Disney has posted a new frequently asked questions page with Pin Trading etiquette at Disneyland Resort. This includes a couple of major policy changes that have long been a source of frustration for fans and diehard traders. We’ll share a rundown of the rule changes followed by our commentary.
Let’s start with the new etiquette and location guidelines for Disney Pin Trading at Disneyland Resort:
Pin Condition – Pins should be in good, undamaged, tradable condition with the pin backing attached.
Safety – For a safe trading experience, please trade one pin at a time.
Trading Maximum – Guests may trade a maximum of 2 pins per Cast Member or trading board, per day.
Ask First – Please refrain from touching the pin or lanyard of a Cast Member or Guest. If you need a closer look, kindly ask the Cast Member or Guest wearing the lanyard to bring it into clearer view for you.
Not Exchangeable for Trade – Monies, gifts, vouchers or receipts may not be exchanged or used to trade for a pin.
Okay to Trade:
When trading with a Cast Member, Guests should offer a pin that is not currently displayed on the Cast Member’s lanyard or trading board
Pins from other business units of The Walt Disney Company (e.g., ABC, ESPN) may be traded, as determined by the Cast Member
Operating participant pins that show a Disney, Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort affiliation are generally accepted for trading
Not Okay to Trade:
Unauthorized pins, plastic pins, rubber pins or other nonmetal pins
Personalized name pins
Brooch-style or clasp pins
Disney Service Award pins, Disney Legacy Award pins, Spirit of Disneyland Resort pins, Partners in Excellence pins or Cast Member costume pins (i.e., Host/Hostess Badges, Disney Trainer)
Pin Trading Location – Guest Pin Trading, outside of the use of a lanyard, will only be permitted in Disneyland Park near Westward Ho Trading Company, as directed by a Cast Member or a sign with the exact location, from park opening to 3:00 PM daily (subject to change).
Limit the Items You Bring – Only one trading bag, 14″L x 12″W x 6″H (36cm x 31cm x 16cm) or smaller, is permitted. Guests should only utilize a single trading bag for pin trading activities. No additional decorations or collateral (e.g., lights, signage, displays, etc.) will be permitted.
No Use of Benches – Benches or any other structures for the display of pins will not be permitted. Benches are for seating purposes only.
Attend to Your Items – Traders must stay with their items for the entire time they are displaying or trading.
Valid Disneyland park admission and reservation required. Park reservations are limited and not guaranteed. Disney Pin Trading guidelines are subject to change without notice. Guests suspected of abusing the guidelines may be subject to, among other things, removal from the Disneyland Resort premises.
Disneyland officials had this to say about the changes: “We regularly evaluate and adjust our policies and operations. Pin Trading is a fun, magical activity for our guests and these updated guidelines will create a designated location near Westward Ho Trading Company in Disneyland Park during specific times, which will enhance the overall guest experience at Disneyland Resort.” (Hat tip to Scott Gustin on finding these new rules and getting the statement.)
To our knowledge, this is the first time that Disney has published pin trading etiquette for either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Although this only applies to Disneyland Resort at present, it’s safe to assume that these policies are meant to apply across the board on both coasts and Walt Disney World’s website will be updated accordingly in the near future.
The first consequential change is the effective banning of scrappers, which are basically factory seconds or production overruns. They’re the result of pins being cheaply produced in places with little respect for intellectual property law. It’s a tradeoff that Disney has knowingly made to keep production costs down–and one that they could put an end to at any time by manufacturing elsewhere. Regardless, hardcore pin traders view them as bootlegs or counterfeits, and not worthy of being added to their collections.
This has long been a source of considerable controversy, and we’ve discussed it at length in our Disney Pin Trading Tips post, which was literally just updated with (different) changes at Walt Disney World. Previously, our perspective was that Disney allowed Cast Members to trade scrappers and they are so ubiquitous that it made sense to purchase scrappers if you’re partaking in pin trading as a “just for fun” activity in the parks with your kids.
The new Disneyland pin trading rules change that. We still maintain that Disney is the party best situated to stop the problem (but has made a business decision to not move production because it would cut into profit margins), but that’s really beside the point. We will now be advising against buying scrappers, since they are clearly in violation of a plain reading of the new rules. So that’s a win for all of you diehard pin traders!
The win for everyone else is Disneyland limiting the items that pin traders bring and the hours of trading, and banning them from benches: “Benches or any other structures for the display of pins will not be permitted. Benches are for seating purposes only.”
I will happily trade an end to scrappers for a ban on bench pin trading. Few things make me more unnecessarily annoyed than how difficult it is to find a bench in Frontierland because there’s a sea of pin trading binders taking them up. It shouldn’t irritate me as much as it does…but it does…and I’m definitely not the only one. I would hazard a guess that nothing has done more to damage the opinion of pin trading in the eyes of more casual Disneyland fans than this practice. (I am not even kidding. You should see the comments in Disneyland social media circles.)
Ultimately, both of these changes are a net positive for pin trading at Disneyland and (presumably) Walt Disney World. To be abundantly clear, it’s not that I’m a fan of scrappers or think it’s a “good” thing that they exist. Rather, it’s that they have been so common on Cast Member pin trading boards and lanyards over the last decade-plus that it was futile to avoid them.
If Disney is able to clean up the lanyards and boards and only have authentic pins, that’ll be a positive for casual guests and pin traders alike. Likewise, if Disneyland bans the behaviors that are most abrasive, pin trading will gain wider acceptance in the fandom. All of this may seem insignificant from the outside, but a little bit of etiquette would go a long way in cleaning up how the hobby is perceived! Kudos to Disney for these changes.
What do you think of Disney’s new pin trading etiquette and policy changes? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!