This article does not cover the full gamut of Disney items available by any means, but here are some of the most popular:
Mickey Mouse Ears
In recent years, Mickey Mouse ears have taken off from that original design of the black felt hat with the Mickey Mouse Club symbol and the large, black ears. Now, you can get “ears” that represent just about every character Disney has. For many years they had ball cap styles with Goofy, Donald and Pluto shapes and headbands to represent that iconic bow for Minnie.
They’ve been able to use the headband style to give Disney guests a chance to wear colors and designs that represent their favorite princess or even their favorite villain and beyond.
If you wish, the black felt has also been replaced with colors and styles to represent a favorite ride, food item, character and so much more. The new designs really show off the creativity of the Disney merchandise personnel and their ability to make something recognizable sitting atop a headband. They’ve also created ears in the traditional style that not only light up but they can be synched to glow and change colors with the fireworks or other nighttime shows at the parks.
And, don’t forget, if you do prefer the traditional version, these can be personalized at shops around the parks.
Plus items have expanded to hit almost every Disney character ever created. You can buy smaller plush that are easier for children to hold and some that are almost three feet tall and larger than some children. They have “my first Mickey” dolls for babies and those that appeal all the way up to older children – and adults, let’s be honest. They’ve even been able to turn princess dolls into plush items. Certain shops have a plush wall with the characters lined up by size and style. The look of these has changed throughout the years with the style of the cartoons changing.
Coffee Mugs and Drinkware
If you’re so inclined, you can cover your house and kitchen with Disney items. They offer styles from casual, and very Mickey, to fancy with their collections, but the uniqueness of what Disney can do is shown in the coffee mugs.
Coming from someone who has just a few (cough), they’re adding to these all the time with amazing designs and shapes. From a mug that shows Main Street USA and all the popular characters at the time to one that’s shaped like Spaceship Earth and has the textured panel pattern, the mugs offer something for everyone to represent their favorite ride or character. Recent mugs include those covered in the wallpaper from the Haunted Mansion and beautiful vintage-looking teacups with an illustrated castle. They’ve had ones to showcase the princess movies with handles built like castle spires, ones shaped like the teacups from the Mad Tea Party ride in Magic Kingdom, and ones that are shaped to look like the bottom half of Mickey, Minnie, and Donald with feet and everything.
They’ve been shaped like Mike Wazowski, Jack Skellington and more. Some have handles that resemble light sabers and others depict a certain princess without ever showing their face. With the Beauty and the Beast additions to Fantasyland, you can now get a Chip mug that has a face and a chip in it.
The resorts often offer a reusable cup that can be used across the resort and parks showing scenes of the fab five enjoying the pool, taking a trip, and so on. In the 1990s and 2000s, these often represented the resort they were from with iconic images.
The quick service restaurants inside the parks also often offer a cup to purchase that matches the theming of the land, such as a Country Bear Jamboree jug from Pecos Bills, a green alien cup from Pizza Planet and the BB-8 round drinkware from Hollywood Studios. Gaston’s Tavern offers a special stein decorated with antlers, and the snack shop is also currently offering a special, light-up rose cup that came out around the opening of the new “Beauty and the Beast” film. Guests waited for hours to get the cup when it was first released.
I could go on and on about this section of souvenirs. The styles they offer are endless, and it’s the one thing I really can’t resist. They just make such great things.
Holiday and Special Release
Walt Disney World offers holiday decorations for sale year-round. Some shops are strictly for holidays and stay open throughout the year offering up some of the most unique decorations anywhere.
Christmas is a big one and the styles on the ornaments are just as broad and varied as those for ears and mugs. From big Mickey heads showing that iconic shape in a variety of colors to stilettos depicting every character from your favorite princess to the worst villain. It’s all there. Many of these ornaments can also be personalized. They also have more than just decorations for the tree if you wish to cover your whole house with Disney Christmas items as well as Christmas village type items that include buildings from the parks.
And, of course, Christmas decorations wouldn’t be the same without a little nightmare: “Nightmare Before Christmas: that is. Jack Skellington and others from his world are featured in both Christmas and Halloween decorations around the park. Halloween decorations also hold a place on Disney shelves year-round in key shops, and the new Memento Mori provides creepy Haunted Mansion items any time of the year.
Other holidays are not to be outdone. With special release, bunny-themed Mickeys and Minnie’s for Easter and patriotic themed goodies for national holidays and the like, Disney does a great job of providing something for every holiday, big and small.
Disney also offers specialty items for every special event that they host. From the former Star Wars Weekends, which offered items that could only be found at that specific event, to the dated items from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, these limited edition items are hard to resist.
They also offer limited edition items for park anniversaries and openings and when shows are closed – such as recently during the last few months of “Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams.” These items range anywhere from T-shirts to mugs, bags, cups and, of course, pins.
Pins and Tsums Tsums
If any company in the world can get you to collect something, it’s Disney. In 1999 as part of the Millennium Celebration, Walt Disney World introduced Disney Pin Trading to the parks, and it has been going strong ever since. Pins can be purchased and traded with other guests and cast members, and many are only available for a limited time. Certain pins are only available at certain events – some only for annual pass holders or Disney Vacation Club members. Many are part of a special collection, and some are considered rare. Guests scour the parks in hopes of finding someone with a pin to complete their collection.
Recently, Disney has also jumped onto the tsum tsum craze that came out of Japan. These tiny plush come in collections and are now used on decorations of other merchandise items. At this point, it seems that every single Disney character has been given a tsum tsum design in their likeness as they introduce new ones all the time.
Of course, you can buy Disney items everywhere you turn it seems through official websites and apps, and shops are creating their own items that can be purchased through the internet from all over the world.
These items are great and many are unique, but there’s something special about buying that one amazing item in the gift shop of your favorite ride with the special music in the background or finding that one item you’ve been looking for at the Emporium at the end of the day or at the World of Disney in Disney Springs. There’s something about getting that item from the actual place that makes it happen and brings you so much joy.
And, just when you think you have enough Disney stuff and won’t need to buy anything at your next trip, you’ll find that they’ve added something new that you must have. The people in charge of this come up with new things all the time and seem to put out new items regularly. Next time you’re there, take a look. If you think you won’t need any more Disney coffee mugs or Christmas ornaments, just wait and see… trust me.