Disney Stuff - Disney Aloha Shirts

by Chris Barry, staff writer

Welcome back to another Disney Stuff.

Growing up on an island has certainly reinforced my love of all things water-related. I grew up hanging out at the beach all summer long. We swam, boated, fished, sailed, and just immersed ourselves in the sea. Sometime around high school I began to get interested in surfing and surf culture and it's been a big passion ever since. Along with the surfboard, skateboard, Vans sneakers, and shaggy hair came a love of that staple of surf fashion—the Hawaiian Aloha shirt. I've always been a fan and there have always been several in my closet at any given time.

Of course, just like it has in so many facets of my life, Disney has found its way into my collection of Aloha shirts. There are always certain things that come back with us from a Disney trip. I have to buy the tins of Spearmint Mickey mints. There's always a decent selection of pins. My Mickey watches have been well documented here on MousePlanet and our past trip added two more to that collection. But, something I haven't talked about is my burgeoning array of Disney Aloha shirts.

I fully concede I'm no John Lasseter. The Pixar founder and Disney Chief Creative Officer has close to 400 Aloha shirts in regular rotation (with nearly 1,000 in all) and he wears them eveyday. I've only got seven Disney Aloha shirts so far, but each time they add a new one in the Walt Disney World gift shops, I aim to bring it home. I've also found a couple through Disney Shopping and the Disney Store. So, let's open up the cedar closet and check out my Disney Aloha shirt collection.

This shirt has the designation of being on the cover of the very last Disney Catalog (which, of course, is sitting on my shelf with my collection of old issues of Disney Magazine). It's got Mickey and the gang dressed in surf trunks holding boards:

My last purchase from the Disney Catalog. Photo by Chris Barry.

Mickey and Donald hitting the surf. Photo by Chris Barry.

The next one was a Walt Disney World purchase. It's got sailboats and palm trees amid the Disney characters:

A more nautically themed Aloha shirt.Photo by Chris Barry.

Mickey and Pluto sacking out on their island. Photo by Chris Barry.

Also from the shops of Walt Disney World:

A travel-themed Aloha shirt from Walt Disney World. Photo by Chris Barry.

It features some iconic surfing images such as this shot of Mickey staring at the waves, board in hand leaning up against the classic surf vehicle, an old Woody:

Mickey and his Woody wait for the surf to come up. Photo by Chris Barry.

The shirt also has a great Disney castle postage stamp, a Donald Duck postage stamp, and my favorite image—a passport with the old Walt Disney World Mickey globe icon:

Anytime this old WDW logo shows up, I'm happy. Photo by Chris Barry.

Here's another Walt Disney World resort purchase. This one's got more of the classic Aloha shirt flowers with a few scattered images of Mickey, Donald, and Pluto. Certainly not a subtle shirt. It's loud and colorful, but the Disney aspect is rather subtle:

My newest Aloha shirt from Walt Disney World. Photo by Chris Barry.

Pluto surfs while Donald is stuck in the sand. Photo by Chris Barry.

I don't always go loud and colorful with my Aloha shirts. Here are two more subtle versions that I found in Walt Disney World, specifically at the Contemporary Resort's gift shop, Bayview Gifts. This one just has a thin band of Mickeys leaning up against tiki statues. Most people can't even tell it's a Disney shirt:

A very subtle Mickey Aloha shirt. Photo by Chris Barry.

A close-up look at Mickey and the tikis. Photo by Chris Barry.

The next one is also pretty subtle when it comes to broadcasting Disney. It's mostly a palm tree, but when you get closer you see Mickey with his straw hat and flip-flops relaxing underneath:

Mickey lazing underneath a palm tree. Photo by Chris Barry.

A closer look at Mickey on this shirt. Photo by Chris Barry.

My favorite Disney Aloha shirt was found at, of all places, my local Disney Store. One of my complaints about the Disney Store in recent years has been the lack of unique adult offerings. There's usually one island of T-shirts and some hats and mugs, but that's about it—especially when compared to the old days. Imagine my surprise when on one of my visits I stumbled across a handful of these Reyn Spooner Disney/Pixar Up! shirts:

The Reyn Spooner Disney/Pixar Up! Aloha shirt. Photo by Chris Barry.

Kevin the bird on the Reyn Spooner Up! shirt. Photo by Chris Barry.

Carl Fredricksen on the Reyn Spooner Up! shirt. Photo by Chris Barry.

Reyn Spooner has been making authentic Aloha shirts in Hawaii since 1956. They have produced quite a few limited edition Disney Aloha shirts that have become instant collector's items. Do a search on eBay right now and you'll find Reyn Spooner Disney shirts for upwards of $200. The Pixar Up! shirt really was a great find and it always gets comments when I wear it in the Disney parks.

Which, by the way, has become something of a Walt Disney World tradition for me. When we're visiting the "World," we always park hop. Our mornings are usually spent getting to a park at opening. After a few hours of fun, we head back to our Disney hotel for a rest and some pool time. When we head out for the night, it's become de rigueur for me to throw on a Aloha shirt. Most of the time, but not exclusively, it's a Disney Aloha shirt. What better place to wear one then walking around the Magic Kingdom or Epcot's World Showcase at night? It dresses up my evening and certainly adds to the festivity.

Sometimes I don't feel like I've quite arrived at Walt Disney World until I put on one of my favorite Disney Aloha shirts. One of my kids actually commented on that a week or so ago. We were in our BoardWalk hotel room getting ready for our first night at the Magic Kingdom. My daughter Samantha said, “It's officially a Disney trip… Daddy's wearing his Up! Aloha shirt.” Smart girl, that Samantha. She took the words right out of my mouth.

How about you readers out there? Does anyone have a penchant for these boisterous pieces of fabric emblazoned with tropical flowers and Mickey Mouse? As usual, click on the link below; let me hear your thoughts and I'll see you next time with more of that great Disney Stuff.


  1. By pacdomer

    Great article Chris! The Up shirt is really awesome.

    I have a few Hawaiian shirts, but only one is a Disney shirt. However, it is really special to me because I got it in Hawaii at Aulani:

  2. By Misterblue

    I have a few Disney tropical shirts of my own. My favorite is bright red with a surfing Mickey:

    I have another shirt with Mickey and Minnie:
    Not sure where this came from. It has a copyright Disney label but its label is "Barefoot n Paradise".

    While we are on shirts, remember when Disney made high quality, button down, long sleeve shirts?
    They sported a subtle Mickey logo:

    -- mb

  3. By cbarry

    Very cool to see other cool Aloha shirts that I DON'T have. I'll just have to go to Aulani one of these days to get the real thing!!

    Thanks for reading and for posting the pics.


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