Posted by: dodgrblu | August 31, 2010

Of Mouse Ears and Mania

It's been said that the Dodgers are a Mickey Mouse operation; now we have the proof!

I love Disneyland. Always have. When I was growing up in Arizona, it was just a (long) car ride away. During the 1980s, I went almost every year with either family or friends. After I moved to Washington, it got a lot more expensive to go (and too far to drive), and my trips were very infrequent. I was at Disneyland at Christmas in 1993, at EuroDisney (aka, Disneyland Paris) in 1994, and Disneyland again in 1996. But after 1996, 10 years would pass before I again visited The Happiest Place on Earth.

A lot happened to Disneyland between 1996 and 2006—most notably the parking lot, formerly filled with cars, became California Adventure, occasionally filled with guests. I was pretty worried before our trip in 2006: would Disneyland still be Disneyland?

Yes, yes it is. We’ve been four times since 2006, and I still love Disneyland. My favorite thing about the new “Disneyland Resort”: ESPNZone in Downtown Disney. (Nothing like taking a break from the park to go guzzle some beer and munch some so-good-it’s-criminal cheesy bacon fries. Yeah, baby!)

On nearly every trip to Disneyland, I’ve come home with a new set of mouse ears, always with my name embroidered on the back. Yes, this tradition continues: I am THAT woman–the one who is clearly far too old to be wearing Mickey Mouse ears but who wears them anyway. (I’ve learned in recent years that the official Disney term for mouse ears is “Mickey Mouse earhat.” Hmm. Can’t spell “earhat” without “rat.” Just sayin’.)

I haven’t kept all of my mouse ears over the years, but I have a few. My favorite is from the 25th anniversary celebration—black hat with translucent silver ears. (Truth be told, one of my excuses why we absolutely positively had to go in 2006 was to get a pair of the 50th anniversary ears. Even Mr. Vamp was seduced by the oh-s0-shiny gold ears and got a pair. I have pictures.) I also have a pair from EuroDisney (yes, they say “EuroDisney”—I visited just as they were rebranding the park “Disneyland Paris”). The 6-foot-tall Santa Jack Skellington in our bedroom sports  a pair of Jack Skellington mouse ears, with “Jack” embroidered on the back, of course. And last October, I brought home a pair of the Halloween pumpkin mouse ears—I skipped getting my name on ‘em, though. Last year, Disneyland finally started charging you to have them embroidered (even with just the basic embroidery).  But more importantly, the line for embroidery was long, and Little Vamp was cranky.

(This is going somewhere, I promise.)

One of the things I wanted when we went to an Angels game during the period Disney owned the Angels was an Angels cap with Mickey Mouse ears. I never found such a thing. Marketing FAIL. (Of course, Disney’s ownership of the Angels was one big expensive marketing fail.)

Then, in July of this year, All-Star Mania came to Anaheim, as Angels Stadium hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. (You may have heard of it.) During the television coverage of the Home Run Derby and the pre-game parade down Main Street in Disneyland, I spied a few people in the crowd wearing mouse ears with the ASG logo. Hell-o!

Luckily, Disneyland has a telephone number specifically for ordering merchandise sold in the park—it’s even toll-free. I’ve ordered a few things from them in recent years, and I have to say that the customer service people are some of the nicest and most helpful I’ve talked to anywhere. (And they’re clearly not in India or Indonesia: bonus!)

So, the day after the All-Star Game, I called up to inquire about the availability of the ASG mouse ears. The very helpful woman on the other end of the line said they were getting low, but she thought they still had some—which kind would I like?

I paused: I didn’t know there would be choices. She helpfully added, “We have plain ones, Angels ones, and Dodgers ones.”

And right there, with the mention of Dodgers mouse ears, the price of my folly doubled. I asked for one plain AND one Dodgers. She put me on hold and returned a couple of minutes later, confirming that, yes, they had what I was looking for. I was already in their computer system, so very quickly, my wallet was a little lighter and my brand-new ASG mouse ears were on the way.

They showed up a few days later. Little Vamp was very excited to bring the box upstairs. (As I said previously, she knows Mommy gets cool sh*t in the mail.) I waited until after she’d gone to bed to open the box though. I didn’t want my new treasures carried off and stepped on before I even got to try ‘em on. (She has paraded around in them since, proclaiming herself “adorable.”)

The plain ASG ones are cool enough–basic black with a nice ASG logo on the front, and a baseball printed on one ear.

Hey now, you're an All-Star!

Dodger ears, rear view.

But, oh, the Dodgers mouse ears! Dodger blue cap with black ears, white Dodgers script logo embroidered on the front, classic LA logo printed on one ear, and ASG logo on the back. If not for my 25th anniversary mouse ears, I’d have a new favorite.

As I was modeling my lovely Dodger mouse ears, Mr. Vamp astutely observed, “I know what you’re going to be wearing when we go to Disneyland in January.” I think he’s right.

But there’s no guarantee I won’t come home from the trip with another pair of ears if I find something cool.

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