Pin trading with CM's restarted last week

And I haven’t seen any threads about it. Maybe it was mentioned in a trip report?

Anyway, I never did the pin trading thing. I bought pins, and I bought Tinker Bell pins off eBay, but I never wanted to trade them away.

Disney re-started Cast Member pin trading last week – at least, I think it was a week ago – and my son Woody (CM in Animal Kingdom) is enthralled. He’s having such a good time!!! He called me at the end of the first day of pin trading and exclaimed, “This was the best day of my life as a cast member!” He loves it.

Woodrow bought a lanyard and some starter pins at Cast Connections on his day off last Monday, and he plans to go to Epcot tomorrow in search of some pins. LOL!!! He’s hooked!

I guess I was just hoping other people are as happy about this development as Woodrow is. :smiley: Anyone? Anyone got any good stories to share? I hope you’re all getting the pins you want!


It was mentioned within other threads, but I think yours may be the first thread dedicated to it!

I’m glad Woody is having so much fun with it!! I know we are all looking forward to having the chance to interact with cast members in this way again!

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We are so excited about it! We have been bringing.our pin book, but with just the board, and the majority fakes there is little upside (new pins you want or fun interactions with CMs).

Glad to carry the book around now!

There is a robust pin trading community on Facebook. Many ate CMs. As a cast memeber he will have access to buy some super exclusive, very beautiful pins!



Us. We are. We always did goody bags at the start of a WDW trip which included a shirt for the group photo, glow in the dark stuff, and among other lesser things, a dozen or so cheap - hopefully ugly - pins from a guy in Alabama.

One year the pin collection I ordered turned out to be 2 dozen all the same Incredibles Dad pins. We had a great time trading that year. Always built pin trading time into the schedule.

Until covid.

Now we really need to look for Woodrow.

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Interesting. We didn’t start pin trading until last year, so I didn’t really realize anything officially changed from the before times.

We didn’t know what we were doing and have a bunch of fakes. DS had fun checking pin boards at DLR though. We bought some after that trip and had them available on our Feb 2024 WDW trip. But again the pin boards were full of fakes, so he used his bag of fakes to trade for other fakes he liked. It wasn’t until our last day at our resort gift shop he was able to make some cool “real” trades (almost all Marvel for Marvel). I also bought a few I liked.

With this change can we leave the fakes behind on our May WDW trip?

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I just asked Woodrow, and he said the CM’s are being asked to try to keep trading for fakes to a minimum. He doesn’t know of any “regulations,” per se, but I read on Reddit that there are some CM’s who have special pins. You have to answer trivia questions to “earn” the privilege of trading for that pin, but you have to have a pin that is as special.

In other words, some CM’s can refuse to trade.

Btw, he has left Epcot and is going to an appointment in downtown Orlando. The only trade I heard about was for a Jafar-as-a-bowling-pin pin! LOL! He already had a Mufasa-as-a-bowling-pin pin! He could end up with a set at this rate. :smiley:


It was my understanding that - except for fakes maybe? - CMs are not allowed to refuse a trade.

This just came up on the DCP parents’ page. A kiddo had a pin they did not want to trade because it’s special to them. They were advised to not wear that pin when on duty and keep that for when they are a guest in the parks because CMs cannot refuse a trade.


I have that one! And a couple of other bowling pin ones :smiley:

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This will be hard! A lot of CMs don’t know the difference. That’s a steep learning curve! And hard to say no to a child!

We trade real pins for real pins. Sometimes we have traded real pins for fakes, and if it isn’t one we want to keep, we use that to trade for other fakes in the future. That way we are never adding fakes into the system. My favorite thing to do is to let the CM pick which pin they want from our book of traders. Some really won’t choose. Others LOVE to choose.

I got into big time pin trading trying to finish a nesting doll collection. During COVID we traded pins with people in Europe and Hong Kong! It was really special.

Interestingly, the have been Cast Members who trade out fakes for the good pins and keep them, and then sell them. I know the stories from the pin trading groups, and know that most lost their job because of it. :flushed:

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Yikes!!! Happily, Woodrow doesn’t seem to be in the pin trading biz for the moolah. … Come to think of it, he’s not in the Disney CM biz for the big bucks, either! :rofl:


It seems to be a California gig economy thing!

We know he’s in it for the glory!

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Haaaaaaaa… ahem. Uh. Yeah! Glory! That’s it. Glory.


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I really love that he is so excited for the pin trading. The rumor always was that custodial staff were always the best to trade with!


I’d always heard that there’s some way to tell from the back of the pin.

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They started making this easier last year by adding cubic zirconia “Mickey icon stones authenticators” to the back of the pin. Of course there are a lot of real pins that are more than a year old, but at some point (maybe 4 or 5 years from now?) that could become an easily verifiable requirement for trades.


I can tell I have been out of pin world since I didn’t know this! I’ll have to check my Flower and Garden pin to see!

@janamelia there are a lot of ways to tell but it is a steep learning curve. For the more expensive pins, its much harder sometimes.

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This is true. It depends what a person’s purpose is. If you’re a 7 year old kid trading ugly pins granma gave you for every Tink pin you can find, you can have a lot of inexpensive, worry free fun.

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Absolutely. That’s why I think they will allow fakes - who would tell that kid, “no, sorry that pin is fake”

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I think early on some of our pins were declined. I learned to be more particular about where we were getting pins from.

I’m so surprised to learn that people expected to make serious money off pin trading.


For those interested, this is one of the better descriptions of “fake vs real” I have read - mouselets article.

I think I have our small collection mostly understood but need to take a second look at a few. There are a few fakes we like and will keep regardless though - specifically the classic Epcot icons and Star Wars emblems.