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End of Era For Iconic Disney Souvenir and the Debut of a New Classic This Spring at Walt Disney World Resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (March 31, 2017) - A staple theme park souvenir known as Mickey Mouse ears are getting a makeover, Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced today. The new ears will be based on the "realistic" style that Mickey Mouse sported in several cartoons in the 1940s such as "Nifty Nineties" and "The Little Whirlwind". Both films featured Mickey with ears drawn in a style that looked more natural versus the "floating circles" that animators had drawn previously. "We needed a change," stated Chapek. "The big trend these days is being 'natural'. Millennials demand that and we wanted to jump on the bandwagon like other corporations and cater to millennials too. The new ears will result in a more natural profile that looks more like a real mouse. Since things being "clean" is also such a trend with Millennials, our new ears will also be "clean" in the fact that they will not have the little patch that features our resort name and Mickey's head on the front and the back will be devoid of any embroidery. It will just be a black beanie with the ears angled back, just like how Mickey looked in the 1940s. I think Walt Disney would be really proud with what we've done."
The new style of Mickey Mouse ears will feature a more "natural" profile designed to appeal to Millennials.
March 31 will be the last day that the old ear style will be for sale at Disney theme parks around the world. The new ears will be unveiled in a ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle and will be available for purchase at the Emporium at Disney's Magic Kingdom Park exclusively starting this Saturday. The ears will also be available at Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. The other parks in California, Europe and Asia will receive the new ears sometime next week. After Saturday any fans who arrive at the Walt Disney World parks wearing "decommissioned" ears will have them confiscated by Cast Members and will be escorted to the closest merchandise location to purchase pairs in the new style.
The last pairs of the original Mickey Mouse ears roll off the assembly line.
The Walt Disney Achieves declined to take the last pair of ears that rolled off the manufacturing line. The company opted to donate them to the website waltdatedworld.com instead. "Walt Dated World truly deserves this honor." states Chief Archivist Emeritus and Disney Legend Dave Smith. "We loved the article she wrote on the CNN website back in 2013 (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-954859) about mouse ears and we never forgot it. We have enough stuff laying around at our place and Alison over at Walt Dated World has a nice collection of theme park stuff items that she posts on the Walt Dated World Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Alison the Walt Dated World webmaster was surprised by the recent news. "I couldn't believe it when the Disney Parks announced they were redesigning the mouse ears. My site focuses on things removed from Walt Disney World and I was upset at first to hear the ears were going to be retired. I really thought it was a cash grab so everyone would have to buy new ears and just a way to pander to millennials but I changed my tune once they offered to give me the last pair. They also sweetened the pot by giving me a Sword in the Stone medal AND by installing the original Mickey Mouse Revue in my house. They can chop down the Tree of Life and replace smoked turkey legs with Soylent Green for all I care now because I know they'll just continue to buy me off."
The original Mickey Mouse ears were designed by Roy Williams in 1955 for the Mickey Mouse Club, with 24,000 sold each day at the height of the show's popularity. Walt Disney World sold about 2,500,000 of the original hat style every year.
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