Category Archives: Characters
This article comes to us from the LA Times.
Duffy the Disney Bear has become something of a fan phenomenon at the and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks, where the walk-around character draws lines longer than the famous mouse and boasts his own website.
According to Duffy’s backstory, Minnie Mouse gave the teddy bear to Mickey Mouse before he set off on an around-the-world sailing trip. Duffy looks like an ordinary fuzzy teddy bear except for the “Hidden Mickey” shape in his face.
From a merchandise standpoint, Disney plans to position Duffy as a direct competitor to the popular Build-A-Bear franchise. Three DCA stores will sell stuffed Duffys and dress-up costumes. Duffy has been known to wear sailor’s outfits and baseball uniforms but never pants (much like Donald Duck).
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Taking to the stage for charitable good, the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra hit an all-time high recently by raising $36,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida. The volunteer ensemble of nearly 500 Disney Cast Members put in more than 47,000 hours to produce Dream Our Dreams, A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney. Proceeds from the August 6-8 shows hosted at Epcot World ShowPlace were given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida this week.
“We really appreciate everyone who came to see and support our shows and help us collect a substantial gift for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida,” said Encore! producer Bruce Light. “This $36,000 donation sets a record for us and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot, and our amazing Encore! Cast who volunteered their time to help us produce our most ambitious show to date.”
Encore! offers Cast Members an outlet for their creativity and a chance to showcase their talents while performing great music for worthy causes. The troupe, founded in 2002, has grown to include 275 singers, 90 instrumentalists, 50 dancers and a production team of 40. At least half of the group has jobs outside of entertainment and aren’t performers by trade. For all involved, it’s a labor of love that truly makes a difference for charities that benefit from it.
“We are thrilled and honored to be receiving such a generous donation from the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra,” said Tiffany Durr, development and event specialist for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida. “We rely on groups like Encore! and fundraising events to help us achieve our mission of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions in our local community. Through their hard work and passion, Encore! is helping us share the power of a wish and for that we are deeply appreciative and sincerely grateful.”
Since its inception in 2002, Encore! has donated the funds from its ticket sales to local charities, raising more than $150,000 to date. Beneficiaries are determined by group vote; Encore! has chosen the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts as their 2011 beneficiary. Past Encore! beneficiaries include United Arts of Central Florida, SPCA of Central Florida, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and A Gift For Teaching. To learn more, visit www.encorecentral.org.
The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom is one of the most beloved attractions at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Pictured: Ginger, one of the “friendly faces” guests encounter along the way, stands in front of the 18th-century colonial manor that sits along the eastern banks of the Rivers of America in Liberty Square.
Touring the home in a “Doom Buggy,” guests find themselves amidst a paranormal party with 999 “Happy Haunts.” More fun than fright, the Haunted Mansion also features one of Disney Parks most famous tunes, “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”
Kent Phillips, photographer
This monthly article comes to us from Character Hunt check them out on Facebook. Here are the most up to date Character Changes at the Walt Disney World Resort.
CONFIRMED CHARACTER CHANGES
Vidia’s first official day at Pixie Hollow will be Friday, August 27th.
Duffy the Disney Bear is going to start making appearances at Epcot, tentative start date is October 14
Rapunzel and Flynn will be the first of the new Fantasyland styled character “play and greet” in the Fairytale Garden beginning October 15
RUMORED CHARACTER CHANGES
Eric and Wendy are rumored to be leaving the Magic Kingdom on Oct. 3rd.
Agent Oso is replacing Jojo at Play ‘n Dine sometime this fall – date is TBD.
Phineas, Ferb and Perry are rumored to be the replacement to the Power Rangers on DHS’s Streets of America. A source indicates the Power Ranger vehicle is being re-purposed for this new experience. Opening date is expected in calendar year 2011. I think it’s safe to assume we’ll get to hear some catchy P&F tunes if they keep those loud speakers!
Orlando Sentinel talks with Staggs about changes with the Fantasyland Expansion: “…he said Disney is trying to broaden the project’s overall appeal. For instance, plans for three interactive princess meet-and-greets — where children could dance with Cinderella, celebrate Sleeping Beauty’s 16th birthday or play a role in a story with Belle of Beauty and the Beast — are being altered.”
Mickey and Minnie are moving to Exposition Hall once Toontown closes (announced for spring 2011). No word on if this will become their permanent greeting location, but most indicators point to yes.
Princesses are moving to Exposition Hall as well. Once the Fantasyland Forest is complete, the princesses will move to their appropriate locations.
Ariel is appearing in the Adventureland Veranda with Prince Eric. Once the Fantasyland Forest is complete, Ariel will move to her new grotto.
Pooh and Tigger are meeting in the Town Square Tour Guide Gardens. A new location is being rumored (sooner rather then later) to hold them until the expansion is completed.
Fairies are moving to a different park once Toon Town closes; this is expected to happen in Jan or Feb of 2011.
SHOWS AND PARADES
Storytime with Belle is closing September 12.
HSM 3 is closing on October 2. However, it will be replaced on October 22 by a new show: Disney Channel Rocks! This new show will feature songs from High School Musical, Camp Rock, and StarStruck.
Disney’s Electrical Parade (DEP) is being extended past Aug. 14th; no current end date is available.
Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade (CDCT) shuffled some characters. On Aug 9th the following characters were added: Naveen, Queen of Hearts, Tiana, and White Rabbit. The following characters were removed: Baloo and King Louie.
The Hoedown has transformed into a Flash Mob in Frontierland! This change occurred on February 26th.
The Pirate Tutorial is performing on a new stage in Adventureland! The stage was tested in summer 2009, but has become permanent as of January 5th.
Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee was discontinued after January 3rd with little momentum to support a possible return.
Totally Tomorrowland Christmas was considered a success in 2009 so there is a strong indication it will be back in 2010!
Clickfor more Disney Character Changes.
Jeff Galloway, one of America’s foremost marathon trainers, has been named the official training consultant to Disney’s series of endurance events, which has been rebranded runDisney.
Galloway, a 1972 Olympian and founder of the popular Galloway Marathon Training Program, will offer his running and training expertise to beginners as well as experienced runners, helping runners of all ages lead more active lifestyles.
Galloway’s unique training methods and tips will be available to runners through online runDisney videos and programs, as well as through special Galloway appearances at all runDisney events.