I think that Americans are resistant to Duffy because theythink he’s an outsider infiltrating the “fab five” that they believe arehistoric. If you know nothing about Duffy, you come to a park and see this bearand might think Disney is selling out by creating another character just toearn profits. And realistically, in the US, they are right. We’ve establishedthat US Disney did not do an appropriate amount of marketing related to hislaunch (Duffy Count Down, Welcome Duffy Week etc.), and because of this, he’sjust a sort of random character that Americans don’t understand. Those of uswho take an interest and do more research find out the truth but I feel mostpeople will feel ambivalent or hostile towards Duffy until there is widerexposure. It’s so sad since EPCOT provides the perfect outlet for Duffy. Theycould easily build his story in the World Showcase – he’s a traveling bear afterall. Just throwing a greeting pavilion inthe front area clearly shows a complete lack of creativity.
But what kills me about EPCOT is that the US and Japan areas in World Showcase are next to each other. Even if Disney didn't do the Cape Cod theme, I don't see why Duffy couldn't have been portrayed as a link between the two nations (I know Disney doesn't like to acknowledge there's a fabulous set of parks in Japan they don't own, but Japanese items are popular with young people...as far as sales, I don't see how a Japanese-linked Disney item would be a liability). I guess his current location is more visible (? I haven't seen it in-person) but it could have had such an amazing theme if they would've moved it...whether they went the Cape Cod route or even just linked it to Japan in some way. Instead, I think they made it all about the traveling bear concept. Which is a big part of who Duffy is, but not the only part.
There's no Cape Cod-ish place for Duffy at DCA, though I suppose they could have put him in the less appealing Pacific Wharf area that is very actually rather near his meet-and-greet area in Paradise Pier. (Though that area is also primarily a food court.) That's the only "seaside" area I can think of in the park that is more of a place people "work" and less of a "vacation spot." Paradise Pier is much more charming, though, and even after Cars Land's opening, Paradise Pier is still my favorite land of the park, so I can't complain to see him there. Aside from the Golden State/Grizzly River Run area (not ocean-themed), the only other waterside options in the California parks would have been at Disneyland. But our main waterside area is themed vaguely after the American South (Critter Country), New Orleans, or the frontier...I'm not sure any of those are a good fit. There is the submarine lagoon that's currently classed as Tomorrowland (yeah, not great for Duffy).
And there's a small outdoor area that USED to be individually-powered motorboats similar to the Autopia and last I heard was a smoking section. I guess Duffy could go there, but it wouldn't be my first choice. (Unless they for some reason made an amazing Duffy RIDE to replace the unused space. They actually did once have a bear-themed ride there; they put some wooden cutouts of Gummi Bears characters and made the boat ride a trip through Gummi Glen. It was temporary, low capacity, and unimpressive, though cute enough to be mildly entertaining to fans of the show. Which is probably what any Duffy attraction would be in the US, though I don't see the boats coming back anyway.)
Any attempt to establish some other location as the "home" where Duffy "lives" would cross a line so thick and red there may be blood. That would take us far beyond the cavalier disregard and reprehensible disrespect for Duffy's fans and legacy and plant us firmly in the zone of evil. I really hope their audacity doesn't stretch so far.
At Pacific Wharf/Paradise Pier, Duffy should've been on a little boat called the Friendship and this stop should have been presented as part of the journey taken with Mickey in My Friend Duffy. The American parks are not and cannot be Duffy's "home." That role is filled. But they could be important parts of his journey and story. He could truly be "at home" there…if only they wanted to make the effort of being good hosts and treating him the way he's used to.:love:
When I was in Walt DisneyWorld and saw Duffy plastered everywhere, I asked who "The Disney bear" was. The first cast member casually said, "oh, it's some bear that was popular in Japan and then they brought him here about 2 years ago." :(It was only after Duffy grew on me that I purchased the Dated Duffy (2013 red/blue outfit) and THAT cast member said, "do you know the story of Duffy?" and when I said no, he proceeded to tell me (although it wasn't until I got home that I found out about the pre-Duffy bears that were originally sold at the Once upon a Toy store). He even told me that they have the Duffy story on the hotel channel from 6-10 p.m.
However, when I was at Epcot, I saw Duffy at his greeting place, went up to him (food in one hand, one-arm hug for him with the other) and said, "DUFFFYYYYY!" He acted like he wanted to eat my food and then kept walking! I said, hey, Duffy, isn't this where I can get your picture? Come back!" He kept walking and the cast members offered no explanation. So no Duffy meet and greet for me.
He definitely grew on me and when I read his story, I could instantly identify, as I love to travel myself and have been to all 50 states. Yup, he and the naked Duffy came home with me for sure!