By: Jennifer Romano
Since I have become a cast member, I have had some fantastic experiences. One of them has been that I am able to pin trade with guests when I work certain positions at my attraction (Great Movie Ride). After a cast member finishes training and passes the assessment at his or her location, he or she can request a pin lanyard to wear at work. When you are wearing your lanyard, anyone can approach you and ask to trade a pin. A guest can trade any Disney pin, but they cannot trade a non-Disney pin. So far, I have met so many wonderful people while pin trading. It has been interesting to see what type of pins people like to trade.
Our younger guests seem to trade for whatever strikes their fancy. They look for bright colors and familiar characters. Tinkerbell and all of the Disney Princesses are also very popular. Some children like to collect different letters of the alphabet, which is a fun project. Sometimes, they only look for the letters that will allow them to spell out their names. Stitch is by far the most requested character, and all of the Disney villains are sought after. From what I have seen so far, people like to start collecting a set of pins and continue trading until they complete that entire set. For example, there are many hidden Mickey cast member pins out there, and guests love to hunt down the whole set. These hidden Mickey pins can only be found on cast member lanyards.
Now if I want to refresh the pins on my lanyard, I can visit the cast services building on certain days of the week, and I can trade out my pins for brand new pins. I have only done this once so far, but it is so much fun to trade my pins for brand new pins! As a pin trader myself, I like to offer advice to guests when they are trading. For example, I will let them know that one particular pin that they may like is actually part of a set, so that encourages them to find the rest of the set. I have explained the origin of certain pins to people. If you trade pins often, you have probably seen the hidden Mickey pin that looks like a boot. Many people ask me what this white boot is, and I explain to them that this pin represents the boot from Horizons, which used to be an attraction in Epcot. Not only am I educating them about pins, but I also get the opportunity to share a little Disney history with our guests as well as have a fun conversation.
I have thoroughly enjoyed pin trading as a cast member, and it is so much fun to see which pins I will get next. As cast members, we have so many ways to make magic and create happiness for our guests, and pin trading is just one of those ways! Happy trading!