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Disney Parks Merchandise on the Horizon

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

The Haunted Mansion Clock and Timepiece Coming out Later this Year

I feel like a time traveler at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. I’m surrounded by developers and artists who are already creating cool things that will arrive in late 2012 (a long development time is essential for many categories). I wanted to give you a sneak preview of their work in what I hope will be a recurring article. The article title is a nod to my favorite Disney attraction, Horizons, which also gave a glimpse into the future. Here are a few of my favorite items currently in production.

I’ve been a long time fan of The Haunted Mansion clock and the timepiece pictured above is a worthy tribute. It’s heavy and the details on the watch and figure are impressive. Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks, who also designed the Vinylmation – Flags series, created the artwork. Releasing in a few months, this is the last timepiece in our Vinylmation watch series. The set will have an edition size of 750 and a retail of $175.

New Mystery Pin Set Coming This Summer to the Disneyland Resort

Our next stop – a new mystery pin set coming this summer to the Disneyland Resort. This limited release set contains 12 pins (plus a few chasers), and was designed by Disney Design Group artists Quynh Kimball and John Henselmeier (from Starspeeder 1000 Vehicle Playset fame). Product developer Jeanne Lewis told me that this collection “highlights favorite Disneyland attractions in license plate form.” Her favorite pin is “World of Color”, while mine is the Jungle Cruise (with Duffy The Disney Bear a close second, of course).

Disney Parks Blog Author Steven Miller Wearing A New Bow Tie Arriving to Disney Parks in April

I like wearing ties (as you may have seen in previous Disney Parks Blog articles). That article contained a sneak preview of a new tie coming this year. There are a few additional items arriving in April that I think are super cool – bow ties! All I need now is a hat.

Buzz Lightyear-themed Disney Ear Hat Coming to Disney Parks This Fall

Speaking of hats, here is a first look at the Buzz Lightyear-themed Disney Ear Hat that will be arriving this fall. It is part of the Disney character ear hat collection that was first introduced last August.

Sadly, unlike Horizons, you won’t be able to choose your own ending to this article. But stay tuned as more cool things are coming.


  • Hey Steven! Thanks for the look ahead on the Merch! Your articles are oh so helpful in preparing me to set aside some of my Disney Collectible Allowance(DCA in my household, each family member has one, mine is a little larger than the rest….shhhhhh) for the cool things to be released throughout the year. Looks like I’m going to have to set aside a lot for my favorite attraction, The Haunted Mansion! Can’t wait! Thanks, David

  • any other teasers you can reveal on Haunted Mansion merchandise? the Pocketwatch/Vinylmation combo looks amazing but any chance of new HM ears?! any leaks you can hint ?! thanks!!!

    • @Carlos – I’m happy to hear you liked it! I know there is a Vinylmation limited release mystery series featuring the Haunted Mansion that will be released this year. I don’t know of any new Ear Hat designs. But you may dig the artwork coming for Halloween later this year. 🙂

  • Do you know if Duffy’s girlfriend Shelliemay is coming? I have been told by several cast members that she is, but no one could tell me when.

    • @Heidi – Glad you like the preview of Buzz Lightyear. I don’t know of any plans for Jessie ears right now but there is a Jesse-insipred novelty hat coming. It looks just like her hat and has a ponytail. Look for it to be at Disney Parks coming later this year.

      @Keri – You’re welcome. I love giving credit to the Disney Design Group Artists. They are a talented group of individuals and play an extremely important role in the development process. I am always impressed with their eye for design.

      @Melissa – We are currently only focused on Duffy the Disney Bear. Guests visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan can find his girlfiend ShellieMay. Hope this helps clarify.

  • Thanks for the preview! I’m excited to look for these items in 2012! I really like how you give credit to the Design Group – very nice to hear about the great creative minds behind the cool products!

  • I LOVE the Buzz ears! 😀 My family and I are big into Toy Story, and my son got the Woody ears when we were at Disney World just a couple of weeks ago. But there need to be Jessie ears!!! There isn’t nearly enough merchandise with her on it at the parks. Not all girls are princesses…I know I’m not the only one who would like to see more Jessie.

  • Steven, I’m addicted to Disney Pin collecting but unfortunately can only make it to Disneyland/Disneyworld once per year (Maybe twice if I’m lucky enough to get sent to LA or Orlanda for business. Is there any good place where I can buy Disney Pins online? Disneystore online doesn’t usually offer a good selection of pins. Help! What can us long-distance folks do to buy more pins?


    • @Grace – I have contacted our Disneyland events team and they will share details soon as to what you can expect. Sorry that I don’t have more information at this point. I’ve seen a few of the items though and they look great!

      @Michele – I spoke with Beth, the Category Planner for pins who said the pin team has been working closely with the Disney Parks online store team – – to increase the number of Disney Parks related pins on the site. They are also releasing a number of on-line exclusive items this year. You should see more things coming in the next few months. I can’t really say another site as the main one is the online store.

      Another option would be to contact Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Merchandise Guest Services at 1-877-560-6477 or send an email to:

  • Rumor has it that the Gear Up for Adventure pin event won’t be a paid event, but instead a series of releases. Is this true?

    So the question is this: Is the thing that the “Disneyland team is still determining” whether Gear Up for Adventure will be an event or a series of release. Or the date and price of the paid event?

  • Looking forward to seeing the bowties! I need to get Steven’s contact info, because I want to be him when I eventually leave schooling, I want to know what I should major in and how to get in that section of the company! Steven…any help? 🙂 C

    • @Marshal – Thank you for the comment. I feel pretty lucky to have the role I do with Disney. I have a Political Science degree with a minor in Public Relations. While in school, I spent time at my campus radio station and working with a public relations student society. I learned how to write and communicate effectively from some outstanding professors. I also participated in the Walt Disney World College and Professional Internship programs. Both helped me understand how Disney does Disney. I’ve learned in my career that networking is key and sometimes being in the right place at the right time helps. I wish you the best with school and hope you join our family one day 🙂

  • @Steven – Thanks for the information. I’m definitely looking forward to all of those upcoming Racers!

    As for the tie and fez, whether you wear them together or not it’s great to see someone with the confidence to pull those looks off. Speaking specifically about the bow tie, I hope these are coming back as a trend, not just around Disney but a fashion as a whole.

    @Michelle – It’s always nice to see great worlds, in this case the Doctor and Disney, collide!

  • I like the license plate pins – it would be neat to have some of them full size for people to use on their cars!

    I also like the Buzz hat – this is probably not under your “merchandise” domain, but there should be a way to take people’s pictures with their scores on the Buzz ride — my son frequently gets 999,999 and we always have the camera ready to take his picture. But, this year, when I amazingly maxed out my score, no one was ready for me… 🙁 And it probably won’t happen again!

    • @Jay – You will be happy to know that there are several shirts being introduced for select Disney Resorts. Some resorts (Grand Floridian, Grand Californian or Polynesian for example) have had logo programs for some time. I know that Fort Wilderness just had a logo program introduced and Beach Club is coming in the Spring. There are also new Disney Vacation Club Resort shirts coming. I’m finishing an article about some of those shirts. I also saw artwork for resort shirts that will be at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

      @Jeanne – Wow! Your son and you have some skills! Congrats on the high scores. I guess I need to ride with you next time 🙂 You are correct that it’s a little outside my area of focus.

  • When it comes to Disney merch, I became disgruntled the last two times I visited Disney World. (not in a mad way, because who could be anything but thrilled to be somewhere”Disney”) My peeve is that they stopped selling t-shirts with the resort name on it. I try to visit a new resort each time I go and that resorts t-shirt was my favorite souvenier. I’m sure it saves money to print thousands of WDW or DL t-shirts to sell at the resorts rather than smaller quantities for the resorts themselves, but I already have several WDW t’s and can buy them in the theme parks. I don’t need to buy any more. I would buy 2 or more t’s from each resort I stay at though. What’s the trade off over a quantity discounts versus more t’s sold? In any event, I still enjoy immensely any time I can visit WDW.

  • I was just wondering if there is any information on the Star Wars merchandise. I noticed during Star Wars Weekends that some of the character mash-ups and the new Disney Star Wars Racers were to be out in the fall of 2011, but I have yet to see the Fab 5 Star Wars mash-ups or the Dave Filoni designed Racers as of the first week of January. Just wondering when to expect them.

    • @William – I spoke with Cody who said that the release date for those items was pushed to this year. The action figures should be arriving this Spring (look for an article soon about them). The Disney Racers by Dave Filoni will be released at Star Wars Weekends. I just saw two of the four Racers this morning and they look amazing! Stay tuned for an article about them as well.

  • Love the Jungle Cruise PIN! It will go on my board for sure.

    Also love the Bow Tie! I so would be sporting that one!

    Ryan!!!! Fezes are cool too! I am so with you fellow whovian!

    I hope both will be available ONLINE!

  • Lookin’ good with that bow tie, Steven! Now, all you need is a fez, fezzes are cool!

    Also, I know we got two new Disney Racers last year, any chance we’ll see some new or relaunched designs in 2012?

    • @Ryan – Thank you! My fellow Disney Parks Blog author and teammate Erin Catalano ( took the shot of me in the bow tie. I did pick up a fez last Fall in Morocco Pavilion during Food and Wine Festival. It rocks!

      I spoke with Cody Hampton from the toy team about the Disney Racers. There will be a few of them this year. I covered the Muppets two-pack in a previous article –

      There will also be a new four pack of Mickey Mouse Racers coming in the Spring. The pack will include the Steamboat Willie figure that was previously released.

      Cody told me there will also be a series of four Racers designed by Dave Filoni who is the supervising director of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated series. Look for a future article about those Racers – the concept art looks great!

  • The Gear Up for Adventure Mystery Set looks AMAZING!! But now it just makes me wish there was more info about the event. LOL Guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer. (But not to long please, as we are starting to “Gear Up” for our Adventure to DLR for the event!) Hopefully the event will still be in June. 🙂 We weren’t able to make it to the Sci-Fi Academy Event, but we had friends get us the merchandise that we wanted, and everything was done so amazingly well!

    I love that Disney is going to be doing bowties now! Are they clip bowties of traditional bowties?

    Buzz Lightyear Mickey Ears?! I’m super excited for these! I love Ear Hats and Buzz Lightyear. Will Buzz be part of a new wave of Character Ears or just a single ear hat coming out?

    Are there any plans for more Character plush hats? There hasn’t been many of these in the past few years.

    Sorry for all the questions, its just that this is a SUPER GOOD article!

    • @Matthew – I’ve been a long time fan of that attraction. I rode it 40 times on the last day of operation in 1999.

      @Anton – Glad you liked the article. Funny you should ask about Disneyland Resort Paris merchandise. I was actually considering writing an article about them. My division – Disney Theme Park Merchandise – only develops merchandise for Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. We do share merchandise with the international parks yet they have their own development team. I will need to do some research but perhaps it could be a future article. I still need to visit Paris … one day 🙂

      @Hannah – I’m happy to hear you liked the pin set. I know the Disneyland team is still determining things so please stay tuned.

      The bow ties are clip ties.

      There will be a variety of Disney Ear Hats coming this year (as we are calling 2012 the year of ear). Look for future articles about some new development. I haven’t seen any character plush hats in the works at this point. But some things that are coming look great!!

  • It all looks so great!
    Thank you very much for sharing that with us Steve 😉 .

    Maybe an upcoming “stop” for Disneyland Paris Merchandise someday 😀 ?

  • Aah! He made a Horizons reference! 😀

  • Great Merch. Thanks for sharing the pins. Glad to see something for the our West Coast Summer event. Now if I could get the date so I can plan for some fun in the California Sun.
    Bow ties are cool!

  • New Mouse Ears!!! Yay!! I can’t wait to buy them!!

  • Thanks for the sneak peek! Love a man in a bow tie!

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