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Best Modern Disneyland Souvenir

In an earlier post, I wrote about my favorite old school Disneyland souvenir. So today, I thought it would be fun to write about my favorite modern souvenir. This up-to-date souvenir is something that’s not too expensive, something that encourages my kids to be friendly and make conversation, and something that ended up being a great incentive (some people like the word bribe) to encourage good behavior when we needed them to be patient on our last trip to a Disney park.

Obviously, you can guess by the photo above that I’m talking about: Pin Trading. Read on to find out why I first turned up my nose at it, but then ended up loving it!

Before our last Disney trip, we were told how much fun pin trading was, but I felt snotty about it and rolled my eyes. It sounded too much like flair from Office Space. But then we arrived and I could immediately see how this could be a good thing, so we gave it a try.

First, we bought one lanyard. (We just needed something to put the pins on, so we didn’t leave holes in our shirts. If you bring a hat or bandana, that would work too.) The kids took turns wearing it.

Second, we gave the kids a small budget for pins — enough for about 3-4 pins each. They were told the pins would be their only souvenirs and they shouldn’t buy all their pins at once.

Third, they each picked out 2 to start. And immediately started trading with each other.

Fourth, they started trading with park workers and other guests waiting in lines. It was so fun! With every trade, it was as if they’d bought a new one — and they felt that lovely high of getting something new and shiny! — but they didn’t have to spend to get it. It was a trade. There are thousands of pin designs, so they never knew what they would find next, but at some point, each of them bought or traded for a pin that appealed to them so much, they wouldn’t trade it. It was interesting to see them think it over. It’s the sort of exchange that would be super fun to capture on video.

The older 3 kids were the ones who participated, so by the end of the trip our lanyard had about 12 pins, which was plenty. We brought it home, put it in a safe place, and maybe we’ll add to it on a future trip!

Have you tried pin trading at Disneyland or Disneyworld? What did you think of it? Did it work for your kids?

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