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This last trip we discovered something new…. Disney Pin Trading. We have known about it but it was just never “our thing” but this year that all changed. And it changed with this….

Disney Parks Pin Trading Lanyard Special Offer with Purchase

photo courtesy of Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

Disney was holding a promotion where this was lanyard and pin set was $18 with a $40 (I think) purchase.  If you know anything about Disney Pin Trading then you know this is a STEAL!!!  It has 8 pins and a lanyard.  Pins run anywhere from $5.99 and up and a lanyard is around $10.  So you can definitely see this was the way to enter this pass time; especially with a toddler.

Our son was 2 and a half years old on this trip so we did not know if he was ready.  He definitely was and it made the trip quite an experience.

Tips for Disney Pin Trading with a Toddler

Here are some of my take aways:

  • “Give” the pins; don’t “Trade”
    • 2 year olds have no idea what “trading” means so we would ask John if he liked a pin and if he said yes he got it.  Then we would ask him what pin he would like to “give” the Cast Member.  He easily understood this and loved picking out the pins to give away.
    • Now we did have some issues with this if he was tired and cranky or he didn’t have one he wanted to give the CM.  It was a good learning moment for him when he had to give the other pin back.
  • Use Please and Thank you
    • We always had John be polite to the Cast Members and say please and thank you.  The Cast Members appreciated it and John always got a smile or a sticker in return for it.
    • We also used this during the cranky incidents.  Even though he did not get a pin we made him say thank you to the Cast Member for his time.
  • Trade only occasionally
    • To a toddler if you did this every time you saw a Cast Member with pins it was overwhelming.  John would lose interest if we did it too often. Once or twice a day makes it special.
    • Of course if your child is seriously into it – more power to you!  We had an incident where we traded a Pin in Canada and when we got to England a Cast Member there recognized it and traded it back.  Seems the two of them had a game going with that pin.
  • Don’t get attached to a pin
    • This is for the parent not the child.  Even though we may think one pin is better over another, let the child trade what they want.  It’s fun to see what silly things they trade for.
  • Secure the lanyard and pins!
    • If you don’t do this tears may stream.  For the lanyard we tied a knot in the back so it was toddler size and he didn’t drag it on the ground.
    • For the pin backs, a Cast member gave us a great tip.  Make a new hole!  That’s it, if a pin back keeps slipping off push it into an area where there is not a hole.  It will remain secure.

So in the end none of the the original pins were with us.  But we have one happy toddler that loves to wear the lanyard even at home.  I would highly recommend this activity for toddlers.

Disney Parks Pins and Lanyard a week after Trading

1 Week Later

One last hint, eBay and the Disney outlets are your friends.  There is no way I am paying high prices for pins I know a toddler will give away easily.  eBay sells batches of them that are great for casual pin trading.  Also the Disney outlet have pins for as low as $1.99.
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