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Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Challenge

posted on April 16th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

If you know, me, you know I’m always up for a challenge. So when my dear friend and fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover challenged me to a Disney Parks Blog Pin Trading Challenge at Disneyland Resort, I said, “I’m in!”

What would the challenge entail? Erin and I headed into Disneyland Resort with rarely seen Disney Parks Blog pins in hopes that we could make some great trades with Disney fans and take part in some of the fun activities and trading opportunities available. You truly have to see this for yourself!

As you can tell, we had a lot of fun trading, and we only visited a handful of locations. There are so many more places you can go. Remember you can also trade with any cast member and other guests.

Disneyland park

Disney California Adventure park

  • Fly ‘n’ Buy
  • Julius Katz & Sons
  • Radiator Springs Curios
  • Seaside Souvenirs
  • Tower Hotel Gifts

Downtown Disney District

I always say, Pin Trading is as easy as 1-2-3. There are just a few things to remember. Here are some guidelines on Disney Trading to help get you started. Tip: Keep an eye out for Hidden Mickey pins, generally found on Disneyland Resort cast member lanyards.

My own personal tip on trading: I always say trade for pins that mean something to you, whether it’s a favorite character, attraction or icon. Trade for things you love. Pin trading can be fun by yourself or with the entire family. It’s a great way to meet new friends, visit with old ones and share stories. Remember, Disney pins and trading are popular at many of our Disney Parks & Resorts.

Now, back to business, the competition is still on and we need your help! Both Erin and I are convinced we each have the best pins on our lanyard, so share your comments with us and let us know who you think has the better pins.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District



Mellisa on April 16th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

What a GREAT idea!! We love to pin trade but never thought of having a challenge. This would be a lot of fun.


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

We met so many great Disney fans/traders! We definitely had a lot of fun!


Nicolette on April 16th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Oh my, this looked like so much fun! I love love love pin trading! How can I get one of those great Disney Parks Blog Pins??? That would have been a special trade! My pick for best pins was Michelle. She had Mickey, Pluto, and Ariel…my favorite trio for pins! Really fun post, thanks for sharing!


Andrew on April 16th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Erin’s pins for the win!


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Andrew! Who’s side are you on? Just kidding!


Bob on April 16th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Wow, that looked like a lot of fun. If it were me, I’d say Erin won with her pins. But my daughter, who loves to collect and trade pins, would probably say Michelle since she has Ariel and Duffy!

On the basis of the two Orange Bird pins, I say the win goes to Erin!


michael on April 16th, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I think Erin wins, dang I wish I was there, I would have traded for one of those Disney Parks pins. I am going to Disneyworld in a few weeks, hopefully I will find one there.


Christopher on April 16th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I vote for Erin. Not an impartial choice, cos I traded for all 5 Orange Bird pins on my last trip to Disneyland. Love them. By the way, how do we score one of those lovely Blog pins?


Erin Glover on April 17th, 2014 at 11:56 am

Thanks, Christopher! I was pretty excited about those Orange Bird pins. As for the Disney Parks Blog pins, you can only get them from members of our team – they are not for sale. We sometimes distribute them at Disney Parks Blog meet-ups, and some members of our team (like Paul Hiffmeyer and Shannon Swanson) carry them when they are shooting photos or videos in the park. I sometimes have a few on me, as well!


Hilary from IL on April 16th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Is there any way to get a Disney Parks Blog pin? I would love to have one for my pin collection.


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Disney Parks Blog pins are definitely hard to come by and rarely found on lanyards. But it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for.


Brian on April 16th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I actually got a couple of the blog pins at a past Meet Up event although I can only find one of them!


Paul from PA on April 16th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

My vote is for Erin’s pins! Orange Bird pins all the way!


Oleg from CA on April 16th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Well, I’d have to say Erin might take it. not one but TWO Orange Bird pins on the West Coast! As well as Mickey Silhouette and what looks like a Celebration pin from a few years ago. Sorry Michelle!


Erin Glover on April 17th, 2014 at 11:56 am

Woo! Thanks, Oleg!


Jobynne from MB on April 16th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I’ve passed my love of Disney pins onto my children. Now, every time we go to Disneyland, we wear our pins and are ready to trade with anyone! To help out with the ease of trading we wear only the pins we want to trade. Those other loveable (& to us non-tradable) stay home on display. After many years of collecting, my first trade happened only last year. A young girl stopped me in a bathroom in CA Adventure and wanted to trade. Since I only had on pins I wanted to trade she was very happy that she could pick anything she wanted as a trade.

As far as who won between Michelle and Erin, I’d say it’s a tie!


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I’d like to go with a tie as well. But time will tell! Thanks for voting!


Richard on April 16th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Michelle Harker wins for sure! Amazing pins!!! WOW!!!


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Thanks Richard! I was pretty partial to the pins I had on my lanyard to! Thanks for voting!


Eddie from CA on April 16th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Go Michelle! Great pin collection!


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Thanks Eddie!!


Shannon on April 16th, 2014 at 4:24 pm

What a fun time it looks like you both had; wished I was there to trade with you too! I think Michelle won for sure :) Any chance to get one of those Disney Blog Pins? How do I go about getting one? Thanks and would love to see another Trade day :)


Erin Glover on April 17th, 2014 at 11:59 am

Shannon – Though our fabulous Disney Parks Blog pins are not for sale, we sometimes distribute them at Disney Parks Blog meet-ups. You may also be able to get them from members of our team – especially our photo and video teams when they’re shooting in the parks.


Eric from CA on April 16th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Because we love the Mickey, Pluto and the Monorail, my wife Nicole and I choose Michelle’s lanyard of pins.


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Excellent choices! I hope you have fun the next time you are visiting the Resort. Don’t forget to pin trade!


Camille from OR on April 16th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I think ERIN WINS! But, like I tell my kids, just trade for the pins you like and don’t worry about if they’re rare. Good job to you both.


Rachel on April 16th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Erin and Michelle, you both have great pins, I just can’t choose… so I guess I’ll have to vote for Poncho, the Pin Trading donkey!! (But if I had to pick between Erin and Michelle, Michelle wins for the Duffy pin.)


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Hi Rachel! I think I would have to second your vote for Poncho. Besides getting to hang out with Erin and take part in this fun challenge, Poncho was my favorite too!


Eric on April 16th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

While Orange Bird is a classic, my Loyalties lie with the Disney Bear so I have to go with Team Harker on this one! Go Michelle!


Michelle Harker on April 16th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Thanks Eric! I’m partial to Duffy the Disney Bear too, as you can see from some of my posts.


Elaine on April 16th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Team Harker, for sure!!


William on April 16th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I say Erin won, nothing beats the orange bird!


Craig on April 16th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Michelle wins!


Jeffrey on April 16th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Sorry Erin, but you have 2 Orange Bird pins, although different, it’s the same character. And Puffles are everywhere and super easy to get. Michelle wins because of her 12 unique pin and that cool Monorail pin she captured.


Erin Glover on April 17th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

No love for the Horizons boot? :)


Jon on April 16th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Trick question: Everyone wins with pin trading! That being said, Erin won.


Erin Glover on April 17th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Right on both, Jon! 😀


Anthony from CA on April 16th, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I vote for Michelle! It’s all about Pluto for me. =)


Michelle Harker on April 17th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Thanks Anthony! I’m a fan of Pluto too!


Skip from FL on April 16th, 2014 at 9:03 pm

The largest pin trading location in W.D.W., located in Downtown Disney Marketplace, had never heard of a Disney Parks Blog pin. As for the winner of the pin trading challenge, the man with his shirt covered with them!


Erin Glover on April 17th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Skip – Sorry, but Disney Parks Blog pins are not for sale in stores. You can usually get one at a Disney Parks Blog meet-up or from a member of our team (especially the photo and video teams here at Disneyland).


Stefani on April 16th, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I think Erin wins, I’m loving that Disneyland pin! Sorry Michelle!


Tom on April 16th, 2014 at 11:04 pm

We saw you filming this in February. We wanted to trade with you, but we forgot our pins at home. We were bummed!


Bob on April 16th, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Because I am a HUGE Mickey & Pluto fan, Michelle gets my vote!!!

It looked like both Erin & Michelle had a blast with all of the trading.

Thanks to you both for making it fun for the guests.

I can’t wait to go back and trade a few of my own!


Michelle Harker on April 21st, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Thanks Bob! I can’t wait until I get to do yet another ‘challenge’ with Erin. I’m ready!


Drew on April 17th, 2014 at 2:54 am

Miss Harker for the win!


Kelly on April 17th, 2014 at 7:32 am

I vote for Michelle…good variety.


Martine from VA on April 17th, 2014 at 9:39 am

Love this idea of challenging each other, but I think since we all have our favorites, everyone wins with pin trading. Michelle has more of my favorites. I did find a Disney Parks Blog pin when I was there in August and I was so happy I scored that one. Each of my family members have pin boards in our bedrooms and when we get homesick for Disney, I organize a Disney night. We put on our Mickey ears, I make Mickey waffles for dinner, we draw Disney characters on the driveway with chalk and we each visit the other’s pin boards and talk about our favorites, and sometimes even trade! You really can bring some of the magic home with you!


Michelle Harker on April 17th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Martine! I agree with you too! Everyone does win with Pin Trading. The vote looks pretty close, my guess is, we’ll tie!


Lisa on April 17th, 2014 at 10:55 am

Vote me in for Michelle’s pin trading fan club!


Roger on April 17th, 2014 at 11:15 am

It is so subjective to determine what makes a good pin. Is it the character, design, origin, rarity, or value? Maybe for some it is based on how the pin was obtained. If I got a pin from either Michelle or Erin I know it would have a very special meaning for me! 😉

For me the winner is the person who had the most fun during the challenge. Looks to me like both of you had a good time doing this challenge.

For these reasons it is impossible to pick a winner . Both of your pins are great! Choosing who’s pins are better is totally unnecessary.

Thanks for sharing this video!

p.s. I don’t know how long it’s been, but congrats to you Michelle on your Legacy award. Very fitting and well deserved!


Michelle Harker on April 17th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Thank you Roger! Receiving the Legacy Award was quite an honor. Erin and I had a blast filming this video! As you know, Disney pin trading is a tradition, and holds a special place in many of our hearts.


Dana on April 17th, 2014 at 11:48 am

What a awesome idea and so so happy to see that Pin Trading is still going strong!!! We have been trading since the very beginning & still wish there was more events and surprise pins at the parks like they used to have (we had so so much fun)!! Hoping they surprise the East Coast WDW – Love It – Would say Erin won :)


Carolann on April 17th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I vote for Michelle. Great pins! Fun video to watch.


Louella from CA on April 17th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Tough tough but there’s a pin I love that Erin got so I’ll pick Erin.


Karen on April 17th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

That was such a fun day. I got to be in a video!! I traded with Michelle at the wheel in Big Thunder Ranch, so I’m going to vote for her :)


Michelle Harker on April 21st, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Karen, you were such a trooper! I’m so glad we got to meet and trade!


Susan on April 17th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

My husband and I started the pin trading a couple of years ago when we first started dating and we have created a tradition. We go empty handed and buy a lanyard with a mystery set at the park then come home with the lanyard full of pins we love!
I’d say it was a tie – I loved the pins on both lanyards!


Michelle Harker on April 21st, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Susan, what a fantastic idea! Very fun! We’re so glad you enjoy pin trading as much as we do.


William from MD on April 17th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Being an avid pin collector myself, I was wondering, that is a pretty cool looking pin. Are they available anywhere or only via trade, like Hidden Mickeys, etc?


Skip from FL on April 17th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

#25 1/2 – Erin Glover

Thanks! I will certainly focus on the photo and video teams the next time I’m at the parks. The meet-up option isn’t possible since I’m at work during the day when they are announced.


Gail from CA on April 18th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I vote for Michelle she has a Duffy pin she wins in my book.


Brian on April 19th, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Brian and Karen from San Jose say Michelle is the clear winner.
Per Karen, nothing beats Ariel.
And is that a well deserved Disney Legacy Award name tag?


Michelle Harker on April 21st, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Brian and Karen! Great detective work. It is indeed a Legacy name tag. Thanks for the vote!


Cara on April 20th, 2014 at 9:54 am

Looks like tons of fun! I think both Michelle & Erin got some great pins so I think it’s a tie. By the way you posted a location called Souvenir 66 in California Adventure. Where is that or is it the same place as Radiator Springs Curios? Keep up the good work. I love your blogs :)


Michelle Harker on April 21st, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Hi Cara! Souvenir 66 is now known as Seaside Souvenirs. You can find it just past The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction.


Nate on April 21st, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I would go with Erin. Orange Bird pins are always awesome.


richard from CA on April 22nd, 2014 at 3:25 pm

michelle. kicking it old school!!!!


David on April 22nd, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I love doing this kind of challenge. I like to head into the Parks with a dozen pins to trade and see how much I can “trade up” by the end of the day. Usually I wind up with a lanyard full of pins that I like much more than the pins I started out with, and it’s so much fun to keep an eye out for hidden gems throughout the day. I’ve never thought to do a competitive challenge though. Maybe my sister and I will have to give that a try next time!

As for your challenge, I’ve got to vote for Erin’s pins. Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Prince Phillip and especially Goofy win the comparison for me!