More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Go Behind The Magic with Merchandise Graphic Designer Desma Thompson to Learn More About The 50th Anniversary Celebration Collection

Ashley Cortez

by , Owned and Operated Commercial and Marketing Associate Manager

Preparations have begun for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration beginning Oct. 1 at Walt Disney World Resort, and there are many ways to dress up for this momentous event. Today we are giving you an in-depth, behind-the-magic look at the Celebration Collection. There are so many new favorites that you will surely add to your festive look including shimmering new ears, dazzling apparel and even decorative items for your home. I can’t wait for you to hear about all the details that went into making this collection come to life so I recently caught up with Merchandise Graphic Designer Desma Thompson, who helped bring its storytelling to life for you all. Read my interview with her below! 

Desma Thompson

Q: Desma, can you share some insights on how the team collaborates when creating a new merchandise program for Disney Parks, and what does it take to bring a concept to reality?

A: The collection was designed in partnership with several teams to really bring it to life. First, we take the creative vision from the team and develop an art style that we can apply to different types of product. We like to think that each item tells its own part of the story. One of my favorite collaborations is working with all of the merchandise partners to fine-tune all the beautiful details on the items – from the gold accents to the EARidescent tones that run through the program. It was exciting to be one of the first people to see it and I knew in an instant, guests would love it.

Q: I really love the fun and festive patterns in the Celebration Collection. So many fun icons and characters stand out to me. What inspired you to create the design? 

A: First and foremost, our artists were inspired by the EARidescent color story of the celebration.  This particular collection features Mickey Mouse and the EARidescent 8 dressed in their 50th fashions, which you will get to see first-hand when they debut in October. Here’s a fun fact for our fans: the graphic style is inspired by legendary Disney artist, Mary Blair. One of the other most important elements for us was to capture attractions and icons that represent all four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Want to always remember what Mickey Mouse & Friends were wearing for this special moment in Disney history?  Pick up our new Celebration plush (or two) dressed in their best for the big occasion, and keep the festivities going at home.

Q: This collection has something for everyone and I already spotted my must-have items, including the EARidescent jacket. Desma, what are your favorites?

A: The Celebration Ear Hat is sure to be a favorite among our guests. It is such an iconic item and it features many great 50th Celebration details in one place. Another top pick for me is the ceramic mug; it showcases our favorite characters, Cinderella Castle, fun icons, and shimmering EARidescent accents.

Q: Desma, is there anything else our fans should know that might surprise them?

A: The art in the collection features nods to the past, present and future of Walt Disney World Resort. If you look closely you will find icons representing favorite attractions from opening day in 1971 to some that are coming in future collections!

I know I can’t wait for the 50th anniversary celebration to officially begin! There are so many new and exciting merchandise offerings on the horizon and we can’t wait to share more from the other collections debuting this fall. Tell us in the comments below – what are your must-haves that you can’t wait to take home from the Celebration Collection?

Most items from the Celebration Collection will be available starting on Oct. 1, however, some items are expected to arrive throughout October.  

Learn more about the Celebration Collection that debuts this fall across the Walt Disney World Resort including Disney Springs, with select items available on


  • Welcome to the blog Ms. Ashley!

Comments are closed.