Origins of Disney Pin Trading

Origins of Disney Pin Trading

Disney pin trading has been around for many years, first appearing in the 1950's as keepsakes to commemorate special events, or as gifts given out by Disney sponsors like Kodak or American Express. It wasn’t until 1999 as part of the Millennium Celebration (Oct 1999 – Jan 2001) that Disney Pin Trading at the Walt Disney World Resort was introduced. This was following an Odyssey of the Mind function at the resort in which pins were being traded, inspiring the pin trading idea.  Pins were available for purchase during these events and also given as gifts with other store purchases or obtained by trading with cast members. The “Pin of the Day” was given out with other purchases at select retail locations, which helped start the craze. 

After its introduction, pin trading quickly spread to Disneyland and all Disney Parks including the Disney Cruise Line. Although the Disneyland location in California now holds the most pin trading events of all the parks, pin trading is most popular at WDW. 

The WDW Cast Lanyard Collection was introduced in 1999 to encourage guests to trade pins with cast members. The first series of Lanyard pins consisted of just under 100 pins

The Countdown to the Millennium series was the first official trading pin series issued by Disney. It was released in 1999 and retired in 2001. The series consisted of 101 pins released through the Disney Store to commemorate the arrival of the year 2000 and to highlight Disney’s greatest achievements in film and television through the years.

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