Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Event Snapshot – July 2014

posted on June 27th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Here are the merchandise events headed your way this July at the Walt Disney World Resort!

June 20 – July 3: Artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Look for David again July 24 – 27. Learn more.

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June 26 – July 7: Find the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Look for special appearances by Linda each day, July 3 -6. Visiting later in the month? Stop by July 17 – 28. Learn more.

July 1 – 4: Renowned international artist Larry Dotson will be appearing throughout the day at Art of Disney in Epcot, July 1- 4. Look for Larry again, July 17 – 20 at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.

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July 4 – 11: Meet artist Greg McCullough this month at the Walt Disney World Resort. Greg will appear at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, July 4 – 11 as well as July 30 – August 3. Look for additional appearances by Greg at Art of Disney in Epcot, July 16 – 20 and July 23 – 27. Learn more.

July 25: Get an early jump on your holiday shopping and celebrate Christmas in July with us and Disney artists, Costa Alavezos, Cody Reynolds and Derrick Lirette from 6 – 8p.m. at Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Have you signed up for Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Keep an eye out for specially themed merchandise and special appearances by artists Brian Blackmore, Larry Dotson, Greg McCullough and Darren Wilson. Learn more.

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Finally, a limited number of tickets to Disney Trade Celebration 2014 – Imagination Gala taking place at World ShowPlace in Epcot, September 5 – 7 are still available, so sign up for the Pin and Vinylmation Showcase Packages today! Learn more.

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VIDEO – Tour the Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 26th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, we officially opened the doors to the Marketplace Co-Op, our newest retail location in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. This flexible space location will be a testing ground for new retail shop concepts, products and Guest experiences.

If you have yet to visit, here is a quick grand circle tour of my new favorite shopping destination at Disney Parks. Look for cameos by Tom Sheldon, manager of retail design and development for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, and Ron James, area manager for merchandise presentation, at the beginning of the video. I first interviewed Tom in November 2013 about the shop in this Disney Parks Blog story, and it was amazing to watch the location come to life during these past few months.

You can also find select items from the Marketplace Co-Op on our Disney Parks online store at DisneyStore.com/MarketplaceCoOp

Do you have a favorite item from the Marketplace Co-Op? If so, please share in the comments below.

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A Royal LEGO Adventure at Downtown Disney

posted on June 25th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


I bet we’ve all dreamt about winning a once-in-a-lifetime Walt Disney World Resort vacation, right? For 10-year-old Sami from Greenwood, Ind., that dream recently came true when Radio Disney called to tell her she was the Grand Prize winner in their “Royal LEGO Adventure” sweepstakes. Even better? She got to bring along her mom, dad, and cousin, Chaeli.

Sami’s prize was over-the-top, including hotel accommodations, Disney Theme Park tickets, a private meet ‘n’ greet with Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” and an incredible afternoon at Downtown Disney that included a princess makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and a shopping spree at The LEGO Store.

Sami’s dad, Steven, is a high-school band director. So while the family had visited Disney Parks before, it was usually with hundreds of other people. I had the chance to talk with Princess Sami during her Downtown Disney visit and it was clear that this was a special trip for her, “I’ve always wanted a ‘family’ vacation – finally I get a break from all 300 people!”

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And what a break it was … all eyes were on Sami (literally – her makeover took place in the front window of World of Disney!) as she transformed into her favorite princess, Elsa. “I love her because of her powers. And the best part about her is that she really cares about people,” Sami shared. After her makeover, Sami enjoyed a red-carpet welcome at the LEGO Store, where she was treated to “Frozen”-themed treats from Goofy’s Candy Company and had a personal LEGO escort to help her make her merchandise selections.

Sami Before Her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Makeover at Downtown Disney Sami After Her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Makeover at Downtown Disney

Her smile said it all. “This was everything I’ve hoped for,” Sami told me. And I had to smile, too, knowing that once again, the magic of a Disney vacation made another little girl’s dreams come true.

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Meet Disney Artists Behind Vinylmation Park Starz 3 at D-Street in Downtown Disney West Side on June 27, 2014

posted on June 23rd, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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A few weeks ago, the newest Vinylmation series, Park Starz 3, was released at Disney Parks. I love the Park Starz collections as they feature classic characters I love from attractions, shows and parades at Disney Parks. This newest series looks awesome (hello, Dreamfinder!!). On Friday, June 27, three Disney Design Group artists – Thomas Scott, Casey Jones and Caley Hicks – who designed figures in this series will be at D-Street in Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort. They will be signing figures and talking with fans from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that day. I recently asked lead Vinylmation artist Thomas Scott about his favorite figures.

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“I love them all as they are my babies,” laughed Thomas who has been designing Vinylmation figures for a few years now. “I’m a big fan of space toys, so I included a Space Mountain-inspired astronaut in this series mostly because I wanted one. I also think the turtle from Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade is one of the best figures we’ve ever designed. Casey Jones’ caveman from Spaceship Earth is also pretty unique as he is a character rarely found on merchandise.”

There are 12 figures in this limited release series – 11 known figures and one mystery chaser figure. They are sold either in individual mystery boxes or you can get the entire series by purchasing a tray.

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You may recognize new characters in this collection from attractions that were in Vinylmation – Park Starz Series 1 and Series 2 such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. I’m guessing my fellow author Erin Glover is excited to see a figure of the Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn.

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The artists also created some limited edition variant figures. Two of these items – the Pirate with pig and the Big Al with Trixie set – will be released on Friday, June 20. The remaining two – the Mission: SPACE astronaut and the clear Hitchhiking Ghost – will be released on Friday, June 27. These releases will take place at the D-Street locations in Florida and California where you can also find individual boxes or trays.

You can also find select items on our Disney Parks online store – http://www.disneystore.com/vinylmation/mn/1000828/

Which character is your favorite from this series? Please share in the comments below.

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New Soccer Merchandise Scores a Goal at Walt Disney World Resort

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


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My fellow author Darcy Clark recently shared a look at the United World Soccer store at Downtown Disney West Side. This new location is a must-stop destination for fans of fútbol (and it would appear there are many as the world watches the events unfold in Brazil). Elsewhere at Walt Disney World Resort, we have recently introduced new soccer-themed goods that have a splash of Disney.

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Decorated in hues of blue, green, yellow and white, this small new assortment was created specifically for World Showcase at Epcot. The main logo features a silhouette of Mickey Mouse kicking a soccer ball, which was used on several apparel items, a glass mug and two open edition pins.

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These items can be found in select locations at Epcot and at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. The two open edition pins will also be released in select locations at Disneyland Resort.

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One of my favorite items is a limited release pin featuring José Carioca, a character not often seen on Disney merchandise. He was originally created for Walt Disney’s “Saludos Amigos” in 1942, and now stars in the Mexico Pavilion attraction at Epcot, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. This pin was released at Disney Traders and Village Traders in World Showcase at Epcot, World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace and Sport Goofy at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.

Speaking of Epcot, you can watch many of the World Cup games in the Odyssey Center. That’s just one of many viewing locations at Walt Disney World Resort. See the complete list here.

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Disney Parks Blog Readers ‘Meet-Up’ For ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

posted on June 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Over the weekend, hundreds of Disney Parks Blog readers gathered for a sneak preview of “Planes: Fire & Rescue” at AMC Downtown Disney 24 at Walt Disney World Resort.
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In addition to seeing the film, which tells the story of a crew of elite firefighting aircrafts who protect the historic Piston Peak National Park from wildfires, our guests also heard some “making-of” details from Producer Ferrell Barron and Director/Co-Writer Roberts “Bobs” Gannaway.
Disney Parks Blog Readers ‘Meet-Up’ For ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” will open in theaters on July 18, 2014.

Be sure to check out our recap of the event in the video below.

Did you attend our meet-up? Let us know in the “Comments” section below!

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Car Masters Weekend is back at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on June 13th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Earlier today, Pixar Cars Guardian, Jay Ward, and Car Designer and Customizer, Chip Foose, stopped by to share what they’re looking forward to the most at this year’s Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney. Take a look, then join us Saturday and Sunday to experience the fast-paced excitement for yourself.

Visit disneycarevent.com for more details and we’ll see you there!

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‘Trucks on the Town at Downtown Disney West Side’ June 21 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Get ready to tweet, here’s a brand-new event to share with all your foodie friends: the first-ever food truck festival at Downtown Disney, a mini-theme park for food lovers from 5-10 p.m. June 21. Your biggest challenge will be what to order when you get to the window, as we’ll have 14 trucks dishing out sandwiches, empanadas, pupusas, barbecue, gator bites, seafood, tacos, cupcakes and more.

Presenting the First-Ever Food Truck Bazaar at Downtown Disney

Collaborating with The Daily City.com Food Truck Bazaar, local trucks sharing their delicious tastes at Disney for the first time include:

  • TJ’s Seafood Shack
  • Magic 4 Ur Palate
  • Yum Yum Cupcake Truck
  • Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ
  • La Empanada
  • Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks
  • El Cactus Azul
  • Mayan Grill
  • Med Fresh Taverna

Of course the four Downtown Disney food trucks, along with the ESPN food truck, will be there – Namaste Café with favorites plus some new flavors from Disney’s Animal Kingdom – think butter chicken and tandoor shrimp; Superstar Catering with favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios like Margherita flat bread; Fantasy Fare with Magic Kingdom Park goodies like the corn dog and sticky chicken n’ waffles; and World Showcase of Flavors with Epcot tastes from pierogies to grass-fed beef sliders.

A live DJ will create a convivial atmosphere that’s fun for all ages at the event that will be at Downtown Disney West Side on the event lawn near House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil. Best parking is lots O, P and Q behind Cirque due Soleil, via entrance 5. And, sorry, no pets allowed.

Downtown Disney plans to open a permanent food truck park later this summer between Bongos Cuban Café and the new Starbucks at Downtown Disney West Side. Details soon!

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New Merchandise Rides Into Downtown Disney West Side for Car Masters Weekend on June 14-15, 2014

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


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My fellow author Darcy Clark recently shared some details about Car Masters Weekend returning to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort on June 14-15. This fun event dedicated to all things auto will take place from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. Darcy mentioned we will have a few new items being released that weekend, so I raced over to the merchandise events team to survey the goods.

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This year, we have a new event logo that will be used on a variety of items including a print, a shirt, a car magnet, a car flag and a D-Tech on Demand case for the iPhone 5/5S. These items will be released at D-Street and at the Disney Truck Shop located in the event expo area at Downtown Disney West Side.

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I’m also happy to report that custom car builder and designer Chip Foose will be returning to the event. He will be meeting with guests each day at D-Street from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Chip will be signing prints of his take on this year’s Car Masters Weekend artwork shown above (you’ll notice it’s slightly different than the top image). Guests will receive a wristband upon purchasing the artwork which will allow them to meet Chip and have their artwork signed. The queue for guests with wristbands will start at 10:00 am in front of D-Street.

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Guests will also have two opportunities each day to meet the filmmakers of “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” the upcoming film from Disneytoon Studios in theaters July 18. Director/co-writer Robert “Bobs” Gannaway and producer Ferrell Barron, will be giving a special conversation each day, and they will meet with guests to sign the new “Planes: Fire & Rescue” books coming to the event. Please visit the event stage in Downtown Disney West Side at the following times:

  • Saturday, June 14 – Conversation will be held at 1:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. with the meet and greet starting at 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 15 – Conversation will be held at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. with the meet and greet starting at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

To learn more about Car Masters Weekend, please click here.

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Soccer Scores the Spotlight at United World Soccer at Downtown Disney West Side

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


All eyes are on Brazil as the FIFA World Cup kicks off today (pun totally intended). With 32 teams competing in the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world, soccer will take center stage over the next month.

Here at Downtown Disney West Side, one of the newest venues, United World Soccer, can help you score all your fútbol must-haves. With jerseys representing the most popular teams, a variety of cleats and gear, and even the official FIFA World Cup soccer ball available for purchase, this new retail location has what you need to make the most of this worldwide phenomenon.

Here’s a look at what you can expect inside the shop:

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I’ve got a few friends who are soccer-obsessed, so there’s a good chance you’ll find me hunkered down at one of the many Walt Disney World Resort venues showing the games. You can see the full list of confirmed viewing locations here. Additionally, look for the biggest match-ups at select Downtown Disney locations – Splitsville will be a sure bet, with its many large-screen TVs and full-service bars.

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No matter how you plan to celebrate the World Cup, my advice is to pick up a jersey at United World Soccer before you cheer on your favorite team.

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So? Any early predictions on who will win the whole thing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. (I’m already chanting U-S-A, U-S-A …)

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