7:00 a.m. EDT / 4:00 a.m. PDT
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.
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!
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.
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.
Other items will include two D-Tech on Demand cases for the iPhone 5/5S and a specially designed timepiece.
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.
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.
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).
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
- 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
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.
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.
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!
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!
My fellow author Jonathan Frontado recently shared an update about the special Disney Cruise Line itineraries for summer 2014. His article had me daydreaming of taking an Alaskan cruise (as a travel photographer by hobby, I’m sure my camera would love it). Since I’m no closer to such a cruise, I stopped by the Disney Cruise Line merchandise showroom at my office to survey new merchandise created for these upcoming sailings.
Disney Design Group artist Dave Keefer created the Alaskan cruise artwork for the Disney Wonder. I love how he incorporated native tribal artwork along with a splash of Disney characters (the colors are incredible!). He told me he was inspired after seeing some tribal artwork and the giant carved totem pole in Canada Pavilion at Epcot (Alaska’s neighbor, of course). This artwork will be utilized on a variety of items such as a pin, a D-Tech on Demand case, a scrapbook, drinkware and more.
The artwork will also be used on apparel such as the main logo T-shirt. Guests should also look for a hooded sweatshirt, graphic shirts and other long sleeved options.
The Disney Magic will be sailing in the Mediterranean this summer, and there is a completely different merchandise assortment for those cruises. The main logo artwork was created by Disney Design Group character artist Casey Jones and senior graphic designer Tim Whalen. Casey drew Mickey Mouse sporting some awesome cruising attire that I would wear.
Guests should look for a variety of apparel items and other goods such as a keychain, a photo album and more.
If you are sailing this summer, please take me with you … I mean, bon voyage!
If you have read some of my previous Disney Parks Blog stories, you’ll know that I adore Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. I consider it my favorite attraction at Disney Parks. Today, I’m delighted to share that the next two Disney Parks’ attraction poster T-shirts will feature Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room from Disneyland park and the Tropical Serenade from Magic Kingdom Park. These shirts will be sold only on the Disney Parks online store from May 12-15, 2014 at http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.
Once again, the talented Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra designed these shirts based on the original attraction posters created by Paul Hartley in 1963 and 1971 respectively. I couldn’t resist a visit to Magic Kingdom Park to get a picture in front of the attraction while enjoying a Citrus Swirl (is this really called work?).
Before I devoured that Citrus Swirl, I captured this image of it with an Orange Bird figurine that is coming to Disney Centerpiece at the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Guests at Disneyland Resort may be able to find this figurine and a few other Orange Bird things now at World of Disney in Downtown Disney District.
I also photographed this trinket box that shaped like my favorite frozen treat from Disney Parks. The box is part of the Adventureland collection also coming to Disney Centerpiece location. Guests visiting Disneyland Resort may now find select items from this collection at Adventureland Bazaar in Disneyland park and World of Disney at Downtown Disney District. We also have a few items from this collection currently online.
My fellow author Michelle Harker recently shared some Mother’s Day gift ideas from Disneyland park in a fun video. Many of the items that were discussed are also available at Walt Disney World Resort. With Mother’s Day only a few days away, I thought I’d share some additional ideas for those who still need to get a gift.
I love the new sketch-style, travel tote bags that I found at World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. I was also happy to see that we had additional items from the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley available in that location (select styles are also currently available the Disney Parks online store).
I love giving my mother jewelry from Disney Parks. I spotted a few different Minnie Mouse themed necklaces during my visit.
Other options include cosmetics and accessories from our Beautifully Disney collection, which are available at many locations such as Tren-D in the Downtown Disney Marketplace and online.
Finally, I found a few handbags and accessories by Dooney & Bourke, Disney-themed Chamilia jewelry (my mother’s favorite) and a fun tee-shirt with a variety of fashionable Minnie Mouse icons.
Happy Mother’s Day!
One thing my fiancée has taught me is that having the right accessories can make a good outfit even better (that probably explains why I keep buying her tiki-themed handbags). Soon, she and other guests will find many awesome accessories and more at Cherry Tree Lane, a new boutique coming to the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The name of this high-end, fashion boutique was inspired by the street name where the Banks family resides in Disney’s “Mary Poppins.” As it turns out, there will be several nods to this classic live-action film in the location.
“I referenced images of the Banks’ children’s room in the film for the fixture designs,” explained Dana Harchar from the Global Retail Development team. “The handcrafted fixtures will be painted Victorian white along with accent colors of light blue and red. I designed wallpaper for some fixtures that incorporates iconic umbrellas, hats and kites in the design. Guests will also find nesting tables, a unique jewelry fixture, and some wooden closets that will line the exposed brick walls.”
The merchandise assortment will include many colorful accessories including ballet flats, handbags, avant-garde jewelry, timepieces and dramatic scarves. My favorite items have a blue “Cherry Tree Lane” pattern created by Disney Design Group artists. I love they included an umbrella, and the rolling duffle bag is a must!
Cherry Tree Lane will also be home to handbags and accessories by Dooney & Bourke, which is celebrating five years at Disney Parks this year. You may recall getting a first look at the new street scene pattern this past January on the Disney Park Blog. The Disney Parks online store will carry a color variation (red and black) of this pattern shown above at a future date. The color sketch bags will only be released at this location at Walt Disney World Resort; they will be at Disneyland Resort and online at a future date.
Finally, this boutique will carry items from the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley. I’m excited to share a first look at a brand new color, “Bouncing Bouquet,” that will debut once the location officially opens (stay tuned for an exact date). Guests will also find previously released colors such as “Midnight With Mickey” or “Where’s Mickey?” at this boutique. This location will be the only shop at Walt Disney World Resort to carry the “Mickey’s Perfect Petals” color recently released at the Epcot event on May 4.
One of my favorite gifts to give my son is a die-cast metal car as it was something my parents gave me while growing up. For nearly 10 years now, Disney Theme Park Merchandise has offered some die-cast cars called Disney Racers. I first discussed these awesome cars on the Disney Parks Blog in December 2010 for their fifth anniversary. Soon, Disney Racers will relaunch at Disney Parks with all new packaging and several new things.
“We felt it was time for an updated look for [Disney Racers],” explained Dan Vega, merchandiser for toys and games. “Disney Racers have been very popular item with guests since being introduced at Disney Parks in 2005. We will continue introducing new cars along with other new items like a car launcher and a transport truck. I’m excited for what the next few years will bring.”
To update the Disney Racers packaging, Dan turned to the Disney Design Group. I spoke with graphic designer Thomas Scott about his involvement with the new look.
“I collaborated with my fellow artists Quynh Kimball and Billy Davis on the redesign,” said Thomas. “Quynh worked on the packaging layout while Billy provided the background art. I designed the new logo as I love any opportunity to create custom lettering. The lettering was inspired by racing graphics such as numbers found on race cars. I wanted the logo to evoke the feeling of movement while maintaining a unique look for this Disney Parks exclusive brand.”
Some of the first Disney Racers to have this new look will be found at the upcoming Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting May 16. Additional Disney Racers in new packaging will follow toward the beginning of summer.
The most exciting things Dan shared with me were three new concept images for upcoming Disney Racers (hello, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!).
He also said to stay tuned as guests will have an opportunity to help select the next Disney Racer coming to a galaxy far, far away. I’ll share details in a future Disney Parks Blog story.
While recently photographing items in the home décor showroom at Disney Theme Park Merchandise headquarters, some awesome new coffee mugs caught my eye. I’ve shared in previous Disney Parks Blog stories about my intense love for coffee. I think drinking coffee from a Disney themed mug is the perfect way to start any day (I cherish my vintage EPCOT Center mugs). These new mugs reminded me of other merchandise that had subtle nods to Disney characters such as ear hats or shoe ornaments. As it turns out, Costa Alavezos, senior character artist with Disney Design Group, was inspired by those items when creating the designs.
“When designing the mugs, I looked at the ear hat ornaments that my fellow artist Cody Reynolds designed,” explained Costa. “I wanted the mugs to stand out on the shelves, so hair became a great focal point for the designs. I love that you can immediately tell which character is represented just by looking at the different handles. I think the Ursula and Princess Jasmine mugs are my favorites.”
I love the details on the mugs especially the Princess Aurora mug that has her pink dress on one side and her blue dress on the other side. I also liked the apple on the Snow White mug that is covered with red jewels.
Next to these mugs, I spotted two newly released Disney Villain mugs that used character sketch artwork by Disney Design Group artist Casey Jones. You may recall seeing that artwork used on women’s apparel last fall as discussed in this Disney Parks Blog story.
These new mugs will be coming soon to select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. The will also be carried via our Disney Parks online store starting in May.