I recently spotted some new 2015 merchandise during a visit to Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. This time of year is usually when the new dated merchandise (that is products that have a specific date) arrives at Disney Parks. I noticed something different about the artwork for these items this year – Sorcerer Mickey was nowhere to be found. When I returned to the office, I caught up with Disney Design Group Artist Thomas Scott to learn more.
“For the 2015 artwork, we imagined the Disney characters were showing off their Disney Side just like our guests do when visiting Disney Parks,” explained Thomas who was one of the lead designers for the 2015 artwork. “We dressed the characters in products we carry such as the Buzz Lightyear costume tee-shirt that Goofy is wearing. Sorcerer Mickey has been included in the dated art program for a few years. This time, we put a Sorcerer’s hat on Mickey Mouse that resembles the hat we carry in our merchandise shops. I thought it was a great nod to that artwork tradition.”
Work on the 2015 artwork began about 18 months ago. Thomas told me that several Disney artists collaborated on the style guide. Different product categories use the style guide artwork to create a consistent look for all items. I particularly love the artwork by Disney Design Group Artist Mike Sullivan that shows the characters doing things I do when visit Disney Parks (the selfie photo made me laugh as I have taken many of those).
The dated merchandise is some of our most popular items sold at Disney Parks (a great way to remember the year you visited). We offer apparel items, seasonal ornaments, souvenirs, pins, plush, home goods and much more that uses this artwork. I love the propeller cap, and I thought the scrapbooking kit was pretty neat too.
These items are available in a variety of merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Guests can also find select 2015 items on our Disney Parks online store.
Are you visiting Walt Disney World Resort this January and are looking for a few other things to check out? Here are a couple of artist showcases that made my list.
January 1 – 4: Artist Larry Dotson will be on hand to kick off the New Year with special appearances and signings at Walt Disney World Resort, January 1 – 4 at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park and January 8 – 11 at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.
Now – January 5: Get dolled up! Stop by Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace and meet representatives from Precious Moments Dolls who will be wrapping up this season’s showcase. Learn more.
January 6 – 8: Fall in love with the latest fragrance, The Essence of Norway, from Laila Inc. Fragrance Designer Geir Ness will be available for a special appearance and signing from Noon to 6 p.m., each day, at The Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Learn more.
January 19 – 25: Have you been waiting to meet artist Greg McCullough? Find him this month at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. It’s never too late to add a new piece by Greg McCullough to your collection. Learn more.
We have many more events in store for you this year, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog.
I know where I will be almost one year from now – sitting in a movie theater with my son as the opening credits roll for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Being a long-time fan of all things Star Wars, it will be the perfect holiday gift to myself next year. I remember receiving many Star Wars-themed gifts growing up in the late 1970s (the Death Star Space Station playset was one of my favorites!). If you are looking for Star Wars holiday gifts this season, I have a few suggestions of items created especially for Disney Parks.
I love this fun holiday sweater T-shirt featuring Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other icons (it’s perfect for winter in Florida).
The Disney Pin team released some new holiday pins including a 9-pin mystery set with Star Wars gingerbread characters.
If you are looking for toys, there are a few different options including the Starspeeder 1000 vehicle playset inspired by Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; a giant Clone Trooper found only at Disney Parks; and Disney Racers die-cast cars which make for great stocking stuffers.
I also like the Star Wars Droid Factory where you can design and build your own Astromech droid action figure. This experience is offered at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, and The Star Trader in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park in California.
You can also find other Star Wars items online at DisneyStore.com/StarWars.
May the Holidays Be With You!
It was just announced that The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. will open STK Orlando at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015.
STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge, will open its doors in The Landing area of Disney Springs. It will be one of the largest STK locations in the world, occupying 14,000 square feet in a two-story building.
“We are thrilled to join the Disney Springs family with the launch of STK Orlando,” said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group. “The combination of an innovative menu and high-energy atmosphere has driven the success of STK, and we believe it will be an ideal addition to Disney Springs, and will help further cement its status as a place for friends and family to gather for fine dining and entertainment.”
STK is the latest in a string of restaurants who have announced new locations planned for Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia and THE BOATHOUSE are two other dining options that will open their doors in 2015.
Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information and news on Disney Springs.
For more on Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, visit the posts below:
You may recall that my top gift items this year from Disney Parks are retail MagicBands. We recently introduced the “link-it later” option for all retail MagicBands, making them great gifts for guests who may want to show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. This month, we are introducing some new open edition, graphic MagicBands on the dates listed below.
- December 12 – Sorcerer Mickey
- December 14 – Minnie Mouse’s iconic polka dots
- December 17 – Stitch
- December 22 – Disney Princesses
These graphic MagicBands will retail at $19.95 each.
Guests should look for these items in select locations at the four theme parks and Downtown Disney.
You can also find solid color MagicBands and select accessories on our Disney Parks online store by visiting http://www.DisneyStore.com/MagicBands
Sure, Thanksgiving was just last week, but already, the Downtown Disney Area at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is bustling with holiday excitement. The Festival of the Seasons is now underway and new holiday décor is lighting up the Marketplace.
Read on for some of my favorite festive fun:
- Meet Santa: Naughty or nice, you can share your wish list with Santa Claus through Christmas Eve (Santa Goofy Steps in December 25th – 29th)! New this year, guests can check in at the Santa Chalet podium to receive a pager that buzzes when their turn to meet Santa is near. It’s a great opportunity to snag a family photo, too, with Disney’s PhotoPass photographers on standby. (12pm – 9:30pm daily).
- Enjoy Holiday Entertainment: Pick up a times guide to discover the sounds of the season. From carolers to stilt walkers, live musicians to DJ dance parties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. My favorite new spot to catch a performance is Exposition Park on the West Side – and while you’re there, you can indulge in fresh fare from the Disney Food Trucks!
- Shop the new Marketplace Co-Op: Of course, World of Disney will always be a ‘must-do’ for holiday shopping, but I’ve added this new venue to my shopping list as well. With six distinct boutiques, some featuring items that can’t be found anywhere else at Walt Disney World, this is the place to find unique gifts for loved ones. Want even more gift-giving inspiration? Follow us on Twitter at @WDWDowntown and look for hashtag “#25daysofDTD” to see some of our top picks.
- Indulge in Holiday Treats: Peppermint Mocha from STARBUCKS? Decadent hot chocolate from Ghirardelli? A homemade treat from Goofy’s Candy Company or Candy Cauldron? Whatever you fancy, you’ll find something sweet to tempt your taste buds! (Me? I’m partial to the Olaf-inspired specialty apples.)
With a portion of the West Garage now open to guests and boat transportation available for travel between the West Side, Pleasure Island and Marketplace (weather permitting), it’s easy to explore all of Downtown Disney.
For tips on visiting the property, click here.
Happy Holidays, and I hope to see you out and about at Downtown Disney enjoying the season soon!
During a recent visit to World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, I spotted a small assortment of Hanukkah-inspired merchandise. This year, the wondrous eight-day celebration begins in the evening on December 16 and ends in the evening on December 24. Here is a closer look at some gift items for welcoming the festival of lights during this holiday season.
This isn’t the first time Disney Theme Park Merchandise has developed Hanukkah-inspired items. My former teammate turned Disney Pins merchandiser Erin Catalano shared an update on the Disney Parks Blog back in 2011 as seen in this article.
This year’s assortment includes a decorative banner with bells, a wine goblet, a mug, and a small serving plate that is perfect for traditional treats.
The Disney pin team also created two different pins this year. The Chip and Dale pin is open edition (item number 400007900547), while the pin with Donald Duck’s nephews is limited edition (item number 400008890380). The latter pin features a dreidel that spins.
Finally, I’m delighted to share that the seasonal team is currently developing a new Hanukkah-inspired assortment that will debut next year.
I wish you a Happy Hanukkah filled with wonder and light!
Check out these photos of the new Exposition Park at Downtown Disney West Side, the permanent home of the four Disney-owned food trucks.
“Guests can always find one or more of the Disney food trucks at this location, with visiting local food trucks joining the fun from time to time” says Darcy Clark, Downtown Disney marketing manager. “With nightly entertainment and extra seating, this West Side location is sure to become a favorite.”
The four Disney food trucks, along with the ESPN food truck, may be there – Namaste Café with flavors from Disney’s Animal Kingdom (think butter chicken and Tandoori spiced shrimp); Superstar Catering with favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios like a Margarita Flatbread; Fantasy Fare with Magic Kingdom Park goodies like the corn dog, and World Showcase of Flavors with Epcot tastes from grass-fed beef sliders to Pierogies.
You’ll find Exposition Park between Bongo’s Cuban Café and Starbucks – an expansive grassy area that take advantage of the pretty waterfront. Hours may vary during peak times and special events
Santa Claus is a busy guy this time of year, but we have good news! He’s carving time out of his schedule to pay a visit to Disney Parks, where you can meet him and fill him in on your fondest wish for this holiday season. Between now and Christmas Day, Santa will be making stops throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Here are some of the places you’re bound to find him:
Be sure to consult the in-park Times Guide or ask a cast member to find out just when you can see Santa on the day of your visit, and have a wonderful ho-ho-holiday!
Some of the most popular holiday gifts this year are anything related to Disney’s “Frozen.” I recently visited Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Frozen Snowground at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to give a rundown of my favorite “Frozen” gifts and where to find them at Walt Disney World Resort during the holidays.