offers a variety of Disney pins for sale.

Another way to acquire your first Disney pin is by attending an event, such as the ‘Trade Til You Fade’ trading weekend hosted by the Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders.

These events serve as an excellent option for obtaining new pins and also offer the opportunity to engage with other enthusiasts.

Wide shot of a large resort hotel with two huge swan sculptures on top of it next to a lake with a boardwalk and a ferry boat

Location, Location, Location: The Best Places to Trade Disney Pins

The world of Disney pin trading is vast and illustrious, with a plethora of unique places to engage in this delightful hobby. Whether you’re at a Disney resort or a local event, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of finding that distinctive Disney pin you’ve been on a quest for.

When it comes to Disney resorts, most of the on-site stores will have a lanyard or pinboard for you to trade on. Disney Cast Members are always ready to trade Disney pins with you.

Don’t forget to check out the infamous pin trading boards located at all four corners of Disney World. These boards offer a fantastic array of pins to trade and purchase and are also a perfect place to find that special Disney pin for your collection.

Aside from the parks, Disney cruise ships are also filled with delightful trading opportunities. Many passengers get involved, making it a fun social activity during your journey at sea. Remember to pack your Disney pin bag before setting sail!

Locally, there are a few well-known communities that come together for regular Disney pin trading meets. More of this is discussed below, so keep reading!

family with two children standing in front of disney castle at walt disney world daytime

How to Trade Disney Pins Like a Pro

You might have a slight idea about Disney Pin Trading, but how do you turn the knowledge into mastery? How can you trade Disney pins like a pro? Don’t worry, you’re just about to become a Disney pin trading savant.

Professional Disney pin trading combines an acute knowledge of the market with developed networking skills. You need to become familiar with different types of pins, how rare they are, and their value.

Regular Disney trading pins events, like the Trade Til You Fade weekend hosted by the Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders (CJDPT), offer a chance to network with other participants, learn from their experience, and of course, trade your pins.

Preparation for these events is just as important as the trading itself. Pin trading is an exciting, but crowded venture. Many traders secure their spaces in the venue, park their Disney pin bags in designated corridors before breakfast, and settle down for business right after.

Be sure to show up early to secure a good spot. You’d be surprised how strategic it can get!

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It’s not just Disney enthusiasts that join in on these events. At some events, like those organized by Windy City Pin Traders in Chicago, even hotel staff participate.

They wear Disney-themed attire and decorate common areas with Disney posters. It’s a whole atmosphere of Disney frenzy, and that’s precisely where you want to be to up your trading game. Every trade could bring you closer to that rare Disney pin you’ve been dreaming about!

Seriously, it’s not just colorful pin collecting. It’s a business. The more you engage in it, the better you’ll get, carving your path to becoming a pro at trading Disney pins.

Two girls smiling at a mirror, one in a yellow princess dress and the other in a blue and white dress
Photo Credit: WDW News Today via Facebook

How to Store, Use, and Display Your Disney Pin

Proper care and display of your Disney pins can enhance their lifespan and increase their visual appeal. So, where do you start? Well, that’s what we are here to help you with.

First, consider storing your Disney pins in a bag. These bags, designed specifically for Disney pins, ensure that your coveted ones are not only secure but easy to transport.

The separate sections help arrange and showcase your pins for easy visibility. There’s an incredible range of styles and designs that these bags come in – you can select one that complements your personality and collection aesthetic.

Cases and binders make for another great storage option. Look for binders that have clear plastic sleeves, so you can display your pins while protecting them.

Make sure that the binder or case you choose shields your pins from light and dust – the silent eroders of all things delicate and precious.

Should you wish to put your Disney pins on a more public display, there are many creative ways to do so. Pinboards are a classic choice. These can be hung on your walls, sat on your shelves, or even placed in your working spaces.

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You can add a little flair to your pinboards by decorating them with lights, fabric coverings, or even painting them. Alternatively, a shadow box can provide a dramatic display for those rare Disney pins you might want to make a focal point.

Lastly, when using your pins, be gentle. Remember, your Disney pin isn’t simply a trinket! It’s a piece of art that carries history and memories. Treat it with respect, and it’ll continue to be a source of joy and delightful conversation.

two women eating food at the German Pavilion in Epcot at Disney World Orlando, Florida

Staying Informed: How to Keep Up with New Releases

With countless rare Disney pins and numerous releases per year, it may feel overwhelming to stay up-to-date. However, staying informed on the latest pins doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Let’s break it down to some simple steps you can follow.

First, regularly check the official Disney website. As the source of all things Disney, it’s the best place to get accurate and timely information about upcoming releases. It often features a dedicated section where you can see all current designs, including new and limited edition ones, so it’s certainly your best bet!

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Secondly, leverage the power of social media. Follow official Disney pages on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Besides their corporate pages, there are numerous fan communities where enthusiasts share news and pictures of their recent Disney pin finds.

Instagram is particularly popular among traders, making it the perfect platform to showcase and discover new ones.

DisneyPinsBlog.com, even though it’s not officially affiliated with The Walt Disney Company, provides a wealth of information about trading. The site often lists upcoming releases and offers valuable tips for novice and seasoned traders alike.

family in pool at disney's caribbean beach resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Participation in events like the CJDPT (Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders) is another effective way to stay informed. These gatherings not only offer a fantastic opportunity to trade Disney pins but also serve as a platform for news and announcements. Plus, there’s the added benefit of instant feedback and advice from other traders present at these meets.

Last but not least, visit the trading locations during your trips to Disney parks. The park employees, or ‘cast members’, are an incredible source of up-to-date information about the latest pins and trading activities. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation and ask about any new releases.

Disney Pin Fever FAQs

Tracking down the rarest Disney pin is like embarking on a treasure hunt. One striking candidate for the title is the “Disney Pin Mistress of Evil,” a Limited Edition pin featuring Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, which was only issued in a tiny batch of just 100 pieces. It’s pursued by collectors worldwide, making it extremely sought-after.

Yes, there certainly are limited-edition Disney pins. These are exclusive Disney pin releases that are produced in limited quantities, often for special events or commemorations, making them highly sought after by collectors around the globe.

Plan a Trip to Disney World

Why not maximize your adventure and save some bucks at the same time? Bundle your hotel stay with discounted tickets to Disney World using the Disney World vacation package from Tripster.

This savvy move not only removes the booking hassles with its one-stop solution but the savings you’ll enjoy could be used to delve deeper into your Disney pin trading passion!

With a little planning and a smart bundle, you could be waving hello to Mickey Mouse and expanding your Disney pins collection without stretching your budget.

Start planning your all-in-one, budget-friendly adventure today!

What Did We Miss?

Do you have any additional tips or insights to share? Leave us a comment below!


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Written by Nicole King

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely...


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