Deb's Pin Trading Guide

Feature Article

This article appeared in the February 17, 2000, Issue #18 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

Pin trading has gotten so "hot" at WDW and now Disneyland, that I revised my Pin Trading Page to become a Pin Trading Guide. I hope you find the information helpful! This page will go live on WDWIG with Friday's update. You are receiving a sneak preview as ALL EARS® subscribers!

As part of the Millennium Celebration, pin trading has become the craze! It started in late September as Cast Members geared up for the official start of the Millennium celebration. By mid-October the trading reached, well, millennnium proportions and many folks are now involved and having a lots of fun!

Pin trading is one of Disney's brightest ideas in a very long time! It not only provides a fun interactive experience for Cast Members and Guests, but also for Guests with each other.

Now, instead of flying past that stranger to get to your next attraction, you catch a glint of metal in the shining sun and you stop to inquire about a trade. In the process, you learn a little about the person and maybe you'll even find someone you've met on line (as I did). Even when folks find they have no items to trade, it's great fun to look at pins and share in the experience.

Official Pin Stations are located at the four theme parks, Downtown Disney, Wide World of Sports, and the Boardwalk. On my February visit, I noticed that additional pin carts have been set up in a variety of locations. There are at least 3 in Epcot (The Main Pin Station, American Adventure and Millennium Village). Some pin carts, such as the one at the Boardwalk, don't open until later in the afternoon on weekdays (around 4pm). Some of the pin stations, like at Downtown Disney, offer Pin Trading "Seminars" and times are posted at each cart.

The Pin Stations have huge numbers of Disney pins to purchase along with other pin paraphernalia such as lanyards, vests, hats, books etc. It was a stroke of marketing genius and one that is generating lots of excitement from guests!

In late January a Pin Traders Book was released by Disney. It sells for about $10. While the quality of the paper and color is very high; I found the book significantly lacking. Pins that had been released for the 2000 celebration back in October were not was inconsistent with what it did list and so I would not recommend it as a guide to LE or 2000 pins.

New pins seem to be released all the time with a 2000 on the pin face. Also, many of the pins have the 2000 imprinted on the back of them. There are also are a wide variety of Limited Edition pins, which seem to sell out within hours of hitting the shelves. They will say "Limited Edition" on the card and also state Limited Edition (and usually the run number, like 3,000 or 5,000) on the pin itself.

SPECIAL LIMITED EDITIONS: Pin of the Month - released about the 1st of each month with a limited run of 5,000. The January Pin commemorated the Opening of Disneyland, February commemorated the Opening of the Magic Kingdom. Rumors are the next couple months will see castles from Disneyland Paris and the Tokyo Resort.

E-Ticket Attraction Pins - An initial set of four were released in January. The hardest of this set to obtain is It's a Small World which was limited to 1,000 pins. There were two 2,000 issue pins: Dumbo and Pirates of the Caribbean. No one is quite sure how Dumbo ended up on an E-Ticket pin, but it's colorful. The final one in the series is the Haunted Mansion which has a limited edition of 3,000. No word yet if additional E-Ticket pins will be released, although I hear lots of rumors.

Mickey Through the Years - This is the third series of Limited Edition pins which were first sold in January. The edition is limited to 1200. Each pin commemorates a year in Mickey's Life. These are fun, colorful pins but there seem to be so many of them, making it potentially difficult to obtain a full collection. The hot pin in this series is Plane Crazy which was the first one released. So far 12 pins are available with more to come.

Special Events Pins - Valentines Day, New Years, January 1, 2000 and other special WDW events have their own Limited Edition Pins. Some, like the Valentines Day pin have large editions like 20,000, others are much smaller.

Limits on the Limited! In order to stop some of the massive buying (and reselling on ebay and other online auctions), purchase of Limited Edition pins is restricted to two (2) per person. You can, however, finish your purchase and jump back in line for 2 more.

In addition, throughout the Millennium Celebration, there is a Pin of the Day available for purchase in Epcot. These pins are rather large and are part of a larger photomosaic. When put together for an entire month, the pins will form a replica of the Poster of the Month. If you are so inclined, you can purchase all 459 of these pins already framed, for the low low price of $3,000! You can call Walt Disney World Pin Celebration at 407/363-6200 if you have questions about this set. I think the folks at Disney overestimated the popularity of this set. The only pin that seems to have generated much interest is the one dated October 1, 1999. The mosaic photos haven't done much for me personally, but you decide for yourself.

Some of the regular issue 2000 pins are really neat; there is a series of "Dangle Dolls" from It's a Small World, each World ShowCase Country in Epcot has it's own pin; the resorts all have their own 2000 pin...making lots and lots of subsets available. One of my favorites is the Millennium Village Dangle Pin. It is very similar to the Cast Member pin, with just a small difference.

Retired Pins - The Disney Stores issued a series of 101 pins during the last 3 months of 1999. Of the entire set, the only one that truely sold out and can be hard to find is the first one issued #101 of Walt and Mickey. All the other pins were sold for several months at The Disney Stores. At the time, these pins sold for $4 each. In January, The Disney Stores were told to stop selling the Millennium pins and pack them up. Some of these pins are now showing up on the Pin Carts at WDW as "Retired Pins" and are being sold for $6. I would caution you about buying these simply because the card says retired. The pins that were returned from The Disney Stores, are basically the ones that did not sell well. However, if you like the pin, well, that's what it is all about!

It is virtually impossible to obtain every single millennium Disney pin there think about a couple topical areas to focus you don't get so overwhelmed...try attractions, or villians or Peter Pan get the idea.

And, not to be outdone, Pin Trading Officially started in Disneyland in February with their own Limited Edition and beautiful attraction shield pins.

Ok, so how does this pin trading work???

First, and perhaps the simpliest is: Guests can trade any pin or button with other Guests. You make your own rules or guidelines....just use common coutesty and respect.

Trading with Cast Members -- Cast Members who are trading pins walk around with a Lanyard around their neck. The Lanyard has 12 pins available to trade with guests. If you want to trade with a cast member, there are a few rules to follow.

Any metal Disney Pin can be traded with a cast member! These pins are described as cloisonne type pins. They typically have a clasp backing. Buttons are not available to trade with Cast Members. Buttons typically have the safety pin attachment on the back.

You make one for one trades with a Cast Member. The Cast Member can not refuse to trade you as long as you are trading a legitimate Disney pin. Special Cast Member pins are not acceptable for trading with Cast Members. ( Don't worry, if you had one of these, you probably wouldn't want to trade it anyway!)

Remember - not just any ol' pin will do, it MUST be a Disney pin (almost all of these say Disney on the back).

Recently Disney "Partner" Pins were acceptable for trading with Cast Members -- these include Planet Hollywood pins, McDonalds, Rainforest Cafe and a few others. Pins with names on them are not acceptable for trading. Imagine going up to a Cast Member only to find their entire Lanyard is full of pins that say Mom, Dad, Bob and Judy! You wouldn't want them and neither does anyone else.

Deb's Pin Trading Suggestions

Go through your Disney pins at home and see if there are any you are no longer interested in keeping. These will provide a good start!

Visit a local TDS (Disney Store) where Millennium Pins are sold for $4 each; plus tax, less your Magic Kingdom Club Discount.

If you live near or visit one of the other Disney parks, pick up a couple extra pins to bring to WDW to trade with. My New York Disney Store pins were very popular.

If you absolutely refuse to get caught up in the frenzy before you leave home and it takes hold of you once you're at WDW, pins will cost you approximately $6 each.

Lanyards are a great way to show off your pins and notice other traders, but believe me, it gets heavy around your neck after a few hours. Be carefull -- the pin backs sometimes get loose and fall off and the next thing you know, your pin is gone too. If you find a back that is loose, take a small piece of napkin and place it on the hole, then insert the pin back...this should help. I now keep a few pins on my lanyard -- let's folks know I am interested in pin trading -- and have put my most of my trading pins in a pin traders book. It's much easier to keep that in my backpack then around my neck! LOL!

Parents - encourage your children to's great fun. At the same time, Be Alert -- while most everyone is honest and having a great time, I did run into a couple guests who showed me what they thought was a very exclusive limited pin which they traded for. Turns out it wasn't very exclusive or limited at all!! Trade for pins you like....not ones you think are "worth something". This isn't the Stock Market..but a way to have a great time!


Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.