Disney Stuff - Disney Aloha Shirtsby 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:
The next one was a Walt Disney World purchase. It's got sailboats and palm trees amid the Disney characters:
Also from the shops of Walt Disney World:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.