Disney fans celebrate the reopening of Disneyland with custom Mickey ears and masks

Guests stroll between plexiglass as they enter Contact of Disney at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

MediaNews Neighborhood/Orange County Register | Getty Photos

There are few things so iconic that a easy silhouette can be in the present day recognizable to any individual in the enviornment.

That is the energy of Disney and its stalwart symbol Mickey Mouse, which has transcended from cartoon mouse to corporate logo. When Disneyland and California Adventure reopened Friday for the first time in bigger than a yr, a snappy scan of the gang showed how ubiquitous that 93-yr-used mouse in actual fact is.

Within the six decades since Disney opened its first theme park, the firm has fostered a definite custom within its amusement locations. From how its solid individuals are suggested to fling about their jobs to the atmosphere of the assorted lands that fabricate up the park, the whole lot that Disney does is deliberate and in carrier of constructing an unrepeatable skills.

Seemingly the most prevalent example of this is available in the invent of wearable Mickey and Minnie ears.

Mickey ear hats had been a staple keepsake at Disney parks for decades. The fundamental dusky Mickey Mouse ears had been created by Roy Williams for the Mouseketeers on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s. Getting a pair, with personalized embroidering, has been a ceremony of passage for many parkgoers since Disneyland first opened in 1955.

Within the mid-’80s, Disney started to give a scarf version of these hats. On the replace hand, it wasn’t unless the park’s 50th anniversary that product builders redesigned the iconic ears. In birthday party of the milestone, Disney offered a line of golden ears.

The golden hat turned this sort of phenomenon that it impressed the firm to manufacture assorted variations for special instances and holidays. Over the years, these fundamental keepsakes be pleased evolved into coveted approved and Instagrammable instruments.

A lady wears a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and an identical disguise.


Ears are a high seller on the parks, and Disney has worked laborious to put up with quiz. The firm has designed dozens of varied pairs from easy sequined ears to pairs that honor fan-approved characters and sights. Many of the ears in Disney’s sequence rate around $30 per pair. On the replace hand, attributable to the reputation of the headbands, Disney has partnered with a diffusion of designers to manufacture restricted edition specialty ears that can rate closer to $100.

These ears be pleased turn out to be so standard that crafters be pleased turned to Etsy to abolish and promote their very possess designs. In preparation for the reopening of Disneyland, many guests are shopping for specialty ears and masks to wear across the park.

To be sure, Disney is now not the one theme park to lean carefully into merchandise. Universal Studios sells Hogwarts robes and Minions T-shirts at its parks, and Six Flags has licensing agreements with Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes imprint. Quiet, there would possibly perchance be one thing distinctive about Disney’s Mickey ears that plight them other than assorted souvenirs.

Carrying your fandom

These ears be pleased turn out to be bigger than right a unique memento. They are predominant collectibles for Disney parks followers.

Krissy Reynolds, a 35-yr-used restaurant manager from Virginia, has a series of larger than 40 Mickey ears. The sequence started with a pair of crimson and dusky sequined Minnie Mouse ears she purchased all the diagram in which thru a faculty time out.

She stated her family most continuously spends 5 days at Walt Disney World. She brings two or three ears from her sequence to wear all the diagram in which thru the time out and purchases a pair of recent pairs once she’s on the parks.

“We develop outfits to match what park we will day to day after which match every assorted,” stated Reynolds. “Worship for Hollywood Studios, we develop ‘Toy Myth’ outfits with shirts and ears and hats or instruments.”

At Magic Kingdom, Reynolds, her husband, Wesley, 43, and son Cayson, 8, focal level their outfits on fundamental Disney characters equivalent to Mickey and Minnie. At Animal Kingdom, the theme is mostly “Lion King.”

Krissy Reynolds, 35, and son Cayson, 8, rejoice at Mickey’s No longer-So-Horrifying Halloween Party in Orlando, Florida.

Krissy Reynolds

Since Disney doesn’t allow adults to wear costumes in the park, older guests who are restful kids at heart be pleased resorted to assorted diagram to rejoice their approved Disney characters, motion footage and moments. Gape closer and which that you just would possibly well idea any individual wearing an outfit that is reminiscent of Peter Pan, Rapunzel or Snow White, a pattern identified as “Disney bounding.”

“I’m a sucker for one thing ‘Napping Elegance,'” Reynolds stated. “I also like sequins and unprecedented things like when [Disney does] special meals or holiday [ears].”

Crafters assembly quiz

For heaps of like Reynolds, who use a pair of days on the parks both in Florida or California, one plight of ears is now not enough. And while Disney has a sizable selection of Mickey ear designs, the quiz for unprecedented headbands has grown so mighty that self enough sellers be pleased entered the image.

Etsy, in negate, has turn out to be a hub for small exchange householders to promote customizable ears and ones per niche characters. Within the weeks main as a lot as Disneyland’s reopening, these sellers be pleased seen a important uptick in sales.

“Sales had been reach-and-fling for many of the pandemic,” stated Rachel Vega, owner of the Etsy store Enchanted Myth Ears. “It in actuality picked up in January, I mediate as we started seeing things absorbing ahead every with [Disney World being] originate and the hopes of Disneyland opening up at some level.”

Vega, a excessive faculty orchestra teacher, has been selling handmade Mickey ears on the e-commerce plight for roughly a yr. Her most productive-selling product is a plight of graduation ears, which characteristic a small dusky academic cap and can be personalized with the graduate’s faculty colours. Her ears retail for between $35 and $40.

“I fell in take care of with making personalized ears when making them for a sisters’ time out and decided to commence up the shop to promote the ears I fabricate,” she stated. “I take care of having ears which can be unprecedented and cosy when I’m going to the parks and know there are numerous who in actuality feel the same. It be positively a style of non-public expression on the parks.”

Searching out for Mickey ears on Etsy brings hundreds of outcomes, from dainty, fairy-like headbands per standard characters to cloth-patterned ears with enormous bows and glitter.

The sellers be pleased to which that you just would possibly well perchance be pleased to positively exhaust negate guidelines in define now to now not infringe on Disney’s mental property. Which diagram following methods like now not the exhaust of negate Disney characters or cloth depicting Disney’s copyrighted photography in the designs or of their stores. 

Arisa, a student turned entrepreneur, has been selling her version of Mickey ears since March 2019. In two years, she’s made bigger than 900 sales from her store Ears by Arisa.

Currently, her most productive-selling ears are per Loki, Wanda Maximoff, Little one Groot and Rapunzel. Her ears promote for between $24 and $31 reckoning on the style.

“Since California has lifted bans on theme parks, more folks be pleased left me notes asserting how inflamed they are to wear my ears for his or her upcoming journeys,” she stated. “I even purchased a pair of personalized orders to be pleased their ears match masks they’ve.”

All around the Covid pandemic, Disney-themed masks be pleased also been a important earnings driver for small companies. These visiting Disney’s parks all the diagram in which thru the pandemic be pleased embraced the disguise requirements and same old it as a possibility to wear their approved fandoms proudly in public.

When Debra Dix is now not working as a case manager in the workforce department of Goodwill, she’s stitching and selling masks. She started her store in December 2020 and already has almost 500 sales.

The huge majority of the fabrics she uses for these masks are Disney-themed. Her two most productive-sellers staunch now are a Disney parks snacks pattern and an animal print Mickey construct.

“I’ve positively offered more masks in the final 2 months,” Dix stated. “Normally, prospects will put one disguise, however now not too lengthy prior to now my reasonable has been three to 5 masks per define.”

These masks and ears are fragment of the Disney skills and could well perchance encourage parkgoers abolish lasting recollections.

Meagan Remmes, 30, of Asheville, North Carolina, purchased a plight of bridal Mickey ears to wear all the diagram in which thru her honeymoon time out to Disney World this yr.

“We knew we wished one thing special to commemorate that it changed into our honeymoon, and while the buttons are free, they’re now not exactly an announcement maker,” she stated of her decision to put up a pair of veiled white ears.

“It changed into both going to be Mickey ears or personalized T-shirts, however the whole lot we checked out did now not rather in actuality feel like us,” she stated. “Mickey ears had been a easy solution that made us in actuality feel special in the most Disney diagram conceivable.”

Disclosure: Comcast’s NBCUniversal is the dad or mum firm of Universal Studios and CNBC.