Disney Pin Trading 101: Places to Trade and Collect

Updated 2016There are many places to buy pins but pin trading is pretty much non-existent at the parks except with cast members and unfortunately most of those pins are fakes and scrappers. That could be one reason why Disney seems to be pulling away support for the pin trading program.  Systematically, they have withdrawn spaces for pin traders to gather lifting all the designated spaces that used to exist, and even the famous Scoop Sanderson is no longer trading pins.  But if you’re looking for the best places to find those limited edition pins or just want to find the best selection, here are my latest tips on pin collecting.

Little Green Men Store in Disneyland
Little Green Men Store in Disneyland

Disneyland – At the Disneyland resort the best places to buy pins are Little Green Men Store in Tomorrowland, the Pin Trading Kiosk in Downtown Disney, and Westward Ho in Frontierland.  There are other places around the resort that have pins, too, but these seem to have the best selection and most consistent variety.  Also, Little Green Men Store often receives the overflow from pin trading special events, so in the rare instances where there are pins available, this would be the place to have them.  At times, Little Green Men Store and Westward Ho participate in the pin with purchase program (PWP – when you spend $30 or more you can buy a bonus pin).

Meeting Scoop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom WDW
Meeting Scoop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom WDW back when he was trading pins

Walt Disney World – Pin Central in EPCOT right smack in the middle of Future World and Disney Pin Traders in Downtown Disney are the best places to buy pins at Walt Disney World.  Each park has at least one store with pins for sale, but these are the two best with both of these stores often receiving overflow from pin events.  Pin Central used to be the only place left in WDW that had pin trading tables but now those are gone, too.  There are more pin trading opportunities with cast members at WDW than Disneyland, but fewer cast members now participate.  Also, while it’s not “in” the parks, Disney operates a couple of warehouse stores in the outlets nearby.  If you have time or just want a break from theme parks, go check it out.  They have some pins on very deep discounts including pins from recent pin trading events!

Tokyo Disneyland Resort – Tokyo Disneyland has no active pin trading community and even fewer pins available.  From my understanding, pin trading at TDL became so frenetic that it caused some instances of violence and they decided it was best to shut it down.  But they do have some fun, exclusive pins you can “win” at Abu’s Bazaar in Tokyo Disney Sea.  The pins are consolation prizes, but I was trying actively NOT to win.  The pins are great and only about $5 each (after converting from dollars to yen). What a great consolation prize!  Although not numbered, each one is limited in release and they continually put out new ones.  You can find additional pins for purchase in each of the major shops on the way out of the park and at Bon Voyage at the entrance.

Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris – A great place for pin collectors, both HKDL and DLP have exclusive pins and special pin trading events.  If you happen to be at either place make sure to keep this in mind and be on the look out for some potentially great finds!

The new (refurbished) Disney Studio Store
The new (refurbished) Disney Studio Store still has a great selection of LE pins if you can get them.

Disney Studio Store – This is a great gem of a store for pin collectors and unique in that it offers pins you cannot get anywhere else, but is also the most frustrating as it’s almost impossible to get new releases.  They literally run out almost as soon as they go on sale.  Almost all of its pin offerings are LE 500 or LOWER.  They specialize in more unique characters – Jessica Rabbit, Stitch, UP, Tangled, Pooh, and Cheshire Cat just to name a few.  Follow them on Facebook to see what new releases are coming out.  They also have a Sunset Warm Caramel Sundae.  If you order it, you get an exclusive LE pin of a Disney character while supplies last.  Don’t like caramel or want different flavors?  No problem.  For a small fee, any or all of these things can be changed.  But if they have a character you like, get it right away!  They don’t last long.

There are other locations that sell authentic Disney approved pins but they are getting few and far between.  Your best bet are pin events through the theme parks and the Disney Studio Store but even those are becoming more rare.  At one time Disney Stores were a hub for great pins, but they were the first to withdraw from selling exclusive or limited edition ones.  You can still get great pins from places like Aulani and even on a Disney Cruise! Just keep your eyes peeled and you’re sure to find some great stuff.

If you liked this post, there are others in this series to give you good information about pin trading on my site.  Look for these.

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3 thoughts on “Disney Pin Trading 101: Places to Trade and Collect

  1. DSF seems like a great place! Just make sure to eat that sundae before it melts completely! I am a huge fan of UP and the releases from DSF have been really phenomenal. Just really quality pins all around.

  2. Hi, the last time I traded at Disneyland was 2013. I’m finally going to Disneyland on May 10th – 15th. I have a lot of old pins (on pin cards) to trade and thought this was the year I would bring a binder full of these old (mostly 2004-2009) pins to trade. According to your blog it sounds like there is no place to sit and trade anymore. Is that true? Should I just wander around the park and look for cast with lanyards like I usually do?

    Thanks,
    Nancy Johnson

    1. There isn’t a formal place any longer at Disneyland, but some friends told me that you can sometimes find people sitting at the tables at Jolly Holiday Bakery for some informal trading. They simply took away all of the formal trading locations. I personally haven’t seen many traders around, but if you look on the pin boards, I’m sure they’ll respond!

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