This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.
Update07/30/13 Finally updated these pages after the policy changes earlier this year. I thank everyone for the constant updates in the comments. Honestly, I was tired of changing it daily, so I wanted to let the dust settle for a few months and see where trading lands. As it stands, each WDW park has 1 trading location (except Epcot who has 2), there are 2 locations at Downtown Disney and no resorts have trading. Let me know if DLR locations are up to date. Thanks!
Update03/15/13 Last month, Disney officially reduced the number of trading locations at the parks and resorts across both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. We have adjusted the Trading Locations pages accordingly. If you ever find any differences than what we have listed, please let us know. Also, some of the rules have been adjusted. You will find a good guideline below, but be aware that your individual trading experience may be different.
Trading Vinylmation is fun and a great way to complete your collection. Disney occasionally holds Trading Events, and we will post those dates on this site. But you do not have to wait for an event to trade. Disney has set up trading locations in various stores around the Parks, Resorts, Downtown Disneys, Cruise Ships and DVC locations across the county. Click on a location below for stores and what types of trading you will find there. On this page, you will also find the trading rules Disney has set up for trading with Cast Members and the different types of trading you will find.
There are two main ways to trade with Cast Members. Most trading locations have both a Mystery Trading Box and an Open Trading Box. Mystery Trading is up to luck. You pick a number, and the Cast Member shows you what’s behind the door. Disney started with a Mystery 12 at D23, and also toyed with the idea of single figure boxes.
Because of the popularity of trading, they quickly realized they need bigger boxes, so they went to the 24.
The 24 space boxes proved to be tough to handle. Many a cast member has dropped, fumbled, tipped or kicked or cracked one. So as they break, they are being replaced by the new 15 Space trading boxes. Easier to handle and lighter than the original.
In our Trading Locations section, we note if it’s a Mystery 24 or Mystery 15.
Open Trading Boxes are… just what they sound like. You can see exactly what you are trading for with these. Boring… but effective. However these are not without thier varients. The normal Open Box fits 3 Vinylmation.
We are also begining to see open multi-leveled trays filled with 8 to 12 Vinylmation. We have also seen an Open Oval with 5 to 7 Vinylmation at the All-Star Resort. And even Open Single Boxes in Pin Traders at Downtown Disney.
Finally, Disney also allows for trading Jr. Vinylmation with Cast Members. There are about 5 or 6 figures per case. You must have a Jr. with a key chain attachment to trade, and they will ask you to take off the big key ring.
The Rules of Vinylmation Trading
Disney has set up some rules for trading Vinylmation and we would like to share them with you here. Many of these are straight from Disney’s Official Vinylmation website, but we also include some tips and insights from our trading experiences. Also note that these of course are the rules for trading with a Disney Cast Member… if you’d like to trade with other collectors, you may make your deal that is acceptable to both parties.
1. As with Pins, your Vinylmation must be an Offical Disney Vinylmation figure. All official figures bear a “Disney” mark on the bottom foot stamp.
2. Vinylmation should be in good, original, undamaged, tradable condition.
3. Create-Your-Own Vinylmation Figures are NOT accepted for trade.
4. You can only trade for a figure that is in the same proportion to the one being offered for trade. (e.g. 3″ for 3″)
5. This one is rarely enforced, but worth knowing about. When trading into a Mystery Trading Box, some Cast Members require you give up your figure and make the trade. I’ve heard this is a rule, but it’s not on Disney’s site. Most Cast Members do not require you give up your figure if you do not like the figure behind the number you choose.
6. Additional items (packaging, cards, buttons, accessories etc.) are not required to be offered in a trade. Packaging is never accepted or given. Some cast members keep the cards around, but most will not even accept your card if you offer it. As far as accesories… make sure you ask. Some cast members outside of D-Street have a limited knowlage of Vinylmation. I had to ask for the Fairy Godmother’s wand in a trade (it was in the case, not in her hand) But I have also seen a Fairy Godmother with no wand available.
7. Guests may trade a maximum of one Vinylmation Figure per activity, per location, per day. Per activity means, for example, you can trade at the same location into both the Mystery Box and the Open Box. You just can’t trade twice into the Open Box.
8. When trading into an Open Box, you must offer a figure not already in the box.
9. Mystery Trading Boxes may not be available at all times in all locations… but it never hurts to ask! Some locations only bring out the Mystery Trading Box every few hours through the day, but many cast members will bring it out if you ask during non-busy times. One exception is the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney in Orlando. They set up a special table when it’s Mystery Trading Box time.
10. Jr. Vinylmation trading only has Open Trading Boxes. The one rule for Jr. trading is your Jr. figure must have the key chain on the head. Many of the first run Jr. figures do not have this and can not be traded.
11. Monies, gifts or receipts may not be exhanged or used in trade for a Vinylmation.
12. And the catch all direct from Disney: “Guidelines are subject to change without notice. Guests suspected of abusing the guidelines or the Vinylmation™ Trading process may be subject to, among other things, removal from the Resort premises.”