The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

New Haunted Mansion Merchandise Materializing This Fall at Disney Parks

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


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The Haunted Mansion will celebrate 45 years this August at Disneyland park. While I don’t remember much from my first ride at Walt Disney World Resort in July 1983, I’ve grown to love this wickedly fun attraction in all its incarnations at Disney Parks. In 2013, Disney Theme Park Merchandise introduced nine incredibly detailed home goods based on The Haunted Mansion (I love the bottle stopper). In many ways, those items served as a catalyst for an entire new assortment of Haunted Mansion merchandise coming this fall to Disney Parks. I spoke with franchise and brand manager Robb LaFlamme about what we can expect to see.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that our guests love the Haunted Mansion as much as we do,” said Robb. “Starting this fall, we will introduce about 100 new merchandise items based on this attraction. Disney Design Group artists have created a style guide containing many new pieces of original artwork. This art will be applied to numerous things including accessories, apparel, home goods, pins and much more.”

You may recall getting a first look at some of that artwork in January 2014 on the Disney Parks Blog. Robb explained that the artwork is grouped into various themes.

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The “Happy Haunts” artwork will feature character designs that look like they are from a late-1800s newspaper (you may recall seeing something similar when we released a Hatbox Ghost T-shirt last August). The Disney artists also created artwork for items that will look like they came from the estate of Master Gracey (think dinnerware).

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The “Forever Haunted” artwork (left above) contains strong graphic elements with characters like Madame Leota. I liked the playful “Afterlife Advertisements” art (right above) which resembles vintage ads.

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Finally, the “Fortunes and Fashions” artwork will include graphics and patterns based on characters and other icons from the attraction such as the bat stanchion or wallpaper. This artwork may be seen on packaging or apparel items.

One common theme I noticed was the use of Madame Leota in the artwork. I asked Robb if there were additional plans in store. Smiling, he replied, “Details may be materializing but only if you keep watching the Disney Parks Blog this summer.”

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Dooney & Bourke Special Event Coming to Disney Fantasy in July 2014

posted on June 2nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently shared details about new merchandise coming to the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder this summer. There is another special event taking place this July on the Disney Fantasy that will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Dooney & Bourke at Disney Parks.

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For the seven-night, Eastern Caribbean cruise setting sail on July 12, 2014, we will be holding a special product launch featuring a brand new Dooney & Bourke pattern shown above. This specially designed Disney Cruise Line pattern will be included on several items including classic favorites like totes or Crossbody bags.

Additionally, Ian Ray, director of new product development for Dooney & Bourke, will be sailing on this cruise. You may recall seeing Ian in this previous Disney Parks Blog video. For this cruise, he will be hosting a special presentation, highlighting the history and future of Dooney & Bourke at Disney Parks. Ian will also meet with guests in the White Caps merchandise location each evening.

Finally, there will be a silent auction featuring a selection of Dooney & Bourke items, including framed patterns and more.

For more information on how to book this cruise on the Disney Fantasy, please visit DisneyCruiseLine.com. Keep watching DisneyParksMerchandise.com for additional event details as we will share once finalized.

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Gift Ideas from Walt Disney World Resort for Father’s Day 2014

posted on June 2nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I love being a dad to my two amazing children. I enjoyed taking them to Disney Parks throughout the years much in the same way my father enjoying taking my sister and me when we were younger. With Father’s Day just around the corner, I figured I’d share a few gift ideas from a recent visit to Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. While I’d never ask for gifts (their smiles are the perfect gifts for me), I would consider some of the items to be on my wish list.

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The Disney pin team is releasing a limited edition pin, featuring Pongo and some puppies from Walt Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.” This pin has an edition size of 2,500, and will be released in multiple locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on June 12 (hey, that’s my father’s birthday so happy birthday, Dad).

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I was delighted to find a new graphic novel featuring one of my favorite attractions, Space Mountain. This recently released book was written by Bryan Miller (no relation) and illustrated by Kelley Jones. In a word, it’s super amazing (okay, that’s two words but I’m excited there is a graphic novel from Disney).

I was also excited to find more Disney Parks replica signs at the Art of Disney location including one for The Great Movie Ride attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I also love the Steampunk-inspired locomotive from the Mechanical Kingdom series released a few months ago. That item is now available on our Disney Parks online store along with the other figurines in that series.

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I’ve been in the market for a watch, so a new Disney timepiece by Bulova at World of Disney caught my eye. In that shop, I also found a new Mr. Incredible T-shirt (because dads are pretty incredible) and a fun fedora (I love hats!).

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Finally, I’m obsessed with coffee so I adore these three mugs inspired by Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park, the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Spaceship Earth at Epcot.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Heigh-Ho! It’s Off to Find Snow White and Seven Dwarfs Merchandise I Go

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



3:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. PDT

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland officially opens in just a few days at Magic Kingdom Park. Since I’m out at the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour event today, I figured it was a great time to highlight some “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” merchandise we currently offer in anticipation of that opening on May 28.
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One of the only items we developed for this new attraction was an open edition logo pin. The pin contains a swivel movement similar to the attraction vehicles created for the ride.
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I love these beautiful figurines featuring the Queen, Snow White and Dopey riding in a mine car.
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There are a few other things I found including an awesome new Snow White mug I recently discussed in a previous article, Seven Dwarfs artwork by Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble, and a humorous tee-shirt with my favorite dwarfs, Doc.

Look for these items and more at various merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Tagging Along for a Rockin’ Good Lunch at Magic Kingdom Park

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



1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT

It’s lunchtime at Magic Kingdom Park during the Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour event and I’m hungry. I know there are many option for food thanks to my fellow author Pam Brandon’s article. Yet, I’m having a difficult time deciding what to eat. To help, I brought along some new friends coming this summer to Disney Parks called Disney Tagalongs. These small character toys are easily added to your shoulder using a magical, magnetic power disc.

Tagging Along for a Rockin’ Good Lunch at Magic Kingdom Park Tagging Along for a Rockin’ Good Lunch at Magic Kingdom Park

My first stop was Aloha Isle Refreshments in Adventureland as I’ve always considered a Dole Whip an essential part of any meal. Good Donald, however, reminded me that I need to eat something else besides that delicious treat.

Tagging Along for a Rockin’ Good Lunch at Magic Kingdom Park Tagging Along for a Rockin’ Good Lunch at Magic Kingdom Park

I was tempted to have another pork shank from Gaston’s Tavern like I did at last year’s 24-hour party. Letting my conscience be my guide, Jiminy Cricket and I decided to visit Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square to enjoy my latest obsession, waffle sandwiches! I had to get all three, plus the one with Nutella and fruit.

Happy eating!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy Little Orange Bird Apple Lands at Magic Kingdom Park

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



9:00 a.m. EDT / 6:00 a.m. PDT

If you’ve read several of my previous Disney Parks Blog articles, you’ll know I’m a super fan of the Orange Bird. This classic Disney Parks character returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland in 2012. Since then, we’ve released a few merchandise items with this happy little character including shirts, an ear hat, a figurine, some pins and more. Today, I’m excited to share the newest Orange Bird treat – a decorative candy apple! I was so excited that I got dressed up in my Orange Bird best!

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The apple has a caramel base that is covered in orange sugar and other decorative elements. I believe the secret ingredient is sunshine because seeing him makes me smile.

You can find this apple at the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Souvenirs in Magic Kingdom Park today. He will be found at additional locations following the event.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Rock Your Pirate Disney Side With Special Looks at The Pirates League

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



7:00 a.m. EDT / 4:00 a.m. PDT

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This year, The Pirates League in Adventureland celebrates five years at Magic Kingdom Park. I had so much fun being transformed into a pirate in 2011 that I thought today would be a perfect day to show my pirate Disney Side again. This time, I convinced my fellow teammate Katie Thompson to join me as we were transformed into a zombie and a sea siren, respectively.

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Typically, these looks are only offered during the Halloween season. They are, however, being offered today as part of the Rock Your Disney Side event. The Pirates League will also have extended hours from 6-10 p.m. tonight. I invite you to stop by the location next to Pirates of the Caribbean attraction if you’d like to join Captain Jack’s crew. You can also make reservations by calling 407-WDW-CREW (407-939-2739).

Special thanks to our Pirate Masters Jason and Hannah who made us look great. Katie and I had a blast! Yo ho!

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

New Merchandise Coming to Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Starting June 7

posted on May 22nd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Harambe Nights T-Shirt Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The opening scene to Disney’s “The Lion King” is one of the best sequences I think Disney has ever created (I can still remember seeing it in a theatre nearly 20 years ago). My favorite character from the film is Zazu as he shares the latest news from the kingdom (plus he talks a lot, just like me). My fellow author Pam Brandon recently discussed the fantastic menu of global flavors coming to Harambe Nights, the special Lion King-themed events taking place every Saturday from June 7 – August 9, 2014 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Her article inspired me to write this “Merchandise Report” that highlights new items coming to the events like the T-shirt shown above.

New Merchandise Coming to Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Featuring Puzzle, Pins and D-Tech on Demand Phone Cases

For Harambe Nights, the Disney Pin Team will release a Lion King-themed mystery pin set. There are 10 puzzle pins (900 edition size each) and two chaser pins (600 edition size each) in this set. One randomly selected pin is included in each mystery box. Once all the pins are acquired, you can place them together to form a picture.

Speaking of puzzles, the toy team recently introduced a new Disney Signature Puzzles. You may recall seeing the first of these puzzles at Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The next 1,000 piece puzzle in this collection contains some beautiful artwork by Disney Design Group artist Darren Wilson.

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Other items will include two D-Tech on Demand cases for the iPhone 5/5S and a specially designed timepiece.

New Merchandise Coming to Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Featuring Passholder Coin

For Annual Passholders, we will introduce a 39mm silver plated coin that also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the film (edition size of 2,014).
These items will be found at Mombasa Marketplace located in Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park during the events.

On June 7, you can meet Disney Design Group artist Costa Alavezos who designed some unique artwork for the event. He will meet with guests at Mombasa Marketplace during the evening. Future events will feature other Disney artists (keep watching DisneyParksMerchandise.com for additional details).

Capacity is limited for Harambe Nights, so you’ll want to plan ahead and get your tickets by visiting Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or calling 407-939-1319.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

New Merchandise to Rock Your Disney Side for 24 Hours at Disney Parks on May 23, 2014

posted on May 20th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m looking forward to spending more than 24 hours at Disney Parks on May 23 for the Rock Your Disney Side Party. Last year’s event was a blast, so I can’t wait to do it again. I’m already planning what I will be wearing (there are four costume options currently on the table). For those attending the event at Disney Parks, we will be offering a few specially designed merchandise items, such as a classic black ear hat with an embroidered event logo. Here is a look at a few additional options that you will find.

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I love the colorful Heroes and Villains artwork featuring Sorcerer Mickey, Maleficent and friends. This image with glow in the dark elements will be used on a T-shirt that also contains the Rock Your Disney Side event logo on the back. Guests at Disneyland Resort will also find a long-sleeved fleece option with this artwork. The Disney Parks online store will offer these T-shirts for seven days starting May 23 at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

A limited release pin will also contain the Heroes and Villains artwork. For guests in Florida, this pin will only be released at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney Marketplace starting May 22 (it won’t be found at Magic Kingdom Park during the event). For guests in California, the pin will be released on May 23 in select locations at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park.

We’ve also added a fun glow baton this year that changes colors when activated (look for it on the glow carts during the event).

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Finally, I was happy to see that two delicious cupcakes will be offered during the event. Each one will have a chocolate disk with the aforementioned Heroes and Villains artwork.

Here are the best places to find these items on May 23 at Disney Parks.

Magic Kingdom Park

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  • Emporium, Disney Showcase, Pioneer Hall, The Star Trader (all items except cupcakes)
  • Main Street Mad Hatter, Newsstand (ear hat only)
  • Candy Palace (cupcakes only)

Disney California Adventure Park

  • Elias & Co. (all items except cupcakes)
  • Trolley Treats (cupcakes and pin only)

Downtown Disney District

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

PHOTOS – Darth’s Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014

posted on May 15th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Star Wars Weekends 2014 returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort starting May 16. You may recall I shared a first look at some merchandise created especially for this event along with details about the fan-favorite Star Wars – D-Tech Me Experience. This year, these items and more will be found in Darth’s Mall, the out-of-this-world merchandise shop located in Soundstage 1 between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania. I recently visited the location as the merchandise team was putting on the finishing touches. Here are a few images of some of my favorite things I found.

Experience Darth's Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014 Experience Darth's Mall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014

Toys have been an important part of Star Wars ever since Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope debuted in theaters in 1977. I was happy to see several new toys not previously discussed including a new wave of Disney-Pixar’s Cars as Star Wars characters and a giant clone trooper that is unique to Disney Parks.

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Other favorite items include a calendar that contains marketing artwork for Star Wars Weekends, light-up glasses and reusable tote bags. There will also be several new apparel items including items from Ashley Eckstein’s incredible Her Universe line. I love the dress that reminded me of bed sheets and curtains I once had as a child!

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Speaking of apparel, we will be offering select Star Wars Rebels shirts on our Disney Parks online store from May 16-22. These will be the same shirts offered at Darth’s Mall, just in case you aren’t able to attend the event this year. Visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents to place an order.

I hope to see you at Star Wars Weekends!

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