UPDATED: Jan 2014. There are many places to trade, buy, and sell pins. But knowing where to go for the best selection is often a task that could take a while. Hopefully, the information you’ll receive here will help you navigate where to go in the parks (and a few places outside of the parks as well) for some great genuine Disney pins.
Disneyland – In Disneyland there are four main places to buy pins – Westward Ho, Little Green Men, the Pin Trading Kiosk in Downtown Disney, and the World of Disney. The Emporium has a very limited selection of pins, but they do get all of the limited edition pins like everywhere else. Just go to the center register and ask to see them and they will bring out a shadowbox display that you may choose from. When limited edition pins are distributed, each location gets a certain number of them. Usually, Westward Ho seems to run out first of all of these places, probably because of its central location in the Park. The Pin Trading Kiosk in Downtown Disney across from the LEGO Store usually has them the longest. However, once in a while you’ll catch the odd one at World of Disney or the Emporium when everyone else runs out, just because it’s not as obvious in those places. The downside is that neither World of Disney or the Emporium participates in the PWP program (pin with purchase) where you can buy certain hard-to-find or exclusive mystery pins once you spend a certain amount of money (usually $30). The Little Green Men Store located at the exit of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction has the largest selection of pins. Usually after a major pin trading event, this store more than any other gets the bulk of those pins for purchase. Disney California Adventure does have a few minor spots to purchase pins, but not any worth mentioning. It has a poor selection compared to all the other pin spots. If you’re looking to buy great pins, stick to Disneyland. Unfortunately, they recently took away all the pin trading spots near the stores. From what one guest relations cast member told me, there were some pin traders engaging in “violations of pin trading policy.” They had been asking novice pin traders to buy pins for them and basically ripping them off. That’s unfortunate because Disneyland has always been the best pin trading venue of any of the parks.
Walt Disney World – Only one official pin trading spot in the parks and that’s Pin Central in EPCOT right smack in the middle of Future World. Why is it there? I don’t know. Not really futuristic. But it’s the only official pin trading spot the last time I went just this past year (summer 2013). There are other locations that sell pins such as Disney Pin Traders in Downtown Disney and under the Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but only one place with tables to lay out your trade pins. The trading is slow since more of the folks are concentrating on visiting the attractions rather than trading pins. However, there are some real bright spots for pin traders! Nearly every cast member has a lanyard so you can trade for Hidden Mickeys far easier than at any other park. Animal Kingdom also has a pin stroller! It’s covered with pins and if you’re lucky enough to catch them at the beginning of the day, they usually have a great selection. And of course, you have to visit Scoop on Main Street. He doesn’t work everyday so call ahead and find out when your visit will sync up with his schedule, but he has the BEST selection of pins and will trade very easily with you. I got my first AP (Artist Proof) pin from Scoop in fact! Be on the look out for pin boards and pin binders at many locations in the parks, also. And the pin traders I did encounter were very, very nice. Also, while it’s not “in” the parks, Disney operates a couple of warehouse stores in the outlets nearby the park. 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! And they host regular pin trading events as well.
- Read about my encounter with Scoop right here on my blog! Find out why any pin trader should visit him.
- Read about Disney’s Character Warehouse in Orlando right here and learn about how great this place is.
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. Bon Voyage probably has the best selection of limited release pins pertaining to the current theme at each park.
- To read more about my Tokyo Disneyland adventures read my series of blogs on them beginning with this one!
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. Almost all of its pin offerings are LE 500 or LOWER so for the rare pin enthusiast this is the place to go. 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 500 pin of a Disney character doing something with a sundae. 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.
- Curious about what a pin release is like at Disney Studio Store? Read about it on another blog post of mine right here!
There are other locations as well that sell authentic Disney approved pins. The Disney Store in NYC has exclusive pins made for their location. The Hilton Head Resort had its own Disney pin when we visited there a few years ago. And of course places like Aulani have great pins and even pin trading events. The Disney Store in Hawaii has its own exclusive pins as well and if you’ve ever been on a Disney Cruise, you know that pin trading and pin selections are available on board the ships. So take a look around! There are great pins to be had everywhere!
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.