Posted on: September 28, 2021 Posted by: Ariel Tattum Comments: 0

Fifty years doesn’t seem that long.

My first visit to Disney World was about seven years after it opened in 1971, when I was 14 years old. Only the Magic Kingdom was open, and we took a monorail by the new park “opening soon” called EPCOT

A walk through Frontierland brought our family to a gift shop, where my parents bought me a silver Western-style ring with pearl and black onyx stones. I wore that everywhere and wish I still had it because the ring always connected me to that time in the 1970s. 

The ring reminds me of how a gift or item purchased on every Disney visit connects us to that visit.

For Disney World’s 50th anniversary, we found 10 cool gifts to check out.

— Dave Osborn, regional features editor for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press in Fort Myers

Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears

They’re celebrated, iconic and worn thousands of times every day.

You stop at a store and buy Mickey or Minnie Mouse ears, then proudly walk through a Disney World park.

The ears originated nearly a century ago, according to Oh My Disney, the official blog of the Walt Disney Co.

“The 1929 animated short Karnival Kid inspired Disney staff artist Roy Williams to create the hat for the cast of the Mickey Mouse Club,” stated the blog, with the headline “Ears Through The Years.”

The EARidescent Collection is a new merchandise line that will launch in late October 2021 as part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” an 18-month extravaganza that begins Oct. 1 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)

Ears have come in various colors and styles, with the latest an “EARidescent Collection” version that launches in late October as part of the 50th anniversary celebration.

— Dave Osborn, Naples Daily News

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Disney-patterned Dooney and Bourke bags are popular.

Dooney and Bourke bags

Disney memories go everywhere with you — but there’s an option to physically carry them with you, too.

Dooney & Bourke, a fashion accessory company founded in 1975 in Connecticut, offers an ideal selection to keep the magic with you. Step inside Magic Kingdom’s Uptown Jewelers, and you’ll find an assortment of Dooney & Bourke bags and totes adorned in Disney characters.

Closeup of a Disney-patterned Dooney and Bourke bag.

One bag, for example, is themed after Disney World itself, complete with Tinkerbell sitting in front of Belle’s rose. Mickey Mouse isn’t far from the fireworks in this particular design, which is available in handbags, totes and crossbody options, too.

There are other designs, depending on which park you visit and when, but we’ll let you discover that magic for yourself.

— Andrew Atkins, Naples Daily News

Designer Betsey Johnson teamed up with Disney for a Haunted Mansion-themed jewelry line, which includes this specialty necklace.

Haunted Mansion-inspired jewelry

Mere mortals can find costume jewelry inspired by this Magic Kingdom attraction at a shop inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Designer Betsey Johnson teamed up with Disney for a Haunted Mansion-themed jewelry line, which includes two sets of earrings and a specialty necklace, all found in the resort’s Bayview Gifts shop. 

The detailed costume necklace, worth $100, features a large gold pendant and detailed charms of Madame Leota and skeleton ghosts. Featuring a nearly identical pendant, purchase the matching set of earrings for $75. 

The other set of earrings, part of the collection, are black and feature a safety pin design with dangling ghost’s heads ($65).

— Ashley Collins, contributing writer

Bracelet lovers can choose from many Disney keepsakes at the Pandora Jewelry store in the Town Center at Disney Springs. (Danielle Ivanov/The Gainesville Sun)

Pandora charms

For bracelet lovers, the Pandora Jewelry store in the Town Center at Disney Springs is one place to find special Disney keepsakes.

Shoppers can choose from a selection of signature charms, including princesses like Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” and Jasmine from “Aladdin.” There are also charms of everyone’s favorite animal and alien friends, like Mickey Mouse, Stitch from “Lilo & Stitch” and Marie from “The Aristocats.”