Visitors walk between crystal balls as they enter the Touch of Disney at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, CA on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
MediaNews Group / Orange County Register | Getty Images
There is something that symbolizes that every person in the world instantly recognizes a simple silhouette.
That̵7;s the power of Disney and Mickey Mouse, a strong symbol that goes from a cartoon mouse to a corporate symbol when Disneyland and California Adventure reopen on Friday for the first time in more than a year. It quickly showed how widespread the 93-year-old mouse was.
In the six decades since Disney opened its first theme park, the company has fostered a different culture within fun venues, from the way cast members are ordered to do their jobs to the atmosphere of the lands that make up the park. Public, everything Disney does is deliberate and to create an unresponsive experience.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous example of this is in the form of wearable Mickey and Minnie ears.
For decades, Mickey’s ear hats have been a Disney theme park souvenir, created by Roy Williams for Mouseketeers on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the ’50s. It received a pair of classic black Mickey Mouse ears. One with custom embroidery has been a ritual for theme park enthusiasts since Disneyland first opened in 2009. Fri 1955
In the mid-80s, Disney began to introduce these hats. It wasn’t until the park’s 50th anniversary, however, that the product developers redesigned their iconic ears. In celebration of the milestone, Disney presented a golden ear.
The golden hat became a phenomenon that inspired the company to produce other versions for special occasions and holidays. Over the years, these classic memorabilia have evolved into coveted fashion and Instagram accessories.
A woman wearing matching Mickey Mouse ears and masks
Disney, a top seller in the park, has made every effort to keep up with demand.The company has designed dozens of different pairs, from plain sequined ears to pairs that honor characters and attractions. Most of the ears in the Disney collection cost about $ 30 a pair.However, due to the popularity of these headbands, Disney has partnered with a number of designers to produce a limited-edition version of the exclusive ears. Dates that cost up to $ 100.
These ears were so popular that craftsmen turned to Etsy to create and sell their own designs. In preparation for the re-opening of Disneyland, many guests shop for special ears and masks to wear around the park.
Of course, Disney is not the only theme park that is heavily reliant on merchandise. Universal Studios sells Hogwarts robes and minion t-shirts at the park, and Six Flags has entered into a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. The Looney Tunes brand also has something unique. Featured on Disney’s Mickey ears that set them apart from other souvenirs.
Wear your boyfriend
These ears are more than just mementos. But it’s a great collectible for any Disney theme park fan.
Krissy Reynolds, a 35-year-old restaurant manager from Virginia, has more than 40 Mickey ears.The collection started with the red and black, sequined Minnie Mouse ears she got on her way to college.
“We made outfits that match the parks we were going to each day and then pair them up,” said Reynolds. “Just like Hollywood Studios, we make ‘Toy Story’ outfits with tops and ears and hats or accessories.”
At Magic Kingdom, her husband Reynolds, 43, Wesley, and son Kayson, 8, dressed up as classic Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom were often themed. “Lion King”
Her family basically spent five days at Walt Disney World and brought two or three ears from her collection to wear during the trip and bought a few new pairs when she was at the park.
Krissy Reynolds, 35, and son Cayson, 8, celebrate at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Orlando, Florida.
Since Disney doesn’t allow adults to wear costumes in the parks, older guests who are young are turning to other means to celebrate their favorite Disney characters, movies, and moments.
Take a closer look and you’ll see someone wearing a costume reminiscent of Peter Pan, Rapunzel, or Snow White, the trend known as “Disney bounding.”
“I am a person who loves to eat Sleeping Beauty,” she said. “I also like sequins and unique things like when? [Disney does] Special meals or holidays [ears]. ”
Craftsmen meet the needs
For many people, like Reynolds, who spend their days in the parks in either Florida or California, one set of ears isn’t enough, and while Disney has plenty of Mickey ears to choose from. But the demand for that unique hairband has increased so much that independent sellers have entered the picture.
In particular, Etsy has become a hub for small business owners to sell customizable, personalized ears and ears. In the weeks leading up to the reopening of Disneyland, these vendors saw a significant increase in sales.
“Sales were fast during the outbreak,” says Rachel Vega, owner of Etsy Enchanted Story Ears. “It really started in January. [Disney World being] It was open and Disneyland hopes opened at some point. “
Vega, a high school band teacher, has been selling handmade Mickey ears on e-commerce sites for about a year. Her best-selling product is the graduation headset, which features a small black academic cap and can be customized to match the color of the college graduate. Her ears retail for between $ 35 and $ 40.
“I fell in love with making homemade ears when making ears for my sister’s travels and decided to start a shop to sell the ears that I made,” she said. Park, and know that many people feel the same, it’s a personal way of expressing yourself at parks. ”
Searching for Mickey ears on Etsy brought thousands of results, from the dainty angel-like headband based on the popular character to the large bow and glittered fabric-patterned ears.
Arisa, a student turned ear tycoon for her model Mickey since March 2019, in two years she has sold more than 900 pieces from Ears by Arisa.
Her best-selling ears are currently based on Loki, Wanda Maximoff, Baby Groot, and Rapunzel.Her ears sell for between $ 24 and $ 31, depending on style.
“Since California removed the theme park ban, others have left me a note saying how excited they are to wear my ears for the upcoming trip,” she said. Three things to fit their ears into the mask “
During the outbreak, Disney-themed masks were also a major profit driver for small businesses. Visitors to Disney’s parks during the outbreak of the disease accepted the mask requirements and proudly used them as an opportunity to wear their favorite fancy dress in public.
When Debra Dix wasn’t working as a case manager in Goodwill’s staffing department, she made, sewed and sold masks. She opened stores in December 2020 and has sold almost 500 stores.
Most of the fabric she uses for these masks are Disney-themed. Two of her current best sellers are Disney Park candy patterns and animal print Mickey.
“I’ve definitely sold more masks over the past two months,” says Dix. “In most cases, customers buy one mask, but recently my average was 3-5 masks per order. buy”
These masks and ears are part of the Disney experience and can help theme park visitors make lasting memories.
Meagan Remmes, 30, from Asheville, North Carolina, bought a pair of Mickey ears to wear during her honeymoon trip to Disney World this year.
“We knew we needed something special to remember that was our honeymoon, and even though the buttons were free. But it’s not a construct of command, ”she said of the decision to go for the obscure white ear.
“It could be Mickey ears or a custom t-shirt. But everything we watch doesn’t feel like us at all, ”she says.“ Mickey’s ears are an easy way to make us feel as special as Disney as possible. ”
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.