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  1. #1

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    DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Duffy, the (Tokyo DisneySea) bear has officially arrived at EPCOT today Oct 14th at 12 noon.. in a rather low key ceremony attended by a lot of CM managers and some others who managed to attend during their lunch hour. (LOL you know who you are). Also in attendance.. a few curious guests and some other Disney fans...many of them from Japan here on vacation at WDW, plus other fanatics like yours truly, TravisMT81, Denise Nbodyhome..and other familiar names on these boards... Here are some photos from this afternoon's event...

    A small crowd gathered around the new photo op gazeebo for Duffy's arrival.


    The anticipation built just minutes before noon...when the ceremony was set to start.


    Forgive me as I am bad with names... but one of the WDW Ambassadors opened up the ceremony with the obligatory welcome message and rah-rah-rahs! I would have prefered the *other* ambassador.. since he is easier on TDLFAN's eyes.


    Again.. this lady is from the Merchandise division.. and I guess she is one of the responsible parties for having Duffy taken out of Tokyo DisneySea and into every Disney gift shop in the US...and soon HK as well. She again welcomed the crowd and then she introduced Mr... what's his name (very cute in a executive type of way)... Cockerell... or some nifty last name like that?


    Duffy finally arrives with Ms Ambassador, followed by Mickey Mouse.


    Mr cockerel.. (sp?) and Ms Merchandise division welcome Duffy... In their minds, they probably see a bag of money walking towards them...


    Finally Mickey and Duffy joins the execs on the stage.. everyone wearing their finest sailor suit. Editorial note: At TDS, Mickey would be wearing an ADMIRAL suit... not a stinking sailor suit. Mr. Cocky's tie matches Mickey.. by accident me thinks.


    The obligatory confetti blast to mark the official opening and arrival of Duffy.


    Press Photo op. If Duffy sales fail, keep this in mind... those two suits are to be blamed for.


    Then after the ceremony.. we all ran to have our picture taken with Duffy.. It was me, some CMs and dozens on screaming japanese gals in their Tokyo Disney resort finest outfits, hats and carrying their authentic Duffy dolls from TDS.


    waiting to greet Duffy at his new gazeebo. We have not seen lines this long since... since... Soarin' opened?


    An hour later... we are getting close to Duffy...


    The walkway into the gazeebo is nicely detailed. I wish we had nice floors like this at the MK park..


    The Duffy story is told via book-like signs as we approach the gazeebo.


    Please read below...








    OMG!! OMG!! We are getting closer and closer.. but we have been in line over an hour now.. in a hot afternoon.


    The floors in the gazeebo simulate wood but they are actually cement floors. They look very nice.. Again, why can't they do the same type of refurbishing on the MK floors and walkways...??


    After having my picture taken with Duffy, and receiving a nice sticker that reads "I just hugged Duffy, the Disney bear", I was off to check out the shops..


    The gifty shop across from the Duffy spot has recieved some Duffy remodeling.. minimal but it's enough to call the guests' attention.


    More Duffy decor...


    Here it is folks!!! Duffy officially on the shelves at WDW. At first.. I wanted to inspect the quality of the doll and I am here to tell you that I was quite pleased that the Duffys on sale here ARE of the SAME quality as those sold at TDS. they are made in Vietnam.. and the fur is soft and huggable.. What do I think? It may just sell...


    There are small Duffy keychains..


    Small magnet Duffys


    12" size ready for bed...


    Costumes galore.. why..Duffy may have a nicer wardrobe than most people do at their homes. Basic Sailor and mexican outfit.


    Baseball player and italian outfit.


    canadien CM costume..


    I have not got a clue what the green costume is from...Norway?


    A big seller below.. Duffy wearing the "WDW 40th anniversary logo tee". Even TDLFAN had to buy one of those... (editorial note: I feel so dirty now)


    Chinese costume.. really cute. This was the only one left on the shelf and TDLFAN just had to have it.


    Beer Drinker Duffy outfit.


    Ok folks.. many japanese people were here (just like they are at TDS) buyinig like there is no tomorrow, and these 4 japanese guests were buying the store.. I would supposed these will land on Japan's E-Bay.. But honestly? Their register's total purchase was close to $1,500. WOW!!!


    On another note... I noticed several guests just asking CMs what this Duffy plush was.. and some of them examining them carefully. Kids in particular were quick to pick them up and hug away.. much to the parents' disapproving looks.. But hey.. Disney wants to replicate the Duffy bonanza of cash from TDR... and while I think it will not happen with the same feverish abandon.. my initial impression is that Duffy will do ok. What Disney needs to do now is market him to the masses, via cartoons, or park shows.. or whatever.. Otherwise, I see this fad come and go faster than you can say... "I can't afford to go to Tokyo .."

    Here is Duffy at Mouse gear. Why o' why???


    Duffy at the gateway gift shop below Spaceship Earth... Can you spell overkill??? This is how Disney sabotages themselves.. Take something special and make it ordinary by offering it al over the freaking World.


    More Duffys on the shelves...


    Notice the clip on one at the bottom. Those are very popular in Tokyo, especially if you go to the parks and want to show off that you are part of the fad..


    The saving grace... the bear prices at WDW appear to be on average 35% LESS than what it costs at Tokyo Disney Resort to purchase the same bear.. so I think guests in the USA are getting a bargain here... Of course, I see Disney increasing the prices if the bear proves to be popular with guests.

    Finally.. we leave EPCOT.. and enjoy the last look before exiting the park.

  2. #2

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Thanks for the great report TDLFAN!!!


    Bringing the Love since January 10, 2011
    We were sent over there with the message that only we would defend Disney quality.. We learnt quickly that the Japanese culture speaks to a level of quality that is hard to comprehend. They were all unbelievably skilled and willing to do the right thing.
    Craig Russell -Walt Disney Imagineering

  3. #3

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Thanks for the post TDLFan. Maybe you can explain this to me, because I don't get it. Isn't Mickey enough? A new character out of nowhere? Another way for us "guests" to spend money?

    Seems kind of "off" to me...

    I am reminded of when Oliver joined the Brady Bunch. (Anyone else old enough to remember that?)

  4. #4

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Quote Originally Posted by lily23 View Post
    Thanks for the post TDLFan. Maybe you can explain this to me, because I don't get it. Isn't Mickey enough? A new character out of nowhere? Another way for us "guests" to spend money?

    Seems kind of "off" to me...

    I am reminded of when Oliver joined the Brady Bunch. (Anyone else old enough to remember that?)
    X2 All that drum and fife for a stuffed bear. There are just SO many other things I can see them spending money on that would benefit the parks so much more.

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Thanks for the photo report! Whether you like the merchandise push or not, the bear is pretty darn cute I love his different clothes and i'm sure that 40th anniversary plush will be a big seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Finally Mickey and Duffy joins the execs on the stage.. everyone wearing their finest sailor suit. Editorial note: At TDS, Mickey would be wearing an ADMIRAL suit... not a stinking sailor suit. Mr. Cocky's tie matches Mickey.. by accident me thinks.
    This is Mickey's costume at DCA's opening ceremony:

    - Adventure Is Waiting -

    "We're going to take you out of this world of reality for a visit to the most fantastic of all the worlds of fantasy." - Walt Disney

  6. #6

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Never underestimate the consumer power of the Japanese. It's a good thing that many of them will still visit the U.S. resorts even though they already have one of their own.

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    I've been regretting not buying an original Disney Bear back in the early 00's. I always thought he was cute but just never got around to buying one even though I got my photo with him a couple times.

    Can I just order one through WDW's mail order service? I'm not going to buy a ticket to EPCOT just to go in and get a bear and leave. I already paid my respects to Captain EO back in August, so I have no reason to go back to the parks for a long time (at least until we see how the Fantasyland makeover turns out).

    I want to be all Japanese trendy and have it sticking out of my backpack when I go places.

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Aimster... I believe the bear is on sale in DTD as well. No need to go into EPCOT unless you want to have your pic taken with him. The gal on the ceremony said Duffy photo op is exclusive to ECOT and DCA. but Aimster.. japanese trendy? I can see Wonderpup sitting there disgusted and all jealous as Duffy replaces him on those trips to WDW. Hahaha.

    Now..First up, I have to agree with all of you. This is shameless merchandise with no other motive than to take your money and run all the way to the nearest bank.

    Yes, the bear is cute.. but I resent that he is being put on the spotlight the easy way, while all other disney characters have to earn their worth at the movie theater box sales. Further, I resent that the bear is no longer exclusive to TDS. I can see why he is so popular in TDR because the japanese allow themselves to be victims of pop culture and fads. they appear to believe that you are not "in" unless you are seen with a Duffy plush hanging from your waist...in some home made costume.

    So for those of you who "don't get it".. seems to me you get it just right. It's all about the money. I always thought OLC had to be ashamed of themselves for pushing this Duffy craze out of control... but I think WDC should be even more so ashamed for trying to emulate the fad in a country where people can see thru these gimmicks..

    But hey.. since I know many of you enjoy WDW because you bring your kids along.. especially when their little faces light up in delight.. well.. guess what? You parents will be forking up $$ for your kids' Duffy's and it will be you and the fans who will make the whole thing stick for a little while.

  9. #9

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post

    But hey.. since I know many of you enjoy WDW because you bring your kids along.. especially when their little faces light up in delight.. well.. guess what? You parents will be forking up $$ for your kids' Duffy's and it will be you and the fans who will make the whole thing stick for a little while.
    Well, it won't be me. I don't let my kids buy merchandise at WDW. Period. I want to go A LOT and if I didn't have a hard, consistent rule with my kids that there is no merchandise shopping, I'd be in the poor house by now. Honestly, I have felt that way about merchandise as long as I can remember. I like to GO ON THE RIDES, I'm not interested in spending money on stuff I don't need, never was. But of course, I can only speak for myself.



    I do wonder about what you're saying about parents buying this bear for your kids. As someone else mentioned, people, (including kids, I think), love the characters that they have connected with through movies or TV. My kid squeals in delight at anything Mickey, but she won't give a rats behind about some bear, I guarantee it.

    I guess time will tell!

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    YouTube - Duffy the Disney Bear makes his debut at Epcot - Walt Disney World

    That theme song for Duffy they wrote is like nails on a chalkboard... DO NOT LIKE!!
    WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeekSlider View Post
    That theme song for Duffy they wrote is like nails on a chalkboard... DO NOT LIKE!!
    OMG!! Thanks for reminding me of this. I hated the song from the moment it started to play.. and TravisMT81 can tell you.. since I turned to him and said "the song has to go!"
    Last edited by TDLFAN; 10-14-2010 at 09:35 PM.

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    Thumbs up Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Quote Originally Posted by nonob88 View Post
    This is Mickey's costume at DCA's opening ceremony:

    That was a FANTASTIC trip report, TDFAN!!! Thanks especially for the storybook photos. I was really craving those. I still like my version better. Did you notice how they changed the artwork to include only "star" characters? Oh well. It is Disney.

    And Nonob88, thanks for the shot of the DCA ceremony. Anybody know a link to the video for that? Mickey and Minnie look so much more "DisneySEA" at DCA. I love it.

    And I'd like to have all the lyrics for the song. I think it's something like this:

    I know - It's true, you are a little bear.
    But though you're small, you stand so tall.
    You open up to care.

    I know I'm small
    But my dreams are big, it's true.
    And I know, where you go -
    I will go with you!

    If things get tough or times get rough,
    Or feeling a little blue...
    I see your smile and you're the one
    That always makes me (new???)

    (Your???) friend Duffy!
    Duffy the bear!
    Together forever and ever!
    My friend Duffy!
    Duffy the bear!
    Together forever and ever!

    Let's go!

    Duffy!
    Bop-bop-bop!
    Duffy!
    Bop-bop-bop!
    Duffy!
    Bop-bop-bop!
    My friend Duffy!

    Duffy!
    Bop-bop-bop!
    Duffy!
    Bop-bop-bop!
    Duffy!
    Bop-bop-bop!
    My friend Duffy!
    Last edited by DuffyDaisuki; 10-15-2010 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Listened again for song lyrics.

  13. #13

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Quote Originally Posted by DuffyDad View Post
    That was a FANTASTIC trip report, TDFAN!!! Thanks especially for the storybook photos. I was really craving those. I still like my version better. Did you notice how they changed the artwork to include only "star" characters? Oh well. It is Disney.

    And Nonob88, thanks for the shot of the DCA ceremony. Anybody know a link to the video for that? Mickey and Minnie look so much more "DisneySEA" at DCA. I love it.

    And I'd like to have all the lyrics for the song. I can only make out parts like "I know I'm small, but my dreams are big"...something.
    Here's the ceremony at DCA

    YouTube - Duffy Makes His Debut at the Disney California Adventure
    - Adventure Is Waiting -

    "We're going to take you out of this world of reality for a visit to the most fantastic of all the worlds of fantasy." - Walt Disney

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    Talking Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    Quote Originally Posted by nonob88 View Post
    Here's the ceremony at DCA...
    Thanks SO much for this! This hit a lot of the right notes for me! I'm actually really satisfied with the launch. Disney surprised me. They mentioned Japan and his travels, and the welcoming felt like welcoming a new character from Japan, without making him feel like a "foreigner." I liked, too, that they seemed really excited, but not "too" goofily excited. Even the one "I barely know what to do!" joke actually felt natural, but maybe I just really like that woman.^^

    I did notice, though, that Minnie seems a little manic here compared to her TDS counterpart.

    I agree with TDLFAN that they should have kept the Duffy goods just in a centralized Duffy shop for the launch. Overkill will kill. But it's a MUCH better start than I thought it would be. I'm still confused, though, why they seem to have "stolen" Tokyo's high quality mascots while we still have that ghetto version walking around now...

  15. #15

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    Re: DUFFY arrives at EPCOT Center...

    So, where is the photo of TDLFAN and Duffy?????


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