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Here’s a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

As the clock ticks closer the start of Epcot’s international Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble shares some of this year’s featured artwork available to guests.

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

“This year’s artwork is based on artwork created by Walt Disney Imagineering that you will see throughout the event,” explaines Randy. “The art has a humorous point of view, which is different from the imagery found in the previous year’s events. For this whimsical image, I used pastel colors to create a softer look for the overall image. If you look carefully, you will spot Remy from Disney•Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ in the top of the chef’s hat.”

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

The bumbling, yet-unnamed chef inspired a new item for the festival this year – a seven-inch bobble figurine of the chef. The figurine was sculpted by artist Robert King and looks awesome (especially the details on Spaceship Earth!). Look for this chef artwork on additional items like a reusable tote bag and more.

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

While the chef is a new character for this year’s event, we are also introducing a small art program featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as chefs. The character artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist Brian Blackmore, with digital rendering done by artist Dan Salgo. You may recall similar artwork introduced last year in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.

Here's a Sneak Peek at 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

Another character returning this year is a 12-inch Duffy the Disney Bear dressed in a new chef outfit. He joins other new items like a Mouse ear headband with a chef’s hat, a new cranberry bog pin featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, and a new three-inch Vinylmation figure designed by Disney artist Thomas Scott. The limited edition Vinylmation figure features Gusteau from ‘Ratatouille’ and will be packaged in a mystery box. The more common figure (edition size 2,250) will be in full color, while the monochromatic variant figure (edition size 250) will be rarer to find.

Stay tuned for additional updates as we get closer to the start of the festival.

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Hauntingly Fun Halloween Merchandise Features the Haunted Mansion at Disney Parks

Halloween at Disney

As summer winds down, I’m anticipating the arrival of my favorite season. Fall is host to many things I love, including college football and my birthday. At Disney Parks, fall signifies the return of Halloween, a two-month celebration that includes special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida or the amazing holiday makeover for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park. Speaking of the Haunted Mansion, this classic attraction will be prominently featured in new Halloween merchandise arriving in August. You may recall my conversation with Cody Reynolds, Senior Character Artist with Disney Design Group, about last year’s playful artwork. Cody explained that collaboration was a key ingredient in creating this year’s designs.

Disney Halloween Merchandise

“This year’s art program has been in development for about 18 months,” said Cody. “Disney Theme Park Merchandise partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering, Entertainment and the Food and Beverage division in order to create one cohesive visual story for Halloween that will be used in several ways at Disney Parks.”

As we talked, Cody showed me the progression of concepts for this year’s art.

“We worked through concepts that had characters wearing a variety of costumes,” continued Cody. “We dressed them as pirates, princesses, clowns and more. We finally settled on their theme park attire with a fun Halloween twist, like Minnie’s classic polka dot dress done in black and orange.”

Halloween artwork

This artwork will be used on a variety of merchandise items, including decorative items, mugs, pins, shirts, hats,Vinylmation, and much more. We are also introducing a line of Haunted Mansion-inspired items that will be carried year round. (I gave a first look at these items a few months ago.)

I particularly like how the Mansion’s gates were used as the place where the characters and Mansion residents meet.

“We intentionally chose the gates as a meeting place,” Cody explained. “They worked really well for the story we were telling, as they are a common feature found at the Haunted Mansion attractions.”

Disney's “Countdown to Halloween” figurine

Cody drew the characters, while Disney Design Group artist Darren Wilson created the “ghostly” type font. Disney artist Patty Landing contributed the great patterns and graphic elements (like that stylized Haunted Mansion wallpaper!).

I think one of my favorite new items is the “Countdown to Halloween” figurine. Now I just need to figure out what costume to wear this year.

 

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