Pin trading in Walt Disney World is a super fun little extra experience that many avid Disney-goers look forward to each time they visit. It’s a fantastic way to add magic to every visit, especially if you’ve visited many times and are looking for ways to change things up. That said, since the Disney parks reopened in July 2020, a lot of things have changed. Among these changes are some adjustments to the way pin trading works. Whether you’re a trader looking to get your pin fix during your next visit to Disney World or someone looking to get started in the Disney pin trading world, these are things you might want to know going in. Lucky for you, we’ve done plenty of trading since reopening, and we’re here to share our experiences with you so you know exactly what to expect.
1. No More Spontaneous Trades
The first thing you may notice when you head into a park to do some trading is a distinct lack of Cast Members with pin lanyards and the other typical wearable pin displays. While there once was a time when a guest could approach any Cast Member carrying pins and request a trade, these days are gone for now, and the lack of lanyards on Cast Members makes this very apparent. Additionally, guests would be discouraged from trading with one another, as this would mean breaking the social distancing rules. What this means for pin traders is that spontaneous trades are out for the time being, and you’ll need to find a pin trading station to make those swaps.
2. Keep Your Distance
Fortunately, there are now plenty of pin trading stations open throughout the parks and even the resorts. These are set up with a countertop or table between the Cast Member and the guest, ensuring a safe distance is maintained. Additionally, both the guest and the Cast Member will, of course, be wearing masks. This helps ensure there is no spread of germs between the guest and the Cast Member and that social listening guidelines are followed, while still allowing the pin trader and the employee to have positive interactions.
3. Let a Cast Member Do the Touching
The pin board itself is set up behind the counter, and the pins displayed are numbered. When you see a pin you’d like to trade for, you simply tell the Cast Member the pin’s number and he or she will pull it off the board for you, ensuring guests are not touching the same pin over and over. We have found that this process is a bit irritating, as it can be difficult to clearly see the more detailed pins before trading. That said, we completely understand the reasoning behind it, and are glad Disney found a way to keep pin trading alive, even if it doesn’t mean some sacrifices must be made.
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4. Put It in the Bin
Worried about the person who owned your newly acquired pin before you did? Don’t be! After a pin has been approved for trade by the Cast Member, it is placed in a bin by the guest. This bin of pins is then sanitized well before they are put up on the pin board for trade. This means every pin you pick out has been completely cleaned before it ever reaches your hands. It also means that instead of handing the pins you trade directly to the Cast Member, you will simply remove the back and place it in the bin to be sanitized.
5. Check Out Online Trading and Purchasing
Still uncomfortable going into the parks but want to scratch your pin trading itch? Want more pin trading opportunities than the parks can offer at this time? Looking for a specific pin that you just couldn’t seem to track down during your vacation? All of these problems can be fixed online. Official Disney pins can be purchased at shopDisney.com. Be sure you only purchase from this website in order to ensure you have a true, tradable Disney pin and not a cheap knockoff that cannot be traded. As far as online trading goes, there are actually a number of options. Pin Trading Online and Pin Trader Club are two popular pin trading websites. There are also Facebook groups dedicated to the hobby, making it easy to do some trading every time you check your social media.
As you can see, pin trading is still alive and well in Walt Disney World. Sure, there have been some changes to help the activity adapt to the strange times we’re living through, but trading pins is still tons of fun and a great way to ensure fun interactions with Cast Members. We also love that it’s relatively inexpensive to give pin trading a try, and that by trading pins, you can come home with a new souvenir each time you visit without spending a dime.
Why not give pin trading a try on your next visit to the most magical place on earth? You might just find a new hobby and a new reason to adore Walt Disney World resort—both great things as far as we’re concerned!