Disney Tips & Tricks – Pin Trading With the Kids

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Know what kids love?  Collecting.  That’s right – collecting.  It doesn’t matter if it’s bottlecaps, bracelets, go-gos, lego minifigures, magic markers, or video games.  They LOVE to collect.  Disney knows this – oh yes, they do.  So, lucky for you…Disney knows kids so well that they have come up with the coolest, most interactive, imaginative collecting ever.

In this week’s blog – let’s start with pins.  Have you seen everyone walking around the parks with those lanyard things around their necks?  Yes, they hold your Key to the World, but they also serve a much bigger, magnificent purpose – to hold the PINS!  There are whole kiosks and stores at each park devoted to these little gems, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Before you leave home:  Scour the internet, ebay, and Disney online for authentic Disney pins.  It doesn’t matter what they look like, your kids won’t have them for long.  DO NOT spend a lot of money on these pins.  Look for pins sold in a Lot on ebay, just make sure that they are authentic, you don’t want to be trading counterfeit pins.  The idea is to get ones that you don’t care about so that you can go on a treasure hunt for the ones that you DO want.  It’s no fun to just walk around a park with pins you love…you want the HUNT!  It’s all about stalking the pins and finding the wonderfully, elusive, favorite one!

Like I mentioned, the fun part about pins for the kids is the trading.  Yes, they trade them away.  Not forever, they get one in return!  Find a cast member in the park that is wearing a GREEN lanyard.  These are the employees that are allowed to only trade with kids (see, I told you, Disney has thought of everything – no stranger danger here!) – your kids will approach this person and ask: “May I please see your pins?”  This is a great opportunity for those shy, aloof kids to practice their budding social skills and manners.  The cast member will let you have a look at their loot, and then will trade with you two times.  Here is some history behind the phenomenon.

*Secret tip* – Some shops actually have BOOKS of pins for you to look through, and if you go to Guest Services you will find a PIN STROLLER that is loaded with pins for you to peruse.  Kids love to feel like they are in the know.  The pin strollers are not normally on display, you have to ask for them.  This makes kids feel like they have a secret and are in a very private club!  How cool is the parent that knows all of this ahead of time, hands out the pins as a surprise, and helps them in the hunt?  The coolest parents ever.  A word of caution – my kids forgot to go on the rides, they loved this so much.

Next time, let’s talk about pressed pennies!  Never heard of this?  I hadn’t either until we found a secret map – more to come!

Are you ready for free spending money?  Book your Disney World package with Cameron and receive a free credit on your Key to the World card up to $50.  Cameron Fisher is a Vacation Specialist  with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. 

You can contact her at: cameron@destinationsinflorida.com


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9 thoughts on “Disney Tips & Tricks – Pin Trading With the Kids

  1. I ordered a lot of 100 pins for my two boys. This May we went to Disney and started our pin trading. It was the highlight of their trip (well other than fighting Darth Vader). I would just offer a bit of advice. If your little ones want to trade pins with a cast member working a ride (the cast members at the Star Tours ride at Hollywood Studios had great pins), use your time in line to let them decide which pins they want to trade and have them remove them from their lanyards. Same thing goes for the cast members working the meet and greets. Things move really fast, and my kids would start to panic if they felt rushed or we had to let a bunch of people in front of us. It also gave us something to do while standing in line. A word about the lanyards: we ordered ours from Disney before the trip and while they were great lanyards, they were a little long and my kids wore them for about 5 minutes once inside the park. The rest of the time, my husband and I had to wear them and in 90+ degree weather with 93% humidity, it was almost painful. Plus the kids would want them back when trading and we managed to lose about 4 pins when the backs came off removing the lanyards from our necks so often. It worked better for us to let the boys only take about 10 that they wanted to trade each day and leave the rest in the rooms. We had a backpack, so I just started attaching the pins to the flap on that and on my camera strap. Just as easy to reach and I didn’t have a lanyard stuck to my sweaty neck, eeeewwwww. One last thing, go ahead and resign your self, especially if your kids are young, to them picking out some crappy pins and bypassing some that you think are really cool. I could not understand why my boys passed on a huge patriotic Mickey pin to choose a Fast pass sign. I mean seriously, it was a red square with a capital FP on it. That’s it, and each of my boys came home with one. Just remember that it is their activity and more fun for them if they can choose what they want. If you or on the fence about trading, just go for it. We have had almost as much fun talking about them and looking at them once we got home as we had trading them.

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