The Joy of Pin Trading

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By Kristi Letsinger

My husband and I found the joy of pin trading on a previous trip to Disney.  We enjoyed the opportunity to talk to the Cast Members and the thrill of the hunt for that one elusive pin. However, on our most recent trip we found pin trading to be even more fun for the whole family as our two-year old daughter even enjoyed it!

On our first trip she was a little put out with us as we traded pins because we stopped quite often to trade.  But this time was different.  She got into it slowly but very soon she was a veteran pin trader.  She loved choosing her own pins.  In the beginning, I tried to help her choose pins to trade, but I very quickly found out that she had her own style of what she was looking for.  After she would trade a pin she would hold onto it until it was time to trade again.  I did not have to prompt her to trade after the first few as she would see a cast member with pins, go up to them (with me close by), and say, “Trade a pin, please.”

The cast members helped make this experience so much fun for our family. They were wonderful with her as she took her time to look over their pins.  Many would bend down to her eye level and talk with her about her pin or her Disney trip.  I really liked the fact that they would hand the pin that she had just traded for, to her and not to me.

She was so excited to trade pins.  She was proud of her trades and has looked at them often since we have been home.  She has even tried to trade pins with employees of other stores in our area!  She now has a Disney lanyard and I can’t wait to see her wearing a few pins on it when our next trip comes up!

Here are some helpful hints to get your family started on pin trading:

  • Begin the fun at home. Gather trading pins to bring on your trip. Inexpensive pins can be found online at various locations. Buying a lot of several pins often produces some to keep and some to trade.
  • Trade with Cast Members. It will help the experience seem less intimidating to little ones if you trade with a friendly face.
  • Make a plan. Is Mickey your favorite? Do the Princesses reign in your heart? Look to trade pins for a certain character or type of character.
  • Set a budget. Pin trading can become expensive if you don’t plan ahead. Know what you are willing to spend so you don’t break the bank.
  • Have fun! The joy of pin trading can be a wonderful memory from your Disney vacation.


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