Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland Park

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

New Merchandise and ‘Rebel Rendezvous’ Event Coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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One of my favorite events returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 16, 2014 – Star Wars Weekends! Today, I’m delighted to give you a first look at some of the new merchandise we’ve created for this year’s event. I also have some details about a new merchandise ticketed event coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 15, the day before Star Wars Weekends officially opens. I’ll share more about that event in a moment, but first let’s take a look at the new merchandise poster.

“This year’s merchandise poster contains a few nods to the upcoming Disney XD animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels,” explained Disney Design Group artist Tyler Dumas. “The color orange in the poster was inspired by the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ series’ logo, while the non-specific battle scene is supposed to take place between the events of Episode III and IV. This is similar to the storyline of the upcoming animated series. We also included a Star Speeder 1000 and R2-MK as tributes to Disney Parks.”

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This poster will be used on a variety of items including the ever popular Disney pins. The Disney pin team will also release a few other items like concept artwork cards with pins, a limited release mystery set and, my favorite, a Battle of Yavin lanyard with medal.

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The toy team created several new items this year including a limited edition figures set; a lenticular 1,000-piece puzzle; a Jabba the Hutt latex character; and a Queen Amidala and Princess Leia Deluxe Fashion Set.

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The limited release Vinylmation mystery series Star Wars: Series 4 will also debut during Star Wars Weekends. Look for a limited edition 9-inch and 3-inch figure set featuring the Rancor and his keeper this year.

To round out the preview, the arts and collectibles team have designed four medium-sized figures (Pluto dressed as an AT-AT is my favorite!).
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I promised some details about a merchandise ticketed event on Thursday, May 15. The “Rebel Rendezvous” will be held between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Attendees will receive exclusive access to Darth’s Mall one day before it opens to the public; a limited edition recruitment pack with items like a custom messenger bag, cadet hat, tumbler, lanyard, pin and medal set; preferential opportunity to purchase select 2014 Star Wars Weekends merchandise; and special meet and greet opportunities with characters and Disney artists.

Registration for the event will begin on March 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EST at www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com, but you can visit the site now for additional details and restrictions. A catalog with additional merchandise images will be published on March 4.

May the Force Be With You!

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

D Street in Downtown Disney District Welcomes ‘Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ Filmmakers to the Disneyland Resort

posted on February 11th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


As you can tell, the excitement at the Disneyland Resort over the release of “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” is building! Just a few nights ago, several of my friends and colleagues had the chance to hit the premiere on The Walt Disney Studios lot and to meet several of the stop-motion, animated short filmmakers, designers, composer and artists.

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What could be more exciting? What if I were to tell you that some of those same filmmakers will be appearing here at the Disneyland Resort?

So let me tie up all of the event details in a nice little ‘bow.’ Yes, I went there (insert laugh here). On Friday, Feb. 14, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., D-Street in the Downtown Disney District will host a special release and signing of “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” merchandise with the following:

  • Mike Ambs (Director, Cinematographer)
  • Paul Foyder (Director, Editor, Sound Designer)
  • Alfred Montejano (Composer)
  • Gino Roy (Director, Production Designer)
  • Whitfield Scheidegger (Director, Cinematographer)
  • Greg Shewchuk (Director, Writer, Co-Producer)

Check out Steven Miller’s post from earlier today to find out what merchandise will be offered and for a glimpse at the product and related events taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. If you are attending one of their screenings, you’ll find the merchandise available adjacent to the Premiere Theatre.

You can see more about “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” at www.Disney.com/Blank and remember to use the hashtag #BlankAndBow on any of your social networks.

Will you be joining us for this special release this Valentine’s Day?

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

See ‘Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ at Premiere Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from February 14-17, 2014

posted on February 11th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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With Valentine’s Day weekend just around the corner, I’m delighted to share that “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” will be coming to Premiere Theatre in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort from February 14-17, 2014. This 39-minute, stop-motion, animated short tells the story of an unpainted Vinylmation figure on a quest that alters the destiny of his entire world. You may recall that I first discussed this short last August on the Disney Parks Blog (read the story here).

We will have several showings of the film throughout the four day engagement at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Separate theme park admission is required to attend, and seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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We will also have special screenings for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members on select days.

On February 14 and February 16, a showing for Passholders only will be held at 10:00 a.m. Please present a valid annual pass at the entrance to the Premiere Theatre.

On February 15 and February 17, a Disney Vacation Club Members only screening will be held at 10:00 a.m. Please present a valid Disney Vacation Club Member ID card at the entrance to the Premiere Theatre.

Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members are welcome to attend the other screening times throughout the four days.

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We have created a few items to celebrate the debut of this Vinylmation-themed short. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, look for 3-inch, create-your-own Blank and Bow figures, T-shirts and D-Tech on Demand cases for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S.

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From February 14-23, we will be offering select “Blank” items and more via our Disney Parks online store. You will find the two shirts and D-Tech on Demand iPhone cases shown above as well as some unique custom figures.

There will be 50 blank, 3-inch Vinylmation figures with custom artwork by Disney Design Group artist Thomas Scott. Each figure will be individually numbered.

We will also offer a handful of sets featuring 3-foot Vinylmation figures that resemble Blank and Bow (pictured above). One of these 3-foot figure sets will be signed by the Disney Interactive team who worked on the short.

Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of all items ordered online at http://www.DisneyStore.com/Blank.

You can see more about “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story” at http://www.BlankAndBow.com. If you are active on social networks, join the conversation using the hashtag #BlankAndBow.

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Sign Up for Our ‘BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story’ Meet-Up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on February 10th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and do not receive a confirmation email by 7 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re providing an opportunity for you to be among the first to see the new film “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story” during a special meet-up inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Our Disney Parks Blog meet-up begins at 7:30 p.m. EST on February 13, 2014, at the Premiere Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At the event, you’ll be able to see “BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story” – a heartwarming tale of an unpainted Vinylmation on a quest to find a lost soul mate. It’s an epic adventure in miniature scale, filmed entirely in practical stop motion. Also during the night, there will be entertainment, the opportunity to learn more about the film and some other fun experiences.

RSVP now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation.

This post will be updated after the planned capacity has been reached. Please note the event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Hope to see you there.

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New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Starting March 5

posted on January 28th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

My fellow Disney Parks Blog author Jennifer Fickley-Baker recently shared that the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is returning to Walt Disney World Resort on March 5. Her story prompted me to do some digging for details about the merchandise being offered this year. Here is a first look at some of my favorite items coming to Epcot.
New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Featuring Garden Items

You may recall that we introduced topiary artwork last year to our merchandise assortment. This fun and festive artwork was created by our Yellow Shoes Marketing group and it was wildly popular with guests attending the event. This year, we have used that artwork on new softlines, home décor and more.
New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I particularly love some of the new garden items including a Minnie Mouse wind chime that I think my mother would enjoy. The Donald Duck garden stake also made me laugh (I think he’s my favorite character topiary image from this event). We will also have a new 12-inch pre-dressed Duffy the Disney Bear that resembles a garden gnome. I’m personally buzzing about the updated coffee mug that features a hidden bee image inside.
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Topiaries also found their way onto new pins created especially for this year’s Festival. There is a limited release pin featuring Mickey Mouse that will be found in multiple locations through Epcot. There are also a series of limited-edition pins that include characters like Kermit the Frog or Mater and Lightning McQueen.
New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Featuring Vinylmation

Finally, the Vinylmation team will introduce a new “revealed/concealed” mystery set with figures shaped like topiaries on March 28. Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks designed the 3-inch figures. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey topiary is the revealed figure in the set, and it will be found on the top of each mystery box. The other four figures will be randomly packaged, so you won’t know which one you get.

I invite you to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks as I will be offering a first look inside the Festival Center located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Discovering New Vinylmation Coming to Disney Parks in 2014

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


"Raiders of the Lost Ark" Vinylmation - Indiana Jones Hand

I’ve recently shared a few sneak previews of new items coming to Disney Parks in 2014. My attention now turns to Vinylmation, the collectible figures celebrating five years at Disney Parks. The New Year will be an exciting one for Vinylmation collectors, especially with the debut of a limited release mystery series inspired by characters from the Indiana Jones films. Here is a closer look at what else you can expect in 2014.

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The Indiana Jones series launches on January 10 at the D Street locations in Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and on the Disney Parks online store. This series was designed by Thomas Scott, lead Vinylmation artist with Disney Design Group, and features characters from the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Disney artist Maria Clapsis designed the combo pack figure which will be released on January 24. Special thanks to my fellow cast member (and Indiana Jones fan) Brandon Kleyla for the photos.

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A new Vinylmation titled “Cutesters in the Snow” is releasing on January 17 at Disney Parks and on the Disney Parks online store. This limited release mystery series was designed by Maria Clapsis and Caley Hicks. Considering there is not much snow in Central Florida, I had an arctic blast photographing these adorable characters playing in the front yard of my childhood home in snow-covered Columbus, Ohio.

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This year will also see the debut of specially designed limited edition figures released at the Disney Trading Nights. There will be a unique figures released at Disneyland Resort and at Walt Disney World Resort during upcoming events. These figures are limited edition and are presented as the “Eachz” concept – one figure is more common to find than the other. Keep watching Disney.com/Vinylmation for announcements about the next Disney Trading Nights.

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Finally, I found a handful of figures from the Vinylmation showroom that I couldn’t wait to share. The limited edition Cranium Command set will be part of Vinylmation – Park #14. In March, we will release an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit figure as the “Eachz” concept for Easter. The amazing Park Starz series will return in June with new figures including Dreamfinder and Sonny Eclipse! In July, look for a limited release mystery series featuring decorated Duffy the Disney Bear figures.

Which figures are you look forward to the most? Please share in the comments below. I also invite you to join the conversation on the official Vinylmation page on Facebook.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: January 2011

posted on January 7th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Back in January 2011, we were kicking off the new year with a look at exciting things to come. Between the arrival of the Disney Dream and first looks at New Fantasyland and the expansion of Disney California Adventure park, we had a lot to look forward to in 2011!
The Disney Dream Arrives at Florida's Port Canaveral

Welcome Home, Disney Dream!
Early the morning of January 4, 2011, the Disney Dream arrived at its new home in Florida’s Port Canaveral.

Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1

The Force is Strong with Vinylmation
On January 12, 2011, Steven Miller gave us the first peak at the highly anticipated Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1; including the two little guys above, who are still sitting right here on my desk.

Update on New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park
The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history was underway in early 2011, and Tom Smith gave us this exciting update on what was to come when New Fantasyland would open the following year.

Exclusive First Look Behind the Scenes of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Over at the Disneyland Resort, we were counting down the days the opening of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure park. Valarie Sukovaty gave us this exclusive behind-the-scenes look in late January 2011.

Your Favorite Disney Character is…
We asked Walt Disney World Resort guests who their favorite characters were in this popular post and video. Who is yours?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Merchandise Event Snapshot – January 2014

posted on December 12th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Before I jump ahead to share details on events heading your way for the month of January, here are a few last-minute additions that popped up for the next couple of weeks.

December 13: Disney fans, meet author Dave Bossert who will be on hand to sign his latest release Remembering Roy E. Disney, which draws a poignant and funny picture of a man revered and idolized by legions of Disney fans and admired, cared about, and very well-liked by all those that had the honor to know him. Dave will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 4-5 p.m. at The Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Tip: It’s a great gift for any Disney fan, film buff or animation historian. Learn more here.

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December 13 – 14: Find the perfect gift for all of the wine lovers on your holiday shopping list! These candles are simply ‘scent’sational and have been made by hand from reused wine bottles. Representatives from Rewined Candles will be on hand from 1 – 4 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m., each day at Heritage Manor in the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot. Learn more here.

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Now on to January!

January 1 – 5: Start the New Year out right with fan favorite and Disney-inspired artist, Larry Dotson! Larry will be appearing daily at the Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park as we celebrate some of his latest releases. Learn more here.

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January 1 – 5: Make sure you stop by The Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace to meet Disney-inspired artist Greg McCullough, who will appearing daily and check out some of his latest releases. I have my favorites, do you? Learn more here.

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January 17: Be among the first to pick up Cutesters Series 6 at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side. Artists Maria Clapsis and Caley Hicks will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 5 – 6 p.m., so don’t miss out! Learn more here
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Finally, keep an eye out for special Disney Pin and Vinylmation releases this month in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.

There’s more to come this February, so keep watching! Happy New Year!

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Filed: Art of Disney, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Tweet & Win a Little Mermaid Vinylmation to Celebrate the First Anniversary of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on December 6th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


One year ago today, we officially officially opened New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resort and to celebrate the first anniversary, we’re offering you a chance to win a “Little MermaidVinylmation.

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Here’s how it works: Between 9:00 a.m. (ET), December 6, 2013, and 4:00 p.m. (ET), December 6, 2013, we’ll be sharing a #NewFantasyland RT-to-Win tweet on our @WaltDisneyWorld account. When you see it, simply tweet or retweet the entire message along with “#Sweepsentry,” and you will be entered for a chance to be one of 40 people who will win one “Little Mermaid” Vinylmation. For your entry to be valid, you must follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter.

We just launched our first tweet at @WaltDisneyWorld. We’ll notify potential winners after 4 p.m. on December 6, 2013. Here’s a link to the sweepstakes rules. Please read them before you enter.

Good luck.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void outside the U.S. and where prohibited. Open only to persons, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S. or D.C. and who have reached the age of majority in their primary state of residence. Sweepstakes starts 9:00 AM (ET) on 12/06/13; ends 4:00 P.M. (ET) on 12/06/13. Click here for Official Rules.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort