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Best Disney World Guide Books & Vacation Planners

Best Disney World Guide Books & Vacation Planners

Walt Disney World offers something for everything from the moment that you arrive. There are rides, food galore, and the always exciting moments of running into the amazing Disney characters as well. (Even as adults, there’s always time to snap a quick photo with a […]

Cape May Cafe: Menu, Price, Characters, and Breakfast Review

Cape May Cafe: Menu, Price, Characters, and Breakfast Review

On my recent adults-only Disney trip with my friend Loraine, we had breakfast at Cape May Cafe. It was a good choice for us because, in all the years each of us have gone to Disney with our respective three kids and husband (we leave […]

What to Wear to Disney World: Cute Outfits and Plus-Size Dresses

What to Wear to Disney World: Cute Outfits and Plus-Size Dresses

The first couple times we went to Disney World we had toddlers, and I was more concerned about just figuring everything out and making everything work than I was with whether or not I was wearing a cute outfit.

However, now that we’ve all gotten the hang of “doing Disney,” planning a Disney trip also involves having a little fun, fashion-wise.

Here are some tips and ideas on what to wear to Disney in order to mange the heat, be comfortable, and still achieve a fun, pretty look.

Wearing Dresses to Disney World

I personally enjoy wearing dresses when I go to Disney World — and in fact, on our last couple of trips, I wore almost nothing but dresses on our days at the parks.

Below are some photos of me, followed by the link to the dress I’m wearing:

Cute polka dot Dress at Disney World

V Fashion  Halter Cocktail Swing DressV Fashion Halter Cocktail Swing DressV Fashion  Halter Cocktail Swing Dress

 

 

Cute outfits for women to wear to Disney World

KILIG Women Halter Neck Floral Sundress with PocketsKILIG Women Halter Neck Floral Sundress with PocketsKILIG Women Halter Neck Floral Sundress with Pockets

 

 

Meeting Minnie in a cute outfit in the winter

MOLERANI Women's Casual T-Shirt DressMOLERANI Women’s Casual T-Shirt DressMOLERANI Women's Casual T-Shirt Dress

 

 

Dress at Disney World in front of Magic Kingdom Christmas tree

ACEVOG Womens Sleeveless Flared Swing DressACEVOG Womens Sleeveless Flared Swing DressACEVOG Womens Sleeveless Flared Swing Dress

 

 

I like dresses for two simple reasons:
1) I think they keep me cooler; and
2) I think I just look better in them.

Wearing a dress makes me feel like I’m doing something “special,” and not just traipsing around an amusement park, getting sweaty and feeling dumpy.

I know a lot of people don’t care about being stylish at Disney World, but I do (more than I used to, anyway.) And if I’m going to get paid to get my photo taken a zillion times, heck I want to look as good as I comfortably can.

I get most of my favorite Disney dresses by searching for “Sundress” or “Casual Dress” on Amazon.

I’ve worn several of these dresses below to Disney World in the past, in different colors and styles:

KILIG Women's Floral Print Sundress Adjustable Spaghetti Strap Sleeveless Summer Swing Dress(C013,L)KILIG Women’s Floral Print Sundress Adjustable Spaghetti Strap Sleeveless Summer Swing Dress(C013,L)KILIG Women's Floral Print Sundress Adjustable Spaghetti Strap Sleeveless Summer Swing Dress(C013,L)KILIG Women's Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets(C005,M)KILIG Women’s Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets(C005,M)KILIG Women's Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets(C005,M)KILIG Women's Halter Neck Floral Summer Dress Strap Sundress with Pockets (Wine Red Floral-4,L)KILIG Women’s Halter Neck Floral Summer Dress Strap Sundress with Pockets (Wine Red Floral-4,L)KILIG Women's Halter Neck Floral Summer Dress Strap Sundress with Pockets (Wine Red Floral-4,L)Soybu Women's Dhara Dress, Nirvana, LargeSoybu Women’s Dhara Dress, Nirvana, LargeSoybu Women's Dhara Dress, Nirvana, LargeMOLERANI Women's Casual Plain Simple T-Shirt Loose Dress Black XSMOLERANI Women’s Casual Plain Simple T-Shirt Loose Dress Black XSMOLERANI Women's Casual Plain Simple T-Shirt Loose Dress Black XSMOLERANI Women's Casual Swing Simple T-shirt Loose Dress, X-Large,  BlackMOLERANI Women’s Casual Swing Simple T-shirt Loose Dress, X-Large, BlackMOLERANI Women's Casual Swing Simple T-shirt Loose Dress, X-Large,  BlackOFEEFAN Women's Cold Shoulder Tunic Top T-Shirt Swing Dress with PocketsOFEEFAN Women’s Cold Shoulder Tunic Top T-Shirt Swing Dress with PocketsOFEEFAN Women's Cold Shoulder Tunic Top T-Shirt Swing Dress with PocketsPCEAIIH Women's Summer Cold Shoulder Tunic Top Swing Dresses Loose T-Shirt Casual Dress with Pockets (Large, Black)PCEAIIH Women’s Summer Cold Shoulder Tunic Top Swing Dresses Loose T-Shirt Casual Dress with Pockets (Large, Black)PCEAIIH Women's Summer Cold Shoulder Tunic Top Swing Dresses Loose T-Shirt Casual Dress with Pockets (Large, Black)BLUETIME Women Summer Cold Shoulder Tunic Top Swing T-Shirt Loose Dress Criss Cross Neckline (L, Floral4)BLUETIME Women Summer Cold Shoulder Tunic Top Swing T-Shirt Loose Dress Criss Cross Neckline (L, Floral4)BLUETIME Women Summer Cold Shoulder Tunic Top Swing T-Shirt Loose Dress Criss Cross Neckline (L, Floral4)OFEEFAN Women's Cold Shoulder Tunic Top T-Shirt Swing Dress with PocketsOFEEFAN Women’s Cold Shoulder Tunic Top T-Shirt Swing Dress with PocketsOFEEFAN Women's Cold Shoulder Tunic Top T-Shirt Swing Dress with PocketsBerydress Women's Casual Beach Summer Dresses Solid Cotton Flattering A-Line Spaghetti Strap Button Down Midi Sundress (L, 6046-Brown)Berydress Women’s Casual Beach Summer Dresses Solid Cotton Flattering A-Line Spaghetti Strap Button Down Midi Sundress (L, 6046-Brown)Berydress Women's Casual Beach Summer Dresses Solid Cotton Flattering A-Line Spaghetti Strap Button Down Midi Sundress (L, 6046-Brown)KILIG Women's Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets(Floral-04,L)KILIG Women’s Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets(Floral-04,L)KILIG Women's Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets(Floral-04,L)ECOWISH Womens Dress Summer Tie Front V-Neck Spaghetti Strap Button Down A-Line Backless Swing Midi Dress Yellow SECOWISH Womens Dress Summer Tie Front V-Neck Spaghetti Strap Button Down A-Line Backless Swing Midi Dress Yellow SECOWISH Womens Dress Summer Tie Front V-Neck Spaghetti Strap Button Down A-Line Backless Swing Midi Dress Yellow SECOWISH Womens Dresses Floral Spaghetti Strap Tie Knot Front Flowy Pleated Mini Swing Dress White SECOWISH Womens Dresses Floral Spaghetti Strap Tie Knot Front Flowy Pleated Mini Swing Dress White SECOWISH Womens Dresses Floral Spaghetti Strap Tie Knot Front Flowy Pleated Mini Swing Dress White S

 

 

What to Wear Under Your Dress at Disney

Worried about flashing your underwear when you get on and off the roller coasters?

I wore these Jockey Underwear Skimmies underneath my dresses. I wear the black, as shown below, but they come in other colors too.

They are more comfortable than they look, prevent pantylines, and make you less self-conscious about flashing your underwear when you get in and out or a ride.

Note these are not shapewear, just boyshort underwear.

Jockey Women's Underwear Skimmies Slipshort, BlackJockey Women’s Underwear Skimmies Slipshort, BlackJockey Women's Underwear Skimmies Slipshort, Black

 

 

Cute Disney Accessories for Adults

An easy way to give a regular dress or outfit a cute Disney look is simply to pair it with a cute hat or headband.

One of the neat things about this is that you can pair a sundress with, say, a baseball cap. It may sound like that won’t work … but at Disney World, it definitely does.

Disney Mickey Mouse CapDisney Mickey Mouse CapDisney Mickey Mouse CapELIVATA Womens Disney Castle Fitted Trucker Baseball Cap by Swarovski Bling hat,Gray Denim Trucker,One SizeELIVATA Womens Disney Castle Fitted Trucker Baseball Cap by Swarovski Bling hat,Gray Denim Trucker,One SizeELIVATA Womens Disney Castle Fitted Trucker Baseball Cap by Swarovski Bling hat,Gray Denim Trucker,One SizeDisney Womens Minnie Mouse Cap With Bow & Ears RedDisney Womens Minnie Mouse Cap With Bow & Ears RedDisney Womens Minnie Mouse Cap With Bow & Ears RedDisney Adult Hat Sequins Mickey Head, Black (Florida Namedrop)Disney Adult Hat Sequins Mickey Head, Black (Florida Namedrop)Disney Adult Hat Sequins Mickey Head, Black (Florida Namedrop)Disney Women's Minnie Mouse Polka Dots Baseball HatDisney Women’s Minnie Mouse Polka Dots Baseball HatDisney Women's Minnie Mouse Polka Dots Baseball HatDisney Women's Belle Rose Beauty and The Beast Baseball Cap, 100% Cotton, Light Blue, One SizeDisney Women’s Belle Rose Beauty and The Beast Baseball Cap, 100% Cotton, Light Blue, One SizeDisney Women's Belle Rose Beauty and The Beast Baseball Cap, 100% Cotton, Light Blue, One SizeDisney Adult Minnie Mouse Bow Visor RedDisney Adult Minnie Mouse Bow Visor RedDisney Adult Minnie Mouse Bow Visor RedDisney Classic Mickey Mouse Adult Hat Baseball Cap, White & RedDisney Classic Mickey Mouse Adult Hat Baseball Cap, White & RedDisney Classic Mickey Mouse Adult Hat Baseball Cap, White & Red

 

On our last trip, I wore a couple pairs of mouse ears that I got from Rachel Wallace at The Mouse Project on Etsy.

I felt cute and pretty the entire time and was complimented on them multiple times a day. (I told Rob I don’t think I’d ever received so many compliments in one week before in my entire life!)

Sundress at Disney World
Etsy mouse ears and a blue sundress at Ohana

Soybu Women's Dhara DressSoybu Women’s Dhara DressSoybu Women's Dhara Dress

 

 

Another thing I did on our last trip was get a rose gold Mickey Mouse pendant with a matching set of earrings. Again, I got a received a lot of compliments on them.

The nice thing about the pendant and earring is that — unlike the mouse ears, sadly — I’ve been able to continue to wear them after we came home from our trip. And I get compliments on them in my “normal life” all the time too!

What a mom wears to Disney World -- Mickey Mouse ears from Etsy and a maxi dress

Rose Gold Mickey Mouse Pendant
Rose Gold Mickey Mouse Pendant

 

More Disney Jewelry:

Minnie Mouse Silver Plated January Garnet Red Cubic Zirconia Pendant NecklaceMinnie Mouse Silver Plated January Garnet Red Cubic Zirconia Pendant NecklaceMinnie Mouse Silver Plated January Garnet Red Cubic Zirconia Pendant NecklaceBelle's Rose and Heart Diamond PendantBelle’s Rose and Heart Diamond PendantBelle's Rose and Heart Diamond PendantMinnie Mouse Silver Plated Brass September Birthstone Stud EarringsMinnie Mouse Silver Plated Brass September Birthstone Stud EarringsMinnie Mouse Silver Plated Brass September Birthstone Stud EarringsDisney Princess Castle Diamond Heart PendantDisney Princess Castle Diamond Heart PendantDisney Princess Castle Diamond Heart PendantMickey Mouse Aromatherapy Essential Oils Necklace PendantMickey Mouse Aromatherapy Essential Oils Necklace PendantMickey Mouse Aromatherapy Essential Oils Necklace PendantMinnie Mouse Crystal Hoop EarringsMinnie Mouse Crystal Hoop EarringsMinnie Mouse Crystal Hoop EarringsSterling Silver Pave Crystal Stud EarringsSterling Silver Pave Crystal Stud EarringsSterling Silver Pave Crystal Stud EarringsDisney Beauty and The Beast Silver Plated “Big Sister, Lil’ Sister” Set of Two Pendant Necklaces, 18” ChainDisney Beauty and The Beast Silver Plated “Big Sister, Lil’ Sister” Set of Two Pendant Necklaces, 18” ChainDisney Beauty and The Beast Silver Plated “Big Sister, Lil’ Sister” Set of Two Pendant Necklaces, 18” Chain

 

Here are some other accessories that can give your outfit a bit of a “Disney flair” that you can continue to use in real life:

This Minnie Mouse watch is easy to read and comes in 5 different styles, including a version with “classic Minnie,” back when she had a hat with a flower in it instead of a bow.

Disney Women's Minnie Mouse Watch
Disney Women’s Minnie Mouse Watch

This crossbody handbag has a beautiful collage of Bambi, Thumper, and Flower, but you almost wouldn’t know it if you weren’t looking for it; it just looks like a really pretty handbag. Great if you want to show off your Disney love without looking tacky or garish.

Bambi LeSportsac Cross-Body Tote
Bambi & Friends LeSportsac Cross-Body Tote

You might also like:
Mickey Mouse Gifts for Adults

What to wear to Disney World in the Winter

The above photos of me were all taken in late September, when it’s still pretty hot. On our last trip, the temperatures went into the 90’s every day.

We’ve been to Disney World in both November and December, and I’ve worn sundresses then, too. However, I do bring a cardigan, jacket, and jeans, just in case.

When we went in November a few years ago, it was surprisingly cold.

Wearing jeans and sweaters at Epcot in November
Wearing jeans and jackets at Epcot in November!

Look at us, all bundled up! Not only that, but we were downright cold — uncomfortably cold — while watching Illuminations at Epcot that night.

 

I wouldn’t say that’s typical. That trip was significantly colder that when we went in December of another year. But be prepared, especially for the evening!

 

Update: I just came back from yet another November Disney trip, and yup, it was pretty cold again at times.

 

what to wear to Disney World in the winter
Me at Epcot in mid-November, complete with jeans, jacket, and even a scarf

Probably the best advice about dressing for Disney World in the winter is to be prepared for the possibility of cold weather, and pack plenty of layers.

 

Lightweight Long sleeve cardigan
Lightweight Long-Sleeve Cardigan with Pockets

Disney Hoodies for Women
Instead of (or in addition to) cardigans, you might want to bring along a couple Disney hoodies, especially for the evening:

Disney Junior Minnie Mouse Silent Hoodie Fleece PulloverDisney Junior Minnie Mouse Silent Hoodie Fleece PulloverDisney Junior Minnie Mouse Silent Hoodie Fleece PulloverDisney Adults Minnie Mouse Peeking Fleece HoodieDisney Adults Minnie Mouse Peeking Fleece HoodieDisney Adults Minnie Mouse Peeking Fleece HoodieDisney Women's Hoodie Minnie Mouse Peeking Pullover Sweatshirt Small - Plus SizeDisney Women’s Hoodie Minnie Mouse Peeking Pullover Sweatshirt Small – Plus SizeDisney Women's Hoodie Minnie Mouse Peeking Pullover Sweatshirt Small - Plus SizeDisney Mickey Mouse Womens Hoodie Peeking Print Pullover SweatshirtDisney Mickey Mouse Womens Hoodie Peeking Print Pullover SweatshirtDisney Mickey Mouse Womens Hoodie Peeking Print Pullover SweatshirtDisney Women's Mickey Mouse Classic Kick SweatshirtDisney Women’s Mickey Mouse Classic Kick SweatshirtDisney Women's Mickey Mouse Classic Kick SweatshirtDisGear Disney Parks Home for The Holidays Unisex Character Hoodie for WomenDisGear Disney Parks Home for The Holidays Unisex Character Hoodie for WomenDisGear Disney Parks Home for The Holidays Unisex Character Hoodie for WomenDisney Juniors Sassy Minnie Mouse FleeceDisney Juniors Sassy Minnie Mouse FleeceDisney Juniors Sassy Minnie Mouse FleeceDisney Exclusive Adults Minnie Mouse Fleece HoodieDisney Exclusive Adults Minnie Mouse Fleece HoodieDisney Exclusive Adults Minnie Mouse Fleece HoodieMinnie Mouse Disney Character Name HoodieMinnie Mouse Disney Character Name HoodieMinnie Mouse Disney Character Name HoodieDisney Hoodie Mickey Mouse Peeking Pullover Sweatshirt Small - Plus SizeDisney Hoodie Mickey Mouse Peeking Pullover Sweatshirt Small – Plus SizeDisney Hoodie Mickey Mouse Peeking Pullover Sweatshirt Small - Plus Size

 

In addition to wearing layers, here are a few particular clothing items you might want to add to your Disney packing list in the winter:

Thermal Shirts

Thermal shirts are great for layering. You can easily wear them under something else to add warmth, but not much bulk. They won’t take up too much room in your suitcase, either.

Women's Wicking Thermal Shirt, WhiteWomen’s Wicking Thermal Shirt, WhiteWomen's Wicking Thermal Shirt, WhiteWomen's Fleece Lined Thermal Shirt, BlackWomen’s Fleece Lined Thermal Shirt, BlackWomen's Fleece Lined Thermal Shirt, Black

 

 

Beanie Hats

At strange as it might sound to wear a knit hat to Florday, at night it can get cold, and it’s better to be prepared. Plus, hats are always cute.

Womens Winter Slouchy Knit BeanieWomens Winter Slouchy Knit BeanieWomens Winter Slouchy Knit BeanieSolid Ribbed Beanie - Heather GreySolid Ribbed Beanie – Heather GreySolid Ribbed Beanie - Heather GreyWinter Beanie Knit Hat with Ribbed CapWinter Beanie Knit Hat with Ribbed CapWinter Beanie Knit Hat with Ribbed Cap

 

 

Down Jackets

Like the thermal shirts above, down jackets are good at keeping you warm without too much bulk — either when you’re wearing them, or when you’re trying to pack them in your suitcase.

Women's Mighty Lite III Jacket,, BlackWomen’s Mighty Lite III Jacket,, BlackWomen's Mighty Lite III Jacket,, BlackWomen's Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket, Red CamelliaWomen’s Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket, Red CamelliaWomen's Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket, Red CamelliaAmazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Down Coat, Olive DepthsAmazon Essentials Women’s Lightweight Down Coat, Olive DepthsAmazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Down Coat, Olive Depths

 

 

What to wear to Disney World at Christmas Time

If you’re going to be going to be going to Disney World at Christmas time (which, by the way, begins in November), you should have a little extra fun by adding some Christmas bling to your outfit.

Candy Cane Plush Fabric HeadbandCandy Cane Plush Fabric HeadbandCandy Cane Plush Fabric HeadbandChristmas Necklace for WomenChristmas Necklace for WomenChristmas Necklace for WomenChevron Sheer Infinity Scarf - Green/Red/WhiteChevron Sheer Infinity Scarf – Green/Red/WhiteChevron Sheer Infinity Scarf - Green/Red/WhiteClassic Cashmere Feel Check ScarfClassic Cashmere Feel Check ScarfClassic Cashmere Feel Check ScarfChristmas Infinity Scarf Lightweight LoopChristmas Infinity Scarf Lightweight LoopChristmas Infinity Scarf Lightweight LoopChristmas Tree Cubic Zirconia Pendant NecklaceChristmas Tree Cubic Zirconia Pendant NecklaceChristmas Tree Cubic Zirconia Pendant Necklace

 

And if you’re going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you might want to wear a Christmas sweater, both to keep warm and to look cute.

Snowmen Christmas SweateSnowmen Christmas SweateSnowmen Christmas SweateReindeer Christmas SweaterReindeer Christmas SweaterReindeer Christmas SweaterChristmas Reindeer Knitted SweaterChristmas Reindeer Knitted SweaterChristmas Reindeer Knitted SweaterSweater Women Plus Size Christmas Sweaters Reindeer Snowflakes SweaterSweater Women Plus Size Christmas Sweaters Reindeer Snowflakes SweaterSweater Women Plus Size Christmas Sweaters Reindeer Snowflakes SweaterNovelty Christmas SweaterNovelty Christmas SweaterNovelty Christmas SweaterBlizzard Bay Women's Cold Shoulder Christmas Pullover, red, MediumBlizzard Bay Women’s Cold Shoulder Christmas Pullover, red, MediumBlizzard Bay Women's Cold Shoulder Christmas Pullover, red, Medium

 

 

What to Wear to Disney World — Plus-Size Edition

While I’m not exactly the thinnest person in the world, I don’t think I’m officially considered “plus-size,” so I turned to some other lovely ladies for advice on those particular challenges.

Bianca Karina loves wearing leggings when she goes to Disneyland. “Leggings are breathable, flexible, and stretchy so you can fully enjoy the Disney magic without getting swamp butt,” she says.

Torrid Premium Leggings
Torrid Premium Leggings

Bianca also likes to wear a t-shirt dress paired with sneakers, claiming, “You get all of the breeziness of shorts and the stretchiness and comfort of leggings.”

Plus Size T-shirt dress for Disneyland
Plus-Size T-Shirt Dress

If you’re worried about chafing (or “chub rub,” as it’s sometimes called), this product works wonders.

April at Pixie Dust Savings, who describes herself as “Pooh-sized” and a “plus-size princess,” lists these as her 5 favorite places to shop for plus-size Disney clothes:

1. Torrid
2. Pinup Girl Clothing
3. Cherry Tree Lane Dress Shop in Disney Springs
4. Walmart (the selection is huge in physical stores near Disney World)
5. ModCloth (not necessarily “Disney” clothes, but has some good options for Disney Bounding)

The pin below is a dress that April featured from Torrid. Cute, huh?

Plus-Size Fashion — Disney World Outfits

Heather Traska, a size 16 Disney Style contributor, likes to wear bright colors and lush fabrics that “makes me feel like a real life Princess.” And she always wears shorts, leggings, or Spanx under her dresses while at Disney.

 

Disneyland Outfit Ideas for Curvy Girls

What to Wear to Disney World in the Summer

I personally refuse to go to Disney World in June, July, or August — both because of the crowd levels and the intense heat in Florida during the summer.

Well, okay … I guess maybe I would go if someone paid for the entire thing. But I haven’t been to Disney World during the summer months since I was 8 year old.

I found this helpful bit of advice about dressing for Disney during the summer months on the WDWMagic Forums:

Actually, wearing skimpier clothing (e.g., tank top and short shorts) — especially if they contain non-breathable fabrics like polyester or spandex — can make you feel hotter than if you wear fuller-coverage clothing that breathes.

In a tank top, for example, your sweat just pools on your shoulders and in your armpits — in a breathable top with short sleeves, it gets absorbed and wicked away from your body. (Locals in tropical climes put this principle to work all the time — ever notice how when you visit someplace like India or the Caribbean, everybody’s wearing long pants, button-down shirts and hats in the heat? They’re doing it in light colors, and breathable fabrics, and staying cooler as a result than if they were wearing less.)

My suggestion would be to either go full-on vacation wear in breathable, natural fabrics, in styles that offer some protection from the sun (chambray rompers or sundresses — no polyester, no spandex, etc.!, lightweight cotton maxi dresses, linen button-downs and bermuda shorts), or if your personal style is more sporty, to opt for athletic wear that doesn’t necessarily look like athletic wear (e.g., golf polos and skorts).

Steer toward light colors if you want to repel the sun even more, and if you’re a “hat person,” by all means adopt a crushable floppy hat or a straw fedora with a decent-sized brim. If your hair is long, wear it up, or braid it, to keep it off of your neck and shoulders.

One thing I would absolutely “wear” at Disney in the summer (or even the fall and spring) is a Frogg Togg Chill Pad Cooling Towel.

Frogg Togg Chill Pad Cooling Towel at Disney World
Burgundy Tshirt Dress available here
Cooling Towel available here

Yes, these really do work. You wet them with cold water, squeeze out the excess, and it feels incredibly cool (yet dry) against your skin.

Being an Irish redhead, I particularly like how it gives me added sun protection on my neck, back, and shoulders.

Frogg Togg Cooling Towel
Frogg Togg cooling towel

NOTE:
On our last trip, Rob liked my cooling towel so much that he bought one for himself at the parks, where they sell a version by a brand called CoolCore.

He said it definitely did NOT get as cool as my Frogg Togg cooling towel did.

Don’t Forget How Important the Right Shoes Are!

I have another post all about the best shoes to wear to Disney World, but I thought they also deserved a quick mention here.

I always like to wear sandals (not flip-flops, because having something between my toes personally drives me crazy). They go well with my sundresses, they also room for your feet to swell when you’ve been walking for hours, and I don’t have to worry about them getting soggy after going on Splash Mountain.

These sandals have been my go-to shoe for our last three Disney World trips, and they were amazingly comfortable, as well as kinda cute.

Here are some other flip-flops and sandals I recommend as being good Disney options:

Nike Womens Ultra Celso Thong, Chlorine Blue/White-White, 7Nike Womens Ultra Celso Thong, Chlorine Blue/White-White, 7Nike Womens Ultra Celso Thong, Chlorine Blue/White-White, 7KEEN Women's Whisper Sandal,Dark Shadow/Ceramic,8 M USKEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal,Dark Shadow/Ceramic,8 M USKEEN Women's Whisper Sandal,Dark Shadow/Ceramic,8 M USSanuk Women's Yoga Sling 2 Flip Flop,Black,8 M USSanuk Women’s Yoga Sling 2 Flip Flop,Black,8 M USSanuk Women's Yoga Sling 2 Flip Flop,Black,8 M USTeva Women's W Original Universal Sandal, Miramar Fade Dark Purple/Multi, 6 M USTeva Women’s W Original Universal Sandal, Miramar Fade Dark Purple/Multi, 6 M USTeva Women's W Original Universal Sandal, Miramar Fade Dark Purple/Multi, 6 M US

 

 

If you prefer to wear sneakers to the parks, these are some of your best bets:

ASICS Women's GT-2000 5 Running Shoe, Mid Grey/White/Pink Glow, 9 M USASICS Women’s GT-2000 5 Running Shoe, Mid Grey/White/Pink Glow, 9 M USASICS Women's GT-2000 5 Running Shoe, Mid Grey/White/Pink Glow, 9 M USSaucony Women's Triumph ISO Running Shoe, Twilight/Oxygen/Citron, 8.5 M USSaucony Women’s Triumph ISO Running Shoe, Twilight/Oxygen/Citron, 8.5 M USSaucony Women's Triumph ISO Running Shoe, Twilight/Oxygen/Citron, 8.5 M USSkechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy-15615 Sneaker,pink/multi,9 M USSkechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Joy-15615 Sneaker,pink/multi,9 M USSkechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy-15615 Sneaker,pink/multi,9 M USSkechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy-15615 Sneaker,Navy/Multi,9 M USSkechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Joy-15615 Sneaker,Navy/Multi,9 M USSkechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy-15615 Sneaker,Navy/Multi,9 M US

 

Now let me hear from you.
What are your favorite things to wear to Disney World? Are there any lessons you’ve learned the hard way about what NOT to wear? Please share below in the comments!

Cute Dresses and Outfits for Disney World

Cute dresses and accessories to wear to Disney World
Cute dresses and accessories to wear to Disney World
Cutest Outfits to wear to Disney World
Pretty dresses and mouse ears to wear to Disney World
What should a woman wear to Disney World? Discover my favorite rose gold Mickey ears necklace, cute dresses for Disney World, and the best mouse ears on Etsy. Also includes sections on wearing leggings to Disney World and how to dress for Disney World in January.
What to wear to Disney World
What to wear to Walt Disney World in the winter




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1900 Park Fare Review: Menu, Prices, and Characters

1900 Park Fare Review: Menu, Prices, and Characters

1900 Park Fare is a character dining buffet restaurant with high ceilings and a carnival and carousel theme. I had dinner there for the first time last week on my adults-only trip to Disney World with my friend Loraine. After reading this post, you’ll know […]

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019: Tickets, Prices, and Characters

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019: Tickets, Prices, and Characters

Last week I attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for the very first time — not with my three kids and husband (or the cats), but with my good friend Loraine. After reading this post, you’ll learn everything you need […]

Things I Learned on my Adults-Only Disney World Trip

Things I Learned on my Adults-Only Disney World Trip

I just came back from my latest Disney World vacation. It was my first adult-only trip, with just me and my friend Loraine (who also has three kids, three cats, and a husband).

 

Every Disney trip is unique, but this one was particularly different in that:

  • We were vacationing without kids
  • I had never gotten Disney Memory Maker before
  • It was our first time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • We stayed off-property (which I’d done before, but not for several years

Here are 9 things that stuck with me during this trip:

 

So is Disney World worth it for adults? Absolutely!

People often ask if Disney World is “boring” for adults. Obviously everyone’s tastes are different, but no, there was nothing about our trip that felt “boring.”

Epcot is usually cited as “the best park for adults,” and yes, we went to Epcot and had a lot of fun there. (I should also add that we had a lot of fun there without drinking any alcohol.)

But honestly, we had just as much fun at the Magic Kingdom. We:

  • Rode Splash Mountain, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribben, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise, and Astro Orbiter
  • Rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train twice (once in the dark, which was awesome)
  • Met characters
  • Got our photos taken
  • Saw Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (which is one of my favorite underrated attractions at Disney
  • Shopped at The Emporium on Main Street
  • Ate a great Nutella and fruit waffle sandwich at Sleepy Hollow

And we definitely would have done a lot more if we’d had more time.

 

Memory Maker is awesome

As I mentioned earlier, this was the first time I’d ever used Disney Memory Maker, and I regret we didn’t do it earlier on family trips … although to be fair, I think some members of my family wouldn’t have enjoyed taking all those photos as much as I did.

I know some people would consider it a hassle to keep stopping and waiting in even more lines, but I thought it made the trip more fun to always be on the lookout for photo spots and try to get as many photos as we could.

And yes, I enjoyed the indulgence of feeling like a mini-celebrity as people took my photo all day long.

Epcot for adults
Having fun posing at Epcot

 

The photos were much better than anything my family ever takes, and I really enjoyed how you ended up with more than just one or two shots at each location. The Magic Shots were a cute bonus. I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth.

 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was fun, but I’m not sure I would do it again

This was also the first time I’d ever attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party — but unlike Memory Maker, I don’t wish I had done it when my kids were younger.

Christmas at Disney World

 

While it was fun meeting the characters, the lines for were each was at least 45 minutes, which was barely tolerable for my by myself, let alone while juggling a bunch of kids.

Between that and the fact that I would have felt nervous keeping track of three kids in the dark for hours AND that at least one of my children would have screamed bloody murder at the sound of the fireworks … well, I think we made a good call in the past to spend our money on regular park tickets as opposed to the holiday party events.

Having said that, I am really glad I went to the party on this trip, especially since I had Memory Maker and we were able to get some special holiday photos. Also, we had a fantastic spot for the parade, which was wonderful.

 

Visiting the resorts is a must

We had only two meals at table service restaurants, and they were both at Disney resorts:

In addition to enjoying both meals, we really enjoyed just spending some unhurried time checking out the resorts.

 

After breakfast at Cape May Cafe, we walked through Beach Club Resort, Yacht Resort, and Boardwalk, then took the boat back to Beach Club.

Disney's Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Resort

 

After dinner at 1900 Park Fare, we walked all around the Grand Floridian main building (and especially loved Basin White, the soap shop), plus we took the monorail to visit both the Contemporary and the Polynesian resorts.

The Grand Staircase inside Disney's Grand Floridian Spa & Resort
The Grand Staircase inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa & Resort

 

It was the perfect activity for an adults-only trip, and a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Disney resorts without having to spend $500 a night to do so.

 

It’s kinda nice not to have too many restaurant reservations

We had only two table service reservations on this trip, and that felt perfect. It was nice to not have every day’s schedule revolve around when we were going to eat, and to not have to constantly calculate if we had time to use a certain FastPass if we had a dinner reservation.

It was also nice to come back from vacation and not feel like I had spent the week stuffing myself silly.

 

Character meet and greets are awesome, even for adults

After all these years, I’m finally starting to get better at character meet and greets. I used to just have my kids get the autographs, take their picture, and then maybe stand there and smile while I got in a picture.

I discovered during this trip that meeting characters is a lot more fun (probably for them as well as for me) if you get a little playful with it.

Adult character meet and greet at Disney World

 

I gave all the characters big hugs, showed Minnie Mouse my Minnie earrings, asked Tigger to bounce with me, and told Timon I saw him on Broadway and that he did a great job. I started thinking of it more as taking part in an improv show that it just being something for kids or for getting a “Disney photo,” and seeing it that way made a big difference.

I also got a little better at posing, sometimes even asking the characters for suggestions on how to stand, or trying to mimic what they were doing.

Minnie Mouse meet and greet at Epcot

 

If you need some ideas to get you going, check out my post on what to say to Disney characters.

 

It can get cold at Disney World

I already knew this from a past November trip, but it still surprised me. There was one day I was so cold that I had to leave the park to go change in jeans, and I wore either a cardigan or jacket during about half the trip.

Disney World adult trip to Epcot
Yes, I am wearing a jacket AND a scarf at Disney World

 

If you’re planning a trip during the winter months, be sure to check out my article on what to pack for Disney World in the winter.

 

Staying off-property isn’t as bad as I used to think.

Several years ago I swore that I would never stay off-property again. But for this trip I was really trying to keep the costs down, and I was impressed by what I heard and saw about Windsor Hills Orlando, so I decided to break my vow.

Honestly, I don’t think there was any time that I felt frustrated by staying off-property. We both loved having so much space and privacy. (We each had our bedroom and bathroom, plus a kitchen and living room).

For the most part, the drive wasn’t any longer than taking the Disney buses. And yes, I had to drive, but at least I was guaranteed a seat … and didn’t have to listen to tired, sobbing children.

Staying off-property at Disney World
A room of my own!

 

Yes, our family loves Port Orleans Riverside, but when you consider that our condo was less than half the price (even after factoring in the cost of parking) and had about three times the space, I can’t help but question if staying on-property isn’t as great as I thought.

 

Interacting with others is half the fun

Okay, this may sound a little weird, and I know a big part of this is just my personality, but one of the things I love about Disney is … talking to people.

I had a nice chat with the omelet chef at Cape May Cafe, who was from Brooklyn and told me that he moved to Florida years ago because he decided that his calling in life was to work at Disney World.

When we standing in line, I would sometimes give kids nearby either some Minnie Mouse stickers or, if they were a little older, I would hold out a few Disney Trading Pins and let them choose one. Occasionally that would even lead to an interesting discussion with the parents or grandparents.

When we were on a ridiculously long line at Avatar Flight of Passage, I was getting pretty hungry and joked that they should have a shrimp dispenser in the queue. The woman behind me said, “Oh, so you watch The Good Place too?” and we all had a fun discussion about the show, which season was best, the fact that I bought Rob a “Jeremy Bearimy” mug for Christmas, etc.

And that’s part of why I like Disney World: everyone there is so happy. A Disney vacation feels like one huge party for people of all ages from all over the world.

So what about you?
Have you ever taken a Disney trip with just adults? Do you agree or disagree with any of my thoughts during this trip? Let us know below in the comments!

 

Walt Disney World for adults -- things to do and tips on restaurants, resorts, and more

Is Disney World for adults worth it?
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Disney Trading Pins: Tips, Secrets, and Scrappers

Disney Trading Pins: Tips, Secrets, and Scrappers

Around the time our daughter Rebecca was middle school age, she got turned onto pin trading during our Disney vacations. Looking for places to trade pins and finding pins that she really liked became a big part of the trip for her.

And, by extension, it added an extra dimension to our trips that I wouldn’t have thought to do myself.

And it didn’t cost very much, either.

In this post I’m going to go in-depth on everything you need to know about Disney pin trading, including topics like:

  • The history of pin trading
  • How and why to pin trade
  • Pin trading terminology
  • Tons of information about fake pins and scrapper pins and how to avoid them

 

What Are Disney Trading Pins?

Disney trading pins are small collectible pins that feature Disney characters, attractions, icons, or events. They can be purchased individually, in packs, or traded with others, particularly at the Disney parks.

Many cast members working at the parks will be wearing lanyards with 12 pins on them. (These are not their own personal pins; they belong to Disney.) You’re welcome to look at their lanyards and choose a pin you would like to trade them for.

They will be happy to trade with you if your pin meets the criteria (which we’ll talk about later.) In order words, they won’t say, “Mmm, no thanks, I don’t want a Minnie Mouse pin.”

Cast members that are wearing green lanyards only trade with kids.

You’re allowed to trade up to 2 pins, per cast member, per day. You shouldn’t grab their lanyard or touch their pins, but instead tell them which pin you would like. In addition, you’re not supposed to give them a pin they already have (although I have that rule is not well enforced).

So how many Disney trading pins are there? I don’t think anyone knows for sure the exact number, but it’s several thousand. I’ve read numbers ranging from 70,000 to 120,000.

 

Why Pin Trade?

The short reason, for most people, is “because it’s fun.”

One thing I liked about it was that it caused us to interact with a lot of cast members, and occasionally learn a thing or two from them. I also liked how it caused us to slow down and pay a little more attention to our surroundings: instead of just dashing to the next ride, we would be keeping our eyes out for pin boards or cast members wearing pin lanyards.

If you’re the kind of person who likes a challenge, you could make it your goal to find a specific pin, or see how many pins of a particular character you can find.

From a more practical perspective, Disney pins can be a pretty inexpensive souvenir that doesn’t take up a lot of space, either in your luggage or when you get back home.

 

When Did Disney Pin Trading Start?

Disney pins themselves have been around since the parks opened, but pin trading wasn’t a “thing” until the Millennium Celebration at Walt Disney World in 1999.

Ranker tells the story of how Disney Pin Trading all began:

When George Kalogridis, the president of Walt Disney World Resort, went to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, he was looking for ways to spice up the Disney Millennium celebration he’d be organizing.

He came across a group of people trading Olympics-themed pins and was impressed by the connections people were making despite not sharing a language. He decided to bring that experience to the Millennium celebration in 1999, and pin trading took off from there…

Disney pins, the article goes on to say, were never intended to be a phenomenon, or even to last more than about a year, but the demand of guests, particularly collectors, caused pin trading to last for two decades and counting.

The trading craze has spread to the Disneyland Resort in California (home of most Pin Trading events), as well as Aulani, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Lines.

Interestingly, pin trading officially ended at Tokyo Disney Resort in 2002 because guests were getting so carried away with trading that it was taking over the park. However, pin are still offered there as prizes for carnival games, and a relatively small number of pins are available for sale.

 

How Much Do Disney Pins Cost?

According to Wiki:

  • The base price for a pin is USD $9.99.
  • Limited edition pins, and special pins (e.g. pins that have a dangle, pin-on-pin, flocking, lenticular, light-up, moving element, 3-D element, etc.) cost up to $14.95.
  • Featured Artist and Jumbo Pins cost between $20 and $35 and Super Jumbo pins cost upwards of, and sometimes beyond, $125.

 

Are There Fake Disney Trading Pins?

Yes.

A lot of them.

And by “a lot,” I mean “thousands and thousands.”

And many of them — a huge number of them — are right inside the Disney parks.

Surprised? I was. Let’s talk about this, because there’s a lot to say.

 

What are Disney Scrapper Pins?

When we bought these Pin Starter Sets in the past, I completely believed that I was buying genuine, bona-fide, authentic Disney pins.

The set were recommended by a popular Disney blogger, who said the seller was incredibly high-rated, and that the pins in the set were “legitimate for trading.”

That sounded great to me!

And when the pins arrived, none of us were disappointed, and ever doubted their “realness.” I mean, they didn’t look weird or ugly or anything. They didn’t say “Diznee” on the back.

So we traded these pins — which we firmly believed were authentic pins — with many Disney cast members’ pins, who of course were only trading authentic Disney pins, right?

Whoops.

Turns out we were wrong on both counts.

You know those “tradable pins” that I bought from an “incredibly high-rated seller”?

Well, apparently referring to a Disney pin as “tradable” doesn’t mean anything.

Well … actually it kinda does mean something. It’s pretty much code for a “fake” or “scrapper pin.”

Scrappers are officially-licensed pins, made where actual Disney pins are produced. However, they were meant to be discarded (hence the name) because they did not meet the quality control criteria. I’ve heard them be described as “factory seconds” or “production overruns.”

Cheap packs of pins that you can find on Ebay or Amazon (like the pack we got) are very likely to be scrappers.

As in, very very likely.

As in, they are almost definitely scrappers.

 

Will Cast Members Trade Scrapper Pins?

I’m sure many readers will be rolling their eyes at my naivete, but I just assumed that Disney pins being worn and handed out by Disney employees at the Disney Parks would be real Disney pins.

Nope.

Well, okay … surely a couple fake pins get traded to a cast member here and there without anyone noticing … but the vast majority of their pins must be real, right?

Nope.

Turns out that roughly 90% of the pins you see on cast member lanyard and Disney pin trading boards are scrappers.

You might assume that’s because cast members don’t know the difference, or maybe some of them do, but they don’t have time to check the pins closely.

That may be true, but it’s also more than that.
Cast members have to trade a pin as long as the pin:

  1. Is made of metal
  2. Has a representation of a Disney character, attraction, etc
  3. Has a Dismey copyright on the back

And guess what? Scrapper pins meet all 3 criteria.

And that’s why they be advertised as “tradable.”

Because they are.

So that means it’s entirely possible to spend top-dollar on real Disney pins, trade them with cast members during your vacation, and end up with a bunch of junky, fake pins when you get home.

Not only is it “entirely possible,” but it’s almost guaranteed.

This creates somewhat of a dilemma for families like us: people who really enjoy the fun of pin trading in the parks, but don’t really care about how valuable or authentic our pins are, as long as we like them.

  • One one hand, I don’t want to give people fake pins or contribute to the problem of fake pins circulating the parks.
  • On the other hand, if we trade pins with a cast member — which we really enjoy doing — we almost certainly are going to get fake pins in return … so why should I pay good money real pins so that at the end of my vacation I can end up with a bunch of scrappers?

 

As someone wrote in the comments of a blog post about pins:

The fake pins are so pervasive, I find it best to make one of two choices.
1. Don’t worry about fakes; or
2. Don’t trade pins

 

Disney blogger Tom Bricker explains how Disney themselves apparently feels about all this:

Scrappers are controversial with hardcore Disney Pin Trading fans, but Disney itself is selling these to third parties and/or using factories in China that are known for producing overruns. Moreover, Disney allows Cast Members to trade scrappers. Given both of these facts, Walt Disney World’s official stance on these pins is quite clear.

If Disney wanted to put an end to scrappers, they could easily do so by producing the pins elsewhere or instituting different pin trading policies. Disney has made a business decision to do neither, likely because moving production would cost more money and policy changes in pin trading would be bad for business goodwill.

In any case, the practical reality is that the vast majority of pins on Cast Member lanyards (I’d estimate it’s over 90%) are scrappers. If you or your kids are trading pins with Cast Members, you’re going to get scrappers in return. That’s just a fact of pin trading.

As such, we highly recommend going the eBay or Amazon route …

 

And I tend to agree with him.

To me, it makes no sense to spend $200+ on real pins and trade them with Disney cast members, only to end up with a pile of cheap, fake pins when you’re by the end of your vacation.

Also, the way I see it is this: If I’m trading a fake for another fake, then that’s an even trade.

So unless something makes me change my mind — and by all means, if you have something to share that might change my mind, feel free to share it with me in the comments — we will continue to buy cheap pin starter packs (which are almost certainly scrappers) and trade them with cast members (for different pins that are scrappers).

However, this is an understandably controversial topic, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I “recommend” buying scrappers, or anything else. I’m just explaining the situation and telling you what we choose to do.

I also want to stress that I would never knowingly trade a scrapper pin for someone else’s real pin, either by flat-out lying or just not mentioning it.

The only trading we do is with Disney cast members, and since almost all of their pins are fakes … well, I consider that an equal trade.

 

How Can You Tell if Disney Pins are Fake?

I’m sure that right about now several are you are running to your Disney pin collections, eager to find out whether or not they are fake pins.

There also may be some of you who are determined to continue pin trading in the parks, but to just do it very very diligently and look for the very few pins out there that are authentic.

Here are some of the important things to look for in determining whether a pin is real or fake:

  1. Color — One of the most common colors in a fake pin is a “dirty yellow” or coloring that seems “too bright.” If the skin tone of a princess looks a little funny, that’s the sign us a fake. Also, an official pin should not have any paint peeling or coming off in any way.
  2. Sharp lines — Even small lettering should be clear enough that you’re able to make out all the words.
  3. Edges on a fake pin tend to be more rough.
  4. The Magnet Test — If you want to trade in the parks but want to avoid fakes, probably best thing to do is to pack a quality magnet in your park bag and test any pins that you’re considering.
    Generally speaking, fake pins cling to magnets, while real Disney pins don’t.
  5. Weight — Fake pins are often made with inferior metals, which tend to be lighter. If you’re holding a Disney pin that you know is authentic, you may be able to gauge the authenticity of another pin by comparing the two.
  6. Raised Front — The front of the pin should be raised and have a little texture to it, as opposed to being completely smooth.

 

Since this kind of thing is hard to really “get” without visuals and comparisons, I’ve included some videos below from people who know a lot more about this than I do:

 

Is my Disney Pin Fake? A Step-by-Step Guide

 

Most Common Fake Disney Pins

 

10 Easy Ways to Spot Fake Disney Pins! {Scrappers}

 

Where to Buy Disney Pins

So where can you buy Disney pins, either for the purpose of trading and/or starting your own collection?

If you are okay with buying scrapper pins, there are places on both eBay and Amazon where you can get a pack of pins pretty cheap — roughly $1 per pin. (And again, just to make sure there is no confusion, the reason they are so cheap is because they are fake/scrapper pins.)

Disney Trading Pins-Lot of 25-No DuplicatesDisney Trading Pins-Lot of 25-No DuplicatesDisney Trading Pins-Lot of 25-No DuplicatesDisney Trading Pins-Lot of 25-No DuplicatesDisney Trading Pins-Lot of 25-No DuplicatesDisney Trading Pins-Lot of 25-No Duplicates

 

 

If you are only interested in authentic Disney pins, obviously your best bet is buying your pins directly from Disney, either at the gift shops in the parks, on online.

Facebook is actually a good place to buy pins online. Pinderella is very popular for selling authentic pins at good prices.

 

Video — Guide to Buying Disney Pins Online

 

How to Carry Disney Trading Pins

Your first consideration is to keep your pins safe. The backs that come with the pins can easily come off when they’re being jostled around. (Remember, the whole reason Rebecca got into pin trading is because somebody else lost their pin.)

We replaced our pin backs with these more secure backs:

25 PCS of Nickel (Silver) Plated Butterfly Clutch Pin Backs25 PCS of Nickel (Silver) Plated Butterfly Clutch Pin Backs25 PCS of Nickel (Silver) Plated Butterfly Clutch Pin Backs

 

 

Most people (including Rebecca) like to wear their trading pins on a lanyard, like the Disney cast members do.

Of course these lanyards don’t have to have Disney characters (in fact, you can make an argument that decorating a plain lanyard with pins is a better idea). But if you — or more likely, your kids — want a Disney lanyard, here are a few cute ones:

Disney Princess Lanyard with Card HolderDisney Princess Lanyard with Card HolderDisney Princess Lanyard with Card HolderSet of 2 Mickey and Minnie Mouse Lanyards with Detachable Coin PurseSet of 2 Mickey and Minnie Mouse Lanyards with Detachable Coin PurseSet of 2 Mickey and Minnie Mouse Lanyards with Detachable Coin PurseMinnie Mouse Pink LanyardMinnie Mouse Pink LanyardMinnie Mouse Pink Lanyard

 

 

If you go this route, keep in mind that a lanyard full of pins can get awfully heavy and turn into a real pain when you’re walking for miles in the heat.

So if you have a lot of pins — say, more than 6 or 7 — consider:

  • Keeping your favorites safely back in the hotel room
  • Having 2 lanyards; one for “keepers” and one for “traders”
  • Wearing your favorites on lanyards, and keeping the traders in a coin purse

 

Disney Pin Trading Bags

They are some bags that were created just for the purpose of holding Disney pins:

Small Pin Trading Display Shoulder Strap BagSmall Pin Trading Display Shoulder Strap BagSmall Pin Trading Display Shoulder Strap BagOffical Mickey Mouse Pin Trading Bag with Shoulder StrapOffical Mickey Mouse Pin Trading Bag with Shoulder StrapOffical Mickey Mouse Pin Trading Bag with Shoulder Strap

 

 

Another option is to wear your pins on a visor, hat, or vest.

Wearing Disney trading pins on a vest
Someone proudly wearing their Disney pins on a vest
Photo courtesy of Laurie at Pics from the World of Disney

 

How to Display Disney Trading Pins (in real life)

Sadly, eventually you have to leave the Disney parks and return to your real life in the normal world, where you [probably] won’t walk around with a lanyard covered in Disney pins.

So what do you do with your pins that’s better than just tossing them into a drawer into your next trip?

Well, if you already have your pins on a lanyard, you can simply hang your lanyard up on some sort of hook.

Another easy thing to do is buy a cork board and hang it on the wall. You could use it just for Disney pins, or for more “normal” things as well, like grocery lists and Christmas card photos of your cousin’s family.

Some people create “Disney boards” that have not only pins, but countdown calendars, park tickets, photos, park maps, and other paper souvenirs.

 

If you’re crafty, you might want to make your own display board:

DIY Pin Trading Display

 

If you’re a hard-core collector — or just one of those organized people — you might like to keep it in an album made for storing pins. Each page can hold a different type of pin, or a different group of characters, or pins that you collected during a specific trip.

Disney Parks Exclusive Pin Trading AlbumDisney Parks Exclusive Pin Trading AlbumDisney Parks Exclusive Pin Trading Album

 

 

How to Make a Disney Pin Trading Book

 

And hey, even in the real world it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a few Disney pins out and about. Rebecca keeps a few on her school backpack, and I plan to wear one or two on the collar of my denim jacket this fall.

 

How to Style and Wear Disney Pins

 

Disney Pin Trading Terms

Like most hobbies, pin trading has its own set of terminology and abbreviations that seasoned vets toss around with ease, but which could baffle newbies.

Here is a partial list of abbreviations from Disney Pin Blog:

    DPB (Disney Pins Blog)
    OE (Open Edition pin)
    LR (Limited Release pin)
    LE (Limited Edition pin)
    WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering pins)
    HM (Hidden Mickey pin)
    ISO (In Search Of)
    HTF (Hard To Find)
    NFT (Not For Trade)
    NFS (Not For Sale)
    PTD/PTS (Pin Traders Delight, Pin Traders Sundae)
    SPR (Surprise Pin Release)
    Grail (A pin collector’s favorite pin)
    CME (Cast Member Exclusive pin)
    CL (Cast Lanyard pin)
    Pinjury (Unintentionally stabbed from a pin post, sometimes drawing blood)

 

And here’s an explanation of some different pin types from Complete Set:

  • Cloisonné — Surface of the pin contains individually set color sections
  • Dangle Pins — A portion of the pin hangs from small loops or a chain
  • Die Cast — Hand engraving dies used to create a three-dimensional image
  • Free-D — Contains a fastened rubber element on a pin adding extra dimension
  • Flocked — The pin has an area that’s a bit fuzzy
  • Hard Enamel — Next generation follow-up to Cloisonné allowing for more colors
  • Jumbo Pins — Larger, often more intricately designed and more expensive pins
  • Lenticular — A pin where the image changes when tilted back and forth
  • Light-Up — You guessed it! The pin has a section which lights when activated
  • Slider Pin — These pins have a movable piece which can slide across the pin
  • Spinner Pin — One part of the pin can move a full 360 degrees
  • Soft Enamel — Thinner pin than cloisonné pins but offering some of the same effect
  •  

    Video — Disney Pin Trading Lingo

     

    What is a Hidden Mickey Pin?

    Just as the name suggests, Hidden Mickeys are pins with small Mickey heads hidden on them. (They’re not so much “hidden” as they are tiny.)

    So what’s the history behind Hidden Mickey pins?

    According to Wiki, a group of pins called the “WDW Cast Lanyard Collection” was introduced in 1999, meant to encourage guests to trade pins with cast members.

    When guests complained that it was too hard to tell the difference between Lanyard Collection pins and “regular” pins, designers began placing Hidden Mickeys on the pins. In 2007, the series name was officially changed to the “Hidden Mickey Collection.”

     

    Disney Trading Pin Starter Sets

    When people are brand new to pin trading, they often like to start out with a “pin starter set,” containing just a few pins and a lanyard, to get going.

    Here are a few nice-looking starter sets that I saw on Amazon.

    While I do not know for sure whether they are real Disney pins, I am guessing that they are, between both the price and the fact that they either say “Disney Parks authentic” or have the Disney logo on the product page.

    Disney Parks Frozen Pin Trading Starter SetDisney Parks Frozen Pin Trading Starter SetDisney Parks Frozen Pin Trading Starter SetRogue One: A Star Wars Story Pin Trading Starter SetRogue One: A Star Wars Story Pin Trading Starter SetRogue One: A Star Wars Story Pin Trading Starter SetPin Trading Starter Set - VillainsPin Trading Starter Set – VillainsPin Trading Starter Set - VillainsDisney Pins - Friends Are Forever - Starter Lanyard SetDisney Pins – Friends Are Forever – Starter Lanyard SetDisney Pins - Friends Are Forever - Starter Lanyard Set

     

     

    Disney Pin Trading Book

    I tried my best to include a lot of information in this post, and I certainly hope that it was helpful.

    However, as lengthy as this post is, it certainly isn’t an exhaustive look at Disney Pin Trading. Nor do I pretend to be either an expert or a collector.

    So if you want to learn more, check out The Mouse Pin Trading Guide.

    Mouse Pin Trading Guide:  The Beginner's Guide to the Fun and Obsessive world of Disney Pin Trading!Mouse Pin Trading Guide: The Beginner’s Guide to the Fun and Obsessive world of Disney Pin Trading!Mouse Pin Trading Guide:  The Beginner's Guide to the Fun and Obsessive world of Disney Pin Trading!

     

    I haven’t read the book myself, but it has very good reviews on Amazon.
    Reviewer LuckyLanena says:

    This was the best $13 I ever spent. This book guides you not only through the History of Pin but many helpful tips. The best part is the book includes full lists of all the “Hidden Mickey” and if you register your book on the author’s website you get print out copies of the pin list in FULL Color plus sign up for the informative newsletter. I now Trade with pride and knowledge. Thank you!

     

    Now it’s your turn.

    Does your family enjoy pin trading at Disney World? How do carry your pins at the park? How do you display your pins at home? Do you insist on owning and trading only genuine pins? Let us know below in the comments!

     

    What are Disney scrapper pins?  How can you tell if a Disney pin is fake? Where can you buy Disney pins? Find out everything you need to know about Disney pin trading.

    Pin trading at the Disney Parks -- tips, secrets, and how to tell real pins from fake pins
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