Ears and more ears at Disney

Disney is all ears

Where are your mouse ears?

But I’m not talking about the traditional black ones you get at Walt Disney World or Disneyland with your name on them.

These days, you can get silver or gold ones, Cinderella ears complete with a tiny glass slipper…striped ears, purple and white ears.  There are Dumbo ears and sorcerer Mickey ears and Pluto ears and bride and groom ears.  They’re striped and glittery and shiny of every fabric you can imagine.

 “You have to get mouse ears even if it is a cliché,” said 14 year old Emily, visiting Disneyland with her family from Arizona and sporting red and black polka dot ears with a feather.

In fact, 2013 is the Year of the Ear at Disney Parks with new limited release Disney Ear Hats available every month as part of Disney Parks’ Limited Time Magic—special experiences designed to surprise and excite guests when they visit—including saving up to 30 per cent with the Monstrous Summer promotion available at Walt Disney World Resorts through mid June.

Of course you can get your ears autographed. 

Other kids told me as I walked around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that pins were the souvenir to go home with.  “You can trade with other people,” said Tressa, 12, from Chandler Az.  The redhead said she has 17 Ariel pins; her older sister collects Tinkerbelle and their mom Cinderella.  They’ve even gotten their grandmother collecting this trip.  She was going for the classics of the characters.

“It’s good to have a focus for the collection,” said Tressa’s mom Karen Stevenson.

“Collecting pins is good because then you have something that reminds you of each time you have visited and of what you liked when you were little.  It’s fun to do,” offered Jaycee Jones, who is from southern California.

I met other youngsters clutching their autograph books. “You get to show everyone at school and it is a keepsake until you are grown up,” said Aubrie, 11, from Decatur IL, adding that Tinkerbelle is her favorite character.

“I’ve got 10 autographs in my book!” said Gabrielle, 10, from Utah, who added that Ariel is her favorite.

Now it is easier to meet and greet the princesses at Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire village—right near the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Walk to the Royal Hall where three princesses await hugs, photo opportunities and of course autograph books.

Parents and kids will be impressed with the detail—Geppetto’s cat Figaro dozing and then waking up on the window sill the Tangled Tower sculpture that comes to life at night with lights… The Royal Theatre where depending on when you come, you will see a show either based on Rapunzel or Belle as presented by  Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones—a duo of renaissance story tellers with a touch of Abbot and Costello.  The adults were laughing at the 20-minute show as much as the kids.  That was the idea.  “We wanted to appeal to all ages,” said Disney’s Chris Utley who created the show.   “It’s very tongue and cheek and comical.”

It works as the duo—along with Belle or Rapunzel recreate a scene from their movie—in Belle’s case, when she met the Beast in a combination of storytelling, song and interaction with the audience.   At the end, Belle or Rapunzel meets and greets the audience.   And should you need to dress like a prince and you forgot your tiara or your dress, you can get one right here of course at Fairytale Treasures.

Just don’t go on a waterride in your princess regalia.   “Wait until the end of the day to go on water rides,” one 12 year old advised.

Even better, “Bring flip flops and a change of clothes!” suggested Kaitlin, who is from Flagstaff, AZ.

However old you are, said Emily Benoit, “Be brave and try everything.  You don’t know what you’ll like and when you’ll be back.  “

Have a frozen chocolate banana for me.