I’m an avid Disney ear collector. With about 100 proudly displayed on my wall, I can’t leave a Walt Disney World vacation without them. But despite how unique and adorable many of the park’s designs are, one thing’s for sure: they are not always the most comfortable accessory to wear for long hours at a time.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat this. Below, we take a look at how to make Disney ears comfortable for your next visit to the Kingdom:
Break Them In
One of the most common complaints from Disney ear-wearers is that the ears give them a headache. This is known as a compression headache and occurs when you wear something tight across your forehead or scalp. If you’ve ever worn goggles in the swimming pool, you know exactly what this sensation feels like (including how good it feels to take the binding object off).
Unfortunately, Disney’s ears are infamous for causing compression headaches because of how tight their headbands are. This is especially true for the older designs (here’s looking at you, silver sequin ones from my senior trip in 2009). You can help prevent a compression headache by taking the time to break your Disney ears in.
Since many of these ear designs are available on Shop Disney or other websites such as eBay or Amazon, it may be a good idea to purchase them before you leave for your trip. This will allow you to wear them or rest them on a styrofoam head for a few days before you leave, allowing them to get stretched out beforehand.
Experts recommend stretching your headband out for at least 24 hours, but personally, I recommend doing this over the course of a week, especially if you want to wear those ears each day you visit the parks.
Remember, the most comfortable Disney ears are going to be the ones that are lined with fabric. Anything that has a sequin or plastic headband or plastic holders will be much less comfortable.
Alter Your Existing Ones
Disney’s ears don’t just cause compression headaches — they also can cause severe irritation behind the ears. There were so many times that I opted to take my ears off just so I could continue wearing my sunglasses because the combo caused too much pain.
Unfortunately, this is another common problem Disney ear wearers face, but there is a helpful solution. If your headband is made of plastic or another irritating material such as sequins, you can cut a small piece of foam or fabric and glue it on the inside rim of the headband where it causes irritation.
Make Your Own Disney Ears!
If the options above don’t work for you, you can always make your own Disney ears – and trust me, it’s not as intimidating as you might think. All you need is a plain headband, some fabric, hot glue, polyester fiberfill, and some imagination!
There are a ton of easy tutorials online you can use. Even if you don’t know how to sew or don’t have a sewing machine, you can still make them with a hot glue gun.
To make your own set of Disney ears, here’s what you’ll need:
- Cardboard box
- Polyester fiberfill
- Small scissors
- Hot glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Printed fabric
- Sequin fabric
Here’s an easy tutorial for how to make your own set of Disney ears (with no sewing required!):
- Download and print out a Minnie ears template. This is what you’ll use to create the shape of your ears and fabric.
- If you’re using a sewing machine, follow the instructions on the template as followed. But, if you’re opting for a glue gun, trace the “sewing” ear onto a slab of cardboard. Make four of these and cut them out.
- Trace the fabric stencil on your selected fabric. Trace this on the back of the fabric, but make sure you’re including the part of the design you want. When tracing this, leave a little bit of fabric open at the end, as this is where you’ll stuff your ears. Cut out four of these.
- Once you have all your ears cut out (four pieces of cardboard and four pieces of fabric), place each piece of cardboard inside the cut-out fabric. Glue the sides of the fabric down, leaving space at the bottom.
- Stuff each of them with the polyester fiberfill and glue the leftover fabric on the back of the cardboard.
- Quickly add glue to the back of the ears (where the cardboard is exposed) and place two ear togethers. I put five clips around each set of ears to make sure they are firmly glued together. Do this with both pairs of ears.
- Add trim. Slowly add glue to the rim of the ear and lay your fabric trim on top of it, curving along with the ear from one side to the other. Cut off the trim’s “tail” at the bottom so it looks clean.
- Next, grab your headband and glue each ear about 2.5” inches apart from one another. Hold them firmly into place for about a minute so it leaves enough time for the glue to harden.
- After this, you can wiggle the ears to see how tight they are and determine if you have to add more glue.
- Next, lay out a piece of fabric and determine your ideal width and length to make the bow. Please make sure it’s at least 8” so you have enough room to make it.
- Cut the fabric into a rectangular shape.
- Fold the fabric in half by bringing both sides to the center and glue down.
- Fold over about an 1” on either side and glue down. This cleans up the ends of the ears.
- Lay it horizontally and make small accordion folds until you have three separate folds.
- Cut out a thin piece of fabric (about 2-3”) and glue down the sides to clean it up.
- Wrap this thin piece of fabric around the center of the accordion fold and glue down.
- Next, glue the underside of the bow (the center) onto the top of the headband in between the ears.
It seems like a lot of work but making your own Mickey ears will take about an hour and the end result is something you can definitely be proud of!
Shops That Sell Comfortable Ears
When you type “Mickey ears” into Etsy, over 80,000 results come up. That’s a lot to search through, so we provided links to a few of our favorite small shops that sell comfortable Mickey ears:
- Dream It Do It Design Co
- Magically Ever Ears (transparency moment: this is my shop!)
- ToonTown Supply Co
- Handmade Heart Ears
- Pop Creative Designs
- Pixie Dust Magic Co
- Happiest Designs Co
If you’re a Mickey ear fanatic like me but are looking for some alternatives, we hope this list provided you with some helpful tips and tricks! If you do make your own pair of ears, please tag us on Instagram at @wdwacationtips; we’d love to see your creativity!
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.
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