A colorful Disney mouse ear hat will go on sale for $78 on Friday to mark the opening of the new theme park attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. And it’s not the most expensive set of ears Walt Disney World has ever sold.
It’s part of a growing trend of designer mouse ears offered in the park and on websites like Etsy, where artists play with the classic ear and beanie shape. They add satin, rhinestones and characters, and even light-up gimmicks. They sell for $30 a pop, twice the price of the classic felt and plastic ear hat sold in Disney parks since the 1960s. The park also has a line of designer and specialty ear hats that go for as much as $600.
Getting a pair of Mickey Mouse ears embroidered with your name has been a rite of passage for more than 50 years, inspired by the simple cap first seen on television on The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s.
A gold version of the cap became a phenomenon in 2005 to commemorate Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. Adults and children alike lined up to get their hands on one. That was followed by special Christmas, Easter and Halloween versions of the mouse ears hat.
In September 2019, Heidi Klum’s designer Disney ears cost $600. The sparkly, heavy headband with more than 150 Swarovski crystals was personally designed by the supermodel and America’s Got Talent judge. The limited run of 500 headbands sold out in about three weeks. Shopdisney.com recently brought it back for another limited release.
The new hat features Mickey and Minnie sitting atop a picnic blanket, with the Runnamuck Railroad (the name of railroad in the ride’s cartoon) and conductor Goofy zooming by along the bottom edge. The ears feature light-up fireworks that can illuminate the night with the flip of a switch.
The ears were designed by Imagineer Kevin Rafferty, who helped conceive, design and oversee the creation of a number of Disney attractions, including the Mickey Mouse ride. Rafferty will appear at Stage 1 Company Store in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday to sign the new hat and his book, Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career.
According to the Disney parks blog, the company offers more than 250 options of ear hat and ear headband designs around the globe.
A line of designer ears will be released this year, including ones by Vera Wang in the fall and an April ear hat designed by Joe Rohde, the creative force behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They’re up for grabs in the parks and at shopdisney.com.