Over the last few months, I’ve started to get into pin trading. It’s a really popular hobby in most of the Disney parks, and Disneyland Paris is no exception.
Seeing as I’m enjoying pin trading so much, I thought that I would share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up so far.
Narrow Down Your Pin Collection (if you can!)
I’ve found if you try to collect too many different kinds – it gets out of hand very easily!
My main pin collections are Mickey and Minnie. I also like to pick up Duffy pins when I can, as they’re very rare to come across in Disneyland Paris.
Sometimes I buy pins that remind me of something that’s happened during the holiday such as a really amazing character meet or the resort we stayed at. I don’t trade these ones because they have sentimental value.
Buy Trader Pins/Booster Sets
You can buy starter sets or booster packs in the park for around €20. In those packs you receive 4-5 pins. Make sure that the pins you buy to trade aren’t ones that you won’t want to part with!
For example, on our last trip I bought a Toy Story starter pack because I wouldn’t be sad to part with those pins. I can trade them off for more Mickey’s and Minnie’s guilt free!
You can buy individual pins at every shop on Disney property and prices vary.
Display Your Pins on a Lanyard
A lanyard is the easiest way to display your pins when you’re in the park. I bought my Phantom Manor lanyard in Harrington’s on Main Street for €9.99. You can also buy them on eBay very cheaply.
As well as being super handy for pin trading – a lanyard full of pins is really great for character interaction. Characters love spotting themselves and it’s a great talking point. I always have a tonne of Minnie pins on mine and every time I meet her – she goes straight for my lanyard!
Do Not Buy Cheap Pin Lots from Ebay or Amazon!
As tempting as it is to buy the “50 pins for £25.00” pin lots from eBay – please resist! These pin lots are full of fake pins and “scrappers”. It’s really sad that these fake pins have made their way into the parks. I would be really annoyed if I traded one of my authentic purchased pins and got a scrapper or a fake in return!
Don’t Be Afraid to Approach Cast Members
You can trade pins with any cast member wearing a black pin lanyard. The pins on the black lanyards are given to the cast members by Disney for trade purposes and they basically have to say yes to a trade. You can only trade 2 pins per cast members – so choose carefully!
Some cast members wear pins from their own personal collection on other parts of their uniform and they do not have to trade these.
I found that pin trading has done wonders for my self-confidence. Normally I would never approach people I don’t know but pins are a great talking point and now I’m constantly going up to cast members to chat about pins!
Find The Best Pin Trading Spots
Sadly, pin trading isn’t just as common in Disneyland Paris as it is in other Disney parks. Not every cast member at Disneyland Paris has a trading lanyard so you really have to be on the look-out.
My favourite place to trade is Pueblo’s Trading Post in Frontier Land. Unfortunately it’s only open on weekends so I don’t get to go as often as I would like. They have a HUGE pin board – Amy and I got two pins each from it last time – and definitely would’ve taken more if the rules allowed us.
Last time we were there, a lovely Dutch family had set up their own pin board outside Pueblo’s Trading Post. I traded one of my Disneyland Resort pin for this incredible Duffy and StellaLou pin. It was such an amazing find – I was delighted when they said I could have it!
SIDE NOTE: Pueblo’s is also where you can pick up limited edition/limited release pins (by reservation on Lineberty only!)
When Pueblo’s is closed, I do the majority of my trading in the hotel gift shops. There are always cast members with lanyards in those shops. As a general rule, they’re less busy than the shops in the parks so it’s easier to approach cast members.
There are also cast members with pin trading lanyards in the shops in the parks, however I tend to only approach them if I’m already at the till buying something else so I don’t distract them from their work!
Visit Pin Boards
Some of the Guest Services spots around the park have small pin boards. The same rules apply here to when you’re trading with cast members. You can trade up to 2 of your own pins for two from each board. I’ve seen them in Town Square and the main entrance to Frontier Land but I’m sure there are more!
As I mentioned earlier, the best pin board (in my opinion!) is in the Pueblo Trading Post. If you’re a trader and in the parks on a weekend, I would definitely recommend paying a visit to see if you can get something fab for your collection.
There is also a large pin board that is moved to a different shop each day. If you call into Harringtons on Main Street, they will be able to tell you where the pin board is that day.
Search for Hidden Mickeys
These are my favourite types of pins to find. Hidden Mickey pins can’t be bought in shops, the only way to get one is to trade with a cast member.
You can tell if a pin is a Hidden Mickey simply by spotting the tiny silver Mickey-head which will be somewhere on the pin.
Join the Official Disneyland Paris Pin Trading Facebook Group
This is a great way to connect with other traders and find out first-hand about new releases! You can find the official Facebook group here.
Do you have any pin trading tips that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear them in the comments section!