Why are mouse-ear balloons now encased in a second balloon?
January 24, 2010 5:56 PM   Subscribe

I noticed recently on a trip to Disneyworld (FL, USA) that the ubiquitous mouse ear balloons are now enclosed in a second, clear balloon. When did this change, and does anyone know why?

All the promotional materials still show pictures of the mouse ear balloons without the second clear balloon encasing it, and all my previous Disney trips have had the mouse ear balloons without this seemingly-new clear "casing."
posted by juniperesque to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
I was just at Disneyland, CA, and noticed the same thing. At night, the inner balloon lights up. I'm guessing the outer balloon just creates extra lift for the lamp/battery mechanism inside.
posted by The Potate at 6:05 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: The clear balloon extends the life of the latex balloon and protect them from popping in the summer sun. Disney was seeing a lot of Mickey ears balloons drooping at the end of the day. They would then get a lot of complaints that the Balloon died before it could even get home. Using a second balloon mitigates that issue. Now the balloon lasts another 24 hours or so making the guests a lot happier.

We don't have the light up balloons out here in Orlando yet. I hope they come soon, however. I'm going to violate my rule of not buying balloons and get one.
posted by IndigoSkye at 6:12 PM on January 24, 2010 [4 favorites]

I suspect that they can charge more money for the new balloon.... perhaps that's part of the answer, eh?
posted by HuronBob at 6:16 PM on January 24, 2010

Those double balloons do last a long time. We bought one and it stayed inflated for about two weeks.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:31 PM on January 24, 2010

There were definitely those clear balloons around the Mickey ears balloon for a long time before they introduced the light-up ones, which I don't think I saw before the last year or so. I think IndigoSkye is right and it sounds like s/he knows what s/he is talking about.

The light up balloons are BEAUTIFUL. That is all.
posted by crinklebat at 6:43 PM on January 24, 2010

A little bit of a derail, but do NOT get one of these balloons if you are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You're not allowed to have them in the rooms, but they will keep them at bell services for you (I guess you can go and visit for a couple of minutes every day?)

I realize that the rules are there to protect the animals, but the more you know. . .
posted by dforemsky at 7:08 PM on January 24, 2010

The mouse-balloon-inside-the-balloon concept has been a Disney staple for at least 30 years. I don't recall ever not seeing them.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:18 PM on January 24, 2010

There's a video of the light-up ones on their blog. Pretty nifty!
posted by amanda at 9:56 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

The double balloon has been at Disneyland Anaheim for a very long time, I remember desperately wanting one on our family's first trip to the park in the early 70s but my parents balked at the cost because it was more expensive than the single mouse ears style. During a subsequent visit a year later they bought me a double balloon and I accidentally burst the outer clear one by bouncing it off a popcorn ceiling at the motel that same evening. Oh, the drama.

The ones from my childhood did not light up. They didn't come with a weight on the end of the white cotton string (not ribbon) either.
posted by jamaro at 10:59 PM on January 24, 2010

I was just stopping in to say that the balloon-inside-balloon concept was around about 10 years ago when I visited when I was younger, so definitely a long time, but damn, apparently some people cite it going back much further. They last an insane amount of time. I kept mine and the inner balloon had some degree of inflation years later, though it was barely any.

Now I'm off to GIS these lighted balloons...
posted by disillusioned at 11:48 PM on January 24, 2010

I'm 39 and there's a picture of me around age 3-4 carrying one (anecdotal data point). I will not however be posting the picture.
posted by theredpen at 6:57 AM on January 25, 2010

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