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PHOTOS – Merchandise Blooms at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015 runs from March 4 to May 17 at Walt Disney World Resort. With beautiful flowers to see and delicious food to taste, I love strolling around Epcot a few times throughout spring. Here’s an update on some additional products created especially for this event. I also have a first look inside the Festival Center that will be open Fridays through Sundays in Future World between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions.

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In a previous article, I promised details about the retail MagicBand created for this event. This new item has an edition size of 5,000 and features Anna and Elsa in their “Frozen Fever” attire from the upcoming animated short debuting in theaters before Disney’s “Cinderella” on March 13. Like all other retail MagicBands, this item can be linked later. Look for it in select retail locations at Epcot (it will not be available via the Disney Parks online store).

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I also found a few apparel items for adults and kids including Olaf shirts in blue and green, a Sorcerer Mickey topiary shirt, a yellow Minnie Mouse shirt for women, and a specially designed shirt for Annual Passholders.

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Back by popular demand, we are releasing a new 12-month calendar featuring character topiaries from previous year’s festivals.

Guests will also find an iPhone 6 case with Anna and Elsa, magnets, headware, garden accessories, a new Disney Gift Card and much more.

While the Festival Center will only be open during the weekends, these items will be offered at several locations throughout Future World and World Showcase at Epcot (there are some great merchandise kiosks found along the World Showcase promenade).

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Finally, the Festival Center will host Disney artist Jerrod Maruyama on March 8 from 11a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 2p.m. He will be signing his Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival-inspired piece titled “Spring Has Sprung.” I love his artwork so much!

Here are a few additional images from my visit to Epcot. I hope to see you this spring!

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Filed: Epcot, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14

posted on March 3rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Star Wars Weekends 2015 returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort on Friday, May 15. To kick off this event, Disney Theme Park Merchandise is holding a special ticketed event called “Galactic Gathering” on Thursday, May 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Similar to the “Rebel Rendezvous” event held last year, this year’s event will give guests the first opportunity to purchase new products created especially for Star Wars Weekends.

Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14 Join ‘Galactic Gathering’ for Star Wars Weekends 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 14

Packages for the Galactic Gathering will include the following:

  • ‘Rebel’ or ‘Empire’ retail MagicBand (Guests can choose their side when registering online)*
  • Commemorative trading pin*
  • Darth’s Mall Light Speed Pass which gives expedited entry into Darth’s Mall for all five weekends.*
  • First opportunity to pre-purchase select merchandise including personalized Aurebesh nametags, D-Tech phone cases, Dooney & Bourke handbags, Galactic Gathering Disney Gift card, retail MagicBands, limited edition pins and Vinylmation.
  • First opportunity to purchase the new designs of Star Wars-themed Disney Gift Cards.
  • Han Solo-inspired popcorn bucket with popcorn.

Guests who attend this event will also have the opportunity to meet Disney characters, Disney Design Group Artists and Ashley Eckstein from Her Universe.

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Finally, attendees will be some of the first to purchase the new figures for Star Wars D-Tech Me including a Jedi Knight and a TIE-Fighter pilot.

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Tickets to this event are $250 per guest (theme park admission is not included but required to participate in this event).

Registration will begin on March 4 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on http://www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com.

I hope to see you there!

*These items will only be available to Galactic Gathering attendees.

The number of packages available is limited and available while supplies last on a first come, first serve basis. Event package and content are not subject to discounts. Appearances are subject to space and time availability and are not guaranteed. Tickets are non-refundable. Event information subject to change without notice.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

New Locations Join The Landing at Disney Springs in February 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Signs of the future are springing up across Downtown Disney this month at Walt Disney World Resort as the area transforms into Disney Springs. Several new retail locations have opened in area to be known as The Landing. Once complete, The Landing will be home to memorable dining such as STK, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE and unique boutique shopping. Here is a brief look at these newest additions.

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The Art of Shaving – offers premium grooming essentials for the modern man. The location also has a team of shaving specialists who offer advice to guests on proper grooming techniques. Appointments for a haircut or shave are suggested.

Apex by Sunglass Hut – designed with the athlete, sports and outdoor enthusiast in mind, this shop utilizes innovative technology, such as the Apex Smart Mirror, to help guests find the best choice in sport sunglasses.

Chapel Hats – specializes in fashionable hats and headwear for guests of all ages. The location carries just about any style of hat including fedoras, sun hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more.

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Sanuk – creatively inspired footwear designed with non-traditional materials like yoga-mats.

Havaianas – offering “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” this store features a large assortment of Havaianas sandals for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots.

Sound Lion – the latest technology in headphones, earbuds, speakers, and other digital sound and music products can be found in this shop. They also provide education in digital music applications that improve the listening lifestyle.

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Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC – this location will offer the same unsurpassed core vegan, gluten-free menu as its flagship bakery in New York City, and its sister bakery in Los Angeles. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels (with vegan butter!), and other savory items daily.

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

Preview of New Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA Jewelry Coming in March 2015

posted on February 26th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, I promised a look at some new charms items from the Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA, which will launch in multiple merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on March 12. The new charms will join the previously released jewelry collection that features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters and icons. Here’s a preview of some new items created especially for Disney Parks.

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We will release two charms inspired by Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park and Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. These sterling silver dangle charms, which make great keepsakes, feature the resort destination name on the bottom of each castle.

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This spring collection will also include a sterling silver and teal enamel charm featuring Mickey’s Fun Wheel from Disney California Adventure park. My favorite charm, however, is a sleek sterling silver geometric sphere that resembles Spaceship Earth with a monorail from Epcot.

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Guests should also look for a Minnie Mouse charm that is similar to the “Mickey Mania” charm released last fall. The sterling silver openwork “Minnie Mania” charm has colorful red, light yellow, black and white enamel details.

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Black and red enamel Mickey and Minnie Mouse icons are also pictured on a sterling silver safety chain with enamel hearts. For those who may not be familiar with a safety chain, it’s a stylish and practical way to keep your charms secure on your PANDORA bracelet. To use, simply thread one end on the bracelet first, add your charms and then thread the other side of the safety chain on the end of the bracelet to secure.

The best places at Disney Parks to find PANDORA jewelry are at La Mascarade d’Orleans in New Orleans Square in Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort, and at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests will also find an additional jewelry charm designs from the spring 2015 Disney | PANDORA Jewelry Collection at select Disney Parks merchandise locations and at PANDORA stores throughout North America.
We will also offer select charms on our Disney Parks online store at http://www.DisneyStore.com/PANDORA.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Items from Disney Parks Collection by Vera Bradley Arriving This Spring at Disney Parks

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’m excited to share with you a first look at new items from the Disney Parks Collection by Vera Bradley arriving this spring at Disney Parks.

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The first of these new items include fuchsia-colored, Microfiber handbags that have a nod to Mickey Mouse. The styles being released include a mini-Hipster, tote, all-in-one Crossbody, and a triple-zip Hipster.

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These Mickey Mouse-themed, Microfiber handbags will also be offered in black, and will have the same styles as their fuchsia counterparts.

Look for these items starting February 27 at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and in multiple locations at Disneyland Resort in California. Please note that the black tote will be arriving at a future date.

These items will also be carried online starting in March at http://www.DisneyStore.com/VeraBradley.

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Finally, the items I’m most excited about are the Laser-Cut bags with Mickey Mouse icons. I recall the day I first saw them at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters. I rushed over to the category planner’s office to get a first look as she told me that I’d love them. She was correct; I loved the hidden Mickeys cut into the bags designs as it was something I had not seen before. While I don’t have a confirmed release date, I couldn’t resist giving you a sneak preview because they look really sharp!

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

WonderGround Gallery to Expand in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace This March

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last summer, we opened the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida. This flexible space location serves as a testing ground for new retail shop concepts, products and guest experiences. Shortly after it opened in June 2014, we added a small fixture that featured products from the WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney District in California. Today, I’m excited to announce that the WonderGround Gallery will be expanding beginning in early March 2015.

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To celebrate this newest addition, I invite you to attend a grand opening event on March 6-7. We will have a few artists making appearances both days including Jasmine Beckett Griffith, Robert Jimenez and Jerrod Maruyama.

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Moving into WonderGround Gallery’s former space is The Sign Shop, which will carry an assortment of Disney Parks-inspired signs similar to ones offered at Disney Centerpiece and at select Art of Disney locations. We will release some new items including a Hollywood Tower Hotel sign by Disney Design Group Artist Richard Terpstra, a mermaid image by Tony Harris, and some unique photography pieces by Michael Lewis Glover (he will also be attending the grand opening weekend).

I hope to see you there!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

PHOTOS – Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Checks Into Disney Parks

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One morning not so long ago, I checked out the new Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic merchandise that arrived at Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You may recall a previous story a few weeks ago discussing this new program that was inspired by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Parks. Here’s a quick look at what I discovered beyond the fifth dimension.

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Upon entering Tower Hotel Gifts, I immediately noticed the new products displayed throughout the shop. The merchandise presentation team reworked many of the wall fixtures and added some new elements to the location. The shop now features a Tower Hotel Gallery with collectible artwork such as the art deco-inspired bellhop sign created by Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra. It was great seeing some of my other favorite items in the shop like the bellhop hat and the bell.

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The team also added a few nods to the original television series above the merchandise displays (look above the register area to find Talky Tina). I enjoyed seeing a luggage cart being used as a fixture for apparel, and the display for the Disney Theme Park Edition of Jenga is quite creative!

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Additional items will be arriving throughout this spring at both Disneyland California Adventure park in Disneyland Resort and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort. There will more apparel items for men and women (the women’s T-shirts will arrive toward May). There will also be a new black-colored bathrobe that is due to arrive around April. Finally, new drinkware and stationary will be added to the shops in the coming weeks.

Here is a gallery of other items I found. I hope you “drop in” sometime soon to check them out.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Top ‘Cinderella’-Inspired Items from Disney Parks

posted on February 15th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With the 65th Anniversary of Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” I’m reminded of my younger sister who loved Cinderella. I remember her listening to a 33 ½ long playing record that had scenes from the animated film printed on both sides of the album. Today, her childhood bedroom in Ohio still has reminders of Cinderella with small figurines and framed prints. She found many of those items during visits to Walt Disney World Resort in the 1980s and 1990s. I thought today was a good day to share some of my favorite Cinderella-themed items currently found Disney Parks.

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To celebrate this anniversary, the Disney pin team released a limited edition pin that has an edition size of 2,000. Look for it in select pin locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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Costume dresses and accessories are some of the most popular Cinderella items at Disney Parks. Little ones ages 3-12 can also be magically transformed into Cinderella at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations at Disneyland park, Magic Kingdom Park, and Downtown Disney Marketplace. I bet my sister wishes she had these options when she was a child!

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Speaking of Downtown Disney Marketplace, I stopped by Arribas Brothers to view an amazing Cinderella Castle Sculpture. The limited sculpture is detailed in hand-enameled metal and is set with 28,255 Swarovski crystals. The retail for this item is $37,500 and it can be found online.

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Finally, I have a sneak preview of a graphic MagicBand that is coming this spring. This Cinderella-themed retail MagicBand is similar to the Belle and Ariel MagicBands we released in January. While I don’t have a confirmed release date for this open edition item, the MagicBand development team thought it was the perfect thing for this Cinderella story.

Here is a gallery of other things I found including custom phone cases at D-Tech on Demand in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace, dolls, mugs and the Cinderella Castle playset.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look at New Items for Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m looking forward to the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort that will be held February 19-22. My fiancée will be participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, so I’m excited to cheer for her and other runners throughout the weekend. She recently asked me about the merchandise that will be offered during the event, so I visited the merchandise events team to get a sneak preview.

A Variety of Apparel Items with the Princess Half Marathon Logo Will Debut During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 A Variety of Apparel Items with the Princess Half Marathon Logo Will Debut During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015

Like previous year’s events, we will offer a variety of apparel items with the Princess Half Marathon logo including T-shirts, jackets, tank tops and headwear. There will also be drinkware, pins and a necklace. I like the colorful new ear hat with an attached veil. There will also be an ear hat with Olaf for the Kids’ Races.

You may recall that we released a blue, runDisney-themed retail MagicBand during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend in January. I’m happy to share that item will return along with a new pink MagicBand. Both of these items are limited release and will have a retail of $24.95 each. They can be “linked later” which makes them perfect gifts for someone training for a future runDisney race at Walt Disney World Resort.

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For those participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will also find apparel and home goods. I think the taglines on the backs of both running jackets are great!

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We will also release a variety of Sweaty Bands and Bondi Bands containing event logos.

The D-Tech on Demand boutique in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace will also offer unique artwork for guests. You can create and customize a case for the following mobile phones: iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6/6+, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

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Finally, we’ll have a few new Disney Princess-themed Dooney & Bourke handbags designed by Disney Design Group. Select bags will contain a specially designed Princess Half Marathon 2015 hangtag.

These items and more will be released at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo will be open during the following times:

  • Thursday, February 19 – 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 21 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, MagicBands, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look at New Products Coming to 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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We are about a month away from the start of the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. Since winter weather blankets most of North America, I figured a look ahead to spring was a perfect idea. I recently dug up details about new items guests will see starting March 4 when this annual festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort.

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The merchandise events team has created a variety of items especially for this event including apparel, drinkware, accessories and more. This year, the Sorcerer Mickey topiary takes center stage as the main logo on several items including a coffee mug, magnet, and tote bag (the mug features a hidden broom topiary image inside). I love the new topiary-inspired headband with a Sorcerer’s hat and a gardening hat with mouse ears.

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The Disney pin team created several limited edition pins featuring the topiaries that will be found throughout the theme park including the new Anna and Elsa topiaries inspired by Disney’s “Frozen”.

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Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” will join Mickey and Minnie Mouse as new garden decorations (the thought of Olaf next to the rain gauge makes me laugh!).

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Finally, we will release a new Dooney & Bourke collection designed by Disney Design Group artist Paola Gutierrez. This black-and-white pattern shows silhouettes of Disney characters riding vintage bicycles (you may recall seeing the artwork in this story from early January. Select bags released during the Festival will include a specially designed hangtag. There are no immediate plans to carry these bags at Disneyland Resort or on our Disney Parks online store; they will only be found at Epcot during this initial release.

These items will be released at the Festival Center, a themed shopping and demonstration area located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot. This year, the Festival Center will be open Friday-Sunday during the Festival Weekends. Items will also be found in other merchandise locations in Future World and World Showcase.

Stay tuned as I’ll provide a first look inside the Festival Center around the start of the event in March. I’ll also have details about a new retail MagicBand created for this event that you won’t want to let go.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort