I love autumn in Florida. The extreme heat of summer subsides to slightly cooler temperatures while the parks are transformed into a wonderland bathed in orange. Fall also marks the start of some of my favorite events at Walt Disney World Resort like the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park. Coincidently, the latter now has an official fan page on Facebook, which means I’m not alone in my love for Halloween. While October 31 is still weeks away, we jump started the delightfully scary season by releasing new Halloween merchandise. This year’s assortment of Halloween goodies is based on a brand new artwork that is quickly becoming one of my favorites since I began working for Disney. I spoke with Cody Reynolds, Senior Character Artist with Disney Design Group, who was instrumental in bringing this Halloween treat to life.
“For this year’s Halloween artwork, we added a playful edge to the Disney characters and overall design,” explained Cody. “Halloween has become such a fun holiday at Disney that we thought the artwork should reflect the same kind of fun that guests have when dressing up.”
Cody, who is responsible for creating seasonal artwork programs, began work on this year’s artwork in April 2010. He drew several different versions of the Fab Five characters (some were pretty extreme) before landing on the final designs pictured above. He explained that comic book illustrations were his inspiration.
“I applied a comic book illustration style to the art to add a sense of drama,” continued Cody. “In comics, forced perspective, banded colors and dramatic poses are common themes. By using that style, the characters literally leap off the artwork.”
One of the best examples of this can be seen with Cody’s favorite Halloween item – the lenticular placemat. The artwork on the placemat has depth, and when moved, the characters appear to leap off the dinner table.
Cody enlisted the help of Darren Wilson, Graphic Designer with Disney Design Group, to create the “Halloween 2011” font used in the art (he also designed many of the softline items for Halloween this year). The font was designed to match the rips, frayed edges and tears seen in the Disney characters’ costumes. Darren was also responsible for creating one of my favorite items – the “Happy Halloween” pumpkin on the green, light-up bag (I didn’t see the words “Happy Halloween” at first glance).
I asked Cody about his favorite character in the artwork.
“I like the Headless Horseman,” smiled Cody. “He isn’t often seen on merchandise so I’m glad I included him. Plus, he is an important character at events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.”
Check out the popcorn tin to see the best application of the Headless Horseman graphic – the pumpkin looks like it is flying at me! Cody shared with me one final detail about this year’s artwork that stopped me in my tracks.
“The artwork will only be used this year,” said Cody. “I’ve been busily working on next year’s designs since about May.”
I guess with every treat there is a trick; I better stock up. The Halloween 2011 merchandise collection is currently available at a variety of locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Happy Halloween!
My birthday is in a couple of weeks and I am looking for a Mickey birthday t shirt to wear on my special day. I have the phone number of the disneyland merchandise dept. I need to know what store at d.l. they sell the bday tshirts they can expedite my order.
Thanks D.L. !
Are you Getting anymore of the 2011 Halloween tshirt with this new design?it has sold out and its not that close to halloween
Last wednesday, we received Helloween products at Disneyland Paris in the Frontierland store (where I work). We have 4 tee shirt : one for women, one for men and 2 for children. This week end I sold about 5 children shirts with the hereabove picture. People erally love this this picture. I bought 2 shirts for my own children and they are really proud to show them to their friends. I am really happy when our park in France share items with your parks in USA because you make a really beautifull job.
Next month Duffy Bear will arrive at Disneyland Paris. I am really excited. I hope he will be successfull !
stephanie from Disneyland Paris
Last year you ran out of the shopping bags…Hope you have lots this year..We were sooo disapointed.
RE: MARK VII PLAYSET
Steve; First off I would like to apologise for my tone in the comment above, it’s just I’ve been waiting for this Mark VII set since Disneyland put the real ones into service, that was the highlight of my trip that year I visited Disneyland riding up front in the Mark VII. I love the design of these Monorails because they remind me of beloved Mark III’s my aunt lives in Calf. and every year I would spend 3 weeks with her and the only place I ever wanted to go was Disneyland, ever since I stepped foot on my first Mark III I’ve been collecting Disney Monorails since. I’m a big fan of all things Disney in fact I will be in the park next week when Disney World turns 40 and I’m attending the room for one more event. Thank you for all the updates on park merchandise and I truly appreciate your personal responce you really are a part what makes the Disney magic Happen! THANK YOU! Anthony
ok, I know this has nothing to do with the Halloween merchandise but back in April Steve posted about the New Monorail Mark VII playsets he said the D23 Expo would get them first then “late summer” they will be released to the park (Disneyland) well so far every time I’ve called the new Disney merchandise number no one seems to know anything about the new Mark VII playset or when it will be released? we’re going into fall late summer is over, at least before when you called the Disneyland merchandise number for Disneyland you spoke to someone who knew about the parks merchandise. Is there anyone who may know when the monorail play set will be released to disneyland? Thank You!
@All – Thank you for the wonderful comments! I’ve shared with the art team who are so glad you like the designs this year!
@Anthony – I spoke with the product developer about your challenge. Here is the Item # for the Disneyland Monorail: 400002597124. We looked in our system and we should be in stock. I would check World of Disney at Disneyland Resort first.
I also called the Disney Parks Merchandise Guest Services team – 877-560-6477. They said the item is available and they would be happy to assist you. Sorry for the challenges you experienced. That monorail is beautiful!
I think the artwork for this MNSSHP is the BEST I have seen it. I have been going to Disney around Halloween time for about 6 or 7 years, and I have not been as impressed with the merch as I am this year. Phenomenal Job!
i heard there are some new villain dooney’s coming out – when will they be released?
The poses and look of this year’s art reminds me of comic books 😉
I have seen alot of this merchandise at Disneyland very nice!
We saw this at the park a couple weeks ago and really loved it. I like that Mickey and Donald are being allowed to look a little scary. I don’t know who’s responsible for the extra leeway the artists seems to enjoy lately to do new an interesting things with the characters, but it’s pretty great.