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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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New Park Icon Sketch Collection Debuts at Disneyland Park

I think it’s safe to say that somewhere deep down, each one of us has a favorite Disney moment, park attraction (or two) or character that we love. My favorites? Well, as far as attractions go – it’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and for characters, definitely Chip n’ Dale. But if you asked me to define a particular moment, there are simply too many!

New Park Icon Sketch Collection Debuts at Disneyland Park

I know that many of you Disney fans out there wish you could fit Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn Bobsleds or a cast of characters into your home. While these particular attractions might not fit inside your living room, let alone your house, what if I told you about a way that they could? The key to making this happen … the Artist Sketch Program.

This fan favorite, yet slightly undiscovered treasure, allows you to select your favorite character(s) and watch as our artists bring them to life before your very eyes. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to stop by any of the locations recently, then you should know that we have recently released new images, including Carl and Ellie from “Up” as well as Phineas and Ferb, among others.

Special Tip: Each month, Off the Page releases a special limited-edition framed piece, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. If you are looking for a character with a bit more edge, then I would recommend WonderGround Gallery.

But it was while I was visiting The Disney Gallery on Main Street, U.S.A., manager Brian Hughes clued me in on some new developments from the Artist Sketch program. Brian updated me on the addition of the Park Icon Collection which pays tribute to beloved attractions and icons throughout Disneyland Resort, and I knew in that instant I had to share the news with you.

“We are often asked for art that reflects the many iconic attractions and facades at Disneyland park,” said Brian. “As a result, we came up with a concept to utilize our talented team of artists to bring those icons to life. We all have that one character that makes us smile and that one attraction or place in the park that’s on our ‘must do’ list, each and every time. These places, attractions, etc … offer so much more than just a fun experience – they create memories that last a lifetime. Our hope is that these new Park Icon sketches will give guests yet another way to cherish those memories.”

So how does it work? It’s similar to choosing a character in one of our other artist sketch locations, but this time you select a favorite attraction or icon to be included in the sketch. Here are a few examples:

New Park Icon Sketch Collection Debuts at Disneyland Park


New Park Icon Sketch Collection Debuts at Disneyland Park


New Park Icon Sketch Collection Debuts at Disneyland Park

Viola! Before you know it, our artists will have recreated these images for you to add to your home – on the wall or on a table, of course!

Reminder: The Park Icon Collection is only available at The Disney Gallery.

So if you’re planning to visit the Disneyland Resort in the coming months, make a few stops at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park, the Disneyana Shop or The Disney Gallery in Disneyland park, WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District or various locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace and Epcot, Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park, among other locations.

What You Might Not Know About Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort

I’m a big fan of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. You walk through the resort’s doorway in Florida and, suddenly, you’ve been transported to America’s Great Northwest. The seven-story lobby is built with eighty-five truckloads of Lodgepole Pine, brought from Oregon and Montana. The layered look of the main 82-foot fireplace duplicates the layered rock strata of the Grand Canyon. The resort’s 727 guest rooms reflect themes of wildlife, nature and Native American designs.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has something for everyone — fans of American history, lovers of the great outdoors, and folks who just want to relax by the two pools and the white-sand beach. For fans of classic Disney animation, guest rooms just went through a refresh – including the addition of shower tiles featuring Meeko from “Pocahontas,” “Bambi,” and Chip ‘n Dale. Here’s a video tour around the resort.

What do you enjoy most about this resort? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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