Ever since I got my pin lanyard way back in 2006, when Disney was celebrating its “Year of a Million Dreams” campaign, I’ve been hooked on pin-trading. It was a completely unexpected random giveaway that happened I was in the line for Mission: Space in Tomorrowland. Since then, pin trading has become one of the biggest highlights of my Disney trips.
Every time I got to Disneyworld (or a subsidiary thereof), I take stock of the pins that I currently have in my collection, pick the ones that I want to keep and leave the rest for random trading. There’s just something really exciting about spotting awesome pins and trading for them, or finding that very rare pin that you really love. To me, the real value is in finding those unique pins that I can wear on my lapel for everyday. For example, one of my favourite pins in my collection is a “Happy Villaintines Day” pin featuring Maleficent. I’ve worn this pin on my lapel every Valentines Day since 2006.
This last trip to Disneyworld, I roped the Boobook into my pintrading hobby. One of the first things we did at the park was purchase a pin lanyard and a Pirates of the Caribbean starter pin set. For that extra bit of challenge, we set ourselves pin-trading goals. The Boobook’s was to collect all seven Winnie the Pooh Hidden Mickey pins and mine was to get a Princess Anna pin. Then, it was off to the parks to trade for various pins!
Pin trading is pretty finicky in Disneyworld. Most people tend to trade only with cast members, as the cast are pretty much obligated to trade pins with you up to three times. Plus, trading with cast members also increases the likelihood of attaining “Hidden Mickey” pins – pins that cannot be bought, only traded for. That being said, there are some places where other guests are more willing to trade with you. The Sorceror’s Hat in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (pictured above) is one of them. The hat doubles as a pin shop and a place for valuation of pins. I had my rare Davy Crockett pin valued there.
The other place for pin trading amongst guests is near Scoop Sanderson, the cub reporter and super pin-trader who hangs around on Main Street in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Sadly, while I wasn’t able to trade with the great Scoop himself, as he was closing up shop, I did still manage to trade away a truly ugly Caribbean Cruise pin with another guest. I didn’t come away from the encounter empty-handed either. Scoop actually gave me a Cast Member’s only Christmas ornament as consolation for not getting to trade!
This year’s Cast Member pins weren’t really all that much to write home about – there weren’t very many for trade that had moving parts or other special effects. However, I did get a tip that the best pins are only available at the start of the day, or just after lunch.Unfortunately, try as I might, I could not find a single Anna pin for trade. Still, the Boobook did manage to get 4 out of 7 Winnie the Pooh pins. Although we didn’t manage to get everything we came for, we still came away with some pretty nifty pins!
At the end of the day, pin trading is pretty fun and we’re planning to do more of it during our Honeymoon stop at Tokyo Disneyland. The Boobook is already drafting up a sign inviting Japanese Disney guests to come trade with us! Hopefully, we’ll be able to find something interesting!
 By trading for it, of course. There’s no challenge in just buying it off the shelf.
 It wasn’t worth much, but it’s still an error pin and may appreciate in value later.