50th Merchandise

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer

The Disneyland Resort introduced a number of new vending products, completely redesigned paper goods and packaging around the resort, and launched several foods–based merchandise initiatives. New promotions will be added as the celebration continues.


Coca–Cola celebrates the 50th Anniversary with a specially labeled soft drink bottle. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

The Coca–Cola Company is one of just three original Disneyland sponsors with an active presence at the park 50 years later. To celebrate the anniversary, a commemorative bottle is available exclusively at the Disneyland Resort. The 20–ounce Coca–Cola Classic bottle, available at outdoor vending locations throughout the resort, features both Tinker Bell and the Happiest Homecoming on Earth logo on the label.

Disneyland park guests can purchase a frozen drink flavored with cantaloupe and sour watermelon. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Coke is also responsible for the “Tinker Bell Twist” flavor of frozen beverage available at select outdoor vending locations. The concoction is a swirl of cantaloupe and sour watermelon, and is available for purchase in a collectible Happiest Homecoming–themed plastic cup with a Tinker Bell label.

Although not specifically labeled for the 50th Anniversary, park guests can also purchase a Tinker Bell magic straw. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

To make your Happiest Homecoming beverage even more magical, sip it from the new Tinker Bell magic straw. The $7.50 souvenir comes with a light–up Tinker Bell figurine that can be removed from the straw and clipped to your hair or clothing.

One version of the anniversary popcorn bucket includes an image of Stitch. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Souvenir travel mugs and popcorn buckets have also been updated for the 50th anniversary. The new travel mugs feature a series of six anniversary designs, themed to the Disneyland decades—the graphics reflect the era each mug represents. “I can not overemphasize the amount of research that went into these designs” says Karlos Siqueiros, manager of concept development for food operations at the Disneyland Resort. The Disney archives were ransacked for images of restaurants and period costumes from each decade.

The popcorn buckets will feature nine different images over the course of the 18–month promotion. Nicknamed “hug buckets,” the photos on these new souvenir buckets depict the Disney characters interacting with children in the park. The first character featured was Stitch, a new bucket will be released every other month, or as the previous style sells out.

Collectors can have their plate—and dessert too. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Disneyland is also offering a new anniversary dessert that is available at select dining locations, consisting of a mouse ears–shaped truffle filled with chocolate and raspberry mousse designed by Disneyland's pastry chef Jean–Marc Viallet. Most locations offer it for around $6.99, or you can pay $29.99 at select restaurants and receive a “free” souvenir plate. This may make no sense upon first reading, but stick with us. Imagineer Kim Irvine, who designed the crowns used to decorate Sleeping Beauty Castle for the anniversary, provided artwork for this series of six collectible plates. Five of the plates feature her design for one of the decorative crowns, the final plate depicts the decorated castle in the center with a border design of all five crowns. The back of each plate is hallmarked with Irvine's signature, and the plate comes in a presentation box.

The plates were created for Disney by Dudson (link), the company that also provides fine china to Club 33. So whether you consider it a $29.99 dessert with a free gift (as Disneyland is marketing the promotion), or a $29.99 plate with a free dessert, either way, the plate is not terribly overpriced as such things go—and plate collectors will certainly want to snap up the entire set. Plates are available while supplies last, and the next design will be released when the previous one sells out. The promotion is offered at the following locations:

  • Disneyland Park: Plaza Inn, Carnation Cafe, Rancho del Zocalo, Blue Bayou, French Market, River Belle Terrace
  • Disney's California Adventure: Ariel's Grotto, Vineyard Room, Wine Country Trattoria
  • Paradise Pier Hotel: PCH Grill, Yamabuki
  • Disneyland Hotel: Hook's Pointe, Granville's Streak House
  • Grand California Hotel: Storytellers Cafe

“No licky fingers, no licky spoons” is the motto at the Junior Chef program. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Nestlé sponsors the new Junior Chef program at Plaza Pavilion. In this program, which is similar to one currently offered at Walt Disney World and coming soon to the Disney Cruise Line, children get to help bake a batch of cookies. With a little help from the adult staff, participants mix bowls of cookie dough using ingredients from canisters that pay homage to Main Street stores. Examples are “Candy Palace” vanilla and “Gibson Girl” sugar. Once the dough has been mixed, the cookies “bake” for 3 minutes in one of Mickey's magic ovens. Each child then gets to take a cookie home with them after the show. The program is held five times a day, and accommodates up to 20 children ages 4 through 10. Between shows, children get to decorate and color chef hats and coloring sheets.

The new Annual Passholder dining pin series started on May 5. This series commemorates classic Disneyland restaurants, and features characters dressed in the costumes of each location. The first pin depicts Mickey and Minnie working at Main Street's Carnation Cafe. The pins come in a presentation box, decorated with graphics from 1957–1959 guidebooks. A new pin will be offered every other month for 18 months. A jumbo pin will be offered to passholders who dine at the resort on July 17. The promotion is offered at the following locations:

  • Disneyland Park: Plaza Inn, Carnation Cafe, Rancho del Zocalo, Blue Bayou, French Market, River Belle Terrace
  • Disney's California Adventure: Ariel's Grotto, Vineyard Room, Wine Country Trattoria
  • Paradise Pier Hotel: PCH Grill, Yamabuki
  • Disneyland Hotel: Hook's Pointe, Granville's Streak House
  • Grand California Hotel: Storytellers Cafe


No Disney celebration would be complete without lots and lots of (occasionally expensive) merchandise, and the 50th anniversary provides collectors with ample opportunity to empty their wallets. Four major merchandise collections fill Disneyland shops, a stack of anniversary books and music releases tempt collectors, and the Disney Gallery has reopened with a new exhibit of artwork available through the Print on Demand system. A calendar packed with merchandise special events promises even more to come.

Logo collections

Disneyland releases a new line of products using retro logos. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

The Disneyland Retro Logo collection of accessories and collectibles in shades or pink, chocolate and aqua feature iconic images from attractions like the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion. Highlights include a reproduction of the Monorail Game, a miniature lunch box filled with 1950s candy, and an alarm clock. This was one of the first anniversary collections released, and has been a bestseller.

Special snowglobes celebrate the 50th anniversary with Fab Five characters. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

The Happiest Homecoming on Earth series is the largest and most colorful collection, featuring the Fab Five characters dressed to represent Disneyland lands and eras. The design is available on everything from T–shirts to key chains, and water globes to paper weights.

Commemorative merchandise includes an updated anniversary castle for the Disney village. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

One nice character–free collection depicts the beautifully decorated Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disneyland offers quite a lot of clothing to celebrate the 50th anniversary, including this sweatshirt. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

This line caters to adults, with high–end home decor items and women's clothing. Another upscale logo collection offers photo albums and men's clothing.

Books and music

The highly coveted, 5,000–unit, limited–edition set of CDs contains a very large collection of music from the park. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Disney audiophiles have clamored to get their hands on a copy of A Musical History of Disneyland. The six–CD set is crammed with over seven hours of new and classic, restored and remastered recordings from Disneyland park, including many previously unreleased recordings. The set also comes with a72–page hardcover book, featuring an in–depth look at the musical and audio history of Disneyland park. 5,000 limited edition sets come with gold vinyl reproduction of Walt Disney Record's first ever album release, Walt Disney Takes You To Disneyland: A Musical Tour of the Magic Kingdom. Once those are gone, a special edition with a copy of the record pressed in black vinyl will be sold through Disney Direct and the Disney theme parks. In September, a national release of the six CDs—without the record—will be available at stores across the country. Priced at $125 the box set is available from DisneyDirect.com, Disneyland Resort, and the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disneyland's official album is revised from when it was last released in 2001, and is now a two–record set. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Two versions of the new Disneyland official album have replaced the 2001 edition. The two–disc Happiest Homecoming on Earth: The Official Album of the Disneyland Resort features music from Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, and is exclusive to the Disneyland Resort. A single–disc version, Disney's Happiest Celebration On Earth, is available through DisneyDirect.com and retailers nationwide.

The long–awaited Disney art book The Art of Disneyland (Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon, foreword by Martin A Sklar) has 130 pages filled with photographs and concept art from 50 years of Disneyland history, starting with a site plan for the never–developed Griffith Park location and the first Herb Ryman sketch of Disneyland, and ending with the 50th Anniversary Castle rendering. Available for $75 from DisneyDirect.com, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort.

The new Disneyland souvenir book, Disneyland Then, Now and Forever (Bruce Gordon and Tim O'Day) is available only at the Disneyland Resort. A reprint of Disneyland 1955 In Natural Color is available at the resort and bookstores.

Disney Gallery

The new Disney Gallery exhibit showcases 50 years of Disney art. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix

The Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square reopened on May 5th with a new exhibit titled "Disneyland: A Magical Canvas - 50 Artists Celebrate 50 Years." As the name implies, the rooms of the Gallery are filled with sketches, drawings, paintings and concept art pulled from the Disney archives. The exhibit is organized in rooms, with each part of the gallery dedicated to one or two lands.

Almost 150 images are available via the Gallery's Print on Demand system. Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix

Collectors will be thrilled to discover that almost all of the art is available via the Print on Demand system, and reproductions of favorite prints can be had for as little as $15. The Gallery also offers a small collection of books and music focusing on Disneyland history. To provide visual relief from the print art lining the walls, displays in the center of one room showcase a selection of sculpture from the Walt Disney Classics Collection and Armani.

Armani sculptures are once again offered at the Disney Gallery. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix

New art and collectibles will be added to the Gallery throughout the exhibit.

Events and special collections

Disney has released commemorative Disney Dollars for the anniversary, including a $50 version with Mickey for the first time. Image courtesy of Disney.

Commemorative Disney Dollars were released May 5. Dumbo ($1), Donald ($5) and Stitch ($10) appear on the new Disney Dollars created for the 50th anniversary, along with Mickey Mouse on the first–ever $50 bill. On July 17, artist Charles Boyer will be on hand to sign a special edition $50 Disney Dollar.

Popular artist Shag is a guest of honor for a special event in June. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Artist Shag (Josh Agle) will be the guest of honor at a cocktail party on June. Merchandise ranges from a $18 lunch box to a $10,000 original painting. Tickets to the event are $150 ($400 with hotel stay). Register at the Disney Gallery Web site (link).

The U.S. Postal Service releases the second set in its The Art of Disney series. Photo courtesy of Disney.

The U.S. Postal Service issues its second set of The Art of Disney postage stamps on June 30. First–day–of–issue postal cachets, framed postal cachet sets, shirts, mugs and pins featuring the stamp artwork will be available for purchase.

Robert Olszewski introduces a new collectible for a special event in July. Photo courtesy of Disney.

The 50 Years of Magical Memories event from July 15 to 17 gives collectors the first opportunity to see and purchase a slew of 50th anniversary collectibles by major artists and companies, including Robert Olszewski, Lenox, and Swarovski. The only ticket still available for the event, the “Imagineer's Quest,” is $495 per person (link). Some of the event merchandise will be available at authorized retailers around the country after the event.

Popular artist Shag introduces a Disneyland park map, available in September. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Shag returns to the Disneyland Resort on September 24 to release his interpretation of the Disneyland Park map, as well as a collection of merchandise based on the colorful image.