My Disney Pin Addiction

General Dis Pics 12.26 009I haven’t posted about pin trading in quite some time.  You’d think this meant that my interest in collecting Disney pins had waned, wouldn’t you?  The exact opposite is true, actually, I’m slightly ashamed that after all this time, my love for Disney pin collecting is a strong as ever.

It started long ago and innocently enough.  What a fun way for our whole family to buy a few relatively inexpensive souvenirs and interact with Cast Members for pin trading.  Those first few pins lead to pin lanyards – a gateway to entire pin sets.  Before long, I was hooked.

My Disney Pin Addiction

ME!  The woman who discouraged her children from collecting Pokémon cards and Beanie Babies.  We were buying more and more for trading and collecting!  I bought expensive pin sets and traded them all away.  Pins I couldn’t live without joined the ranks of the growing legion of pins in our pin binder.  The binder filled up.  Still, the number of pins kept growing.General Dis Pics 11.13 093

It’s not like Walt Disney World makes resistance easy; pin kiosks are everywhere.  Free-standing kiosks in every park, specialty pin shops, pin boards everywhere.  Worse, when I signed up online for runDisney events, pins to commemorate each event could be purchased during the race registration process.  Of course, I had to have them.Princess-Half-Marathon-Pin-2015

It was bad enough that special pins were available for the Disney Magic’s inaugural cruise through the fjords of Norway (no way could I pass those up), but a special evening event for pin trading with the ship’s officers was part of the itinerary!  Anna-and-Elsa-PinWe skipped dessert to make this event on time.  Annnnd…it was worth it!  Awesome, unusual pins to choose from and fresh lanyards for the Cast Members were distributed at regular intervals.  Before long we’d made new friends and collected quite a few more pins to treasure.

As I understand it, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.RM-Jessica-Pin

I’m admitting nothing.  I have a few Disney pins.  I might, from time to time, pick up a few more here and there.  I can stop anytime I want to.

What Disney items do you collect?

More Disney Pin Ponderings

Minnie Mouse Chalkboard PinYou don’t have to be a Disney pin trader or even a pin collector to appreciate what great souvenirs the right pins can be.  Commemorating a special milestone, a beloved ride or attraction, a favorite character – is easy and relatively economical with Disney pins!

We do like to pin trade – as entertainment versus serious hobby.  We love searching out pin boards and books at out of the way locations.  We also like meeting and visiting with Cast Members as we peruse their pin collections.  Mostly, more than anything, each of us loves to find a pin or two that we…gosh, “connect with” is such a weird choice of words here…find meaningful, I guess, would be more what I mean.Disney Pin - Mickey Mouse Animation

I can’t speak for the rest of The Fam, but I can browse rows and rows of pins in stores and spin those pin display racks for a long time and still walk away empty handed.  Then, once or twice during each Walt Disney World visit, I’ll see a pin that just grabs my interest!  Maybe it’s a particularly cute version of a classic character that I’ve never seen before.  Maybe it’s a double pin set (Doug and Mr. Fredrickson, for example) that is too cute to resist.  Maybe, pins with a certain year on them – seriously, I normally don’t care, but this year was an important year in MY life, so having a pin with the year on it meant more to me.  You get the idea.  I love it when I find a pin I’m sure Raymond, Megan, or Joseph would LOVE and I can buy it on the sly and surprise them with Disney's Hollywood Studios 25th Anniversary Pinit later – sometimes, on rare occasions, I can curb my enthusiasm enough to hold on to a pin until Christmas and slip it into someone’s stocking.

If you’ve never visited the Disney Pins Blog, it’s a really fun place to hang out – even for us casual pin traders/collectors.  I particularly love looking at the upcoming releases of Disney Cast Member pins – I formulate plans for how I may score one or two (or five) on an upcoming trip.

Pins come in singles, doubles, collections, mystery sets, and more.  Currently, though, according to the Disney Pins Blog, the color-coded pricing of general pin stock is as follows:

  • GREEN = $7.95
  • RED = $8.95
  • BLUE = $9.95
  • YELLOW = $11.95
  • PINK = $13.95

Think about it – if you’re looking for an easy to carry souvenir, a keepsake, a memento – for a maximum of $13.95, you can take home something durable – a lasting, timeless piece of your Walt Disney World vacation to remind you, in the years ahead, of a very happy and special time.

For my tips on getting started with pin trading, read this.  For an explanation of Chaser Pins, check here.  Want to make pin collecting into an adventure?  Read this.

Do YOU love Disney pins?  What’s your favorite pin?  What pin do you want to get next?


Make Disney Pin Trading an Adventure

Orange Bird Pin CollectionWe’ve been collecting and trading Disney pins for about 10 years.  On that one visit to Walt Disney World where we first took notice of all the adults and children wearing pin-filled lanyards and saw all the fun and clever pins for sale – well, we jumped right onboard!  Once we figured out how to make pin trading and collecting into a game – like a scavenger hunt, we became even bigger fans!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – it’s another Disney trick to get you to part with your money – and you have a point.  If you let it, the cost of buying pins can easily amount to a significant chunk of change.  I’ve been to some pin trading events (at WDW resorts and on Cast Member Lanyard - Orange Bird Pin!Disney Cruise Line) and there are people who have spent thousands of dollars and many, many hours accumulating impressive pin collections (I imagine some of them have similar amounts of Beanie Baby or Pokémon items, as well).  All things in moderation is my motto!

Rather than break the bank, our family likes to make Disney pin trading into more of an adventure than a passion.  We each pick out several pins from our existing collection that we’re willing to part with before we leave for Walt Disney World (so we have some to trade away).  We think about any series of pins we have that may be missing one or two pins to complete the set and decide what we’ll be hunting for.  For example – when we were at WDW a coupFlying Orange Bird Pinle of weeks ago, I was looking for the last Orange Bird pin I needed – the “flying” Orange Bird.  Everyone knew what to look for and, like a scavenger hunt, we all looked for that one pin until it was found (by Raymond on a Cast Member’s lanyard in Animal Kingdom). Raymond and Joseph were looking for Jessica Rabbit pins – old or new, to buy or trade – and they managed to find a couple to add to our collection.  Megan just wanted a Frozen pin – any one would do.  This proved the most difficult challenge of all!  After chasing down several leads – most of which were fruitless, we finally found some Olaf pins early one day in Magic Kingdom (I’m sure they sold out later).

Hunting for a particular pin adds another level of fun to a Disney vacation!  Whether at a Disney Olaf PinDisney park or on a Disney cruise, we all get into the spirit of the hunt and, by doing that, we’re able to keep our pin purchases from eating up our entire souvenir budget.

Do you collect or trade Disney pins?  What are your favorite pins to find?

Just getting started with pin trading?  See this post for tips. 



Disney Pin Trading – Chaser Pins Explained

IMG_2382If you’ve never tried Disney Pin Trading, you can read about getting started here.

Once you’ve dipped your toe into the pin trading pool, so to speak, you can’t help but come across the silver Disney Chaser Pins.  These metalic doppelgangers of some of our favorite, colorful pins first appeared in 2011.  They are “Hidden Mickey” pins (small Mickey head appears on these).  All Hidden Mickey pin collections (painted and chaser) are released on Cast Member lanyards.  Chaser pins, interestingly, are not released as part of the set they seem to belong to – they’re released (after the original, colorful ones) as part of a larger set of chaser pins belonging to a particular year.  Disney releases other chasers that are painted and also pins called “completer” pins, but today I’m just focusing on what little I know about the silver Hidden Mickey Chasers.

Steven Miller (Disney Merchandise Communications Manager) is a contributing writer on the Chaser 3Disney Parks Blog.  Mr. Miller describes chaser pins this way, “These pins are slightly more rare than their full color counterparts.  We don’t have as many produced which prompts the “chase” to find them (though I encourage walking carefully and slowly to your next trading destination :-))”

I’ve traded for chaser pins before, but had absolutely no idea what they were – only that the ones I received were silver duplicates of pins in a set I was collecting.  I actually felt they were an inferior, colorless, boring substitute for the “real” pin I was trying to find – little did I know that they were more rare and belonged to a set of their own.  Now that I know the Chaser pins are limited edition pins and are more challenging to locate – I’ll be giving them the respect they deserve!

In case you missed it and are a pin collector (or thinking about becoming one) – Mr. Miller has a fantastic post about pins for 2014 here.  I cannot wait to get to Disney World and dive back into pin trading / collecting – I’ve got a certain flying Orange Bird to find.  I’d also love to pick up an Chaser 1Alice in Wonderland Doorknob pin (one of the new ones this year).

So?  What about you?  Are you a pin collector?  Do you have many silver chaser pins in your collection?