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Traveling the World with Disney Ear Hats

posted on April 18th, 2011 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


 Traveling the World with Disney Ear Hats

By now, many of you know about my love for World Showcase at Epcot. I love that I can walk the world in a day while enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes from so many different countries (uh, how many days are left until the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival?). Recently, I visited Epcot to photograph several new Disney ear hats in the World Showcase pavilions which served as their inspiration. Megan Kachur, product developer for headwear, gave me some insight into the development of these hats that have an international twist.

 Traveling the World with Disney Ear Hats

“We wanted to expand our assortment of Disney Parks-inspired ear hats,” explained Megan. “We have introduced other hats based on attractions like The Haunted Mansion. World Showcase has such great content, and it seemed like we were missing an opportunity to connect with our guests from around the world.”

There are five new hats inspired by Mexico, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Canada pavilions at Epcot. Arriving in mid-May 2011, these hats will be sold at multiple locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts (obviously, you’ll find them in the specific World Showcase countries in Florida). Each hat will have a retail of $14.95. Megan explained the reason why only five countries were selected.

 Traveling the World with Disney Ear Hats

“We are testing these hats as something new to our assortment,” continued Megan. “In the past year, we’ve tried many new things within the headwear category such as limited-edition ear hats or Vinylmation ear hats. If our guests like these first five, we’ll consider adding additional hats to the mix.”

The thing that impressed me the most were the details. A stylized flag is featured on the left ear of each hat. The remaining details were inspired by elements from the various pavilions such as pizza in Italy (oh, I could use a slice!) or the Cast Members’ costumes in Canada. The finishing touch was a miniature hat for the top of the ear hat.

 Traveling the World with Disney Ear Hats

“I think England is my favorite,” said Megan. “The colors are radiant and it looks smart. Then again, I also love the lederhosen appliqué on the hat from Germany. I also like the tassels on the hat from Mexico. I guess it is difficult to pick just one [laughs].”

Well, I know what I’m wearing during my next trip around the world.

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16 Comments 5 Replies

1

Lee from London on April 18th, 2011 at 10:44 am

As a former World Showcase Cast Member (thank you, Walt Disney World International Program!), I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the common error on the United Kingdom ears…

The UK is formed of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – all of which are represented in the UK pavilion in Epcot.

My fellow Scottish, Welsh and Irish Cast Members would take pains to explain the distinction, so seeing the UK cap with ‘England’ emblazoned on it seems like a silly error!

But, over-all, I love these, and look forward to adding them to my ever-growing collection!

 

Steven Miller on April 19th, 2011 at 9:25 am

@Lee – Thank you for the comment. I will have to do some additional research. Knowing how many hands/departments have to review items, I’m sure there was a reason why “England” was selected. I apologize for any offense as I do not believe it was intentional. Personally, I would love to visit the actual United Kingdom as I’ve heard it is beautiful! Just unsure what to see first (though London and Portmeirion in North Wales are high on the list).

2

Hannah on April 18th, 2011 at 11:50 am

I LOVE these!!! They are SO AMAZING!! The German ears are my favorite!!

I love the “new things” you guys are trying with the ear hats. The limited edition or limited release (WDW 40th) are awesome, expensive but awesome.

One question I do have is about the “Limited Edition” ear hats on Disneystore:

Is this a new series that will be continued? Right now there is four styles (Alice, Aloha, Castle, and Jumping Mickey). I hope they continue as they are beautiful!

I noticed that DisneyStore’s website says they are exclusive to DisneyStore then it says they are available at the parks…LOL Also, since I’m already talking about the ears, on the item pages they state the ears are Limited Edition 5 times! But on the handtag and the tag in the hat they state “Limited Release”. Just thought I’d let you guys know since there is a big difference between the two.

Keep up the great work with the ear hats! (And please continue to make the plush character hats!)

 

Steven Miller on April 19th, 2011 at 9:49 am

@Hannah – I spoke with Megan about those hats on the Disney Parks on-line Store. They are all limited edition and were created by Disney Theme Park Merchandise for sale via the on-line store only. This means they won’t be carried in the Parks. I can see where the wording may sound a little off depending upon how you read it. Each hat has an edition size of 1008. I sadly can’t explain why the tag reads limited release, not limited edition. Could have been a late change in production.

For those wondering, here are the hats Hannah referenced:

Alice in Wonderland:
http://www.disneystore.com/disney-parks-authentic-ear-hats-accessories-limited-edition-alice-in-wonderland-ear-hat-for-adults/mp/1277143/1000809+1000292/

Mickey Jumping:
http://www.disneystore.com/limited-edition-jumping-mickey-mouse-ear-hat-for-adults/mp/1277057/1000292/

Castle Mickey:
http://www.disneystore.com/limited-edition-castle-mickey-mouse-ear-hat-for-adults/mp/1280502/1000292/

And my favorite hat inspired by my all time favorite Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Hawai’ian Holiday”:
http://www.disneystore.com/limited-edition-hula-mickey-mouse-ear-hat-for-adults/mp/1279392/1000292/

3

Kaitlyn from NJ on April 18th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

LOVE these. Can’t wait for a Norwegian one with a little troll!

4

Lauren on April 18th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

These ear hats are too cute. I agree with Kaitlyn, though, a Norway ear hat with a troll on it would be adorable. I hope that one gets made soon.

Steven, I have a question following up on your blog post from last week about the Vinylmation Muppets #2 series. I was so excited for this series to come out last Friday, especially since I knew my local Disney Store would be carrying the series. I got to the store right when they opened and purchased my tray of 24 vinylmation figures which cost me $310.80 (the price tag on the bottom of the individual boxes is marked $12.95). I was completely frustrated to find out later that day that at D-Street in WDW and DLR, the same series is selling for $11.95 per blind box and $286.80 for a tray (the exact same tray that I had purchased for $310.80 earlier that day at my local Disney Store). Needless to say I was quite upset. Can you please try to find out why there is such a drastic price discrepancy of $24 between buying a tray of Muppets #2 in a Disney Store versus in the parks??? If it was just a pricing error, is there anyway to be refunded the $24 more that I had to pay for my tray? Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

5

William on April 18th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

OMG! These hats are absolutely adorable!! I have to have one from each country! Especially Germany! My daughter is going to flip!

So I have to ask – will they be available on line?

 

Steven Miller on April 19th, 2011 at 10:01 am

@Kaitlyn – LOL! If one was created with a troll, then you would to walk “back, back through the Park.” :-)

@Lauren – Checking. Please stay tuned.

@William – I spoke with the on-line store team. They don’t have specific plans yet (but things can change within the month).

6

Jackie on April 18th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

These are great! I am hoping they do really well so that Disney will make ear hats for all of the other countries…

7

Kimberly on April 18th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hey Steve! Love the new ear hats!

Off subject question- do you know if there are plans and/or any estimated release date for Jake and the Neverland Pirates Merchandise?

Thanks!
Kimmi

8

Jennifer from PA on April 18th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

LOVE these new ear hats!! (Pizza’s kinda weird on the Italy one, but I think it’s still my favorite!) Mickey ears are always very fun, and the number of designs out there is great — there’s something for everyone, from “My First Mickey Ears” to the Popcorn ones that came out a while ago!

One thing I want to make sure I put in, and it’s probably the most important piece of input I can give as someone who is a very frequent buyer of all things Disney Parks: SPECIFIC IS GOOD. When you have things like this, that are specific to attractions/parks in the parks, it makes it a much more personal experience. It saddens me sometimes when I walk through the shops at WDW and see the same things over and over. There are enough shops that each should carry it’s own attraction, park specific merchandise (in addition to some popular staples of course). It’s much more fun, and I am more likely to buy stuff that has to do with what I’m doing in the parks at that moment. This is something, from what I’ve seen, Tokyo Disneyland does very well, but the U.S. parks are a little lacking in. Please consider this!

Thanks for posting this, Steven, I always look forward to your blog posts with what you guys have planned next, and that the blog allows you to get feedback directly from the fans!

 

Steven Miller on April 19th, 2011 at 10:15 am

@Kimmi – Yo, ho ho! Isn’t that show great? My son watches it daily, and I just took him to see the live show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So far, the only thing I’ve seen is a pin that will be in a four pin set inspired by Disney Junior shows. It is coming later this year. I’ll have to do some additional digging. Do I get any doubloons for my answer? :-)

@Jennifer – Thank you for the kind words and the feedback! It’s why I too love the Disney Parks Blog.

9

Jonathan on April 19th, 2011 at 9:09 am

Hi there,

Yes like Lee I’m a former Cultural Representative at EPCOT and he is right the use of just ‘England’ is incorrect. Which is sad because it is such a lovely set of Ears! The United Kingdom is our correct title as it includes Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and then all of the other territories for instance The Falkland Islands, Ascension Islands, British Virgin Islands etc, etc. Just putting England on the Ears is the same as putting Florida on the United States Ears. To explain England’s relationship within the UK its best to think of it as a State.
Great merchandise idea thou, can’t wait to see them in person in October! One request, bring back the countries of World Showcase in the IllumiNations show!

10

Kimberly on April 19th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

@ Steve…you get 3 gold doubloons…but I promise 4 more if you could get me some toys out soon!!!!

11

Zac on April 19th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I LOVE these hats. I think it is a great way to bring a piece of Disney and the countries home. How about one for each park! The Animal Kingdom ear hat would be pretty cool.

12

Cecelia on April 19th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Ahh! I really want the England one! I hope they do decide to put these online! Would buy them in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing!

13

Katie on April 19th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

These ears ROCK! I agree the German ears are by far the best.

I love the holiday headbands you guys have been releasing! And I was wondering what happened to the Easter headband? I remember that in October you posted a blog about “Happy Halloween Hats at Disney Parks”. In the comments you said: “And if everyone loves the Candy Corn one, just wait for the Easter headband.” Just wondering if they are out yet. (I looked all over WDW last week, with no luck.)

Thanks!

14

Chloe on April 19th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

How much are the hats? What store in Epcot can you get them at? Do you know when the Duffy ear hat will be out? Thanks so much!

15

Angelica on April 19th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Those hats are too adorable!!! What do the Japan and China hats look like?

 

Steven Miller on April 20th, 2011 at 11:23 am

@Katie – Danke Schön! Ah, the Easter headband. I remember. Sadly, the item was canceled. It was super cute but the headwear team decided not to produce it at this time. Sorry about that.

@Chloe – The hats are $14.95 each. The will arrive in mid-May, so they aren’t available just yet. Once released, you will be able to find them at a variety of locations (each of the individual countries and probably MouseGear in Epcot). The Duffy The Disney Bear Ear Hat is currently available. It was released a few weeks ago (arrived faster than I thought – woohoo!).

@Angelica – Thanks and I agree :-) The headwear team hasn’t started development yet on Japan or China. They wanted to test these first five hats to see if there is an interest. But a Japanese hat would be number one on my list!

16

Jaime from ON on April 20th, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Love, love, LOVE this idea!!! As a Canadian, I am partial to that ear hat (love the hockey puck) but also surprised it made the trial 5! (Considering the U.S. one didn’t!) I’m really looking forward to seeing the Japan, China, France, and Norway ear hats as well! I too hope the Norway ear hat is troll-inspired!

I’m also hoping these will be available online… it would be a great idea to make them available to other countries considering they’re ‘international’ hats! I have a feeling these will become bestsellers!

GREAT job!

16 Comments