In recent weeks, we’ve seen how Disney World is changing LOADS about the theme parks and adapting to current state and national health standards. These changes are to keep their Cast Members and guests safe. One topic we’ve heard a LOT about from our readers has been the future of pin trading in Disney World.
Pin trading is a close-contact activity between guests and Cast Members, so does this mean that pin trading as we know it will become a thing of the past at Disney World? Let’s take a look at what the concerns are surrounding pin trading and what might change moving forward.
Pin trading is serious business for many Disney fans and collectors. There are countless pins available at the parks and resorts for folks to purchase. Special events like Epcot’s festivals or the holiday season will often have a series of limited edition pins for guests to collect. In short, a lot of people LOVE collecting and trading pins.
The act of pin trading typically involves a Cast Member wearing a lanyard or pouch covered in pins. The guest chooses which pin they would like, and then trades one of their pins in exchange. Some retail locations, front desks of resorts, and Guest Relations locations have pin boards or books from which guests can also select what they would like to trade for.
Disney understands the popularity of pin trading and collecting. It used to be that many pins, including limited edition ones, could only be purchased in the parks and resorts. Since Disney World and Disneyland closed their gates mid-March, specialty pins started to appear on shopDisney for folks to purchase.
So, what is the main concern with pin trading in these current times? The act of trading pins means that you are touching an object that was just touched by someone else. If a Cast Member has a pin that was previously given to them by a different guest, and now YOU are touching that pin — there’s an obvious health and sanitation concern.
In Disney Springs, one of the most common locations for pin trading is at World of Disney. When we spoke to Cast Members before the store reopened on May 27, we heard that there would most likely be some form of pin trading taking place, but modified from previous experiences.
Disney announced that several merchandise experiences would be modified as more retail locations reopen. When it comes to pin trading, Guests can continue to trade through pin boards in select locations. For the time being, to promote physical distancing, Cast Members will NOT be wearing lanyards with pins.
At this time, it’s unclear how long these measures will continue once the parks reopen. The only constant at Disney World is change and protocols could be updated or altered at any moment. For now, we know that pin trading is not COMPLETELY gone, but our pin trading experience will look different from before the park closures.
What remains to be seen is how pin trading will be monitored or controlled. For example, you may not be able to touch a pin until a Cast Member sanitizes it for you, or we may see Cast Members putting on gloves before handling any pins. This is currently speculation and, until we see for ourselves what pin trading is like, we can only guess! (Currently, no pin trading is taking place, not even at the reopened Pin Traders location in Disney Springs)
Disney is also probably aware that they cannot eliminate pin trading that takes place between two guests. Pin trading extends beyond just guests and Cast Members, and many folks love to swap pins if they see someone else wearing one that they may want to add to their collection.
It seems likely Disney will have a calculated plan in place before the parks reopen. Pin Trading is quite popular with a significant enough number of guests that eliminating it entirely isn’t feasible, so a new method of distribution and trading that takes health concerns into consideration will have to be implemented. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more concerning the state of pins in the Disney Parks.
What do you think the future of pin trading will look like at Disney World? Will you continue to pin trade in the immediate future? Let us know in the comments!