Pin Trading 101: Tips and Tricks for Pin Trading at the Disneyland Resort

Pin Trading is one of my FAVORITE things to do whenever I visit the parks! A friend of mine in high school showed me what it’s all about and I’ve been hooked since! My family enjoys doing it too. I look forward to when my mom visits, and we go to the parks because we just pin trade all day! Since I’ve been pin trading for the last decade, I thought I’d give my tips and tricks to those who may be new to trading or even those who are experts.


Pin Trading Rules


The rules are simple. Each person who is trading can trade up to 2 Disney pins per cast member. If you’re at a location where a cast member is wearing a lanyard but also has a pin board, you can trade up to 2 pins from the board AND from the cast member. You cannot trade any of your pins that are the same as what the cast member has. So no duplicates can be on any lanyard or board!


Tip: Use your manners. Don’t grab pins from cast members. Be polite and ask if you’d like to see a pin closer or if you’d like to trade.

Pin Trading Locations

Where can you find pins to trade? EVERYWHERE! You just need to know where to look! Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and the hotels ALL have pin trading available!


As you’re walking around if you see a cast member with a lanyard just ask to see their pins! If you’re making your way through the shops, check behind the counters as there might be a board there for you to trade from! Pin stores or carts are usually guaranteed to have pins for trading. Sometimes they may not be available, just come back later or move on to the next location!

Tip: It does not hurt to ask cast members in the stores if they have any pins for trading if you do not see any boards or lanyards right away. 

Pins! Pins! Pins!

Whether you’re looking to start your collection or add to it you’ll need to go to the same location: pin stores! Most of the major stores in the parks, Downtown Disney, and the hotels sell pins. Here you can find starter packs for beginners along with a WIDE variety of other pins.


Not every pin you buy has to be traded! I don’t trade all of my pins, I collect them too! Some are for trading and others are for collecting! Every month new pins are released, it’s hard to keep up with all of them! Mystery box sets are always fun to collect as well as limited edition (LE) pins! Be warned, pins can get expensive! If you’re a passholder make sure you’re using your discount! On occasion, there are pins that are exclusive to passholders as well! Here’s some examples of the different types of pins:

Limited Edition (LE)


Mystery Box Set


Starter Set


Regular Pins


And Much More!



Once you have your pins you’re going to need somewhere to put them! The beauty of starter sets is they provide you lanyard! Display your pins proudly! The way you want to organize them is up to you! Some people wear their pins around the park but won’t necessarily trade them. Other people, like myself, wear the pins we’re willing to trade and leave our good pins at home with our collection! As you grow your pin collection you’ll find you need a place to store them. I would highly recommend a pin book!


Tip: If you want to display your pins more creatively there’s ideas on Pinterest on how to display pins using cork boards!

Final Thoughts

Pin Trading is such a fun hobby and I really hope this post has inspired you to give it a try! It adds something unique to your day and gives you something to do other than go on rides or see shows! Nothing wrong with either of those of course! If someone in your party doesn’t go on many rides maybe this is something they’d consider doing to fill in the time everyone else is on a ride! Whatever the case may be just remember to have fun with it! If you have any questions about pin trading or anything relating to Disney just let us know!

Pin Lanyard

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