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.