Glow With the Show ears debut at Walt Disney World with freebies filling the audience for Fantasmic! 15th anniversary

in Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Entertainment, Events, Merchandise, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

The marginally popular Glow with the Show Ear hats that first appeared at the Disneyland Resort in June 2012 made their Walt Disney World debut tonight in honor of the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The interactive versions of Disney’s famous Mickey Ear hats light up in a variety colors in sync with show elements, often to the beat of music.

Each set of Glow with the Show Ear hats is normally available for $25, but Fantasmic! dinner package guests attending tonight’s performance received them free, filling the middle section of the audience – a perfect opportunity for Disney to snap some promotional photos to show off how fun this technology can be when it’s used en masse. (Note: The ears are not normally included in the dinner package nor are they free. This was a one-time giveaway.)


Video: Glow With the Show ears debut at Walt Disney World during Fantastmic!


Here’s what they looked like tonight in the center section filled with glowing heads:

But here’s one of the side sections in which far fewer people actually purchased the ears:

There was still a fairly large number of these ear hats found in the side sections, likely due to it being the debut night, but they certainly didn’t fill up as much.

The Glow With the Show ears haven’t proved to be terribly successful in California’s parks, despite a similarly large debut. When the ears were first handed out for use with the World of Color nighttime show during a big press event, the spectacle was impressive:

But since then, only a handful of glowing ears can be seen on an average night in the park, not nearly the hundreds Disney would hope for. With a large inventory now in Walt Disney World’s hands, Disney’s hoping it will catch on on the east coast more than it has out west.

Beginning Oct. 19, guests will also be able to experience the Wishes fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom with the new Glow with the Show Ear hats, followed by more glowing entertainment during the holiday season, glowing with the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Holiday Wishes as well as Holiday Wishes and Celebrate the Magic at the Magic Kingdom.

(Photos and video by Dave Drumheller)

38 Comments

  1. Kelly M

    I imagine with how close everyone in that stadium is anyway – if this is right in front of you its highly distracting.

  2. Gord L

    If they will be sold for Wishes shortly as well. Do we know if they will work for both shows automatically? Can I buy one hat and experience the magic at both shows in one trip?

    1. DVC Dude

      According to the Cast Member at Hollywood Studios, Glow with the Show ears can be used for special events at all Disney Parks around the world. They’re definitely fun if you plan on visiting the parks often, may not be worth it for one trip though.

  3. Gizmo Jones

    Wow, this was a pretty rude review. You certainly make it seem like you’re smacking Disney’s hand – did you not get a free hat?

    Was this line even necessary?
    – a perfect opportunity for Disney to snap some promotional photos to show off how fun this technology can be when it’s used en masse.

    1. Brad

      How is this review ride? Get over yourself!

      1. Gizmo Jones

        That would be “rude,” Brad. “Rude.”

        1. Brad

          Thanks tips!

    2. Ricky Brigante

      Not rude – truthful. That line was absolutely necessary because Glow With the Show is FANTASTIC when used on this special one-night only events full of free hats. But every other night, it’s quite dull. They simply have not caught on in any form. The World of Color premiere was incredible, but the only time it’s ever looked that good is when Glow With the Show hats were handed out for free. The rest of the evenings have, maybe, 15 hats at most. At that point, they become a distraction, seeming to blink randomly instead of in sync with the show.

      In this case, it’s necessary to point out to anyone reading this article, potentially interested in seeing the sea of glowing hats that Disney is publicizing, that it’s 99% not likely going to actually happen. Don’t attend Fantasmic expecting to see the sights presented here. Unless the hats somehow catch on at Walt Disney World more than they did at Disneyland, these promotional opportunities are the only time that guests get to see the technology used at its best.

      1. Gizmo Jones

        It hasn’t caught on at WDW yet because you were there for the very first evening. This isn’t like the once in a lifetime (we think) Villains Party – this was the first night. Give it a chance. I have strong predictions that this will end up being extremely popular at WDW versus Disneyland because of the fact that there are so many different shows to use these hats for.

        Your post came across as rude and holier than thou. It had the feeling like you were miffed that Disney didn’t give you a free hat or front row seats to the first show – I suspect had you received either one, it would have been a glowing (ha!) review.

        1. Ricky Brigante

          We see the future differently. Disneyland has also used Glow With the Show in a number of ways, not just World of Color. They work while in Cars Land, at the Mad T Party, Fantasmic, and during the fireworks – just like here. And yet, despite the high concentration of locals who could be bringing them back to the parks on a regular basis, they simply haven’t caught on. At Walt Disney World, even if thousands of tourists by them, they’ll also leave with them when their vacations are over. So for this to work, hundreds of people will have to buy them every single day before each show to fill each audience. I just don’t see that happening.

          And as to your claim that this is somehow about me not getting a freebie or preferential treatment, I wasn’t even there. The photos, video, and details of the night were supplied by someone else, as noted above. I am simply reporting on observations I have made since June 2012 about Glow With the Show. I simply don’t see it becoming any more successful in Florida than it has in California.

          1. Gizmo Jones

            So, you’re “reporting” an observation from the West Coast – and not actually talking about how well received it may have been by guests on the East Coast.

            Very interesting.

        2. Laurel

          This is one of the first Disney reviews I’ve read that actually seemed HONEST. I didn’t find it rude. If I see these promotional photos/videos that Disney hands out and think “everyone gets free ears” or “it’s going to look like this every night” when I actually get to the parks, I will be very disappointed…Personally, I think Disney would have greater success with these if they sold them for less. I know it’s expensive to go there and this is no more expensive than their regular ears, but unless they pick a better print for the cap part, and maybe let me personalize it, I don’t think I would want to buy them. They could also just up the price of the fantasmic dining package and give them to those and maybe the fastpass+ users for free which would probably guilt a lot more parents into buying them for kids when they see them in the audience.

  4. Hilary Gwilt

    How often does this happen at Disney World? I wish I could be there the next time. About the glowin ear hats where can I buy them ,and how much do they cost?

    1. Gizmo Jones

      It is supposed to be a nightly show until Disney decides to cancel – each showing of Fantasmic, Wishes (not HalloWishes, but Holiday Wishes will be included), Celebrate the Magic, etc. They are $25 a hat. There are numerous places in the parks that will have them, and I believe for Fantasmic there will be a cart at the entrance as well.

  5. Ed(mouse)

    I found the article to be quite rude myself. The ears will work at all Disney attractions (for which they are designed) WORLDWIDE, so if you bring them to Disneyland Paris, or Dineyland in California, they’ll work there too. They are around $23+tax which brings them to exactly $25 per set. In Florida they are available in several locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios including just outside the main theater. With the inclusion of Wishes this weekend, they will soon be available at Magic Kingdom if they aren’t already.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Very true. But so far, very few people are actually doing any of that. They’re just not selling well and locals don’t want to lug around heavy ears all day just to wear them for others to see. It’s an inherent problem with the concept. You buy something for other people’s enjoyment. You can’t even see your own hat.

      1. Mark Barbera

        We got the Glow with the Show hats in California and loved wearing them to every event in Disneyland. We were there in October last year, and the hats were quite predominant, long after the June premier when the freebies were given away. I am not sure where you are getting the opinion that they haven’t caught on, but they were definitely there in significant numbers for World of Colour in DCA and Disneyland’s Fantasmic and Wishes fireworks shows. I certainly wouldn’t describe their presence as scarce – and they really aren’t that heavy at all. I am excited to see they are being used in Walt Disney World now too, and I have put them in my suitcase for our November trip!

        1. Ricky Brigante

          I’ve been back to the Disneyland Resort several times since the debut of the Glow With the Show ears and every time I’ve walked by World of Color, I’ve made a point to count the number of glowing ear hats in the crowd. At most, it was 10-15 on any given night. That’s a far cry from the hundreds that were there on opening night. It’s quite disappointing.

  6. Jamie Clelland

    Your suggestion during the show that these should be distributed like 3D specs is an excellent Idea!
    Perhaps just a headband that is permenately attached to the benches.

    I always thought the Mickey hats looked a little cheesy. The interactive element makes them only slightly more appealing.

    Also I’d like to see thes interact with rides if it is an INFRA-red signal giving an instructio, then you would only need to have a transmitter that gives a solo instruction at each stationary part.

  7. Jeremy

    The price point is just a bit too high. Hopefully we’ll see them experimenting with this a bit. Maybe in the form of a rental rather than a purchase? Best thing they can do is have a sales kiosk setup with that YouTube video playing.

  8. Scott Pletcher

    This article didn’t come across ‘rude’ to me at all… just honest. Anyone who listens to Ricky on a regular basis knows that he loves Disney but he also is not afraid to be critical. I see this as one of those ‘critical’ viewpoints.

    Now… as for the hats… I plan on buying four of these things for my entire family when we visit next week. It’ll cost me about $100. This is WAY too pricey for something like this but I’m going to do it anyway because, being an annual passholder, I feel that I’ll have ample opportunity to get my monies worth. If I wasn’t local and able to visit several times a year there would be now way in wonderland I would ever plunk down $100 for Mickey Ears, glowing or not.

    I think a solution that Disney might think about (if they’re interested in suggestions) is to offer these hats at a discounted price to anyone staying at a Disney Resort or if they are Passholders. If the price point were to drop to $15 or $20, I feel they’d get better participation and the better the participation, the more likely they are to sell them to folks. (I feel)… just my 2 cents.

  9. ryry

    The hats should be $10.00, then everyone would buy them. I’m sure they are made in China, just like everything else they sell in the parks. I’m not sure why they try to get top dollar out of everything they sell.. If you sell something for $25 and only sell 12 a day, or sell them for $10 then sell out. What makes more money? The ones that sell out! These people are already paying thousands of dollars to be at your parks, don’t nickle and dime us to death. Almost $4.00 for a 20oz soda that costs you 75 cents. I’m sure you make millions off of that a week.

  10. Daniella

    Lower the price and they will be a succes $25 each it’s way to much even for Disney

  11. Kim

    seems it would be easy to put it in as part of a package people buy. In other words, give them away with each package as they would the luggage tag.

  12. If you wish for to grow your knowledge only keep visiting this web
    site and be updated with the newest gossip posted
    here.

  13. It’s very effortless to find out any matter on web as compared to textbooks,
    as I found this paragraph at this website.

  14. No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she wishes to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  15. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
    truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others
    like you aided me.

  16. Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of info on
    your site. Im really impressed by it.
    Hey there, You have performed a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and for my part suggest
    to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited
    from this web site.

  17. Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your website is useful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch
    break. I love the information you provide here
    and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, awesome blog!

  19. Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality used to be a leisure account it.

    Glance advanced to more introduced agreeable from you!
    However, how can we keep in touch?

  20. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog
    posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site.
    Reading this information So i am happy to show that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I so much indisputably will make certain to do not omit this website and give it
    a look on a continuing basis.

  21. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or
    weblog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site.

    Reading this information So i’m happy to express
    that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
    I most for sure will make certain to don?t disregard this site and give it a glance on a relentless basis.

  22. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed
    in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

    Many thanks

Comments are closed.