What’s black and white, and “red” all over?
You’ve heard this joke before, right? Wrong. No, it’s not the newspaper. The answer is the name of the souvenir that I’ve dubbed the best AND worst souvenir that you could possibly buy at a Disney park. So, what is it? Below is a rack of Disney souvenirs that can be found at just about any shop across Disneyland or Walt Disney World. It features a headband with mouse ears and a Minnie bow.
The item I speak of, though, is not simply limited to these headbands, but can include all special hats found at Disneyland such as Jack Sparrow’s hat, a goofy hat, or any “Mickey ears” caps with various characters printed on them. These are easily the most frequently bought, and most visible, souvenir that you’ll see while walking around the parks whether it’s in a store or on a person who purchased one.
So what makes these hats the best Disney souvenir?
They’re durable, fashionable, and easily reusable anytime you visit Disneyland. You just have to remember to pack them in your suitcase and you’ll never have a need to buy another one since you can’t wear two hats at once, at least not without looking ridiculous!
We bought my wife a set of Minnie ears three years ago. She has been able to wear them the 20 or so times we’ve visited a Disney park since then and we haven’t had to buy another one since. That set of ears is just as popular in the parks today as they were when we bought it, and she loves wearing it!
But what makes them the worst Disney souvenir?
“How is it possible for a hat that you say is the best souvenir to also be the worst souvenir” you ask? It’s mainly because of how many people are wearing them. After seeing virtually every guest with Disney hat, I can almost guarantee you that your son or daughter will be hanging on your arm, begging you to buy one. And, if you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself wishing you had one of your own.
So, let’s say you don’t heed this warning, and before you know it, you find yourself walking over to one of those racks of headbands or caps. You’re all excited when you pull that headband off the rack…until you look at the price tag. You’ll find that it’s a little bit higher than you were hoping for. This small little piece of fabric that’s a quarter of the size of a hat costs a whopping $18.
Now, if you know you’re coming back to a Disney park in the near future, then maybe that price is worth it to you, it clearly was to us. But what if you are only making one trip to Walt Disney World, or at the very least you only go every 5 years or so? More than likely you’ll forget about that hat, it’ll get buried in storage, or possibly even thrown out when you do your spring cleaning. I can promise you that you won’t be wearing it to the mall this weekend or on your normal trip to Walmart for the groceries.
You may think you’ll wear it around the house or find another use for it, but you won’t. I said the same thing about the various “normal” baseball caps I’ve bought at Walt Disney World only to find them in the closet simply because I don’t wear hats all that often. Now that we live in California, within an easy drive of Disneyland and have become annual passholders, I get a little more use out of that hat, but I still only wear it at Disney.
Maybe now you can see how this can be a GREAT souvenir for you or your child if you’re a frequent Disney-goer (once, twice, or more a year). But if you’re planning your family’s first ever Disney trip or you know you won’t be going back anytime soon, steer clear of these “little beauties.” However, if you just MUST have your own set of ears, try the local stores and gift shops off-property. This is where we bought our son a set of Mickey ears (since he’s not even two years old yet). It’ll be cheaper for you, and you won’t feel as bad if you never end up wearing it again. Of course, there’s also plenty of other Disney souvenirs to spend your money on, like this awesome painting I’ve got hanging up in my living room: