Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland Resort

Perfect Petals Brunch featuring the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley Coming to Epcot on May 4, 2014

posted on March 19th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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Last year around this time, I shared a first look at the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley . Since then, these colorful handbags and accessories, developed especially for Disney Parks, have been a hit with guests who want a splash of color in their everyday lives. As spring arrives, I’m delighted to announce a new event titled, “A Perfect Petals Brunch featuring the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley,” is coming to World ShowPlace at Epcot on Sunday, May 4. This ticketed event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and will feature the release of a brand new color called “Mickey’s Perfect Petals.” I recently spoke with Cathy Dawson, merchandiser for accessories at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, to learn more.

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“‘Mickey’s Perfect Petals’ is a perfect color for spring,” exclaimed Cathy. “Disney Design Group partnered with the Vera Bradley team to develop the color. I love the subtle nods to Mickey Mouse as they remind me of hidden Mickeys found at Disney Parks. We will offer the color on some of the most popular forms, and we will have a few new options like the campus backpack and tablet hipster.”

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“In addition to a scrumptious brunch and a special gift, event guests will have the first opportunity to purchase seven new items. The event store will also carry some previously released colors from 2013, including “Midnight with Mickey” and “Where’s Mickey.”

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The best part of this brunch, however, will be a special appearance by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley. Barbara has wonderful stories to share, especially about her mother who played an important role in her life and in the founding of Vera Bradley (it’s fitting that this event will take place the weekend before Mother’s Day!).

If any quantities are remaining following this event, the new “Mickey’s Perfect Petals” items will be released when Cherry Tree Lane opens in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace (stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for that opening date). There are no immediate plans to carry this color at Disneyland Resort or on our Disney Parks online store.

Tickets for this event are $125. Admission to Epcot is also required to attend.

To register, please visit DisneyParksMerchandise.com beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT on March 20, 2014.

If you are active on social networks, I invite you to join the conversation by using the hashtag – #DisneyVera.

I hope to see you in May!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Trade Celebration 2014 – Imagination Gala – A Magic Carpet Event at Epcot

posted on March 18th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you ready to make an entrance and arrive in style at our award-worthy Imagination Gala – A Magic Carpet event? This year’s Disney Trade Celebration 2014, is set to take place September 5 – 7, 2014 at World ShowPlace in Epcot. So join us as we honor our ‘bests’ in Disney films, storytelling, characters and attractions with an Imagination Award, represented by none other than a Golden Figment.

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There’s no need for your imagination to run wild anymore. Here are all the details on this year’s event packages.

Pin Trading Showcase Package – $140
September 5 – 6, 2014
(9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Event Admission Includes:

  • Opportunity to pre-purchase select themed merchandise designed for the event
  • Pin Trading activities and games
  • Silent Auction of pre-production pins, artist proof pins and more
  • Opportunity to trade for specially designed pins produced for Imagination Gala – Pin Trading Showcase
  • Meet Disney Pin Merchandisers
  • Artist Signings with Disney Design Group Artists
  • One (1) $30 Disney Gift Card
  • Limited edition commemorative gifts

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Vinylmation Showcase Package – $70
September 7, 2014
(9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Event Admission Includes:

  • Opportunity to pre-purchase select themed merchandise designed for the event
  • Vinylmation Trading activities and Games
  • Silent Auction featuring a variety of Vinylmation items
  • Opportunity to trade for specially designed Vinylmation™ items produced for the Imagination Gala – Vinylmation Showcase
  • Meet the Disney Vinylmation Merchandiser
  • Artist Signings with Disney Design Group Artists
  • One (1) $15 Disney Gift Card
  • Limited edition commemorative gift

I know what you’re thinking … Will there be special breakfast experiences like there have been in year’s past? Of course! We have all of the details on the Imagination Gala, the Purple Carpet Pin Breakfast and Violet Carpet Vinylmation Breakfast online now.

Ticket sales and event registration will begin Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern via www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com.

I couldn’t end this post without giving you a sneak peek at the art for some of the Disney pins and Vinylmation that will be offered as part of the event. For those of you who attended last year’s 13-Reflections of Evil trading event, you might remember casting your spell (I mean vote) for these. Take a look!

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Can’t wait to see you on the Magic Carpet!

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Whoopi Goldberg Talks Narrating The Kinsey Collection Exhibit at Epcot

posted on March 14th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you seen the “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” exhibit at Epcot yet?

Kinsey Collection at Epcot Celebrates African-American Heritage

Located in the American Pavilion, the exhibit features more than 40 artifacts that span more than 400 years of African-American achievement. Actresses Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, Chandra Wilson and other celebrities help bring the exhibit to life via touchscreens and guest-activated lanterns at the exhibit. Check out the video below to hear Whoopi share her firsthand experience of being one of the narrators included in the exhibit.

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Filed: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party Celebrates Sweet Tastes At Epcot

posted on March 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Check out this genius idea – what if we took the best desserts and sparkling wines from all around World Showcase and gathered them in one area for an amazing – and delicious! – nighttime party? Well, it’s on, thanks to the new IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party.

This new offering will take place at Epcot’s Showcase Plaza, a perfect place from which to view “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and will run from 7:45-9:20 p.m. The menu will include the best sweets from several international pavilions, including tiramisu and Prosecco from Italy; Vanilla Pot de Creme from France; baklava from Morocco and much more.

The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party will cost $49 for adults and $29 for children. Parties begin March 15, and booking opens March 12. To book or learn more, call 407-WDW-DINE or visit Disneyworld.com/spring.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look Inside Festival Center for 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

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


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With the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival officially underway, I stopped by the Festival Center to get a first look at the set up. This location, found in Future World between the Universe of Energy and MISSION: Space pavilions, is home to a variety of things including demonstrations and a merchandise shop. When I arrived, the event team was putting finishing touches on several areas inside the pavilion. I snapped a few photographs of the merchandise store that I thought you may enjoy.

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The sound of running water filled the air as I walked around the merchandise shop. The center of the shop had a nice garden-like setting complete with trees and fountains. I spotted several garden items throughout the display including wind chimes, garden stakes and other decorative goods.

First Look Inside Festival Center for 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival First Look Inside Festival Center for 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

In a previous article, I shared a look at some of the new merchandise we’ve created for this annual event. I enjoyed seeing the two different visual statements of these items displayed along the walls.

There were a few other things that caught my eye including new, instant photograph-inspired T-shirts for adults, kids and Passholders. There was also a jar-shaped plastic tumbler complete with the event logo. I particularly liked the calendar that contains images of the character topiaries featured throughout Epcot. This is the first time we’ve offered a calendar like this for the event.

Here is a gallery containing a few other items that I liked. The 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs through May 18, 2014. I invite you to join the conversation on social networks by using the hashtag #EpcotInSpring. You can also find more information about the event by visiting EpcotInSpring.com.
I hope to see you at Epcot; I’ll most likely be at my favorite Outdoor Kitchen, the Pineapple Promenade!

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: A Journey Into Imagination

posted on March 6th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


The Journey Into Imagination attraction opened during this week in Epcot in 1983. As a treat, here’s a photo we’ve never released on the Disney Parks Blog before.

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Above, Figment is in the Literature section of the former attraction where, along with Dreamfinder, they demonstrate how the words on the pages of a book come to life with the help of your imagination!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns Today

posted on March 5th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival returns to the park today, with new Muppet-themed topiaries, Outdoor Kitchens, and Flower Power concerts.

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In addition to many lovely floral displays, this year’s topiaries will include Mickey, Minnie and Pluto; Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play Garden; Classic Disney Couples; Beauty and the Beast; and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden. Kermit and Miss Piggy are also appearing in topiary form in between the Italy and the Germany pavilions with a display inspired by the new movie Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted“. For a behind-the-scenes look at how their topiary came to be, check out the video below!

Also at this year’s festival, guests will be able to enjoy tastes from eleven Outdoor Kitchens, which will serve up a slew of new “sweet & savory” and “spring-inspired” menu items. (Check out a sneak peek at this year’s dishes in Pam’s previous post).

The Flower Power Concert Series also returns this Friday with The Guess Who (“American Woman”) taking the stage. Upcoming acts also include two bands making their debut Flower Power Concert performance: Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”). Performances are included in park admission and take place Friday through Sunday at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

New Mini Disney Gift Card Designs for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 4th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


If you’re visiting the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, you’ll notice we have several exclusive mini Disney Gift Cards created especially for this year’s event. And today, we’re excited to share an early look at the new artwork.

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The mini Disney Gift Cards have all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the added convenience of wearing it around your wrist. As you enjoy the sights and scents that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer, the mini Disney Gift Card will help you quickly satisfy your taste buds by purchasing foods that highlight the taste of spring at the outdoor kitchens.

These designs will be available exclusively at Epcot for a limited time during the festival.

Activate your Disney Gift Card and just swipe to pay for food and more. Your Disney Gift Card can even be reloaded as many times as you want at the majority of festival kiosks. When the festival is over, you can continue using your card since, like all Disney Gift Cards, it’s good for practically all things Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – March 2014

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


March 5 – May 18: Looking to ‘grow’ your collection or ‘pick’ the perfect item from this year’s assortment of 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival merchandise? Now you can! Fellow author Steven Miller recently shared details about some of this year’s new merchandise, among other items. See what’s in bloom and be sure to keep an eye out because several of our beloved Disney artists will be on hand for special appearances and signings throughout the festival as well as during the Art in the Garden Weekend taking place Mar. 28 – 30. Tip: Passholders be sure to keep an eye out for special merchandise created just for you!

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March 5 – 9: Meet renowned artist Larry Dotson who will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Epcot. Be sure to stop by and say hello as you check out some of his latest releases. Learn more.

March 12 – 16: Artist Greg McCullough will be appearing at Art of Disney in Epcot, Mar. 12 – 16 and Mar. 26 – 30, as we celebrate the release of some of his latest pieces. Learn more.

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March 15: Stop by Animation Gallery inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the limited edition release of “Off the Page – 25 Years,” which features Sorcerer Mickey as he conjures various images from “Fantasia,” and meet the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more. Can’t make it to the event? Order yours now!

March 18: Mark your calendars for the DVD and Blu-Ray release of “Frozen” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” two of my personal favorites. More details on these releases will be available shortly, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.

March 21 – 26: David E. Doss will be appearing daily at The Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.

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March 26 – 27: Are you a fan of Ridley Pearson? Are you ready for the release of “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider”? If your answer was yes, then be sure to check out all of the details on Ridley Pearson’s appearances and details on the last book in the beloved Kingdom Keepers series. Learn more.

Which artist showcase and event are you most excited to attend?

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

Families That Travel Together Can Add a Free Day With This New Special Offer

posted on February 25th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Considering planning a Disney family celebration this summer? We’re happy to share a new reason you should book today – a new Magic Your Way ticket deal!
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Starting today, parties of six or more who purchase a (minimum) four-day Magic Your Way ticket will receive an additional day for everyone for free. This offer, taking place now through summer, is a great way for large families to enjoy Walt Disney World Resort together. The more, the merrier! And summer will be a great time to visit, with the debut of the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” and the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train taking place this spring at Magic Kingdom Park, as well as the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and Star Wars Weekends at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, respectively.

This deal can be booked now through June 14, 2014. Learn more by visiting DisneyWorld.com/Together.

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Filed: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort