Many people who have sailed the high seas with Disney Cruise Line have also been to the parks and seen people trading pins. You may have run into cast members wearing lanyards or seen signs about “Official Disney Pin Trading.” If you’ve ever stayed at a Disney resort, you may have noticed the pin book sitting on the counter, a pin board behind the counter, or crossbody pouches and lanyards on cast members at the counters. You might be an experienced pin-trader, a novice pin-trader, or a rookie pin-trader, but still wonder what all the hype is about. No matter your experience level with Disney pin-trading, you can have so much fun looking at new pins with cast members and guest alike. Pin-trading is a social event that, in my opinion, brings strangers together and is a great conversation starter.
Tip: We buy cast member pins in bulk on Amazon or Ebay to trade while we vacation. The last bundle we bought was $60 for 100 pins. But, be very cautious because you will more than likely get some fakes. With this being said, make sure you know how to tell the real ones from the fakes and please don’t trade the fakes!
If you have you ever wondered if you can take your pins aboard a Disney ship in hopes of finishing off a collection, well, I can start off by saying, “You are in luck!” So, go ahead, and if you have room, pack those little treasures. I hope to give you seven of the best tips for pin-trading on a Disney ship. Read on to find out all about pin-trading on Disney Cruise Line, but first, watch this pretty cool video I created for your enjoyment.
1. Pin Trading at Guest Services
Guest Services has a limited amount of pins, but if you go into the shops they have large pin-trading books available for you to browse through. Unlike the Disney parks, where you are limited to trading only 2 pins per cast member, there is no limit on a Disney ship (at least from our experience).
2. Pin Trading in the Shops
Bring your pins into the shops to get some magical attention from the merchandise team. We showed an interest in pin trading, and looked through the books. Unfortunately, we saw pins we wanted and didn’t have our pins with us because they were upstairs in our cabin. We said, “Hold that pin, we’ll be right back!” (Note: there is no guarantee if you leave that the pin will be there when you return). The merchandise team saw our excitement and when we returned with our amazing pin books, they knew we were serious! I think my daughter and I traded about 5 pins each just in one shop. It was fun on sea days to hop around to the different shops. The crew members remembered us and looked out for specific pins we needed. We love Alex, Owayne, and Amit on the Disney Dream!
3. Pin Trading with Other Guests
You can trade pins with guests on the ship as well. I noticed that most of the pins on the guests’ lanyards were the fancy, limited edition/limited release pins that they were proud of. Many guests had no intentions of trading those pins, so just keep that in mind before grabbing for someone’s pins. Remember your etiquette! Always ask before picking up someone’s pins! It is a guests’ right to show-off those amazing pins and not want to trade! Others see this as teasing, but I’m all for it!
You will never have to pay to trade pins with anyone, so if anyone asks for money, walk away. To make sure the pins are authentic, there are things to look for. First, make sure the Disney Pin Trading logo is on the back. Next, look to make sure there is a straight pin back with ridges which keep it from spinning, and has clear/crisp colors and words. Keep in mind that your pin is probably a fake if Tigger is yellow when he is supposed to be orange.
4. Check Back Often for that Special Pin
Check back often to try to find a special pin you are looking for. Since there is no limit on how many pins you can trade (again to my knowledge and based on my experience), the better chance you have of finding it if you return often. Plus, you might just find other merchandise you want since it is plentiful on the ships!
5. Purchase Pins on Castaway Cay
You can purchase pins on the ship and at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Some of the ones on Castaway Cay are exclusive to the island so don’t miss the opportunity to buy the one pin (or dozen) that you want. Once you leave the island it will be hard to find them.
6. Participate in Officer Pin Trading Night
Each sailing I have been on there was an Officer Pin Trading Night. These are not only fun because you get to interact with the officers, but you have a really great chance to get that perfect pin. If you interact with the merchandise team and show them you are serious about pin trading, you could be selected as an honorary officer for Officer Pin Trading Night. My daughter was selected as a Honorary Officer on each of our last three cruises.
7. Purchase Locking Pin Backs
If you are determined on wearing those beloved favorite pins on your lanyard, hat, jacket, or whatnot, be sure you have locking backs on them. They sell them in the shops for about $10/pack. You will need to keep up with the Allen wrench that comes with the backs.
Unfortunately, we learned the hard way that we needed those locking backs after my daughter lost a few of her favorite pins at the Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party. Looking back on the videos, you could see the pins on the ground, but when we went back to get them, they were no longer there.
More than anything, have fun! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your pin-trading friends!
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