Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Show Your Disney Side with New Spring 2014 Apparel for Women and Girls at Disney Parks

posted on February 5th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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There are two times during the year that our Disney Theme Park Merchandise team introduces new apparel at Disney Parks – spring and fall. Since the spring items can be set as early as February, I contacted the softlines team for an update. They shared with me a few new items for women and girls that I thought would be perfect for showing off your Disney Side at Disney Parks.

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The first program is based on the new Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts that were recently introduced on the Disney Channel and on Disney.com. I love the animated style and humor of these new Mickey Mouse cartoons especially “Potatoland,” “Tokyo Go” and “Croissant de Triomphe.” The four new women’s T-shirts feature Mickey Mouse and friends drawn in that same cartoon style. My favorite T-shirt has Minnie Mouse on the front of the shirt kissing Mickey Mouse who is found on the back.

In California, look for these T-shirts at World of Disney in Downtown Disney District, Gone Hollywood at Disney California Adventure park, and Disney Clothiers in Disneyland park.

For guests in Florida, look for the T-shirts at World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, Mouse Gear at Epcot, and Emporium at Magic Kingdom Park.

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The softlines team also shared with me four new Minnie Mouse T-shirts coming soon to Disney Parks. They are part of a new art program called “Beyond the Dot” which contains a host of fresh, fashion-forward designs and original illustrations by Disney Design Group artists. These four women’s T-shirts are some of the first from that program. Look for additional styles in the coming months that feature Minnie Mouse in a whole new way.

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For girls, the softlines team is introducing four T-shirts that feature classic couples like Ariel and Prince Eric, or Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. They said these T-shirts are test items as they have never really featured couples like this before on girls’ apparel.

The girls’ T-shirts and the “Beyond the Dot” items will be carried in select locations at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. There are no immediate plans to carry these items on the Disney Parks online store.

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

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Starting March 5

posted on January 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

My fellow Disney Parks Blog author Jennifer Fickley-Baker recently shared that the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is returning to Walt Disney World Resort on March 5. Her story prompted me to do some digging for details about the merchandise being offered this year. Here is a first look at some of my favorite items coming to Epcot.
New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Featuring Garden Items

You may recall that we introduced topiary artwork last year to our merchandise assortment. This fun and festive artwork was created by our Yellow Shoes Marketing group and it was wildly popular with guests attending the event. This year, we have used that artwork on new softlines, home décor and more.
New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I particularly love some of the new garden items including a Minnie Mouse wind chime that I think my mother would enjoy. The Donald Duck garden stake also made me laugh (I think he’s my favorite character topiary image from this event). We will also have a new 12-inch pre-dressed Duffy the Disney Bear that resembles a garden gnome. I’m personally buzzing about the updated coffee mug that features a hidden bee image inside.
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Topiaries also found their way onto new pins created especially for this year’s Festival. There is a limited release pin featuring Mickey Mouse that will be found in multiple locations through Epcot. There are also a series of limited-edition pins that include characters like Kermit the Frog or Mater and Lightning McQueen.
New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Featuring Vinylmation

Finally, the Vinylmation team will introduce a new “revealed/concealed” mystery set with figures shaped like topiaries on March 28. Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks designed the 3-inch figures. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey topiary is the revealed figure in the set, and it will be found on the top of each mystery box. The other four figures will be randomly packaged, so you won’t know which one you get.

I invite you to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks as I will be offering a first look inside the Festival Center located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

New Hidden Mickey Pins Arriving Soon at Disney Parks for 2014

posted on January 27th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m happy to share that new Hidden Mickey pins are arriving soon to cast members’ lanyards at Disney Parks. For those unfamiliar with these pins, the Disney pin team distributes these pins to Cast Members to use for trading with guests. The Hidden Mickey pin collection was first introduced at Walt Disney World Resort in 2002. Today, they have become something fun for guests to collect or trade while visiting Disney Parks. Jeanne Lewis, merchandiser for Disney pins, recently gave me a look at the first wave of pins for 2014. This year’s collections feature familiar Disney characters and icons from Disney Parks.

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For Disneyland Resort, Jeanne included pins that were inspired by the beautiful tile artwork found outside Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street (you can see a great video about the creation of those tiles in this Disney Parks Blog story). I also love the character tiki face and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit pins.
New Hidden Mickey Pins Arriving Soon at Walt Disney World Resort for 2014

For Walt Disney World Resort, Jeanne continued the Magic Kingdom Parking Lot sign collection first introduced years ago. There is also a collection featuring the Seven Dwarfs, which is a slight nod to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park in 2014.

There will also be one shared collection between Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. That collection features the “it’s a small world” attraction, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

As a reminder, there are a couple of ways to identify a Hidden Mickey pin. The pins typically measure about 1.25-inches and contain a small Mickey Mouse icon “hidden” in the artwork. The back of the pin will also have the words “Hidden Mickey pin.”

Happy Trading!

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

Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2014 from Disney Parks

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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

All Aboard with Disney Railroad T-Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store from January 27-February 2, 2014

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


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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

All aboard!

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

2014 Merchandise Kicks Off a New Year at Disney Parks Around the World

posted on January 14th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Discovering New Vinylmation Coming to Disney Parks in 2014

posted on January 9th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


"Raiders of the Lost Ark" Vinylmation - Indiana Jones Hand

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Returns with New Merchandise

posted on January 7th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mary also created four new colorful running tutus complete with the runDisney logo.

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Exciting New Merchandise on the Horizon for Disney Parks in 2014

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


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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Most Popular Items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise in 2013

posted on December 30th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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.

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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.

Monstrous Summer All-Nighter The Haunted Mansion at Home

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.

Beautifully Disney
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.

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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.

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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.

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