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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

PANDORA Jewelry and Other Gift Ideas from Disney Parks for Valentine’s Day 2015

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


With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, I wanted to offer a few gift ideas from Disney Parks.

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PANDORA Jewelry - Last fall, we introduced charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters as part of the Disney Parks Collection | PANDORA. As part of its first assortment, we introduced 25 charms, with an additional 16 styles, including a Disney Parks bracelet, found only at Disney Parks. The best places to find these jewelry items are at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort and at La Mascarade d’Orleans in New Orleans Square at Disneyland park. Stay tuned in the coming weeks, as I’ll give you a first look at some new charms arriving for spring.

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Apparel - Mickey and Minnie Mouse celebrate the season of love with four new shirts created especially for Disney Parks. I found these items at TrenD located in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida.

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D-Tech on Demand - Guests can create custom phone cases with new Mickey and Minnie Mouse artwork at D-Tech on Demand in the Marketplace Co-Op. We offer cases for the following phones: iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6/6+, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

MagicBand-its – Add some love to your MagicBand with Mickey Mouse heart-shaped MagicBand-its. These small accessories can attach to the side of any MagicBand.

Vinylmation – The Vinylmation Eachez for Valentine’s Day this year has an edition size of 2,500. The Mickey Mouse figure is the more common figure while Minnie Mouse is rarer to find.

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Be My Villaintine – The pin team is releasing the “Be My Villaintine” mystery set on February 12. This 13-pin collection has 10 known pins and three mystery chaser pins. Each box contains one randomly selected pin. Guests may also find a limited edition pin featuring Anna and Kristoff from Disney’s “Frozen.”

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Duffy the Disney Bear and Disney Tsum Tsum – Duffy the Disney Bear is dressed in his Valentine’s Day best this year in a new 9-inch plush. I liked the idea of giving your significant other a Disney Tsum Tsum of the Little Green Men (you have been “chosen” to be my Valentine.) Finally, I love this ceramic Orange Bird figure which can now be found in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.

There are some additional gift ideas that can be found on our Disney Parks online store.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

New Merchandise Artwork Sparks Fond Memories of First Disney Parks Vacation

posted on January 28th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As time passes, my memories of my first visit to Walt Disney World Resort in July 1983 become more like something from a dream. I remember the Speed Room from If You Had Wings in Tomorrowland, the warm lights of Main Street, U.S.A. at night, and the dinosaurs in Universe of Energy at EPCOT Center. The essence of those dreamy images was recently captured in new merchandise found at Disney Parks. I caught up with Disney Design Group Creative Director Eric Caszatt to learn more.

“Each year, we create an art program that we call ‘Storybook,’” explained Eric. “That art traditionally features many characters grouped together around icons from Disney Parks. This year, we took a different design approach. Unlike the dated 2015 artwork that has characters showing off their Disney Side, we wanted to capture the feelings guests may have when first visiting Disney Parks. We internally called this program ‘Project Fairytale’ as it captures the emotions, the fantasy, and the wonder that guests may experience during a Disney vacation.”

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Disney Design Group artist Ron Cohee was the lead character artist on the project. He created two beautiful main images and a few smaller vignettes for both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Each vividly colorful image melds together attractions, icons and experiences from Disney Parks. The images are similar in design layout for each coast, yet they feature things specific to each Disney destination.

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The finished artwork was added to a style guide for all merchandise categories to use. The artwork was then applied to various items such as apparel, home décor, souvenirs, plush and more. Elements from the artwork that Ron created were sometimes combined to make unique images (best seen on some of the apparel items).

Here is an image gallery of other products that you can currently find in select merchandise locations at Disney Parks. You can also find some items on our Disney Parks online store – http://www.DisneyParks.com/Store.

I’d love to hear about your memories from your first visit to Disney Parks. Please share in the comments below.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic Merchandise Drops Into Disney Parks on February 13, 2015

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


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Last summer, I gave you a first look at a new merchandise collection called “Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic” that was inspired by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Parks. Today, I’m excited to announce that this line will drop into Disney Parks starting Friday, February 13 (what a perfect day!). These new products will be found inside Tower Hotel Gifts in both Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. I recently visited the merchandise presentation offices at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where I found a display of several new items.

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The merchandise presentation team set up a display to show what Tower Hotel Gifts may look like when the product is set. They told me they will be making adjustments to props, fixtures and lighting in the shops to complement the new merchandise.

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Disney Design Group artists were inspired by the Haunted Mansion Authentic program released last year when designing this artwork. You will notice similar design elements such as the use of vintage advertisements. The Hollywood Tower Hotel logo was also included on several items that could have been sold in the hotel gift shop before that one stormy night long ago.

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I love the tote bag that looks like vintage luggage and the bellhop cap is perfect! I was glad to see the bell was updated with new artwork (you can see the difference in this story from July 2013).

Guests will also find new apparel items for adults and kids. My son will be beyond thrilled that there will be a kid’s T-shirt with a character from his favorite episode.

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In addition to apparel and other souvenirs, the Disney pin team will release some new open edition pins as part of this collection.

Finally, I invite you to meet some of the Disney Design Group artists behind this collection on Friday, February 13. This event will be held at Tower Hotel Gifts inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Disney Artists Tyler Dumas, Brian Blackmore, Richard Terpstra and Quynh Kimball are scheduled to attend.

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

Best Places to Find Disney Tsum Tsum at Disney Parks

posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last summer, my son (and the rest of the world) discovered Disney Tsum Tsum. I recall we were on vacation in Ohio when he asked to download the fun puzzle matching and stacking game. Upon returning to Florida, he found the adorable stacking plush offered both at Disney Stores and in select locations at Disney Parks. Our friends at Oh My Disney even celebrated their arrival with a visit to Disneyland park (as seen in this article). I recently asked Victoria Hamilton, merchandiser for dolls and plush at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, about the best places to find Tsum Tsum when visiting Disney Parks.

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“There are currently two different locations that offer Tsum Tsum,” explained Victoria. “Guests in California should stop by the plush room inside World of Disney at Downtown Disney District. For guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort, they should visit Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace. These two locations carry an assortment of four-inch plush and a handful of the larger sized plush.”

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She also told me that they will continue carrying select Tsum Tsum after they are released at Disney Stores. For example, guests will find the “101 Dalmatians” mini Tsum Tsum plush collection in early February at Disney Parks. This collection was first released at Disney Stores and online in early January.

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In related news, the Disney Pin Team will release a collectible pin pack featuring Tsum Tsum later this year. Each pack will contain five randomly selected pins. I grabbed a handful of pins to photograph for this story including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!

In addition to the two different locations at Disney Parks, you can find select Tsum Tsum products online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/TsumTsum.

Happy stacking!

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