More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Ring in 2012 with Disney Parks Merchandise

Steven Miller

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

Clock-Inspired Disney Ear Hat Available at Disney Parks

Three, two, one – Happy New Year! The New Year holiday is probably one of my favorites (following my birthday which I’m still trying to make a national holiday). In summer 1997, I celebrated the New Year nearly every night when I worked at Pleasure Island merchandise on the Disney College Program. There is something about the closing of one chapter and starting a new one that is refreshing to me. At Disney Parks, we have created a few items to help ring in the New Year.

One of my favorite items is the clock-inspired Disney Ear Hat pictured above. It was designed by Mark Seppala from Disney Design Group who you may recall from a previous article about Disney Character Ear Hats. He explained that “Alice in Wonderland” partially inspired him to create the hat.

“I used the mouse ear swirl in something else I designed that had an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme,” explained Mark. “I ended up turning the hat into a clock with the numbers circling the hat. I like how the number 12 fits perfectly on the front which is a nice connection to midnight and the New Year.”

Limited Edition Disney Pins Available at Disney Parks

The clock theme continues with a new limited edition Disney pin featuring Tinker Bell. Disney pins have been commemorating the New Year since the Millennium celebration in 2000. There are two additional New Year pins that will be released at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort respectively.

Artwork Featured on 2012 Merchandise at Disney Parks

As 2011 draws to a close, you will begin to see new 2012 merchandise arriving in merchandise locations. Our “dated” items (merchandise with a specific date) are some of the most popular souvenirs at Disney Parks. The artwork shown above will be featured on everything from license plates to T-shirts to Vinylmation.

2012 Merchandise Includes Everything From License Plates, T-Shirts, and Vinylmation at Disney Parks

On behalf of the Disney Theme Park Merchandise team, I want to thank you for a great year. I have enjoyed reading your comments and I look forward to sharing more news in 2012. Happy New Year!


  • HI!! Do you have any idea when the checklists for the 2012 Hidden Mickey pins will be out? I saw in a reply above that you were working on an article about them. I have seen some of them already on Ebay and Pin Pics so I am assuming some of them are already out in the parks. Thanks so much!! Love the new 2012 merchandise.

  • Hi!! This one is a little off topic off New Year/Holidays. I was wondering if you know of plans to make Muppet nursery items or more Muppet merchandise in general. It seems a lot of people want them but no one seems to know if the merchandise even exists. This is my first baby and I am going crazy trying to find things (crib sheets, decals, lamps, etc.) Other than my grandma making sheets and a puppeteer friends help I am out of luck. Just figured asking you is worth a shot. Thanks!!!

  • Can’t wait to see the 2012 merchandise on our visit to WDW. I’m a huge Mickey fan but I must say Duffy is adorable!

  • Was there a Disney disc porcelain ornament issued for 2011 (with the annual year logo on the front)? They are a nice keepsake and we have a special tree just for those ornaments we have collected over the years. This past year we could only find the “All Access 2011” ornament which was not the same as round ones issued in prior years. We were last there in April, so it wasn’t sold out and the stores didn’t seem to know anything about it. It looks like the round disc ornament is coming back again in 2012. Any idea why it wasn’t done in 2011 or if so, where I can find one?

  • I’m graduating high school this year, any chance on their being some Disney 2012 grad merchandise?

    • @Nancy – The bear pictured above is a pre-dressed 12-inch bear. There are no plans to make a separate 2012 costume for a 17-inch bear. But there are several new costumes coming for Duffy in 2012. I will discuss some of them in early 2012 via an article.

      @Megan – Congratulations!! 🙂 There will be some 2012 graduation merchandise. I know Duffy has a new outfit and I’ve seen a few other items. They probably won’t arrive in locations until the Spring (close to the end of the school year). Enjoy your time as a senior and I wish you much success in your next chapter.

  • The Duffy outfit is cute. Is it available as a costume or only as a pre-dressed bear? I don’t want to buy pre-dressed bears but would love to have more costumes for my 17″ Duffy!

  • Larry, hover over the picture with your mouse and a box should pop up with some info.

    • @Larry – Thank you for the feedback. I too love the photos (as much as I like my fellow author Nate’s articles – I can share your thoughts with the Disney Parks Blog team. I know there were a few banner images I provided (the Vinylmation ones 🙂

  • I don’t know if it’s possible to make a request to the web developers who do the Blog web site. But I come here often, and when I do, I’m often struck by the (random) photo at the top of the page.

    Often, I would really like more information about the photo. Like, if nothing else, where it was taken.

    Any chance of that information being added to the web page?

  • How can I get the Mickey Ear Hat? Will it be there in February when I go. We were just there in December and I did not see this hat. We can’t be there for new years. anyone know?

    • @Cecilia and Iris – The Ear Hat is currently for sale in Disney Parks. The item number is 400003668694. I don’t know of plans for it to be released via the online store. Another option is contacting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Merchandise Guest Services at 1-877-560-6477 or send an email to:

  • I really like the Crew neck year logos. for instance i have every year from 1998 crew necks I collect I know strange 🙂 But last year there were no adult crew necks for 2011 and the kid sizes only went up to larges. I was very disappointed. Any chance this year for the 2012 year there will be crew necks for adults?

    • @Vickie – I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t find what you were seeking. I can say that our dated merchandise is very popular, so you will continue to see merchandise with dates. As for Halloween this past year, it took us by surprise! Many guests loved the merchandise this year which caused some items to sell out earlier than anticipated.

      @Marilyn – I recall the “Lodge” program. I spoke with the seasonal team who said that program has been retired. We introduced the red and white program this year which will continue into next year (with a little newness added to it – think plaid). Developers like to have programs run for a few years then introduce something new (it’s about keeping things fresh). Sorry I don’t have better news.

      @Deborah – Lucky indeed! Glad you live close by (hopefully you are a Passholder). I recall those plates but I don’t know of any plans to re-introduce them. I do have an extremely adorable Lady and the Tramp plush set sitting on my desk right now. It was created for Valentine’s Day (look for an article in January about it). Funny story about the pet merchandise – my sister used to develop some of it for Disney. 🙂 It was something we tried at Disney Parks but has since been retired.

      @Nicole – Glad you liked the design! To clarify, are you seeking women’s tee-shirts or sweatshirts? I know there are a variety of styles that I have seen for 2012. I spoke with some of the developers who thought we would have what you are seeking this year.

  • Hi, I am a HUGH Lady and the Tramp fan. I live about forty five minutes away from Walt Disney World! (Lucky Huh?:) I wanted to know if my Lady’s restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is ever going to sell the plates again with Lady and the Tramp on it? Also, I have noticed the actual dog and/or pet merchandise has all but disappered from your downtown stores and in the parks. Any chance of any of these products coming back for purchase? Thank you, Deborah Tampa, FL

  • I have to say I was a little disappointed this year with the Christmas Tree ornaments.

    I really like the little Tree farm theme Mickey. They were in the Canadian pavillon and in DTD Christmas store last yr and 2009. Besides those though I didn’t see a lot of nice ornaments. The best ones I saw were the Disney Princesses and Toy Story. Really hoping the tree farm ones come back for 2012.

  • Do you know when the New Years Eve Mickey Ear Hat will be available in the parks or online i think its just adorable and i REALLY want it.

  • Hi there

    Make more product with the date on it. We were in Disney world for Halloween this year and wanted to buy a Halloween stuffy with the date. We have one from Christmas and Saint Patricks day when we were there 2006 and 2010. We arrived on Oct 24 and the whole resort was already sold out. It was very disapointing.

  • Hi Steven,

    Any updates on the “Pan Am” inspired line of bags you blogged about in Oct?

    • @Mel – How cool! That’s a great question. I’m not familiar with those shirts. I asked a sport developer in Florida but he didn’t recall anything. I will have to do some research on your question.

      @Victoria – Glad you liked those bags. They are still on track for a February-ish release. I sadly don’t have a confirmed date. But I can also say that there are more bags like that coming that aren’t part of the D-Tech brand. I saw artwork for them recently and they are AMAZING! Look for an article about them in early next year. 🙂

  • I was at Disneyland on Christmas day and expected to see Rose Bowl team shirts there, as I did last year. Any chance of an Oregon Duck shirt being available?

  • Hi Steven,
    As a Disney fan for 49+ years, I love anything Disney, especially Vinylmation. I bought over 15 series of Vinylmation in 2011 and have 300+ in my collection. Unfortunately, my spending has dropped to zero dollars with the new mold. Can you tell me if there will be any release of the first or OLD mold Vinylmation in 2012? I know there are lovers of the new mold vinyls, but a lot of Disney fans would love to see SOME releases of the first mold. One series a year would be better than none. 🙂

    • @Brad – Thank you for being a fan of Disney for so many years. I too have been a long time fan. I’m sorry to hear that you have stopped collecting as it sounds like you really enjoy Disney.

      I can say that there are no plans to re-introduce the original Vinylmation mold in 2012. If anything, we continue to expand beyond that original Mickey Mouse shaped canvas (e.g. Park Starz is a great example … and an awesome series in my opinion).

      I interviewed the Vinylmation team back in April 2011 about the slightly revised mold which can be seen here:

      Personally, I like Vinylmation on any mold as to me it’s about creative expression. In other words, the art transcends the canvas upon which is printed. I guess the “wanna be” artist in me is slightly jealous of the Disney artists’ talents. 🙂

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I hope that you give Vinylmation another shot as there are many, many, many cool things coming in 2012.

  • I saw plenty of 2012 items already available. I was disappointed that there weren’t more 2011 items available for us to bring home to remind us of our Christmas visit Everything was 2012.

    • @Trish – First, thank you for visiting us. I hope you had a good trip overall. Christmas is such a nice time to visit as the decorations are so pretty.

      I’m sorry to hear of your disappointment. I do have some good news if you are still interested in getting something with the 2011 date. Check out the Disney Parks Online Store as there are several 2011 items available (and the best part is they are on sale – woohoo! 🙂


  • Steven,I really would like to see Made in USA merchandise. Any chance of that happening?

    • @Brian – Funny you should ask that question … I’m currently writing an article about the 2012 Hidden Mickey Pins for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I know they are coming in early 2012 but I’m trying to get a more confirmed date. Similar to last year’s collection, there will be two different waves (early-2012 and mid-2012). More to come.

      @Ronald – It does happen. We have an entire team at Disney called Sourcing that works with our product developers in Disney Theme Park Merchandise. That team is responsible for working with manufacturers from around the world, including some located in the USA. Sourcing helps match the items our developers would like to make with manufacturers that can produce said items. Great examples of “Made in USA” merchandise can be found in our Consumables category.

  • Stephen,

    Sorry to go OT on you, but we’re planning a trip with the kids for early 2012 and want to have good odds on seeing 2012 Hidden Mickey pins…last year they came out on our last day in the parks(Jan 28th, IIRC), and I see a PTN event planned for Jan 27th, 2012…can you give us any advice on timing our trip? We were thinking of waiting until February to increase odds on the 2012s being out, but would love to make another PTN too since that was huge fun for us and the kids…If we started on the 27th, would our odds be good on seeing 2012s?


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