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Hidden Mickey Pins

Have you heard about the hidden Mickey pins? I am excited to tell you everything you need to know!

If you are new to the world of trading Disney Pins, you may not know about the special Hidden Mickey pins. Hidden Mickey pins look like a normal pin: they are made by Disney, they are metal, they have iconic Disney characters, movies, things or places on the front of the pins. These pins are fun to collect and trade.

What sets Hidden Mickey pins apart from a regular pin is somewhere on the front there is a little Mickey silhouette head, hence the name “Hidden Mickey Pin”.  Here are some things that are important to know concerning hidden Mickey pins which will help you as you get started on your pin collections.

Hidden Mickey Pins

Authentic Hidden Mickey Pins

What Makes Hidden Mickey Pins So Great? Personally, I love the fact that these limited edition pins are produced by the Walt Disney Company which makes them completely authentic. I appreciate how easy it is to know you are getting an actual Disney hidden Mickey pin and not a knock off.

Each hidden Mickey pin comes with an identifying number stamped on the back, so you can not only know how many are in the set (example 2 of 5) but also know when they came out (example 2015).  This makes it fun to collect the hidden Mickey pins in many different ways. You can collect them by sets, by years, by character etc.

backside of hidden mickey pins

Hidden Mickey Pin Terminology

Pin Waves

Simply put, this is what Disney calls a release of a pin set.  The first wave (pin set release) of a year will be called Wave A, the second release of the year is called Wave B etc…  Each set will include a Chaser pin which is explained next.

Chaser Pin

Chaser pins are Hidden Mickey pins that have no paint on the front icon or have a variation of the normal color of the pin.  Typically, these unique pins are more sought after by pin traders.

How Do you get Hidden Mickey Pins? 

The way you collect Hidden Mickey pins is primarily by trading with Cast Members at one of the Disney Parks.  Disney Cast Members will always trade with you if you offer any hidden Mickey pin in good condition in exchange.  You may trade up to two pins per Cast Member.  

Disney pin trading board

You may be asking, that’s great but how do you get pins to start trading with the Cast Members?  There are a couple of ways you can do this. I suggest you look to purchase single pins or sets of pins online at Ebay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or other online selling places. Buying your pins before you go on your next trip to Disney is a good way to start your hidden Mickey pin collection.  

There are pin trading events across the country which are not normally sponsored by Disney but can be a fun event to trade or buy pins.  You can find out where these events are held here.

Of course, you can always purchase pins at Disney World or from the Disney Store.

Hidden Mickey Pins Name Changes 

Hidden Mickey Pins actually have two other names which can confuse collectors and needs a bit of an explanation.  

Cast Lanyard Pin

When pin trading first got going, each pin was called a Cast Lanyard Pin.  The reason for this is because people traded pins from Cast Members who wore them on their lanyard.  A green lanyard meant the Cast Member would trade only with kids and a black lanyard meant the Cast Member would trade with anyone.  

pin trading board

When Covid hit, the Cast Members used pin boards for their trading. Now that the pandemic is over, both pin boards and lanyards are in play at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Park.

Hidden Disney Pin

More recently the pins are being called Hidden Disney Pins instead of Hidden Mickey Pins because Disney is using different images other than the small Mickey Mouse icon on the front.  

hidden mickey pin

For example, Star Wars is using the Jedi symbol on their new pins.  For any of the Marvel Icons, you will see an A for the Avengers on the pin. And for the Toy Story pins, you will see a star.  You can still find the hidden Mickeys on many of the other pins which is why the term “Hidden Mickey” is still the most common term when talking about Disney pin trading.

Of course, we know Disney has hidden Mickeys all over the Disney theme parks and hotels, so the term “hidden Mickey pins” will be here for quite some time!

If you have never traded pins before I highly suggest you try it on your next trip. I didn’t trade pins for many years and only recently joined the fun. I am looking forward to having each of my grandkids collect a set of pins on our next trip. It is such an easy, fun way to add to the Disney magic!

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