The buying and trading of Disney pins has been popular since 1999. The pins contain characters, attractions, icons, events etc. and thousands have been created over the years. Most are enamel or enamel cloisonne with a metal base.
If you visit Disneyland or Disney World you will notice Cast Members wearing pins on lanyards or that have display boards with their pins featured. Cast Members must trade pins with guests if they are presented with an acceptable pin. The Cast Members may not decline a particular trade based on preference or rarity of the pin, but may decline if the pin is not acceptable or pin trading rules are not being observed.
Each guest may only trade two pins with the same Cast Member in one day. If the Cast Member gives his or her lanyard to a different Cast Member, a guest may trade again with the new Cast Member even though the physical lanyard is the same.
The specifics of what make a pin acceptable for trading varies from park to park. At Disneyland and California Adventure parks, the Cast Members are instructed not to accept pins that have a clasp or brooch-type backing (as with jewelry).
I have discovered pins ranging in price from $7.95 and even over $100 for a limited edition pin. I received my very first pin from Anthony last October after he visited Disney World wit his Grandson Ashe. I am wearing it in the picture above and it is a Jack Skellington pin. Then in September I received my second pin from Amanda (also in the picture above) with Mickey Mouse as Dracula and the words "I don't Bite" underneath his feet at the Disney themed Letterboxing Event. What a great gift to give to all the participants at the event!
We just returned from a trip to Disney World and while we were at Hollywood Studios I discovered Star Wars pins mixed with my favorite holiday Halloween. How could I resist? My collection grew just a bit with the Star Wars pins above. I even wore one of them on Halloween here in town with my Jedi costume.
It was hard for me not to also come home with a huge collection of Nightmare Before Christmas pins but I did manage to snag Zero and his dog house which I just loved.
I am looking for a display case or other means of displaying my pins. You can bet that these will never be traded and are staying with me to wear and enjoy. They are such a great reminder of our trip and they do not take up much space. They are fun to wear with a scarf or on a winter jacket. In my mind there is never a bad time to celebrate Star Wars or Halloween. And Nightmare Before Christmas is always in style any time of year.
It was really fun to see all the kids at the parks trading pins with Cast Members and you could talk to the kids while waiting in line and they could tell you at the drop of a hat which pin they had was their favorite and where they got it. So many of them were so proud of their pins and you could see the enjoyment on their faces and the excitement of their trades. Pretty neat for just a small piece of metal.