After a few trips to visit the Mouse, you might want to throw something new into the mix to shake up your trips a bit.  From trading to scavenger hunts, there are many different ways to add a little something extra once you’ve “been there, done that.”

Pin Trading

Whether you’re trading with other guests or cast members, swapping pins at the Disney Parks can really add some fun to your vacations.  There are some hardcore pin traders out there on the hunt for rare and coveted pins.  We’re not those people.  And we don’t tend to trade with them, either.  In fact, we’ve only ever traded with cast members.  The kids love to trade for their favorite characters or just pins that happen to catch their eyes.  I stock up when I find pins at the Disney Outlet stores so the kids can trade them without giving away the ones they’ve collected over the years.  Some sources suggest eBay for pin lots at low prices, but there’s always an uproar about counterfeit pins or “scrappers.”  I’m almost sure we’ve gotten a couple of these over the years, but since the kids are just collecting for fun, we’re not too worried about it.  We’ve never purchased pins from eBay, so I can‘t offer too much advice there, but if that’s a worry for you, make sure you check seller ratings and reviews before purchase.


Get Park Wise: Most cast members will trade with all guests from their lanyard, board, card, etc.  Cast members with green/teal lanyards, however, will only trade with children.  Guests may trade up to two pins at a time.


The newest trading craze to hit Disney is Vinylmation.  These cute little figures are a bit more economical than pins if you’re buying them once you arrive on Disney property.  Certain gift shops will have clear boxes and mystery boxes ready for Vinylmation trading.  If you want one from the clear box, you’re good to go.  Just give the cast member your figure and you get the one in the box.  If you like a little mystery, you can choose to go for the black box.  You won’t be able to see what you’re getting, but if you just can’t stand the Vinylmation that appears, rest assured, I’ve never seen anyone forced to trade.  My little mouseketeer traded these for the first time this spring, and he had a blast!  This will definitely become a tradition.


Hidden Mickeys

Most people know about these little guys hidden all over Disney property, but take it a step further and turn it into a game.  While you’re out and about, snap pictures of all the hidden Mickey’s you can find.  Winner buys the next round of churros!  If you’re not seasoned in hidden Mickey hunting, check out one of the many books and web sites dedicated to the Disney Parks sport.


ŸGet Park Wise: Hidden Mickeys aren’t always of our favorite mouse.  Keep an eye out for other characters hiding out in attractions, shops, architecture and more.

Character and Autograph Hunting

Chances are if you’re traveling with little ones, this was already a major part of your Disney experience.  Have you thought about turning it into a challenge?  Try to find all of the Disney villains (hint: Come around Halloween!), try to meet the characters from a certain movie or see how many princesses you can meet in a day.  You can always ask Guest Relations to find out when and where your favorites are located.  Remember, pictures or it didn’t happen!


What are your favorite ways to add a little extra zing to your Disney vacations?