Walt Disney World held a preview of the arrival of Duffy the Disney Bear at Epcot today for annual passholders. Although we couldn’t be there to report on the event first-hand, Kristin Ford of the Orlando Sentinel’s A Mom and the Mouse tweeted some of the news that was announced at the event.
As expected, it was confirmed that Duffy would begin greeting guests at Epcot on October 14. His meet and greet area will be across from Plaza Towers East (one of the twin shops at the front of the World Showcase Lagoon as you enter the area — East is the one on the left), where most of his merchandise will be available. In addition to merchandise being sold in Epcot, Disney Cruise Line will also carry Duffy merchandise (and as we previously learned, the stuffed Duffy will have a Disney Cruise Line uniform to collect), but no news on whether he will be on the ships to meet and greet guests as of yet. Duffy-branded Disney trading pins will begin appearing in the Parks in March, 2011 with ‘something special in the works’ for Annual Passholders. There will also be a Duffy Vinylmation, however he will be from a bear-shaped mold, not the traditional Mickey-shaped one.
Around the World Showcase, Japan, Germany France and America pavilions will have special photo-ops designed for guests’ stuffed Duffy bears which are expected to be in place by Christmas. The free Kidcot activity locations located at each of the World Showcase pavilions will also be changing the masks from the traditional human face form to that of Duffy as of October 14.
The photo above is of Duffy as he will appear at Disney California Adventure and is expected to appear at Epcot. Courtesy of @BigD923
For more coverage of today’s Duffy event, be sure to check out Kristin’s column on Monday.
Cast Members at the Disneyland Resort had the opportunity to meet with Duffy the Disney Bear before he assumes his official meet and greet duties later this year. The photo, provided by a cast member, affirms that Duffy will be appearing in full sailor regalia as he often appears at Tokyo DisneySea. According to WDW Character Hunt, Duffy will begin his appearances October 14 in Epcot. Although the date of his debut in the Paradise Pier area at Disney California Adventure is promised to be revealed to Annual Passholders attending Duffy’s preview event this weekend, sources indicate to us that there’s a good chance he may start along with ElecTRONica on October 8.
Speaking of ElecTRONica, we have been teased a bit by being told that during the weekends’ night event, Muppet*Vision 3D will be showing a 9 minute clip from the TRON Legacy film. No word on what the clip will be exactly but there’s a decent chance it may be the same clip shown earlier this year at San Diego Comic-con. We have also been told that Flynn’s Arcade (located in the Hollywood & Dine location) will be fully stocked with classic arcade machines from the 80s and will even feature an all new TRON arcade game available exclusively at the Disneyland Resort during the ElecTRONica celebration. Of course you should also be on the lookout for plenty of TRON Legacy merchandise: clothing, trading pins, the works (and of course we anticipate an entry or two from Disney Design Group’s Vinylmation collection.
And speaking of merchandise. And Duffy. Zannaland chimes in on the state of the Disney Bear in the parks. Apparently the furry little friend is nowhere to be found today in the Magic Kingdom as Disney Parks prepares for Operation Duffy. So what will the well-groomed bear be wearing this fall? When he’s not sporting his sailor outfit (or even a Disney Cruise Line outfit according to the report), he’ll either be decked out in rain gear or wearing one of his many outfits representing the countries of Epcot’s World Showcase. Although details on the merchandising are sparse right now, sources reveal that when he’s seeking siesta in Mexico, he’ll be sure to wear a sombrero and poncho. And for his owner, how about a rice krispie treat featuring the likeness of Duffy and his storybook owner Mickey?
And in case you missed it, last week, we also provided you with a first look at the Rapunzel and Flynn Rider meet and greet characters from Disney’s Tangled. They will also be appearing at both resorts beginning October 15.
Special thanks to @BigD923 who permitted us to use his photo of Duffy over our original source photo.
Photos: Disney Event Offers First Look at Tangled’s Rapunzel and Flynn Rider Meet & Greet Characters
Walt Disney Studios held a screening and press event for Tangled earlier today in Los Angeles according to tweets by LatinoReview.com’ George Roush (@elguapo1). We hear that in addition to appearances by the film’s stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, the event was attended by John Lasseter and Alan Menken. Roush also tweeted out a photo that features the new meet & greet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider characters that will be making their Disney Parks debut beginning October 15.
Note that we do anticipate the meet and greet areas at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts to embellish on Rapunzel’s hair which is significantly hidden in the photo.
Also included in his tweets was a special photo-op which superimposed guests images not only alongside the film’s version of Flynn Rider, but had an alternate version of their face featured in one of the wanted posters.
On Sunday, September 19, Annual Passholders at the Disneyland Resort and their guests will have the opportunity to be among the first to hear about Duffy, his origins and his journey from Tokyo DisneySea to Disney California Adventure as well as the magical date that he will become available to meet and greet guests at the Disneyland Resort this fall.
There will be two sessions available, approximately 45 minutes long, with one at 11:30 am PT and one at 2 pm PT. The presentations will be held at Stage 17 at Disney California Adventure. Any type of recording device is explicitly prohibited from entering the venue. Cellphones will be allowed but they must be turned off and stored away.
Registration is required to attend either session and has limited availability. Registration will open on September 7 at 8 am PT on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be available here.
Tarps have gone up in the areas at the morning meet and greet locations around the Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios according to cast member Paul Chadkin. According to Paul, the areas in question will be receiving all new backdrops including a large ‘film-strip’ background where the Snow White topiary once stood.
Today brings confirmation from DHS-specialist Studios Central who also adds that not only are the locations getting a makeover but the characters who meet and greet guests are getting one too. The site reports that the characters will be sporting all new duds inspired by the early Hollywood glamour: Goofy in a zootsuit, Minnie and Daisy in gowns, Donald in a fedora, Chip and Dale in ties and more.
No date has been mentioned for the transition but as May and October are big times for character changes at the resort, it’s likely to happen in early October, if not before.
Please note that the photo of Daisy is from on-board Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder on semi-formal night and is not necessarily an accurate representation of her wardrobe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In honor of the upcoming Pixie Hollow film Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, Vidia has joined her friends at Pixie Hollow in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World to greet guests who shrink down to size as they make the journey from the Mainland to Pixie Hollow.
For more information on the upcoming film including the trailer, film clips, stills, toys and more, follow this bookmark.
Photo by Gene Duncan, photo and video courtesy of Walt Disney World.
On its official blog, Disney Parks has shared some concept art for the upcoming meet & greet with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider at the Disneyland Resort. The art and blog entry reveal Disney’s plans on how to turn Rapunzel’s ~70 feet of hair into a reality.
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider will begin greeting guests on October 15 at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. At Walt Disney World, the duo can be found at the Magic Kingdom in the Fairytale Garden near Cinderella Castle, where Storytime with Belle currently takes place (that show ends September 12 in preparation of the transition). At Disneyland, Rapunzel and Flynn will be found at what is currently Gepetto’s Sweet Shoppe.
Concept art of a new parade being launched at Disneyland next year also appears to show Rapunzel in the Disney Princess float. No word on whether she will join the parade at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom as of yet, but it would appear to be likely, even if for a short time as a pre-parade.
There’s 104 days of summer vacation, but Disney XD’s most popular duo just found a good way to spend one of them.
On July 10, Phineas, Ferb and Agent P will be on hand at the Disney Store Montebello to greet guests from 11:30 am – 3 pm. They’ll be trading off at the half-hour with Phineas and Ferb kicking it off at 11:30 and the bottom of each hour thereafter with Agent P beginning at 12 and appearing at the top of every hour following.
This marks the first occasion in which the trio will actually be meeting and greeting with their fans. While Phineas and Ferb have made rare appearances at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts and all three recently joined Las Vegas uber-legend Wayne Newton on stage at a special event at the 2010 Licensing International Expo, they have not formally greeted fans until now.
Due to time constraints and demand, the trio will not be signing autographs and families will be limited to one photo each.
UPDATE 7/8/10: Corrected meet & greet times
We’ve known for a while that Phineas and Ferb have existed as walkaround characters and have made occasional appearances at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, although they have not started meet & greets as of yet.
Thanks to this new video from Disney Consumer Products, we now get our first look at a Perry the Platypus walkaround character. Perry (as Agent P) and Phineas and Ferb were joined on stage by legendary Vegas entertainer Wayne Newtown who paid a special tribute to the secret agent. The special performance was part of Disney Consumer Product’s closing presentation at the 2010 Licensing International Expo.
All photos by Isaac Brekken/AP for Disney Consumer Products
According to the very reliable character resource WDW Character Hunt, we already have a couple of confirmed additions to the meet & greet character line-up at the Walt Disney World Resort. The site reports that Vidia, who has a much stronger role in the upcoming home video release Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue will begin greeting guests in Pixie Hollow at some point in August.
The site also reports that Duffy (a.k.a. The Disney Bear) will be making regular appearances at Epcot beginning in September. The Disney Bear has made rare appearances at Walt Disney World in the past, most notably during the now defunct Teddy Bear & Doll Weekend event (where the photo seen here was taken) and occasionally at Once Upon a Toy at the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Duffy (as he became known to his incredible fanbase in Tokyo) is a regular at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort and a fixture at the Disney Store Japan. Overseas, he’s known to wear a sailor’s outfit while his appearances at Walt Disney World have been much less modest.
Looking much closer, however, the site reports that the Good Times Gathering Spot will celebrate a temporary return for the summer between June 13th and August 7th from 10 am – 3 pm daily. This DJ-moderated event takes place at Grandmother Willow’s Theater in Camp Minnie-Mickey. Note that this is an opportunity for guests to mix and mingle and play games with characters not often seen at the parks, but not for autographs (although some have reported success in getting them, usually towards the end of the session).
This is not all, however. The site has also updated its rumored changes section. Previously the site had reported that Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled is rumored to begin meeting guests at the Magic Kingdom in October. The site now reports that Rapunzel may be joined by both Flynn Rider and Mother Gothel.