Pin trading for kids

How cool is this really for the kids? Do they really like it and it’s worth it to carry the lanyard, and stopping to trade? I can’t imagine my kid will ask to trade with strangers, only the booths or whatever it is. Are there a lot of booths? I hate buying and having extra ‘crap’…so is this one time crap or actually enjoyable?

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Our DD5 just discovered pin trading on our last trip. One of the CMs at the BoardWalk Community Hall gave her an Anna pin, which she absolutely loved. She then noticed that lots of CMs had pins and I explained the trading concept to her. She wouldn’t trade her beautiful Anna pin, so I bought her another (“one I don’t like please” :rofl:) so she could trade it. A PotC CM gave her another the next day. She only approached CMs in the parks, and only a handful of times, but I have promised her she can have a starter set with lanyard next time we go. She seemed to really enjoy it, and it didn’t take much time out of our days at all. YMMV of course. :slight_smile:


Ok I just found many posts about this to help myself :rofl::rofl:sorry every! BUT, one question I do have…how do you tell a fake?!

My son was just 5 on our last trip and seemed interested, so I plan to buy him some pins for Christmas so we can trade them on our trip next February. I also don’t see him getting SUPER into it, but I think he’ll enjoy trying it at least a few times. It seems like a fun activity even if they only get into it half-heartedly.

I have absolutely no idea - DD just traded for the ones she liked the look of, and I wasn’t bothered as long as she was having fun.

I think it’s worth trying but I, personally, wouldn’t spend too much on the starter lanyard/pins. My kids had zero interest but I was glad to have bought them just in case and they are cheaper to purchase beforehand vs in the parks. I bought lanyards that light up so that they would be more useful because they could wear them to the nighttime shows.

This is a great idea - thanks! :smiley:

This is how we feel as well. DS started when he was 8 and absolutely loved it for a couple of years.

It’s a money pit. Disney can print an infinite number of pins. It’s not like you can collect them all. If you’re child sees a pin at a gift shop or stall they like, get it. Don’t add the pressure of stopping and negotiating. It just slows down your day too. Kids can get flustered with trying to choose which pin they want to trade a CM for. My DD17, when she was younger, did pins for a couple years. From my experience, the pins just wind up forgotten on a shelf after the trip.

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On our last trip, my kids were ages 3, 5, and 7. We would just trade at the pin boards in the shops. My husband got super into it and would ask CMs to trade only because we were looking for a specific character, but if the kids saw a pin they wanted in a shop, we would just snag it. They loved the mystery packs.

As far as when we got home, they were not forgotten. They were put on school backpacks (although I don’t recommend that unless you’re sure they’re super secure), lanyard (they keep in their room to admire), and a cork board we made into our pin board.

They really enjoyed it and look forward to getting more when we return. :slight_smile: I’m sure now that they’re a little older they’ll be braver about talking to CMs.


Hope I didn’t sound too grouchy about it. :grinning: I collect pressed pennies from the parks, so we all have something we like.

I still buy pins for DD and me. I just don’t get into the trading / collecting aspect of it.

Pin trading is easy with CMs you see a pin you like you give them one of your’s (you choose) and they give you one of their’s you like. I bought a pack on E-bay I saved the ones I liked and will bring the ones I don’t like to trade. I still have my jean jacket from the 80’s with all my Hard Rock pins that I used to collect. I started a shadow box to display my pins.

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We really love it. I have my pins on my bulliten board at work, DD has hers in a book. I took a crooked route to collecting, but if I could do it over I would buy a starter kit with pins you don’t mind trading, or go on ebay and get a small set of real ones (will be around $2 a pin). Each trip we now buy 1 keeper in addition to trading from the other sets.

Also, my DD and I got into the nesting doll mystery set, so for birthdays or Christmas we may get a pack of those (bought by DH in the parks). Next trip our eyes will be peeled for trading opportunities to get the last two.

At 5 DD liked the pins, no trading. At 7 she liked the boards. At 8 she is ready to trade with humans for cat pins or nesting dolls.

I highly recommend youtube videos. There are 2 main “tells”. 1) the imprints of mickey heads on the back will not go fully to the edge, there may be a space where no stamp exists. 2)the filled color on the front has divets. If you hold it at the right angle you can see the color is not truly flat but may have one area it is concave.

If it checks these boxes, I don’t mind of they are actually fake! Sometimes DD doesn’t care at all, if she likes the pin.

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My son(7) LOVES it. The hardest part of packing for the trip for him is deciding which pins he wants to take to trade. I myself thought it was silly until I saw there were Star Wars pins. (My collection has grown to a whole separate board now)

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What a cool display!

My kids got a few pins from their cousins after the cousins’ trip to Disneyland, and then in April they used tooth fairy money to buy about 50 pins from a local Disney fan who was selling his duplicates from trading in the parks. I also got some starter sets off eBay and some Harry Potter pins from Etsy and those pins ended up in some of the plastic Easter eggs the Easter Bunny hid this year.

They’ve put their favourites on display pennants in their rooms and are looking forward to trading the ones they don’t like enough to display. Oh, we also got a discount set of prince ones they didn’t like at the Times Square Disney Store in March so those are also for trading. I figure talking to Cast Members and scouting out some of the more hidden pin boards will add some fun and variety to our trip.

The Easter Bunny also put pennies in some of the eggs for future pressing and the first thing I heard Easter Morning was a disgusted “Thanks a LOT, Easter Bunny.” from DS7 since the first egg he found and open was one of the penny ones. Later we all figured out why the Easter Bunny had hidden the pennies but his reaction still makes me laugh. (Canada doesn’t make pennies anymore and you can’t use them in stores. I’d taken most of them to the bank but we still had about 50 taking up room in our coin jar.) I need to look at the locations of the pressed coin machines and pin boards and build some pin trading and coin pressing breaks into our touring plans.

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Our kids started pin trading when we went out to CA for the opening of Carsland in 2012. We have done it ever since, although we are not nuts about it. We’ve collected quite a few over the years, usually trade a few each day, and each buy one or two per trip related to new attractions or shows the kids tried and enjoyed. These have become some of the lasting mementos from our trips. To stock up before trips, we will buy pins that are discounted on the Disney Store online, and then use those to trade once in the parks. We usually try collecting certain things once in the parks - for example, this year it was Hidden Mickey pins from the original Epcot attractions and anything related to Stitch.

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You guys have some really cool ways to display the pins!! I might buy a small starter pack to take. I can see how it would be really cool thing to do if you visit often!

Oh, I LOVE this idea of buying a few each trip as mementos! Those are definitely something that can stick around, as opposed to the random Buzz Lightyear light up toy and stuffed Stitch they bought on the last trip. I’m going to start doing this next year, thank you for the idea!

It occurs to me that I actually did this this year for myself - I really wanted an Up souvenir so bought a two pack of pins. So really I just need to do it for the boys. Hmm…


Most of the kids we’ve visited WDW with have traded pins somewhat. We have almost always traded solely with CMs. Some kids have traded with every CM they see while others will only trade if they see a particular pin. Rather than completing sets, our trading has mostly been for particular characters. Robin Hood, Tinkerbell.
I understand that a CM might not trade if you have offered a fake Disney pin. For that reason I usually buy grab bags of pins from sellers I’ve bought from in the past. We have a tradition of giving out goodie bags our first night at WDW and half a dozen pins are usually included in each bag. One year the grab bag was about 90% Incredibles which at first seemed sad but then we all realized we wouldn’t mind trading these.
There is a bit of pin etiquette. Generally it’s polite to ask to see the pins. If a trade is agreeable, your pin is handed over with its back attached so no one gets poked.

We like to buy a bag of black Mickey Head backs. They stay on better.


My girls and I really love pin trading. I’ve gotten into a tradition where we buy one special pin each trip and then display it on our pin board at home (just a big cork board I got from the craft store). I collect Haunted Mansion, my oldest daughter collects Figment pins, and my youngest Marie pins. We have a lot of fun just trying to find pins we’re after in the parks or resorts. I also buy a resort pin for each new resort we stay at, just for the memories. The pins really make us happy. :slight_smile:

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