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Colorful Merchandise for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

Colorful Merchandise Options for Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary

What is your favorite color? My favorite has always been blue (it’s the color of my eyes). Recently, I discovered a new color that is giving blue some competition – charcoal. It would seem like charcoal is invading the marketplace (or perhaps only my life – my new love seat and certain items from my wardrobe are now charcoal). So imagine my delight to see the recently introduced colorful merchandise created for the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Charcoal is just one of several colors used in this art program that also includes colors with names like antique white, gold nugget, black iris, true red and petunia. Like many things at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, selecting colors for an art program is a collaborative one. I spoke with Sandi Sloan Hays and Julie Young, both product developers and 40th Anniversary colors champions, about the process.

Colorful Merchandise for Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary

“We considered several factors when deciding on the colors featured in this program,” explained Sandi, who represented the softlines division. “We considered popular colors or trends in the marketplace and colors that would look good on guests. We also reviewed what worked well in the past from a sales perspective.”

For the 40th Anniversary, the colors needed to be retro-inspired, not necessarily true colors from the 1970s. The team selected what I’m calling “sophisticated 1970s” colors – it’s like the 1970s but without those “amazing” shades of yellow, orange, green or red (see this article for a colorful 1970s reference photo).

Pin Set for Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary

“Softlines drove a lot of the decision behind the colors used since they created the clothing and accessory items,” continued Julie. “The hardlines division which I represented took its cue from softlines. The goal was to create a cohesive look, so both softlines and hardlines items could sit nicely together on the sales floor.”

Hats and Bracelets for Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary

You will see these colors used on a variety of items, from polo-style shirts, tee-shirts, hoodie sweatshirt jackets, Disney pins, Vinylmation, laptop sleeves, bath towels and much more. I think my favorite item is the track suit! I saw the best presentation of these items at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace. There are also select items on the Disney Theme Park On-Line Store.

I asked Sandi and Julie about their favorite color from this program. Sandi chose gold nugget as “gold is very 1970s,” while Julie preferred petunia. For me, I’m sticking with charcoal – sorry, blue.


  • As Disney World and I were “born” the same year, I am very excited to pass this milestone with so many birthday present suggestions to offer my husband, heeheehee. G-d willing this year we will be in a position to get our first annual passes, the Florida weekday pass, homeschoolers :-)!!! I can’t wait to spend our birthday together!!! Happy 40th Disney World! See you soon!!!

  • Hey Steve!

    Random question, but is there a place we can email if we have a merchandise request and/or idea?


    • @Michael – There is a mousepad with a padded wrist support. Sadly, it is currently unavilable, but it should be back in stock toward the end of April. It uses the merchandise collage that I discussed in this article –

      @William – Bummer, I know. 🙂

      @Kimberly – Hmmm … unfortunately, we don’t accept unsolicited ideas. Sorry. But if you are looking to purchase items you may have missed, here are a couple of options:
      – Disneyland Merchandise Guest Services at 800-362-4533.
      – Walt Disney World Merchandise Guest Services at 877-560-6477.

  • I will be in WDW for my 50th birthday! Would love to be able to customize a T letting the world know I am 10 years older than WDW.

  • just got back and i have the 40th mickey & minnie the limited edition ear hat no.8 , magnet , pin , xmas ornament , beach towel and the little football amongst many other things i bought but the ear hat is my fav i love the satin lined hat box it comes in too
    kellie ,victoria australia

  • What!!? No avacado green?

  • Love the 40th merchandise look! I have one merchandise request…make a 40th MOUSEPAD. You know this would be the best Mousepad art ever! Look down at your mouse and think about how much better your life would be with awesome retro logos underneath. There could be NO BETTER MOUSEPAD! Except, perhaps, one with SHAG WDW Art…

  • @All – So glad I’m not alone in loving the retro vibe of this merchandise. There are currently some select items on the Disney Parks On-Line Store. We just launched a “boutique” page for the 40th Anniversary, seen here:

  • Where do I get the blue jacket to buy online?

  • I love that track jacket and keychain! Hopefully this will all still be available in October when I plan to be at the Resort.

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff!! I do hope there is some merch left when I arrive in December 🙂

  • I love the old school gold!

  • I completely adore these! I really love that retro style is coming back around! I know that my father will be happy to see that the old Walt Disney World symbol’s making a comeback, too!

  • I love the retro stuff, but I’d actually prefer it without the 40th logo. I saw a couple of jackets a few weeks ago that I would have purchased if they didn’t have a “40” on the back.

    I understand the need for anniversary merchandise, but that shouldn’t be the only excuse to make retro merchandise as well.

  • yes. i actually have the zip up sweater in the picture and on the left breast it has a 40 on it with mickey’s head at the 0. its fleece inside and its really nice!
    btw- i’ve been to the parks about 6 or 7 times this year and have yet to see that keychain. i will be looking for it next time i am there!

  • OMG!!! i love the hat and bracelet – i hope they are still available when we visit the parks later this year :> i want them now but i did not see them on line in store so i guess i will have to wait : these are really neat and nostalgic.

  • Are any t-shirts or sweatshirts going to say 40 years on it so it matches my 10, 15, 20, 25 etc clothes!!!!???

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