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Showing My Disney Side Using Rapid Printing Technology at D-Tech on Demand in Marketplace Co-Op

posted on July 18th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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For the past few months, I’ve been sharing many details about my favorite new shopping destination at Walt Disney World Resort – the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Containing six different boutiques, this location serves as our testing space for new products, retail concepts and guest experiences. I think my favorite boutique inside the shop is D-Tech on Demand as it combines rapid printing technology with great artwork to create personalized electronic accessories for guests. I recently spoke with merchandiser Kevin-Michael Lezotte to get the inside scoop on how D-Tech on Demand works.

Currently, we offer cases for the following phones – iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S, iPhone 5C, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Galaxy S4.

I loved watching how quickly cases are printed as the team can print several cases at one time. The printer uses UV ink which dries immediately and requires no cooling time. As soon as my case was finished, I covered my mobile phone.

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Kevin-Michael shared that it’s easy to add additional designs to the D-Tech on Demand system. We recently introduced 12 new designs featuring characters from Disney’s “Frozen.” Four of those designs are only found at the Marketplace Co-Op as seen in the image above.

Fans of Disney Villains, Donald Duck, Pluto, Figment, or Chip and Dale should look for additional artwork being added to the location later this summer.

I would love to see which case you select. Use #DisneySide if you share an image of your phone case on a social network like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

New Merchandise on the Horizon for Fall 2014 at Disney Parks

posted on July 11th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


One of my favorite articles to write for the Disney Parks Blog gives readers a glimpse into future merchandise development (who wouldn’t want to travel through time?). Introduced in early 2012, these semi-regular stories are filled with things that make me beyond happy. Here is a look at some of my favorites coming to Disney Parks later this year.

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I still remember the day that Aaron Babcock, merchandiser for home and decorative goods, showed me the two metal trays pictured above. I did a double take as I thought they were vintage finds from some antique shop. Aaron is the developer behind those amazing items found in Disney Centerpiece at the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. He stepped up his game with these trays that will be placed next to my vintage EPCOT Center trays from the early 1980s. Look for them this fall at the respective Resort destinations in California and Florida.

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I think I found the next two shirts that I will be getting for my fiancée and me. They were inspired by the popular “I’ll Be Your” Mickey and Minnie companion T-shirts released in 2012. The shirts are coming this October to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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I fell out of my chair when I saw the new Vinylmation – Eachz set coming this fall featuring Mabel from the hit Disney XD show “Gravity Falls.” I wasn’t surprised to learn that Thomas Scott was the Disney Design Group artist behind these limited edition figures. Thomas, who once dressed up as the character Grunkle Stan for Halloween, recommended I watch the show. I’m now hooked and can’t wait for season two, which debuts on Disney Channel on August 1 at 9:00 p.m. Presented in a mystery box (how fitting), the figure on the left will be more common to find (edition size 1,350), while the figure on the right is more rare (edition size 150).

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Finally, I spotted these adorable new Disney Villains baby plush. Maleficent will be joined by baby Cruella de Vil this November, while Ursula will be released early next year.

Which things are you most excited to see? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

New Hidden Mickey Pins Arriving at Disney Parks in July 2014

posted on July 11th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Now that summer has arrived at Disney Parks, guests will soon find new Hidden Mickey pins at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. These unique pins will be distributed to cast members to use for trading with guests by late July 2014. You may recall that we typically release two different waves of pins a year (the first wave this year was introduced back in February). Here is a closer look at what guests can expect to trade in the coming months.

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Cast members at Disneyland Resort will soon receive an assortment of 30 different pins to use for trading with guests. The image above is a checklist to help you identify the new pins coming to California. As a reminder, Hidden Mickey pins typically measure about 1.25-inches and contain the phrase ”Hidden Mickey Pin” on the back of the pin.

I think my favorite series features Disney Birds (I’m partial to birds, especially ones that are orange). The special thing about this series is that there will be five different Disney bird pins found at Walt Disney World Resort that complement the pins at Disneyland Resort. The “Villainous Sidekicks” collection will also feature complementary pins.

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The image above shows the 30 pins that will be distributed to cast members at Walt Disney World Resort. The series that caught my eye in this collection is the character themed MagicBands.

Chaser pins will also be included in this new wave for 2014. These silver-colored pins are rarer to find compared to their full color counterparts.

Which pins do you want to trade? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Pirates of the Caribbean T-Shirts Set Sail on Disney Parks Online Store from July 7-13, 2014

posted on July 6th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Thar be pirates coming to the Disney Parks online store in July! The next two T-shirts in our Disney Parks attraction poster shirt series featuring Pirates of the Caribbean will set sail from July 7-13, 2014.

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The first T-shirt shirt was inspired by a 1967 poster designed by Collin Campbell for the attraction in New Orleans Square at Disneyland park.

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The Walt Disney World Resort version was modeled after a poster originally designed by Jim Michaelson in 1982.

Both shirts were designed by Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra, who also created the artwork for several previously released shirts. Printed on Hanes Beefy-Tees, these new shirts will be sold starting July 7 at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

I also have great news for Disney Parks’ attraction poster fans. You may recall that we released a 2014 attraction poster calendar last October that sold out rather quickly. The popularity of that calendar (and its corresponding article) paved the way for the attraction poster T-shirts we’ve been offering all year long. The good news is that the attraction posters featured in those two calendars are coming back!

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After hearing feedback from Disney Parks Blog readers, the souvenirs team is releasing attraction poster art packs. These packs will contain the 12 posters from the previously released calendars. This time, the posters will not include the calendar portions. They will also already be perforated, which makes them suitable for framing in a standard 12×18 frame.

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The poster art packs will be released at each respective Resort destination. Look for the Disneyland Resort poster art pack (item number 400008548731) at select Disneyland Resort locations toward the end of July.

The Walt Disney World Resort poster art pack (item number 400008548748) is due to arrive toward the end of August at select locations in Florida.

Both packs will be released on the Disney Parks online store in mid- to-late September.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look Inside Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With our summer-long celebration of Disney’s “Frozen” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting on Saturday, July 5, I wanted to give you a first look inside Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland. Located in Soundstage One between Toy Story Midway Mania and the Studio Backlot Tour, Oaken and his cousins have created a cold-weather wonderland filled with a frozen pond for ice skating demonstrations, photo opportunities, play areas, food and beverage kiosks, and a merchandise shop.

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Upon entering Soundstage One, guests pass by the trading post front porch on the way to the frozen pond and the merchandise location. My first stop was the ice skating rink located in the same space recently occupied by Darth’s Mall during Star Wars Weekends 2014. Surrounded by snow-covered trees, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the pond – it’s summer in Florida and I was staring at ice! I haven’t been skating since I lived in Ohio many years ago, so I can’t wait to go.

My next stop was the trading post, which is located in the front area of Soundstage One. This location will be home to a large assortment of “Frozen” merchandise. I found dolls, toys, plush, apparel, consumables, pins and much more. The assortment will evolve throughout the summer as additional items arrive at Disney Parks, like the recently discussed Olaf merchandise I shared in this article.

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We will be releasing a new D-Tech on Demand cases for iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S on Saturday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This artwork will also be added to the D-Tech on Demand boutique inside the recently opened Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. The Marketplace Co-Op location will have a few designs not found anywhere else, while the “Frozen Summer Fun” design will only be found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Coming next week, we will release three open edition, retail MagicBands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with pre-printed images of Elsa, Anna and Olaf. As with all retail MagicBand purchases, guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or another MagicBand. These items will not be available for purchase online or via Merchandise Guest Services.

I hope you are able to join us this summer as the celebration runs through September 1. Below is a gallery of a few additional things I found during my visit.

For more on Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, visit the posts below:

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Distinctly Patriotic Merchandise at The American Adventure in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the Fourth of July holiday only a few days away, I spent some time in one of my favorite pavilions at Epcot, The American Adventure. After all these years of visiting Walt Disney World Resort, I never tire of seeing the magnificent Voices of Liberty followed by the amazing show hosted by Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. I still tear up when hearing “Golden Dream” played during the montage of historical events (the Apollo 11 moon landing gets me every time!). After the show, I stopped in Heritage Manor Gifts, the merchandise location at Epcot that introduced a whole new assortment of goods last fall. This time, I was in search of merchandise with a distinctly patriotic theme.

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I was delighted to find several things bathed in red, white and blue including many new shirts. I really liked the patriotic Mickey Mouse shirt which was made in the U.S.A. (just like the shirt states). The location also had a few different Tervis Tumblers along with red and blue toothpick holders.

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In addition to a few Disney-themed T-shirts, there was an assortment of Americana-themed shirts by Black & Denim, a company based out of Tampa, Florida.

My favorite item in the shop was the tapestry featuring Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck with artwork reminiscent of Disney Parks’ bicentennial celebration from 1975, America on Parade.

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While many of these items are found only in Heritage Manor Gifts at Epcot, guests may find the patriotic Mickey Mouse plush in several shops at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

This year, there is also a limited edition pin with Tinker Bell that isn’t offered at The American Adventure Pavilion. The pin has an edition size of 3,000 and contains a red, white and blue pinwheel that spins. Look for it in Disney pin trading locations in both California and Florida.

Have a Happy Fourth of July!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Stars Laura and Vanessa Marano Show Off Their Disney Side Style at Disney Parks

posted on June 30th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


My fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker recently shared a video featuring Disney Stars Laura Marano from Disney Channel’s “Austin and Ally” and Vanessa Marano from ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” during their recent visit to Disney Parks. During their trip to Disneyland Resort, they showed off their Disney Side style in another video recently published on the Disney Style YouTube channel.

The image below contains a few things that Laura and Vanessa selected from Disney Parks. The sequin Minnie Mouse headband is one of the most popular items we carry. The red Mickey Mouse crop top that Vanessa wears isn’t currently offered at Disney Parks, but I found a classic Mickey Mouse tee that works just as well. Finally, Laura is sporting a gray Mickey Mouse shirt that is part of a new art program called “Whimsy.”

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Many of these items can be found at select locations in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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In California, the best places to visit first include Disney Vault 28 and World of Disney at Downtown Disney District.

In Florida, I suggest trying TrenD or Zoey & Pickles inside the newly opened Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. You can see an image from Zoey & Pickles in the bottom right corner of the image above.

You may also find a few select items, such as Beautifully Disney cosmetics, on our Disney Parks online store – DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO – Tour the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World

posted on June 26th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, we officially opened the doors to the Marketplace Co-Op, our newest retail location in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. This flexible space location will be a testing ground for new retail shop concepts, products and Guest experiences.

If you have yet to visit, here is a quick grand circle tour of my new favorite shopping destination at Disney Parks. Look for cameos by Tom Sheldon, manager of retail design and development for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, and Ron James, area manager for merchandise presentation, at the beginning of the video. I first interviewed Tom in November 2013 about the shop in this Disney Parks Blog story, and it was amazing to watch the location come to life during these past few months.

You can also find select items from the Marketplace Co-Op on our Disney Parks online store at DisneyStore.com/MarketplaceCoOp

Do you have a favorite item from the Marketplace Co-Op? If so, please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Meet Disney Artists Behind Vinylmation Park Starz 3 at D-Street in Downtown Disney West Side on June 27, 2014

posted on June 23rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, the newest Vinylmation series, Park Starz 3, was released at Disney Parks. I love the Park Starz collections as they feature classic characters I love from attractions, shows and parades at Disney Parks. This newest series looks awesome (hello, Dreamfinder!!). On Friday, June 27, three Disney Design Group artists – Thomas Scott, Casey Jones and Caley Hicks – who designed figures in this series will be at D-Street in Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort. They will be signing figures and talking with fans from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that day. I recently asked lead Vinylmation artist Thomas Scott about his favorite figures.

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“I love them all as they are my babies,” laughed Thomas who has been designing Vinylmation figures for a few years now. “I’m a big fan of space toys, so I included a Space Mountain-inspired astronaut in this series mostly because I wanted one. I also think the turtle from Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade is one of the best figures we’ve ever designed. Casey Jones’ caveman from Spaceship Earth is also pretty unique as he is a character rarely found on merchandise.”

There are 12 figures in this limited release series – 11 known figures and one mystery chaser figure. They are sold either in individual mystery boxes or you can get the entire series by purchasing a tray.

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You may recognize new characters in this collection from attractions that were in Vinylmation – Park Starz Series 1 and Series 2 such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. I’m guessing my fellow author Erin Glover is excited to see a figure of the Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn.

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The artists also created some limited edition variant figures. Two of these items – the Pirate with pig and the Big Al with Trixie set – will be released on Friday, June 20. The remaining two – the Mission: SPACE astronaut and the clear Hitchhiking Ghost – will be released on Friday, June 27. These releases will take place at the D-Street locations in Florida and California where you can also find individual boxes or trays.

You can also find select items on our Disney Parks online store – http://www.disneystore.com/vinylmation/mn/1000828/

Which character is your favorite from this series? Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Chill Out This Summer with New Olaf Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

posted on June 21st, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I imagine there is no character happier that summer has returned than Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen.” As we continue our first day of summer celebration on the Disney Parks Blog today, I thought I’d give you a look at new merchandise coming soon to Disney Parks that features the adorable snowman who loves warm hugs.

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Girls will soon find two new sublimated T-shirts that include Olaf and other characters from this award-winning film.

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In July, Olaf will be found on a new antenna topper (pictured at top) and a three-dimensional magnet.

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An image of Olaf “chillin’” on a beach will be found on a beach towel, a tumbler, and an open edition pin (the latter will be released in August). A pin trading starter set that includes four pins (one being Olaf) and a lanyard also arrives in August.

Toward late summer, look for an Olaf-themed, fuzzy bag with a pouch to carry your mobile phone. Finally, Anna and Elsa will join Olaf on a new coffee mug (yes!) coming in early fall (the perfect time to remember summer as the weather turns cooler).

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My favorite item, however, has to be the Olaf hat also coming this fall. I couldn’t resist getting a picture wearing it while dreaming of being on a beach somewhere in sun.

Look for these items in select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts in the coming months.

Happy summer!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort