Updated: Duffy the Disney Bear comes to Americaby Leah Zanolla
Sep 19, 2010
Annual passholders at Disney California Adventure were given a chance on Sunday to check out the newest Disney character, Duffy the Bear. Never heard of Duffy? This bear is the most popular character at Tokyo DisneySea; his meet and greet lines are almost longer than the lines to meet Mickey! Duffy will be a permanent addition to Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure on October 14. To get you a little more familiar with this new character, here's the back story Disney came up with:
"Mickey Mouse was headed out for a long journey on the sea (the theme of Tokyo DisneySea), and Minnie was afraid he'd get lonely. So, she gave him this special bear to keep him company. Mickey kept the bear in his duffel bag, thus giving him the name "Duffy." Mickey and Duffy had many adventures together and they documented them all by photograph."
Duffy wears a sailor suit and features a Mickey shaped "birthmark" on his back. The popular thing to do with a Duffy bear in Japan is to take photos of yourself and the bear on your travels, just like Mickey did with his bear.
There is already a similar bear at the U.S. Disney Parks, known as simply "the Disney bear." A children's book and stuffed bear were available in stores, but this bear had a different story. The U.S. bear was Mickey's friend that came to life overnight after a dose of Pixie Dust from TinkerBell. Disney Bear and Mickey explored the Magic Kingdom and Mickey showed Disney Bear how great it was to spend time with a friend. As of a few months ago, the books were still available, but the Disney bears were nowhere to be found. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of Duffy's appearance?
Update: Duffy will also be joining the cast at Epcot on October 14. Construction is underway on a meet-and-greet location east of Showcase Plaza for Duffy, where guests will receive a "I just hugged Duffy the Disney Bear" sticker after meeting the bear for the first time. The Towers East gift shop will sell Duffy merchandise of all varieties. Not only will the stuffed plush bears be available, but also mugs, magnets, keychains and snacks. Guests will be able to purchase outfits for their bears, including costumes representing the different countries of Epcot. Later this year, there will be photo op stations set up around World Showcase inviting guests to pose with their bears. The current masks at the Kidcot locations will be replaced with outlines of Duffy for kids to color and decorate. Disney Hotels will feature a Duffy cartoon TV and he will even make an appearance in the Disney Parks Christmas Day parade.
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