Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Assemble for This New Vinylmation Collection at Disney Parks October 11

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s time to assemble, Disney fans!

There seem to be great forces directing the debut of this Vinylmation collection that has been shrouded in mystery over the past few months and is set to hit shelves October 11 at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. What is it? I can’t tell you! No seriously, I can’t. So I suggest you use your secret superhero powers and give your best guess as to what is coming your way. Some would say it takes a village, others would say that their protection often shields us from what may actually be.
Mystery New Vinylmation Collection

Here are a few questions to see how ready you are, to become part of this elaborate team:

  • Will you get suited up?
  • Will you bring the hammer down?
  • Will you find that you are the captain of your own ship?
  • Will you be green with envy?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you are ready to join forces with us.

Look for the 12 blind-boxed figures to debut October 11 at D Street at Downtown Disney West Side at the Walt Disney World Resort as well as D Street in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. Not able to make it? Look for the set to be available online later this fall via DisneyStore.com.

Curious if any signings by Disney Design Group Artist, Thomas Scott, will take place? Plan to re-assemble at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side on October 18 from 5 – 7 p.m. and again on November 8 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Never fear Disneyland Resort fans, Thomas will be on hand for a special appearance and signing on November 9 from 1 – 3 p.m. at D Street in the Downtown Disney District, as well.

Are you ready? Will you be dressed for the occasion?

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Say Hello to Newest Vinylmation Collectible Figure Coming to Disney Parks

posted on September 11th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


‘Meet & Greet Mickey’ Vinylmation Coming to Disney Parks

This past spring, I shared a story on the Disney Parks Blog about how Vinylmation, Disney’s line of collectible vinyl figures, continues to evolve. I’ve enjoyed seeing the Vinylmation team introduce new and exciting figures for fans to collect. I recently caught up with Disney Design Group artist Thomas Scott to discuss a new collectible Vinylmation figure debuting at the 13 Reflections of Evil event being held September 13-15, 2013, at Epcot.

“We call this new figure ‘Meet & Greet Mickey,’” explained Thomas. “Many fans may recall that the blank Mickey Mouse shape, or ‘platform,’ as I call them, was the foundation of Vinylmation. We’ll continue using that shape to create 3-inch figures. We’ve actually introduced a few different platforms in recent years, such as Vinylmation 95, Park Starz and even Popcorns. With the fifth anniversary of Vinylmation in November this year, it seemed like a great time to try something new using Mickey.”
‘Meet & Greet Mickey’ Vinylmation Coming to Disney Parks

This time, instead of a blank canvas, Meet & Greet Mickey is a fully detailed figure which Thomas feels “will appeal to guests who love the Disney Parks.” I love the fact he looks like Mickey Mouse from the 1970s! The limited edition figure will stand about six inches tall, and will have an edition size of 500. Each figure will retail for $49.95 plus tax, and will be packaged with an individually numbered header card.

He shared a few more details about this new collectible figure.

“The first ‘Meet & Greet Mickey’ will be released during our annual trading event at Epcot,” continued Thomas. “The figure is colored to compliment this year’s event theme, 13 Reflections of Evil. As this platform was designed with collectors in mind, there are only a handful of additional figures planned in the coming year. Fans may see future ‘Meet & Greet Mickey’ figures released at events like Disney Trading Nights or the upcoming Festival of the Masters 2013 on November 8-13 in the Downtown Disney area at Walt Disney World Resort.
‘Meet & Greet Mickey’ Vinylmation Coming to Disney Parks

Thomas said the Mickey Mouse-shaped form will stay the same, yet the colors will change with each new release. No colors will be repeated. The figures are limited edition, which means that once a particular figure is sold out, it won’t be reintroduced.


Check out these posts for more updates about Vinylmation:

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Popular Halloween Merchandise Returns to Locations at Disney Parks

posted on August 26th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Pumpkin Antenna Topper

The frightfully friendly ghosts from The Haunted Mansion have returned to merchandise at Disney Parks. You may recall that last year we introduced a new art program featuring Disney characters outside The Haunted Mansion (you can read my interview with Disney artist Cody Reynolds in this article). The artwork proved so popular for merchandise that it was reintroduced for Halloween this year. I recently visited the World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida to get a first look at returning favorites along with some new items.

Popular Halloween Merchandise Returns to Locations at Disney Parks

In recent years, the Halloween assortment has grown to include a variety of items including home and decorative goods, plush, Vinylmation, pins, souvenirs, softlines and much more. One thing I immediately noticed was a new pumpkin antenna topper, which was placed near toppers that featured a scarecrow and a ghost Mickey Mouse. The souvenirs team said to look for a Hitchhiking Ghost topping coming in October.

Singing Busts Ornament Sets

Another new item that caught my eye was the singing busts ornament set. This set was design by Costa Alavezos from Disney Design Group, and features five stylized busts inspired by the graveyard scene in The Haunted Mansion. This set seems like a nice complement to the other Haunted Mansion home items that were introduced last February.

Halloween Vinylmation

While many of the Halloween items are now available at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, there are a few items coming soon. In particular, the Vinylmation team is releasing two new 3-inch figures designed by Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks on September 20. If you are headed to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties at Magic Kingdom Park starting September 10, be sure to look for new pins created especially for this annual event.

Here are a few more images from my visit. You can find many of these items and more on our Disney Parks online store.

Trick or treat!

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September Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

posted on August 21st, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you are looking for a reason to get out of the house on the weekend, here are a few events happening this September at the Disneyland Resort to keep on your radar.

September 7: Stop in and see what’s popping up this month at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District for the current exhibit titled Pop Fusion. Join us from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. as we celebrate new Pop Fusion releases by Joey Chou and Michelle Romo. Learn more here.

September Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort, Featuring 'The Happiest Crew' by Joey Chou September Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort, Featuring 'Jasmine and Rajah' by Michelle Romo

September 13-15: Precious Moments doll maker Linda Rick will be appearing daily, from 12 – 10 p.m. at China Closet in Disneyland park, as she celebrates the release of her Hundred Acre Woods-inspired collection, along with one themed after “Sofia the First.” Learn more here.

September 14: Local So Cal artist Noah will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. He joins us to release his newest piece titled There’s A Rumor featuring Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and Wendy. Learn more here.
“September
September 14-15: Fans of Bob Elias, I have good news for you. Bob will be appearing at Disneyana in Disneyland park from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as we celebrate the release of some of his newest pieces, Love’s Light, Mickey and Pluto, as well as Madness in Wonderland. Learn more here.
“September

September 20: Calling all Traders! Disney Trading Night will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Pacific Ballroom at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. So if you are looking to meet avid and novice traders, make friends or share stories about your collections, then this is the place for you. The pin will be available to purchase earlier in the day at Disney’s Pin Traders in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.
“SSeptember

September 27: Join us for the release of the new Silly Symphony Vinylmation. Monty Maldovan will be on hand for a special appearance and signings of this new series from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at D Street in the Downtown Disney District. Learn more here.
“September

September 28–29: If you have been waiting for the perfect time to order one of artist Dave Avanzino’s Custom Letter Plaques, then you’re in luck! There’s no time like the present. Dave will be appearing from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., each day at Disneyana on Main Street, U.S.A. This program, which officially launched in 2011, allows you to select some of your favorite Disneyland Resort attractions and icons to spell your name. Custom Letter Plaque prices vary based on name length, ranging from one to twenty letters. Reminder: Custom Letter Plaque orders are limited and will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. Learn more here.
“September

Artist in Residence: Rounding out the month is David Lozeau. David will be appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, September 1, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 and 27 from 5 – 9p.m. Learn more here.
“September

Also, scheduled to appear at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District this month is Serpentes. Look for artist showcases throughout the month on the following dates: September 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29. Learn more here.
“September

Beat the heat and stop on by!

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runDisney at the Start Line of the D23 Expo with D2.3 Fun Run

posted on August 12th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What do you get when you combine the magic of runDisney with some of the most passionate Disney fans in the world? A runDisney D2.3 Fun Run kicking off the D23 Expo in style.

D23 Members Run Through Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park; Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar

Last Friday, a select group of D23 members had the unique opportunity to sample the runDisney experience. Attendees enjoyed an early morning 2.3 mile fun run through Disney California Adventure park, and a meet and greet with Sorcerer Mickey and Ali Vincent, host of “Live Big With Ali Vincent” and season 5 winner of the “Biggest Loser.” Participants also received a runDisney Mickey Vinylmation with a limited edition D23 medal.

runDisney Vinylmation With Limited Edition D23 Medal; Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar

It’s always exciting to provide these runDisney experiences for runners and to share photos and video of this event with you.

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‘Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ Coming to Disney.com

posted on August 8th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


'Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story’ Coming to Disney.com

This November, Vinylmation will celebrate its fifth anniversary at Disney Parks. Over the years, I’ve shared many stories on the Disney Parks Blog about these collectible figures. This past spring, I was delighted to share how Vinylmation became the basis for a new Radio Disney award. Now, Vinylmation takes a bold leap forward with a brand new online story created our partners at Disney Interactive. The stop-motion series is called “Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story,” and I think it is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in the past five years for Vinylmation. I invite you to take a look at the trailer for this online story to see what I mean:

I spoke with Matt Wyatt, director of creative for Disney Interactive Entertainment, about the creation of this online story.

“I’m part of a group called ‘Disney Online Originals,’” explained Matt. “My team creates extremely high quality short form digital stories. We did a few stop motion tests at our studio in Burbank, California, after the Vinylmation team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise sent us a box full of figures. We had not previously worked with stop motion, so it gave our team a chance to become familiarized with the process. We shot a pilot episode for the ‘Blank’ series as a creative experiment and showed it to a few individuals. They were impressed and loved the concept. We received the green light for a 12-episode linear series.”

The thing that impressed me the most about this new series is the level of detail. Matt explained that the entire series has a hand-crafted style.

“The vast majority of items we used were created by hand,” continued Matt. “Gino Roy is overseeing all of our prop creation. The props are handmade and the sets were painted by hand. We wanted viewers to feel like this was something that they could do.”

Limited Edition Vinylmations From 'Blank - A Vinylmation Love Story' Available at the D23 Expo Dream Store

For fans attending the D23 Expo, the ultimate Disney fan experience in Anaheim, California, from August 9-11, we are releasing a limited edition two-figure set in the Dream Store. This set contains three-inch figures of Blank and Bow, two characters featured in the series.

I invite you to follow the entire series in the coming months by visiting http://www.Disney.com/Blank.

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First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on August 6th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I’ve been drooling ever since my fellow author Pam Brandon shared an easy recipe from the new cookbook coming to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This 46-day festival begins on September 27, and I can’t wait to enjoy several trips around the world. As time ticks toward the start of the event, I caught up with Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble to learn more about this year’s featured artwork.

First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

 
“This year’s artwork is based on artwork created by Walt Disney Imagineering that you will see throughout the event,” explained Randy. “The art has a humorous point of view, which is different from the imagery found in the previous year’s events. For this whimsical image, I used pastel colors to create a softer look for the overall image. If you look carefully, you will spot Remy from Disney•Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille‘ in the top of the chef’s hat.”

The bumbling, yet-unnamed chef inspired a new item for the festival this year – a seven-inch bobble figurine of the chef. The figurine was sculpted by artist Robert King and looks awesome (especially the details on Spaceship Earth!). Look for this chef artwork on additional items like a reusable tote bag and more.
First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

While the chef is a new character for this year’s event, we are also introducing a small art program featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as chefs. The character artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist Brian Blackmore, with digital rendering done by artist Dan Salgo. You may recall similar artwork introduced last year in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.
First Look at Merchandise for 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Another character returning this year is a 12-inch Duffy the Disney Bear dressed in a new chef outfit. He joins other new items like a Mouse ear headband with a chef’s hat, a new cranberry bog pin featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, and a new three-inch Vinylmation figure designed by Disney artist Thomas Scott. The limited edition Vinylmation figure features Gusteau from “Ratatouille” and will be packaged in a mystery box. The more common figure (edition size 2,250) will be in full color, while the monochromatic variant figure (edition size 250) will be rarer to find.

Stay tuned for additional updates as we get closer to the start of the festival.


Read on for more news about this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:

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D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – From Dooney & Bourke to Vinylmation

posted on July 29th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The countdown continues to the D23 Expo 2013, taking place August 9–11 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Here’s a quick look at some of the other merchandise set to debut in the Dream Store, including: Dooney & Bourke, Vinylmation, Duffy the Disney Bear, a special artist sketch and more. So if you haven’t made your shopping list out yet, it’s time to get out that pen and paper.

Dooney & Bourke is at the top of my list. Here’s your first look at the new design that will be available on select silhouettes including the tassel tote, cross body and pouch.

PD23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including Dooney & Bourke

Vinylmation traders and collectors … try to maintain control, because you will no doubt be on the hunt for these new collections and more.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections

Where’s Duffy the Disney Bear? Where else! He’s ready to go in his D23 Expo gear and no doubt would be happy to go home with you.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including Duffy the Disney Bear

For those of you who are fans of the Artist Sketch Program and are planning to attend this year’s expo, you may want to consider picking up this next piece. The D23 Expo sketch ($35) will only be available August 9-11 at the Dream Store.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including the D23 Sketch, Available August 9-11

Okay, I’m pretty sure that’s enough for now. Many of the items I’ve shown you over the last few weeks are extremely limited and will no doubt fly off the shelves, so if you see something you just have to have, but haven’t picked up a ticket to the D23 Expo 2013 yet, now’s the time to do so!

Could it be that I’ve saved the best content for last or will you “call” me crazy? I have one final D23 Expo 2013 post scheduled for next week … guess there’s only one way to find out. Keep watching!

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New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

posted on July 23rd, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently turned the holiday spotlight on new collectible ear hat ornaments that are now available at select locations in Disney Parks and via the Disney Parks online store. Since we are celebrating “Christmas in July” this week as part of “Limited Time Magic,” I thought I’d give you a sneak preview of some additional holiday merchandise coming later this year.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Pins have been a part of the holidays at Disney Parks for years. The two pins shown above are some of my favorites coming this season. The holiday light bulb with Mouse ears will be open edition, while the “Mele Kalikimaka” (a greeting I’m fond of using during the holidays) pin will have an edition size of 2,000.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

The softlines team shared a new youth shirt featuring Mike Wazowski from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.“, and a shirt for adults with Grumpy from Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The shirts will be released at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Speaking of the Dwarfs, a limited edition ear hat ornament is set arriving at select locations in August. This set is similar to the Main Street Electrical Parade set I showed you a few weeks ago. Designed by Disney Design Group artist Cody Reynolds, the set contains Snow White and seven smaller ornaments resembling the Dwarfs. Cody referenced the costumes the Dwarfs wear at Disney Parks, which are more vibrant, when designing these ornaments. The set will have an edition size of 600 and a retail of $175 (plus tax).

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Duffy the Disney Bear will also get a new costume this year. Designed for the 17-inch bear, the costume set will include the outfit pictured above and a smaller Mickey Mouse plush. The popular 9-inch sized bear introduced last year will also return this year.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Finally, I love the new two-figure Vinylmation set with ice skating Mickey and Minnie Mouse as designed by Maria Clapsis.

Which item will you be giving as a gift this year?

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Dropping into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 22nd, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction celebrates an anniversary on July 22, 2013. This classic Disney’s Hollywood Studios attraction opened at the end of Sunset Boulevard in 1994. Like my fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker, I love this attraction! I grew up watching the television show, and recently have been re-watching several key episodes with my son (I have the complete series on Blu-ray because I’m a super fan!). I still recall riding it for the first time with my sister in December 1994 (at the time there was only one drop, yet it still rocked my world). To commemorate this year’s anniversary, I “dropped” by Tower Hotel Gifts at the exit of the attraction for a look at the merchandise offered.

Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

One thing I noticed during my visit is that many guests (including myself) love ringing the bells pictured at the top of this article. The bells have been a part of the shop for years (I recall my sister telling me about them when she worked there in 1999 as part of the Walt Disney World College Program). Their white, clean design complements a line of bathrobes, towels and other items you would expect to find in a hotel gift shop.

Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

This location also offers shirts featuring the attraction with nods to the original television series. I particularly liked the bellhop shirt complete with a nametag, which pairs well with the bellhop hat with mouse ears.

There is also a line of character merchandise that features Mickey Mouse and friends experiencing the attraction. I thought the frame with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Goofy was fun and, of course, I noticed the coffee mugs. The location also carries some action figures based on characters from the television series.

Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

In May 2013, we introduced the second series for VinylmationPark Starz that prominently features a stylized bellhop inspired by the attraction. When the Vinylmation team heard I was writing this article, they wanted me to give you a sneak preview of a different bellhop figure from the upcoming Vinylmation Park 13 (coming to Disney Parks at a future date).

Please enjoy a few other photos from my visit.

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