Disney Parks Blog Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

First Look at New Disney Cruise Line Merchandise for Summer 2014 Itineraries

posted on May 13th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store From May 12-15, 2014

posted on May 12th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.

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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?).

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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.

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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.

Aloha!

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

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day from Disney Parks

posted on May 6th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.
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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).
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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.
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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!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Spotlight on Cherry Tree Lane Coming to Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney in 2014

posted on May 6th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.

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“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.”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Racers Get a Makeover with New Looks and Items Coming to Disney Parks

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


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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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

Show Off Your Morning Disney Side With New Mugs Coming to Disney Parks

posted on April 25th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

VIDEO: Top Souvenirs for Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation

posted on April 18th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World Resort for more than 30 years. I’ve spent more than half of that time working (or playing as I like to say) as a Disney cast member. I’m often asked by friends and family to help with planning vacations to Disney Parks. One topic that regularly comes up during conversations is around merchandise – What are the must-have items I should get during my visit? To help answer that question, I visited Magic Kingdom Park to highlight some of my favorite merchandise items in this short video.

The good news is that you can find many of the items I mentioned in the video on our Disney Parks online store in the “Vacation FUNdamentals” section.

Now it’s your turn. What are your must-have items when visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Please share in the “Comments” below.

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

Four New Disney Attraction Poster-Inspired T-Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store in April 2014

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


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This year, we’ve been featuring a series of Disney Parks’ attraction poster T-shirts on our Disney Parks online store. These shirts are sold for a limited period of time, and feature some pretty amazing art of things I love at Disney Parks! Today, I’m happy to share details about four new T-shirts coming to the online shop in April. Once again, Disney Design Group Artist Richard Terpstra was inspired by posters featured in the outstanding “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” book by Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke (a must have book for any Disney fan!).

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From April 15-20, the Disney Parks online store will release two T-shirts – a purple shirt celebrating Fantasyland at Disneyland park, and a green shirt featuring the Sunshine Tree Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park. The original Fantasyland attraction poster referenced for the purple tee was created in 1955 by Bjorn Aronson.

For the green t-shirt, many readers may recall seeing this attraction poster when the Orange Bird returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in April 2012. I can’t wait to wear mine while enjoying a citrus swirl in Adventureland (does anyone care to join me?).

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Then, from April 22-27, we salute the 50th anniversary of two classic Disney attractions – “it’s a small world” and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Both attractions debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and later found their way to Disney Parks. For these T-shrts, we will offer both adult and kids sizes.

The “it’s a small world” shirt was inspired by the attraction poster designed by Paul Hartley in 1966. The Carousel of Progress shirt references a design from 1967 by Ken Chapman (I want to be that guy pictured at right living in Progress City!).

To find these T-shirts, I invite you to visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents during the dates referenced above. The shirts will ship in 6-8 weeks once orders are completed (express shipping is not available).

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Commemorative Merchandise for 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Coming May 1, 2014

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


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I recall first visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1990 during a family visit to Walt Disney World Resort. Since that time, I’ve spent many days at some of my favorite attractions like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and One Man’s Dream (I practically lived at the latter while serving as a Walt Disney World Ambassador during the 100 years of Magic Celebration). I also have many fond memories of taking my children to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, or enjoying the Cobb salad (my favorite!) at the Hollywood Brown Derby. With Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ silver anniversary on May 1, we have created several new items to mark this occasion.

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Disney Design Group artists Thomas Scott, Costa Alavezos and John Henselmeier collaborated on the logo design. John told me that the archway near the Disney Junior – Live on Stage! attraction served as their inspiration. Costa contributed the character sketches that remind me of the vignettes found on that archway.

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We will release shirts for adults and kids including a classic, black polo-style shirt (I know a few readers have requested such a thing). Guests should also look for a messenger bag, a key chain, and a 12-inch, pre-dressed Duffy the Disney Bear.

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The Disney pin team has also created a collection of pins to celebrate this anniversary. You may recall seeing a sneak preview of a jumbo-sized pin back in January. There will also be a limited edition “I Was There” pin, an Annual Passholder exclusive pin and a few other items like a starter set.

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My favorite pin item is the mystery pin set that contains a host of characters dressed in various costumes. I love seeing the vintage-looking Donald Duck, Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. Two randomly selected pins will be found in each mystery box.

All of these items will be released when Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens on May 1, 2014, in Soundstage 1. This temporary merchandise shop will be located between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania. All items will be available while supplies last.

The Disney Parks online store will carry the four shirts pictured in this story from May 1-5, 2014. The shirts will ship in 6-8 weeks once orders are completed (express shipping is not available). To order the shirts starting May 1, please visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

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

New Options for Star Wars – D-Tech Me Returning to Star Wars Weekends Starting May 16, 2014

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


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I recently shared with you a first look at new merchandise coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning May 16. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that the Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience will return this year with a few new options for guests. This year, the experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, located in Soundstage 1 between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania.

For those unfamiliar with Star Wars – D-Tech Me, this 10-minute experience uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. The captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. My fellow author Gary Buchanan has a cool, behind-the-scenes video about the experience as seen in this story.
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This year, two returning favorites – Carbon-Freeze Me and Stormtrooper – will be joined by two new figurines – Alderaan Princess and X-Wing Pilot. There are both male and female options offered for X-Wing pilot, Carbon-Freeze Me and Stormtrooper figurines. For children, Alderaan Princess and Carbon-Freeze Me figurines will be available in more youthful appearances.
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For the first time, we are introducing a 16-inch figurine. While a wise Jedi Master once said “size matters not,” you can see the size differences of the Stormtrooper figurines in the above image.
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Additionally, we will share details starting May 16 on DisneyParksMerchandise.com about how you can have your image from last year added to a new figurine this year. An example of this is shown above with a Stormtrooper figurine image from last year applied to the new X-Wing Pilot figurine.

The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $99.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. For the 16-inch figurines, retail is $1,499.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. All participants will receive a specially designed button.

Completed figurines will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally).

To book your experience, please call 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324). We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2014 (May 16 – 18, May 23 – 25, May 30 – June 1, June 6 – 8, and June 13-15).

Finally, guests attending the Rebel Rendezvous event on May 15 will be some of the first individuals to experience Star Wars – D-Tech Me this year. Registered event guests should look for an email soon that will explain how to sign up. If you still want to go to the Rebel Rendezvous event, we’d love to have you! Please see DisneyParksMerchandise.com for more details.

Please note: Separate theme park admission required for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No discounts apply unless otherwise noted. Guests must be at least three (3) years of age to participate. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or in the event a reservation is cancelled within 48 hours of scheduled experience will result in such credit card being charged a $25 cancellation fee. The experience, due to its personalized nature, is non-refundable and not eligible for an exchange. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.

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