Disney is all about rules and order. Sometimes the rules seem overbearing, however, they are typically put in place to improve guest safety and experience. Disney wants guests to have a good time in their parks, even if that means putting in place unpopular rules. This is evident with the news that Disney officially bans Mickey Ears in their parks.
One of the biggest changes to Disney World rules recently is increasing the minimum height requirement for their thrill rides to 5’5″. You can read that story here. This is to keep guests safe. Disney also recently announced here that they may allow carry-in alcohol into their parks. This is to improve the guest experience. As you can see, they are constantly changing their policies and adapting to changes.
When it comes to the banning of Mickey Ears, this applies to all Disney Ears. This includes, but is not limited to Figment, Oswald, Minnie, and more. Any Park Ear Hats you can buy on shopdisney.com will be banned in Disney parks. We will refer to these ears as both Mickey Ears and Disney Ears interchangeably.
Why Is Disney Banning Mickey Ears?
The decision to ban Mickey Ear Hats in their parks is to improve the guest experience and for safety reasons. The decision has a dual impact, which touches on two of Disney’s key goals. From a guest experience standpoint, it’s actually to improve the experience of guests not wearing ears. Imagine getting the perfect spot for the fireworks, then someone with Mickey Ears stands in front of you. The Mickey Ears now block your amazing view. This clearly is a negative experience for that guest.
From a safety standpoint, each year, thousands of guests lose their Mickey Ears on Disney rides. These headpieces don’t fit as snuggly as hats and are exponentially more likely to fly off during a ride. Despite the warnings to remove hats and glasses, people still wear them on rides. Because of this, countless guests are injured from Mickey Ears flying off of other passengers during rides. It’s almost as bad as the man who lost his hands on Space Mountain.
This is not an easy decision for Disney as Mickey Ears are a staple in Disney culture. In fact, 96% of guests who have visited Disney World at least two times, own one or more pairs of Mickey Ears. They are a huge business for Disney, so it comes as a surprise they are banning them from their parks. However, they ultimately feel like it’s the best decision for all guests. In fact, they already have a warning on their website for this ban as seen in the picture above.
Will Disney Stop Selling Their Ears for Good?
The answer is obviously no. Disney will continue to sell Mickey Ears, Minnie Ears, and all other Disney Ears. Guests will be able to buy Disney Ears on shopdisney.com as well as inside Disney World. However, they will still be banned in the parks.
Disney knows they can continue to make money on these ears. Even if people can’t wear them in the parks, they will still buy them and collect them. For example, Disney sells millions of collector’s pins every year. However, very few people actually wear them in the parks. We expect Disney Ears to be similar. Guests will continue to buy these ears, they just won’t be able to wear them inside the parks.
The biggest Disney fans are going to continue to hang Disney Ears on their walls. While they may be disappointed they can’t wear them in the parks, they can still buy and collect the merch. This is a sad decision for many, however, as mentioned earlier, it’s to make the guest experience better and for the safety of others, which is critical.
What do you think of Disney banning Mickey Ears in their parks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below
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