PHOTOS, REVIEW: Disney Pin Quest Begins at the Magic Kingdom; Is It Worth Your Time & Money?

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Anyone who has read WDWNT for a lengthy period is probably aware that I am an avid pin collector. I started with the hobby right at the very beginning in 1999 and have remained a feverish collector of the small metal objects for over 15 years now. When Disney yesterday announced (to much greater fanfare than expected) that they were introducing a Pin Quest at the Magic Kingdom starting that day, I immediately planned my trip to the park that evening to try it out. My excitement came from a place of nostalgia, as pin quests were very common in the infancy of pin trading, roughly from 2001 until 2004. The quests were always popular, but fairly rudimentary, mostly revolving around the purchase of pins and offering little in the form of a game or immersion, but still, it was a nice change of pace to have to run all over Walt Disney World to complete a collection and typically fill in a designed cardboard piece with all of the pins in the collection for the ultimate reward, typically, of a special completer pin.

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Guests will find these instructional signs at any merchandise location that is participating in the game. Only certain registers in the stores are equipped to handle the game and that may require a short wait for those looking to play, really my only problem with the quest.

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The starter set, which includes the lanyard, lanyard decoder medal, and map, can be purchased for $14.99 plus tax (AP and Cast discounts are accepted). Clue cards will cost you $9.99 each and eventually turn into a pin upon redemption. Everything in the collection is limited release, so it will only be available while supplies last, which could be any amount of time. All of the items are exclusive to the pin pursuit and are only available through this promotion.

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The starter set is pretty neat, the decoder metal is a nice enough piece on its own.

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Above is everything included in the starter set, available at the starting locations, Curtain Call Collectibles and Frontierland Trading Post.

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The clues give guests a question that can be answered by looking around the interior or exterior of the store where the card was purchased. Guests can then scratch off the answers to find the correct one. Even if you are wrong the first time, you can keep scratching until you unveil a Mickey icon. You then take your clue back to where you bought it and the cast member (or NavigatEAR as they are called in the game) will rip off the ticket and stamp your map. Stamping the map is important as collecting all 6 stamps entitles you to the final stamp and the completer pin.

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When you redeem the clue for a pin, the pin is then used to direct you to your next location. The map will help you find these locations.

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The back of the map is used for the stamps and for general instructions.

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The pins work with the decoder to point you in the direction of your next location where you can buy a clue.

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Simply lne up the arrow portion which the decoder and it will reveal a letter and number which can be used with the map to find the next clue location. This is important as the map does in fact have decoy locations on it that will not have a clue to sell you. The game was explained poorly to us by the first cast member, so we ended up at a decoy location the first time. At that decoy location, they had absolutely no idea what was going on. In fairness, it was the first day and I’m sure most cast members at Magic Kingdom stores are aware of the game by now.

Once you reach the next location, you can buy another clue and then redeem the ticket for another pin. This process continues until all 6 stamps and pins have been acquired. There is no time limit to complete any of these, it is simply while the supplies last. We conquered the quest in about an hour and 45 minutes, but I would recommend pacing it out through your day if you are spending a full day in the park.

I won’t show you any more clues as not to spoil the game, but here are the other pins that can be “won”:

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Upon getting your sixth stamp, you can head to Curtain Call Collectibles or Frontierland Trading Post to redeem your quest for a completer pin, which will cost $4.99 plus tax. You simply have to unscramble 6 letters from the back of the 6 pins (which is way too easy).

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If you enjoy pins or want a little challenge that will make you search for some of the more obscure details around Magic Kingdom, this is a fun option. The pins and accompanying materials are well made and make for a cool souvenir, maybe cooler than most others because you have to work a little bit for them. The price point is high, it would cost about $80.00 (without discount, plus tax) to complete the entire quest, but you are getting seven pins, a lanyard, a lanyard medal, and all of the paper pieces that you keep when it is all over. The Disney Pin Quest is a nostalgic romp for long time pin traders, but may also be a lot of fun for the young (and young at heart), so be sure to check it out next time you visit the Magic Kingdom.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

8 Comments

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  • That is a really cool thing, my kids started collecting PINs and i get them all the time for them on Holidays and when we go to Disney.

  • I really hope they keep this going into the fall. I am going in Oct and would love to do this!

    • My son is a Cast Member and he was told that it would be going on until at least the end of the summer season. Hope you are able to do the quest when you get here! Good luck!

  • This looks really cool! Quick question – do you know if there is a limit on how many sets an individual can purchase? For example, I am bringing my youngest son to MK for a mom-son day, but the other kiddos will want a set of their own (we are family of avid pin collectors!). I see where it states that only 1 clue card can be redeemed per location per map purchased, which isn’t an issue – everyone will want their own lanyard/decoder medallion! Can the 2 of us in the park buy 3 starter sets and get 3 complete pin sets? Thanks!

  • Hopefully this can help in keeping the “pin dorks” occupied and not bothering the regular cast members with their ridiculous time-consuming requests to “trade”.

  • A similar quest just started in The One True Original Disneyland, but the California version doesn’t have the “decoy” locations on the map, so you don’t have to fiddle with lining the pin up just right with the decoder. I’m guessing they got some complaints about that in Florida. They also had all the cards available in the 20th Century Music shop (the first stop) and did not have a bit of a problem with selling me the full set in one go.

    $80 may keeps some people from doing this, but if you like the set and want to play, it really isn’t out of line with the cost of similar items. Lanyards alone at the park start at around $10 and medallions are about the same, so the starter set is kind of a bargain by Disney standards. The pins in the set are the same price as SILVER (the second cheapest color category) pins, and as far as the completer goes … just TRY finding a pin for $5 inside the gates.

    I do wonder if they ran the same number of each piece or if they are expecting some people to buy the starter set and maybe one or two more pins but then drop out along the way.

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