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Hi-Yo Silver! Disney’s ‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Disney Parks

With the release of Disney’s “The Lone Ranger,”  Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some new merchandise worthy of any masked lawman in the West.

At the AFI Showcase Shop located at the exit of the Studio Backlot Tour you can find a handful of exciting items based on the film. Similar to other major film releases like “Monsters University” or “Wreck-It Ralph,” the Disney Theme Park Merchandise team partnered with the Disney Store to introduce things from the national market.   There were some merchandise, however, created especially for Disney Parks.

Disney's ‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Disney Parks

One item sure to catch your eye is the Texas Rangers replica badge. This iconic badge was developed by our souvenirs team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. The Disney Parks team also created a youth T-shirt featuring the two lead characters from the motion picture.

Disney's ‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Disney Parks

Other items include toys like action figures of the Lone Ranger, Tonto, and Silver the horse. There are also a variety of LEGO play sets featuring scenes and characters from the film.

Disney's ‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Disney Parks

Finally, there was a new two-figure Vinylmation set that was released at the D-Street locations in both Florida and California and a limited release pin that has a spinner element.

Disney's ‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Disney Parks

Check Out the ‘Hottest’ New Addition to Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort

The brand-new Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café


opened just two weeks ago, and already the place is on fire – literally. (Stay tuned, we’ll get to that.)

General Manager Jeff Kruger has clued us in to some of their most popular items, including the Sparkling Volcano and Jungle Runner, pictured below.

Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney

Wait time: There was a wait to dine inside at Rainforest Café, but at the Lava Lounge, seating is first-come, first-served. When I arrived at 5:45 p.m., there were still plenty of open tables and a few seats at the bar. My wait time? Zero minutes.

Food: Not only can you order from the full Rainforest Café menu, but there’s also a special menu featuring items created just for the Lava Lounge. That’s right, there are even more choices, so chances are there’s something everyone in your party will enjoy. The Volcanic Sliders and the Tectonic Tacos both sounded delicious!

Ambience: If you like waterfront views, want to be part of a “volcano” experience and prefer talking to shouting, then the Lava Lounge is for you. The setting is a friendly laid-back bar that feels casual and welcoming; it’s just the kind of place you’d want to end up after a long day in Disney Parks. (And I saw a great mix of adults and families, so don’t let the “Lounge” title throw you off; it’s a space for all kinds of groups.)

Wow Factor: The food and service alone may dazzle you (you did see that Sparkling Volcano dessert, didn’t you?), but if you need more to get you fired up, the Rainforest Café Volcano should do the trick. “Erupting” multiple times each evening, it’s a sizzling display of flame spires, fireballs, steam bursts and fog that erupts in sync with a light and sound show. It’s the sort of spectacle you’d only expect to see at a Disney theme park. Or maybe Las Vegas. Either way, it’s truly impressive, and you can see, hear and even feel it from inside the Lava Lounge.

Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney
If you’ve been, share what you liked best in the comments below. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Check it out during your next Downtown Disney visit. (Oh, and be sure to tell Nile the Crocodile “hi” – you can’t miss him!)

Disney Unveils New ‘Festival of Fantasy’ Parade Coming to Magic Kingdom Park in 2014

For many guests, a visit to a Disney theme park wouldn’t be complete without catching a parade. Whether it’s the thrill of seeing which Disney character comes up next, or that moment when your favorite character waves right at you, there’s just something magical about a Disney parade.

new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

Disney is happy to share that a new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring a celebration of New Fantasyland to Main Street, U.S.A., through fantastic and innovative new parade floats, vibrant costumes, and an original soundtrack that will feature beloved songs from favorite Disney films, plus a parade theme song.

new procession, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom Park in spring 2014.

This parade will specifically highlight the stories of “The Little Mermaid,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,”“Peter Pan,” “Tangled” and the Disney●Pixar film “Brave” among others. (Check out a sneak peek of the “Tangled”-themed float above).

What do you think of the new parade coming to Magic Kingdom?

Quoting Walt Disney

Laughter is America’s most important export

Walt Disney once said, “Laughter is America’s most important export.” I found that quote on a tee-shirt during a recent visit to Heritage Manor Gifts at The American Adventure in Epcot. I love reading quotes from Walt as they are often times filled with optimism, hope and joy. At Disney Theme Park Merchandise, we have used his quotes on a variety of merchandise items including hats, posters, shirts and more.

Walt Disney quotes that inspire me

I’ve found most of the quotes that inspire me from two books pictured above. I’ve owned the now out-of-print, purple-covered one since the early 1990s. The other book pictured was first published ten years ago in 2001. Both contain quotes that I enjoy such as, “In bad times and good, I have never lost my sense of zest for life.” Another favorite quote is, “Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.”

One category at Disney Theme Park Merchandise that loves using quotes is Disney Pins. In my previous role on the Pin Trading Team, I recall using that purple covered book as a source of inspiration for an entire themed event in 2006 called “Disney Pin Celebration – It All Started With Walt.” I found a few pins that give examples of famous quotes.

This hinged pin is one of our most popular open edition pins

The hinged pin pictured above is one of our most popular open edition pins that, when opened, reveals an image of Walt Disney on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park. The bottom hinged pin is from the upcoming event in September 2011 called “The Florida Project” and contains a quote about my favorite Disney spot.

The last jumbo-sized pin pictured with the gears was released in 2008 at Disneyland Resort. It is the perfect pin for me right now as it reminds me to finish another article for the Disney Parks Blog.

What is your favorite quote from Walt Disney?

Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens

There’s no doubt about it – fall is in the air, Halloween is just around the corner, pumpkin carving is nearly underway, and the Disneyland candy makers have a few tricks up their sleeves to get everyone in the spirit of the season. Or in this case, “treats.”
David Ramirez is the Candy Production Manager, who works closely with the Disney Theme Park Merchandise product development team and candy makers to create ‘ghoulish delights’ for Disney fans to enjoy. Here are a few things he says that you should keep an eye out for, if you’re in the neighborhood.

Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens Featuring Skull Apples

Skull Apple – Heads will roll for this particular gooey caramel and white chocolate dipped apple, which was themed after the apple featured in the animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Tip: Only available at the Disneyland Resort.

Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens Featuring Dirt and Worms Apple

Dirt and Worms – You will “dig” this particular apple, which is covered in cookie crumble and drizzled with white chocolate.
What other Halloween-inspired creations can you treat yourself to? How about our Pumpkin Mickey Mouse Apples or Minnie Mouse Witch Hat Apples?

For the more “spirited” bunch, there are Ghost Pretzels and Ghost Marshmallows, which I would say are to die for … but that’s just me. Take a look:

Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens Featuring Pretzel Ghost Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens Featuring Marshmallow Ghost

A few other things I’m choosing to throw in to the Halloween bucket this year are the goth goodies, which include bag of bones candies and candy corn, among others, as well as a special popcorn tin and pumpkin seed brittle. To keep you coming back for more, look for the pumpkin fudge in the coming weeks.

Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens Featuring Goth Goodies Oooey-Gooey Ghoulish Delights from the Disneyland Resort Candy Kitchens Featuring Popcorn Tin

Curious about whether they have anything sugar free? They certainly do. Selections vary, but can be found at many of the Disneyland candy locations throughout the park.

Here are a few locations where you can find some of the boo-tiful goodies featured here: Trolley Treats (Disney California Adventure park); Candy Palace (Disneyland park) and Marceline’s Confectionery (Downtown Disney District).

New Oswald The Lucky Rabbit Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

New Oswald The Lucky Rabbit Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks

As my fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker recently shared, this week marks the debut of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. At Disney Theme Park Merchandise, we’ve introduced a variety of Oswald merchandise this past year in honor of his 85th anniversary. Being a fan of Walt Disney Company history, I find it wonderful to see so many new items featuring this classic character. Here is a quick look at some of the Oswald merchandise.

One of the more celebrated (and highly desired) items created this year was an Oswald hat. The hat was created for our partners with Disney Interactive Studios to celebrate the upcoming release of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on November 18. The hats were distributed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and at San Diego Comic Con this past summer. I’m happy to report a Disney Parks version will be released in late October/early November. The hat features a different Oswald logo than the previous hat but is still just as awesome (I intend to wear it while playing the game).

New Oswald The Lucky Rabbit Merchandise Coming to Disney

This past summer also saw the opening of Oswald’s on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park. This new location contains a variety of “road trip essentials” including autograph books, hats, bag and more. During a recent visit to the park, I spotted the amazing vintage-inspired knitted Oswald plush. Denise Edelmaier, product developer for plush, said that the knitted plush was in development for about three years as they finally found a way to make the plush extra soft (early versions were too coarse).

Oswald also found his way onto a popular men’s tee-shirt and a collectible big figurine (or “big fig” as we sometimes call it) designed by Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble.

Disney pins started celebrating Oswald

Disney pins started celebrating Oswald in January by releasing an 85th anniversary pin. We also released an open-edition pin, a limited-edition pin and a Hidden Mickey pin for Disneyland Resort. Look for another open-edition pin next spring.

3-inch Vinylmation figure from the Classic Collection series

But one of my favorite items (besides the hat) will be a new 3-inch Vinylmation figure from the Classic Collection series designed by Disney artist Eric Caszatt. Planned for release in early November, Oswald will be the mystery chaser figure. I know, it’s a spoiler but I couldn’t resist – the figure looks great!

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.


Disney Cruise Line Offers Immersive Experiences and Adventurous Activities for Kids of All Ages

Aboard Disney Cruise Line, it’s great to be a kid. Children can let their imaginations set sail in nearly an entire deck customized just for them, teens and tweens have places to gather, and the smallest seafarers are cared for in colorful spaces with whimsical themes. Dedicated areas and customized interactive programs inspire, entertain and spark the imagination of children ages three months to 17 years.

While children are enjoying the most extensive youth activity areas at sea, parents can enjoy the ship “worry-free,” thanks to an onboard mobile phone service that allows kids and counselors to contact parents anytime and anywhere on the ship. Plus, all Disney Cruise Line youth activities are supervised by specially trained counselors and feature some of the longest operating hours at sea, providing greater flexibility for parents and even more fun for kids.

Click On Each Image For A Larger View

Flounder’s Reef / It’s a Small World
Infants and toddlers ages three months to three years enjoy life “under the sea” at “The Little Mermaid”-themed Flounder’s Reef Nursery (Disney Magic, Disney Wonder). In the It’s a Small World Nursery (Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream), little ones enter a whimsical world inspired by the classic Disney theme park attraction. Trained counselors care for and entertain children with toys, books, videos, crafts and games. The nurseries offer some of the longest operating hours and some of the lowest hourly rates for baby and toddler care in the cruise industry, allowing parents to explore adventures ashore, relax on the ship and enjoy time on their own.
As an added convenience, all baby products needed for a Disney cruise can be pre-arranged and delivered directly to a guest’s stateroom upon arrival.

Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab
It’s not an official port of call, but children feel like they’ve been transported to Peter Pan’s Never Land at the whimsical Oceaneer Club (Disney Magic, Disney Wonder). This child-friendly oasis, themed to Captain Hook’s pirate ship, contains a play area with slide and rope bridge, a “captain’s closet” filled with costumes and toys, and an open seating area for arts, crafts, games, storytelling, musical fun and dancing. On the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, Oceaneer Club is a child-friendly oasis that transports kids to the magical lands of Disney fairies, friendly monsters, adventuresome toys and undersea exploration.

Kids go to “infinity and beyond” at the space- and science-themed Oceaneer Lab (Disney Magic, Disney Wonder). Twinkling star-like lights and giant planetary spheres fill the room along with an oversized Buzz Lightyear figure. Computers with video games and music stations begins the exploration, and kids can participate in crazy experiments at the interactive science lab, karaoke jams, pajama parties, sports challenges and more. On the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, kids can sketch original, hand-drawn art, bring to life computer-animated characters and create and record their own original songs.

In both the Club and Lab on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, kids can have real-time conversations with Crush, the animated sea turtle from “Finding Nemo” and Stitch the mischievous animated space alien. A Magic PlayFloor gives kids the chance to soar above London with Peter Pan, step into the futuristic world of Tron or use their own movements to control the tilt of a giant virtual maze.

On all Disney ships, children can personalize their cruise vacation by selecting activities and events based on interest. With no age restrictions, kids and parents select programs to create a customized experience for each child. Best of all, children of different ages – siblings, extended family and friends – can participate in youth activities together.

Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are open to children ages three to 10. Popular activities include:

Experiences that draw inspiration from classic Disney stories and popular Disney characters:

  • During Cinderella’s Royal Ball, young guests can feel like royalty as Cinderella shows them how to be a prince or princess.
  • So You Want to be a Pirate offers adventurous tales of the high seas, pirate training for young buccaneers, swashbuckling fun and a special appearance by Captain Hook.
  • Children are immersed in the world of Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” during Toy Story Boot Camp. Led by Corporal Green, toy recruits participate in interactive activities.

Hands-on activities that appeal to children’s sense of creativity and invention:

  • The next great celebrity chef could be discovered at Ratatouille Cooking School, where children work together to bake tasty chocolate chip cookies.
  • During the Animal Tracking Series, children discover that conservation can be fun as they learn about endangered animals, create an animal tracking device and locate (plush) cotton-top tamarin monkeys using telemetry tracking on Castaway Cay.
  • In Flubber, one of the most popular youth activities on Disney Cruise Line, children join the Professor in creating magical green goo and other interesting concoctions.

Other onboard youth activities include playful programs such as Mouseketeer Training and Little Einsteins for preschoolers; challenge-and-solution games like Stitch’s Great Adventure and Detective School with Goofy; high-action group activities such as Kim Possible: Cruise Control and The Challenge of Davy Jones; and unstructured free time to enjoy the youth areas, play on computers and spend time having fun with new friends.

Vibe and Edge
Vibe (ages 14 to 17) and Edge (ages 11 to 13) are ultra cool teen- and tween-only hangouts. The areas are the perfect chill-out spots with comfy couches, computer games, plasma-screen TVs, MP3 players and other chill-out necessities. These trendy and tranquil areas offer an elite getaway for teens and tweens to set their own vacation agenda – whether socializing with new friends, playing the latest video games, experiencing cutting-edge technology or just chilling out. Plus, organized activities such as dance parties, trivia games and sports contests keep teens and tweens engaged and entertained.

At Vibe on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, teens have their own private deck area outside – a mod space for fun in the sun without ever leaving the teen club.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, click here.

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration VI Event in August 2012

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration

Disney Parks has a long history with Star Wars that dates back to 1987 with the opening of Star Tours at Disneyland park. Since that time, we have offered a variety of collectibles including action figures, pins, shirts and more. I’m happy to report that Disney Theme Park Merchandise will be attending Star Wars Celebration VI, aStar Wars fan event coming to the Orange County Convention Center from August 23-26, 2012. This year, we have created some items that fans will only find at this event.

One of those event exclusive items is a 3-inch Vinylmation figure of Princess Leia as a hologram. This figure has an edition size of 2,500, and is considered the variant figure to the Leia figure found in Vinylmation – Star Wars#2 series (which will also debut at the event on August 23 and will later be sold at Disney Parks).

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration

Another Celebration VI exclusive item will be the 25th Anniversary Starspeeder die-cast set. This set features both the Starspeeder 3000 (for the first time ever) and the Starspeeder 1000 from Star Tours – The Adventures Continues.

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration

Fans attending the event will also find two event tee-shirts with Disney characters playing the roles of Star Warscharacters. We are also introducing an Aurebesh nametag with a few additional destinations not found during Star Wars Weekends 2012.

For those guests who missed being “frozen” in carbonite, the Carbon-Freeze Me experience will return for a limited, four-day engagement during the event. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, this experience casts your likeness as a three-dimensional, eight-inch figurine (as seen in this video by my fellow Disney Parks Blogauthor Gary Buchanan and Star Wars: The Clone Wars star Ashley Eckstein). Retail is $99.95 (plus shipping), and event guests can participate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration

Speaking of printing, we are introducing “D-Tech On-Demand,” a new option where guests can select from 12 different iPhone 4/4S case designs and watch as they are printed onsite. The four cases in the top row will premiere at this event, while the bottom row features some designs that can be printed.

Finally, we will offer a first purchase opportunity for the next waves of Disney and Muppet character action figures (which are coming to Disney Parks later).

If you are attending the galactic celebration, please stop by booths #331 and #341 to say hello.

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration

Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration


Newly Crowned “American Idol” Scotty McCreery Takes a Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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AMERICA’S IDOL AND MICKEY MOUSE! LET THE MEMORIES BEGIN: Newly crowned “American Idol” Scotty McCreery takes a celebratory ride May 30th, 2011 with Mickey Mouse through Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. McCreery was honored in a parade at the Disney theme park and performed his new single “I Love You This Big.” On Wednesday, the 17-year-old singer was crowned the new “American Idol” on the season finale which was viewed by an estimated 29.3 million people. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

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