My fiancée and I were discussing Valentine’s Day the other night. I learned she really loves the holiday, which was a signal to me that I better find the perfect gift this year (no pressure, of course). To help others like me, here are a few gift ideas from Disney Parks.
There are a handful of items that were specifically developed for Valentine’s Day this year. The plush and dolls team created two 9-inch plush which, include Mickey Mouse dressed as cupid and Minnie Mouse holding a miniature Duffy the Disney Bear. They also reintroduced the popular 9-inch Duffy the Disney Bear from last Valentine’s Day.
The Disney pin trading team also created some Valentine’s Day pins this year including a limited edition WALL-E and Eve pin (which is my favorite). There is also a new open edition pin featuring Roger and Jessica Rabbit.
In the Vinylmation department, look for a limited edition, two-figure set this year. Designed by Disney artist Monty Maldovan, the set features Lady and Tramp and has an edition size of 2,000. The set will be released at the D Street locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort on January 24.
Other gift ideas include the “I’ll Be Your Mickey” and “I’ll Be Your Minnie” T-shirts, which are perfect for a romantic day at Disney Parks.
I also found some lovely jewelry. You may recall that last year we introduced some awesome magnetic jewelry by designer Petra Azar (you can see her discuss her jewelry in this article by my fellow author Michelle Stepney). This year, she has some new heart shaped necklaces including a red heart necklace that will be introduced on February 14. For guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, you can meet Petra at Tren-D in the Downtown Disney Marketplace during the afternoons on February 14-15, 2014.
Finally, I think some of the best gifts are ones from the heart. Since I love photography, I thought a nice gift would be a frame complete with a photograph from a recent visit to Disney Parks (in my case, a photograph from Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’ve been fascinated with railroads ever since I was in third grade. At that time, my parents gave me a model railroad set, complete with a locomotive, various box cars, train tracks and a matching Pennsylvania Railroad hat that I wore nearly every day. Today, I can still enjoy a train ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park (one of the many reasons I enjoy working for Disney). Since Disney trains have been a part of Disney Parks since the beginning, I think it’s fitting that we kick off our series of Disney Attraction Poster T-shirts with salutes to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Railroads.
Designer Richard Terpstra worked with Disney Design Group artists to create these two T-shirts inspired by the Disney Railroad attraction posters found at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom Park respectively. According to the must-have book for any Disney Parks fan, “The Poster Art of the Disney Parks” by Walt Disney Imagineers Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke, the original attraction posters were designed by Jim Michaelson, Ernie Prinzhorn and Rudy Lord in 1977.
These T-shirts will be offered on the Disney Parks online store from January 27 to February 2, 2014. All items will ship in 6-8 weeks (unfortunately, express shipping is not available).
Since I’m discussing attraction posters, I thought you may enjoy another sneak preview of items coming to Centerpiece, the home goods mini-shop at the Marketplace Co Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace opening later this year. There will be additional plates and drinkware featuring other attraction posters offered in that location. I need bigger kitchen cabinets!
Finally, I spoke with the souvenirs team about the popular 2014 Disney Parks attraction poster calendars I first discussed last October on the Disney Parks Blog. While they do not plan to reorder the calendars at this time, they want to keep offering the posters as a set. Look for these sets (sans the calendar portion) in a couple of months.
The start of a New Year marks the arrival of new merchandise at Disney Parks. The “Dated 2014” merchandise (that is what we call merchandise that contains a particular date) is some of our most popular merchandise we carry at Disney Parks. You may recall getting a first look at the artwork for this program back in October with the arrival of the amazing 2014 Disney Parks attraction poster calendar. After taking a closer look at the style guide created for the dated program, I found a few different styles you will see in the New Year.
Work on the 2014 style guide actually began in mid-2012. A talented team of character artists and graphic designers from Disney Design Group collaborated on this year’s artwork. They include several familiar faces I’ve previously interviewed for the Disney Parks Blog such as Doug Strayer, Patty Landing, Tyler Dumas, Mike Sullivan, Tim Whalen, Casey Jones and Dave Keefer. I asked Doug Strayer, Creative Director with Disney Design Group, about some details found in this year’s designs.
“We have two distinct styles this year,” explained Doug. “One design features Disney characters with Disney Park icons. We created versions of that design for our Disney Parks around the world. This means that a Guest visiting Disneyland Paris may find artwork that is similar to something found at Disney Parks in the United States.”
Doug explained how upcoming anniversaries also inspired some of the artwork.
“We considered some important anniversaries that will be celebrated in 2014 at Disney Parks when creating the art. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” the team created a Mary Blair-inspired “lifestyle” design. We also incorporated the Earful Tower, the original park icon for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to recognize the upcoming 25th anniversary in May.”
The dated artwork will be found on a variety of items including apparel, ear hats, Vinylmation, Disney pins, Duffy the Disney Bear, drinkware, holiday ornaments and much more. I recently spotted several of these items at World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort.
You can also find a boutique shop on the Disney Parks online store that contains an assortment of these items from Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
I’ve recently shared a few sneak previews of new items coming to Disney Parks in 2014. My attention now turns to Vinylmation, the collectible figures celebrating five years at Disney Parks. The New Year will be an exciting one for Vinylmation collectors, especially with the debut of a limited release mystery series inspired by characters from the Indiana Jones films. Here is a closer look at what else you can expect in 2014.
The Indiana Jones series launches on January 10 at the D Street locations in Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and on the Disney Parks online store. This series was designed by Thomas Scott, lead Vinylmation artist with Disney Design Group, and features characters from the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Disney artist Maria Clapsis designed the combo pack figure which will be released on January 24. Special thanks to my fellow cast member (and Indiana Jones fan) Brandon Kleyla for the photos.
A new Vinylmation titled “Cutesters in the Snow” is releasing on January 17 at Disney Parks and on the Disney Parks online store. This limited release mystery series was designed by Maria Clapsis and Caley Hicks. Considering there is not much snow in Central Florida, I had an arctic blast photographing these adorable characters playing in the front yard of my childhood home in snow-covered Columbus, Ohio.
This year will also see the debut of specially designed limited edition figures released at the Disney Trading Nights. There will be a unique figures released at Disneyland Resort and at Walt Disney World Resort during upcoming events. These figures are limited edition and are presented as the “Eachz” concept – one figure is more common to find than the other. Keep watching Disney.com/Vinylmation for announcements about the next Disney Trading Nights.
Finally, I found a handful of figures from the Vinylmation showroom that I couldn’t wait to share. The limited edition Cranium Command set will be part of Vinylmation – Park #14. In March, we will release an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit figure as the “Eachz” concept for Easter. The amazing Park Starz series will return in June with new figures including Dreamfinder and Sonny Eclipse! In July, look for a limited release mystery series featuring decorated Duffy the Disney Bear figures.
Which figures are you look forward to the most? Please share in the comments below. I also invite you to join the conversation on the official Vinylmation page on Facebook.
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend returns to Florida from January 8-12, 2014. Before the holidays, I caught up with Mary Myers, merchandiser for events at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. She shared with me a look at many new items created to commemorate this annual runDisney event. I selected a few items to share with you today.
Apparel is some of the most popular items created for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This year, Mary introduced a tonal color palette for the various events held during the weekend. There will be new “I Did It” shirts complete with course maps printed on the backside. There will also be new 2014 “Coast to Coast Challenge” shirts available for sale. A variety of Sweaty Bands and Bondi Bands with event logos will also return.
I’m excited about the new Dooney & Bourke handbags created especially for this event. The vibrant, runDisney-inspired artwork features Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy running through a magical course.
There will also be a new Vinylmation “Eachz” figure released that resembles Mickey Mouse in running attire. You may recall that we introduced the “Eachz” concept last fall at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. There are two figures presented in a mystery box. Mickey dressed in yellow is the more common figure to find, while Mickey dressed in green is more rare.
Mary also created four new colorful running tutus complete with the runDisney logo.
You should also look for additional long-sleeved options and some fun drinkware. I like the mug that has Mickey, Donald and Goofy along with the 2014 Marathon Weekend logo.
Finally, I have a look at a handful of items created for the Inaugural Dopey Challenge this year. I’m beyond impressed with those who are running 48.6 miles this weekend by participating in the 48.6 miles in the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon. Wow!
These items will be released at Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo will be open during the following times:
- Wednesday, January 8, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Thursday, January 9, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Friday, January 10, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
As the New Year begins, I wanted to share a first look at some amazing new merchandise coming to Disney Parks. I don’t think words can capture how excited I am for these new things. Let’s start with another look at the “Disney Holiday for your Home Collection” arriving later in 2014.
Before the recently concluded holidays, you may recall a Disney Parks Blog story about D-Tech on Demand that included this holiday artwork. I spoke with seasonal merchandiser Roger Dressen who explained the inspiration behind the new program.
“The holidays are a swell time of the year to remember favorite memories and traditions,” said Roger. “We wanted a retro-inspired art program that captured with the warmth and magic of the season while adding a splash of Disney. The artwork will used on a host of new items including ornaments, decorations and more.”
Last November, we announced the Marketplace Co Op location coming to Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014. I’m delighted to share two things created especially for Centerpiece, the home goods mini-shop in that location. There will be salt and pepper shakers shaped like Disney Parks’ trash cans! I also can’t wait to enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice poured from the Orange Bird-themed glass pitcher.
Speaking of Orange Bird, he will make another appearance on a new T-shirt inspired by the attraction poster from Magic Kingdom Park. The overwhelmingly positive responses to the recently released 2014 calendars and the fantastic “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” hardcover book paved the way for several new shirts. Look for them on the Disney Parks online store in the coming months. They will be released similar to how we released the Horizons 30th Anniversary T-shirt last November.
In May, we will celebrate five years of Dooney & Bourke handbags and accessories at Disney Parks. We are planning a small celebration and will be releasing several new designs this year. I love the above artwork with Mickey and Minnie Mouse!
Finally, fans of the Haunted Mansion attraction should beware of incredible merchandise in 2014. An entirely new style guide containing some hauntingly beautiful artwork was recently created for this classic Disney attraction. Look for new items to follow you home in late 2014.
I’d love to hear which items are your favorites in the comments below.
As this year draws to a close, I looked back at some of the most popular stories we shared on the Disney Parks Blog about Disney Theme Park Merchandise. Thank you for the wonderful feedback throughout the year. From what I’ve seen in development, next year is going to be awesome! Please share your favorite merchandise item from Disney Parks in 2013 in the comments below.
Disney Collection By Vera Bradley
The new Disney Collection by Vera Bradley was the most popular story in 2013. Announced in March 2013, three colors – “Midnight with Mickey,” “Just Mousing Around,” and “Where’s Mickey?” – were released in the fall at World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, select Disneyland Resort locations and online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/VeraBradley. There are additional orders of select items en route to Disney Parks, and stay tuned for news about new colors for 2014.
Monstrous Summer All-Nighter
In May 2013, three Disney Parks were open for 24 hours as part of the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter. Michelle Harker and I enjoyed sharing updates throughout the day, including photos of my crazy coast-to-coast adventure.
The Haunted Mansion at Home
In February, we shared details about nine Haunted Mansion home décor that really capture the spirit (pun intended) of this classic attraction. These items were followed by an online exclusive tee shirt in August and a beautiful Dooney & Bourke handbag in September. Haunted Mansion fans should prepare for even more incredible things later in 2014.
In March, we launched Beautifully Disney a new collection of cosmetics and beauty products created especially for Disney Parks. Four different collections – “Wickedly Beautiful,” “Unlock the Spell” “Fiery Sprit” and “Fantasy in Flight” – can be found at Disney Parks and the Disney Parks online store. In spring 2014, a dedicated Beautifully Disney boutique will open inside the Marketplace Co Op at the Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida.
Star Wars – D-Tech Me Returns and the Droid Factory Expands
The Star Wars D-Tech Me experience returned to Star Wars Weekends 2013. Using 3D imaging and printing technology, Guests could either cast themselves in Carbonite or become a Stormtrooper. The Droid Factory, the build-your-own Astromech droid action figure experience, was also expanded to Disneyland Resort in spring.
Year of the Ear
We turned the “Limited Time Magic” spotlight a few times on iconic Disney ear hats from strawberry-inspired hats to a unique Disney heroes and villains ear hat cover.
Stylish Holiday Ornaments
Beautiful shoe ornaments strutted into Disney Parks’ locations in May 2013. They were soon followed by another wave of resin ear hat ornaments during our Christmas in July celebration. We also released two limited edition ear hat ornament sets featuring the Main Street Electrical Parade and Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
Music from Disney Parks
Two new official music albums for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort were released in August. These albums can be found at select locations at Disney Parks as well as http://www.DisneyMusicStore.com.
While recently roaming the halls of Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters, I visited with Julie Young who is now the merchandiser for dolls, plush and Duffy the Disney Bear. Julie and I have been working together for more than 10 years (much of that time was spent together on the Disney pin team). That day, Julie was particularly happy to share details about new costumes and more coming for Duffy the Disney Bear in early 2014. Here is a brief summary of what you can expect to see in the New Year.
As in previous years, there will be a new 12-inch, pre-dressed bear celebrating 2014. This art is part of what we call a “global program” as it is used on a variety of hardlines and softlines merchandise. This bear will be joined by a new reversible costume for a 17-inch bear in January. One side of the costume celebrates St. Patrick’s Day while the other side celebrates Easter.
Additional costumes for 17-inch bears are coming in February. You should look for a Stitch outfit and, one of my favorites, a yellow rain poncho (do you remember those from Disney Parks?). There will also be a deluxe costume inspired by Walt Disney’s “Pinocchio” that comes complete with a small Jiminy Cricket plush.
There will also be two pre-dressed bears released in February including one inspired by Steamboat Willie and one featuring Duffy in a safari outfit.
Finally, March will see another new costume for the 17-inch bear that looks like Jake from Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”.
The best places to find a great assortment of Duffy the Disney Bear merchandise is at Treasures in Paradise inside Disney’s California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and at Disney’s Traders near the entrance to World Showcase in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.
Select items will also be carried on our Disney Parks online store in the coming months.
With the start of a new year, I stopped by merchandiser Jeanne Lewis’ office to get a first look at new Disney pins coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. These monthly or quarterly pin collections are a great place to start if you are new to collecting or trading pins. Here is a look at some of my favorites coming in 2014.
The Piece of Disney History collection returns in 2014 as a monthly pin collection. Introduced in 2005, each limited edition pin in this collection contains small pieces of items from attractions or shows. For Walt Disney World Resort, the collection will contain items from the former SpectroMagic parade which originally debuted on October 1, 1991. For Disneyland Resort, the collection will contain items from various attractions such as a purple glove that Jessica Rabbit wore in Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin at Disneyland park.
The monthly, perfume bottle-inspired “Eau de Magique” collection will be shared between Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Each limited edition pin will be attached to a scented backer card. Guests at Disneyland Resort should also look for the monthly “Funny Business” collection which features windows with some clever pretend businesses.
There are two different quarterly collections coming next year – “Keyhole Characters” for Walt Disney World Resort and “Ink and Paint Collection” for Disneyland Resort.
Jeanne also shared details about two surprise pin collections – a Steampunk-inspired “Mechanical Kingdom” for Florida and a music-inspired classic character collection for California. These surprise pins will be released at random times throughout the year. For the music collection, the pins can be placed next to each other to form a scene.
I also got a look at the “Characters & Camera” surprise pin set. This limited release 30-pin collection will be presented in a mystery boxes (two randomly selected pins per box), and will be released at random times and locations in Florida and California throughout the year. There will also be limited edition, monochromatic chaser pins included in this set. Each chaser pin will have an edition size of 250, and will be found at random in the mystery boxes.
Finally, I couldn’t resist giving you a look at a jumbo-sized pin celebrating the upcoming 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios this May.
As part of “Limited Time Magic” this week, I’m happy to share that merchandise featuring artwork selected by Disney fans earlier this year will be arriving at Disney Parks starting December 22, 2013.
In January, my fellow author Tom Smith shared three pieces of 2014 art for a new, small line of merchandise offerings for Disney Parks. Many fans voted for their favorite art design on the Disney Parks Blog or the official Facebook pages for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. After votes were tallied, I revealed the winning design in this video interview with Patty Landing, Creative Manager with Disney Design Group.
As a celebration of the final “Limited Time Magic” surprise of the year, we will offer an early debut of some of the 2014 dated items, including an adult T-shirt, ladies T-shirt, D-Tech cases for the iPhone 4/4S or iPhone 5/5S, as well as mug and a timepiece that feature the new artwork!
Look for these items beginning December 22 (while supplies last) at either the World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort, or at the World of Disney Store in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.
From December 27, 2013 through January 9, 2014, we will be carrying a limited number of items on the Disney Parks online store. A special deluxe print (as seen in the first image of this story) will be available online only. All online sales orders will be fulfilled within 6-8 weeks.