Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Milwaukee Brewers Mickey

Special thanks to Jake for writing the last post on Duffy coming to DCA!  He was able to go to the Annual Passholder event while I was out of town and he found out lots of information!  If you haven't read it yet, make sure you do!  And don't forget to mark your calendars- Duffy will be at California Adventure starting on October 14th!
While I was out of town, I went to a Brewer baseball game in Milwaukee.  Check out who I found there!

I found the Brewers All Star Game Mickey!  After the All Star Game was over, the All Star Mickey Statues that were around Southern California were auctioned off.  It was really neat to find the Brewers Mickey at the Brewers' stadium, Miller Park!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Duffy Arrives at DCA!

For a select few annual passholders, Sunday was a truly momentous occasion--Duffy the Disney Bear made his first appearance at Disney California Adventure!

For anyone not familiar with Duffy, he's a cute teddy bear belonging to none other than Mickey Mouse himself. He was actually originally introduced in toy stores in Disneyland and Walt Disney World over six years ago, known simply as "Disney Bear" and garnered very little attention. But over in Japan, little Duffy made a major impact and is a much beloved character in Tokyo's DisneySea park--so beloved that a line for a meet-and-greet with him rivals that of any E ticket attraction.

So this Sunday was an interesting re-introduction for Duffy to America, particularly since plush "Disney Bears" were still populating shelves in Disneyland gift shops as recently as last week. Two presentations were held for select annual passholders at the long-ago shuttered Stage 17, once home to the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" themed attraction. In order to reserve a spot for the event, annual passholders needed to register online weeks in advance, and these spots had all been snatched up in a short time, but there did appear to be a number of empty seats in the soundstage building.

Unfortunately, no photos were allowed during the show, which contained surprisingly high production value for such an exclusive audience. The event lasted little more than a half hour but contained a plethora of information about Duffy's much heralded arrival in DCA. First, a host, aided by cartoon images on large screens mounted on either side of the stage, narrated Duffy's backstory, or "bear-ography"--just before leaving on a sea voyage, Mickey was given a teddy bear that Minnie sewed herself. The bear, which she gave Mickey for good luck and companionship on his long trip, came in a duffel bag, and so the name "Duffy" stuck.

The current Disneyland ambassador came out, accompanied by his stuffed Duffy bear, and talked about the popularity of Duffy he witnessed when visiting the parks in Tokyo. He was followed by an executive in charge of merchandise synergy--which, of course, is really the name of the game with Duffy's relaunch. The hopes are high on re-introducing Duffy here in the States and creating the same merchandise phenomenon that exists in Japan. She had a lot of the details on Duffy's imminent arrival.

Duffy is scheduled to arrive in DCA on October 14th in a big way. His merchandise, which will include 17 inch and 24 inch plush bears and his many costumes, will be sold at the Treasures in Paradise store on Paradise Pier. There were some sketches of costumes soon to be made available on display in the back of the theater, and photos of stuffed Duffy bears wearing various costumes were shown on the big screens, to the ooh's and aah's of the audience. Costumes will include holidays (a pumpkin Halloween costume, a bunny-themed Easter outfit), international themes (specifically, costumes from the nations represented in Epcot's World Showcase in Florida), and a line of Pixar movie-related outfits. There will also be magnets and key chains and other Duffy-related items.

Adjacent to the store, Duffy himself will be available for meet-and-greets. A sketch of the backdrop in front of which he will be posing for photos was shown, which resembles the side of a ship with a well-placed porthole forming a hidden Mickey.  Upon meeting Duffy you'll even be given a sticker to wear, which will proudly proclaim that you met Duffy.

In addition to all this, there will be Duffy-related food offerings. A special Duffy crisped rice treat and a chocolate treat with ganache will be available, and there will even be kid's menus at various restaurants featuring Duffy. And in the Spring, an entire line of the popular Vinylmation figurines will not only feature Duffy but actually be shaped like him (instead of Mickey!).

One of the keys to Duffy's success in Japan is that he is, as per his backstory, a travel companion.  Each of the Disney presenters brought his or her own Duffy onstage and told about the places Duffy had accompanied him or her.  Of course, Duffy's favorite places to travel are the Disney parks, and so there will be special photo spots scattered throughout DCA where you can snap a photograph of your Duffy bear.  Photos of this kind are very popular in Japan, and slide shows of Duffy bears posed in front of various attractions at Tokyo DisneySea are ubiquitous on YouTube.

After some more information about Duffy--he is evidently very tech-savvy, according to the Disney executive, and will have his own Facebook profile, and you will soon be able to follow him on Twitter--it was time for the bear of the hour to arrive. Duffy was given an entrance fit for a rock star with music and twirling spotlights as he bounded in through the doors to the back of the audience and up the aisle, giving high-fives to nearby audience members. Duffy was sporting his sailor outfit--his trademark outfit in his appearances at DisneySea, Tokyo's nautical themed park, and one of the major differences between Duffy and his former Disney Bear incarnation. On stage, he pointed out the hidden Mickey birthmark on his rear end--the same as can be found on the stuffed bear. He couldn't stay long, unfortunately, as Mickey was expecting him--so with a wave goodbye to the audience, he retreated backstage, not to re-appear until next month.

After the show concluded, the audience had the opportunity to purchase a 17 inch Duffy bear and his sailor costume--again, a month before the general public will be able to--and, in a nice touch, there was even an annual passholder discount applied to the purchases. There was quite a long line for the registers as it seemed most in the audience were eager to bring Duffy home. Two Duffy bears had even been given away to lucky audience members during the show, and everyone in the audience had a chance to sample one of Duffy's new crisped rice treats.

All in all, it was quite the introduction for a Disney character in anticipation of his coming to the theme parks, particularly when he was in fact being re-introduced. But with the potential to be as popular as any of the Fab Five (in Tokyo, Duffy may indeed be bigger than Mickey Mouse himself), it may prove to be a fitting welcome. For many fans, Duffy can't come to the park soon enough!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Haunted Mansion Holiday

I'm going to be out of town for a few days, but I wanted to remind those of you going to Disneyland this weekend to make sure that you visit Jack Skellington at the Haunted Mansion! Every year, from Halloween time and throughout the holiday season the Haunted Mansion is transformed into the holiday version featuring characters from Tim Burton's film "The Nightmare before Christmas."

Haunted Mansion Holiday opened today so if you're going to the park in the next couple months, make sure to go on the ride! It's neat to see how the mansion is changed and it really gets you into the mood for Halloween and the upcoming holidays!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mickey's of Glendale

A couple weeks ago, I was able to go shopping at Mickey's of Glendale!  Mickey's of Glendale is Disney Imagineering's exclusive employee store.  D23, "the Official Disney Fan Club," had a day where members of the club could visit the store.  As a member, I was able to attend and bring a guest.  So that Saturday of the event, my fiance and I woke up early and drove to Glendale (about an hour drive from Orange County).  The store is located on the Imagineering campus and wasn't very big but it had lots of cool merchandise that you can't find anywhere else!  I thought  it was neat that the store also had some convenient store type items as well for the employees like chips and candy.  At the entrance to the campus there was a sign that said "Restricted Access" and that there was no photography allowed so I was unable to take pictures at the store, but later I took some pictures of the items I got there! 

Messenger Bag

T Shirt

T-Shirt Close Up

Other Items



This Sorcerer Hat Mystery Box Exclusive:

Monday, September 13, 2010

World of Color Shows for AP Holders!

It was revealed today that there will be an additional World of Color show just for Disneyland Annual Passholders on this Wednesday, September 15 and Thursday, September16th.  The show will be at 9:15pm each night. There will still be a show at 8:15pm for all guests on those days but the 9:15pm show will only be for passholders.
Fasspass Distribution for the Annual Passholder show will begin at 5pm at the Grizzly River Run Fastpass spot.
For  more information, check out this link to the Disney Parks Blog.

World of Color Shows for Annual Passholders

For those passholders who have yet to see World of Color, make sure to take advantage of this opportunity!  World of Color is an amazing show you should try to see!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where have I been?

At Disneyland of course!
One of my sisters, Bianca, came to visit me last weekend and I was busy showing her around Orange County and Disneyland.  Disneyland had a special online ticket deal where you could get a 5 day Disneyland pass for the price of a 3 day pass. This is what I ended up getting for my sister.  Five days may seem like a lot but it was actually very nice not to have to rush to do everything and be able to just go for the morning or the evening on some days.  The ticket came with one Magic Morning entry so we were able to go into the park an hour earlier for one of the days.

We were able to do all the rides she had wanted to do, have time for shopping, and see all the nighttime shows including World of Color (twice!).  Disneyland doesn't have that particular ticket deal anymore but I strongly recommend always checking their website for new online deals before going to the ticket office.

Here are a couple of pictures from around the park last week!

Last weekend for Glow Fest
World of Color Pre-Show
Princess Tiana in New Orleans Square
Matterhorn view from Pixie Hollow
Pixar Play Parade

I had so much fun with my sister here!  I'm so glad she came to visit! 
Our tired feet after lots of fun walking all over the park!


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