Disney Parks Discriminate Against Men, Says Report

in Disney Parks, Merchandise

A young couple takes a selfie; the woman is making a peace sign. they wear matching purple t-shirts with cartoon dragon designs, standing against a vibrant blue backdrop.

Credit: Disney

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome.” That’s how Walt Disney invited the first guests into Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955. But some men say they’ve been excluded from one quintessential part of the Disney Park experience: themed headwear, like Mickey ears or statement hats.

The first pair of Mickey or Minnie ears is a right of passage at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. At any time, stores across the Disney parks, Downtown Disney, and Disney Springs sell dozens of options, from bedazzled sequin Minnie Mouse headbands to classic Mickey Mouse Club caps.

Mickey Mouse and Friends Minnie Ears Disney100
Credit: Disney Store

Mouse ears aren’t the only option, though. The Disney Store and Disney Parks gift shops offer Disney-inspired baseball caps, bucket hats, and, of course, classic oversized Goofy and Pluto hats.

Of course, accessories have no gender. Anyone can wear Minnie ears with a bow or a gray, understated Mickey Mouse ballcap. Still, many men who prefer more masculine headwear are frustrated with the limited options at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. This week, a discussion broke out among male Disney Park fans on Reddit.

“Am I the only guy who wishes there were more ear headbands that were slightly more masculine?” u/rcjlfk began. “I understand it’s a headband which is a traditionally feminine accessory, but I want a headband so badly. The fun part about Disneyland is leaning into everything, and the ears look like so much fun… There’s maybe three that I’ve seen that don’t have a bow.”

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Minnie Ears
Credit: WDW Ambassador Instagram

“The headwear that’s sort of more geared for guys are the goofy and Pluto hats, which are classics and fun,” he continued. “But d**n it I want a pair of ears.”

The man’s frustration resonated with hundreds of his fellow Disney Park fans.

“There are many designs that they just seem to slap a bow onto that doesn’t really need to be there,” said u/sluttttt. “I’m sure at this point, ears have an overwhelmingly female consumer base, but I think they should at least dabble in more masculine styles to see if there’s an audience.”

Monsters University hat
Credit: Amazon

“I sooooo wish they made more of the ears without bows,” u/MistakenMorality wrote. “Some of us love the fun of Mickey ears but don’t want the femme look of the bow.”

u/kitsum proudly wears Minnie Mouse ears with bows, but felt the Disney parks could improve their hat options:

The bows or female themes don’t bother or stop me…My issue with Disneyland headwear options is their hats. My hair is thinning at an alarming rate and I’ve taken to wearing baseball caps. I’ve got quite a collection. I’m always looking for cool hats at Disneyland but most are bland, ugly, or would be ridiculous to wear outside of the parks. I could count on one hand how many hats I’ve seen there I wanted to own.

“I think some more baseball caps would be amazing,” u/undertaker_5 agreed. “I feel hats are a must especially during the hotter months in Anaheim.”

Baymax Munchling S'mores Ears with the bow broken off.
Credit: Jess Colopy, Inside the Magic

It’s possible to remove some bows from Minnie Mouse ears with a seam ripper or scissors. Fans looking for other headwear options can also check out third-party sites like Etsy, though The Walt Disney Company prohibits non-licensed usage of its branding. One ear seller was banned from Walt Disney World Resort last year after advertising his “mouse ears” at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

What are your favorite headwear options at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort? Share them with Inside the Magic in the comments! 

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