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Best Old School Disneyland Souvenir

By gabrielleblair |

When I was a kid, my family went to Disneyland pretty often (we either lived in or near Southern California while I was growing up) and my favorite souvenir was a set of mouse ears with my name sewn on the back — in golden yellow thread, of course. If you went to Disneyland in the eighties, chances are you had a set of mouse ears as well!

From trips to Disney Parks as a parent, it’s pretty clear to me that classic mouse ears are no longer the souvenir of choice, but I’ve had my kids get a set anyway, because it’s not just the hat, it’s more about ordering the hat…

… and watching the worker at the sewing machine do their thing. I remember being fascinated watching as a kid, and I confess, I found it equally as fascinating to watch as an adult. The sewing machines are all the same, and don’t seem to have any special knobs or buttons. From what I could tell, they sew one type stitch. Period. And they’re LOUD. The seamstresses (and seamsters? is that a word?) are fast as lightning.

It looks like they’re just scribbling with the stitches, moving the hat around faster than you can imagine — I think a typical name takes like 10 seconds or less. They don’t use a guide. They don’t sketch it out with a pencil first. But when they’re done, your name will be centered on the back in elegant script. Fancy as can be. No spelling mistakes. I wish I had a video of me watching the process as a kid — I’m sure my jaw was dropped and my eyes were wide.

The memory of watching as a child was so distinct for me, that I wanted to make sure my kids got to see it too. How about you? Have you ever had your name sewn into a pair of mouse ears?

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About gabrielleblair

gabrielleblair

gabrielleblair

Gabrielle Blair is author of the popular Design Mom blog and a founder of Kirtsy — an influential social media community for women. Gabrielle also blogs at Babble's Family Style. She lives with her husband and six children in Normany, France. Read bio and latest posts → Read Gabrielle's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Best Old School Disneyland Souvenir

  1. Watch blog says:

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  2. theycallmecody says:

    I wasn’t aware you could have your name sewn into a Mickey hat, but my first souvenir from Disneyland was a pair of Mickey ears, and my kids each got sets of Mickey ears before they even had the chance of visiting Disneyland or World.

  3. Meghan Gesswein says:

    Oh man. I remember those from when I was a kid. I loooved getting them on trips to Disneyland. Those hats and those giant lollipops. Ah, memories.

  4. Katie says:

    I’m 29 years old and I still have my hat from our trip to Disneyland when I was 5. It even still fits, which is another story unto itself. :)

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  6. Jodi G says:

    I was one of those hat writers and I am as sad about it being gone as you. It was like magic. It was one of the ONLY free things in the park and it always gave us a chance to really talk to our customers. “That’s a beautiful name. Are you named after anyone?” (that sort of thing) I am trying to find any video of someone hat writing too. If I find anything, I’ll be sure to post it for you to see also! I’m glad to hear our skill in writing with those old, loud machines was magical for guests like you! It was an art and it is sad that they are gone.

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