Duffy the Bear – Walt Disney World

By Guest Blogger Sandi Lamborne!

On Saturday September 18th my husband and I attended the Duffy the Bear passholder special event held at the Odyssey in EPCOT.

We were greeted outside by cast members who checked our names off their reservation list and handed us an admission ticket which once inside could be traded in for a very cool Duffy the Bear Rice Krispie treat. It was a nice surprise. There were also cups and several water coolers so guests could cool off with a cold drink before the presentation.

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Inside the seating area was a stage set up with Duffy the Bear banners and projection screens on either side showing slides of Duffy the Bear.

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When the event started Vanessa Rosas – WDW Ambassador came out to welcome the passholders and soon introduced Dara Trujillo- Manager Synergy and Special Events. She told us not to take pictures (That is why I stopped taking shots and don’t have a picture of the Duffy Character) She talked about the character and shared his story: One day, Mickey was getting ready to set sail on a long sea voyage. Minnie made Mickey a special teddy bear to take with him so he would never be lonely. Mickey loved the bear and named him Duffy. Mickey and Duffy sailed around the world. They visited all sorts of exciting places and made a lot of friends along the way.(They showed slides of Duffy meeting Disney characters) Mickey and Duffy took pictures with their new pals and made memories that would last a lifetime. At the end of their voyage, Mickey and Duffy sailed back home to share all their magical memories with Minnie. (This story is on the tag of Duffy’s ear after you buy him)

She then introduced Forrest Bahruth-WDW Show director. Forrest worked in Tokyo Disney where Duffy, the six year old bear, is very popular at their US country that is themed after Cape Cod so he is there on a dock. He also has his own stage show there and photo spots where guests can take Duffy’s pictures in the countries (Sort of like the photo spots in EPCOT but designed specifially for Duffy). EPCOT is going to use that same approach and set up photo spots for Duffy too.

Dara came back on stage and told us that there would be Duffy stuffed bears of several sizes available and outfits that go with each country in EPCOT. They were very cute. And there are also going to be outfits for holiday seasons like Valentine’s day, Fourth of July, Christmas, and a very cute Easter Bunny too. The merchandise coming out first will include a covered coffee mug and popcorn bowl. Yes, there will be pins and vinylmation coming out later.

Duffy will have his own meet-and-greet. It is being built now not far from the Odyssey. Right in front of I believe it is called Gateway Gifts. The gift shop will be remodeled to sell Duffy items, and I think it will be called Duffy Central. It is well positioned to be at the entrance of World Showcase.

Duffy will make his first appearance in EPCOT on October 14th. They will be giving out “I hugged Duffy” stickers after you meet Duffy.

Also the KidCot mask that the kids color and carry around to each country is going to be replaced with a Duffy the bear and the paddle will be stamped in each country with Duffy stamps. Very cool and it makes sense since Duffy is a world traveler.

At the end of the event Duffy came out to greet the crowd and answer a few questions (via Dara of course) He walked around the room and one lucky guest won a free Duffy stuffed Bear. It was hard not to take a picture.

There is going to be a Disney cartoon of Duffy that will be available on the TVs of Disney Resorts. (Which will be a way to introduce Duffy before the kids hit the park)

This is going to be a huge money-maker for Disney as the kids will want a Duffy bear to take pictures in each country and outfits from the countries and grown-up will want the pins etc..(They didn’t say this at the event. It is just my thinking)

There is also going to be some type of Duffy food and kids placemats at the restaurants in EPCOT. I think this a great idea too to continue to make EPCOT more kid friendly.

We were allowed to buy a Duffy 18 inch bear and a sailor outfit. The bear was $25.00 and the outfit was $15.00. We were allowed to use our passholder discount and they went like hotcakes. The funny part is that we were led to believe that this was a secret passholder meeting and we weren’t supposed to tell anyone but then they let us buy the Bear and walk around the park with it. I think they just wanted us to be the first to know and that is really neat.

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Duffy is VERY popular at Tokyo Disneyland! Read Jack Spence’s Report.

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12 Replies to “Duffy the Bear – Walt Disney World”

  1. We were out at EPCOT today for Food & Wine Festival and saw Duffy (in fact my daughter got to have her pic taken with him). Of course she wanted to get one and we saw tons of them around the park. How fun that you got to go to the preview event!

  2. I for one am looking forward to getting a Duffy Bear.
    I have the magical bear and was looking for another one this year only to be told they were not avaialble as Duffy was taking his place.

    Now that I see Duffy, I can hardly wait to get my new “duffy”.

    Jeanne

  3. Duffy is cute, but he is just a recycled character from another park. Figment is the official character of Epcot, and unique to only that park. I would like to see a meet ‘n greet with him.

  4. Actually, the event was a good way for Disney to make money but it was still a nice event. The bear is slightly different than the Mickey Bear and is a bit more soft and doesn’t have beans in it. It was free, in the nice AC and we got a treat.

  5. Your review was right on target. I don’t know which session you attended, but it sounds just like the 6:00 PM session.

    On a different note I LOVE that you spelled EPCOT the way it was meant to be (not Epcot!).

    Deb Koma replies: Actually, though, Disney changed the spelling to Epcot several years ago — we really should have changed it in this blog to adhere to their standard.

  6. How do you find out about these special pass holder events? We are pass holders and receive the Mickey Monitor and I don’t remember seeing it in there.

    Thank you

    Deb Koma replies: Be sure to check the passholder page on the official Walt Disney World site. Go to disneyworld.com, and then look for the link that says “Passholders” — once you register there, you’ll have access to a special section of the site that gives you Passholder-specific info!

  7. Sorry…maybe it’s just me but all this sounds like to me is a way for Disney to make money. It doesn’t even seem like alot of thought went into the back story of Duffy. It sounds very lame and I don’t see anything “Disney” about Duffy.

  8. Thanks for sharing the information about Duffy. They are definitely a cute new character item for Epcot. What I find funny again, just as I did reading Jack Spence’s original story, is that technically Duffy was a failed merchandise item from Disneyland. I can remember visiting that park and seeing stacks of this toy in multiple colors at the Main Street Emporium. I guess at WDW they are only selling the light brown version? I’m happy it found new life at the overseas park and I’ll be interested to see if it can be a success at another US park.

  9. I’m amazed that they can re-brand the old Mickey Mouse Teddy Bear or Disney Bear and have more hype than before. We bought this bear back in 2004 and it’s exactly the same as Duffy today.
    I think we even bought one 2 years ago only that one had a pair of pajamas on that couldn’t be removed.

  10. Thanks for sharing your experience!
    I was really interested to read about Duffy in Jack’s blog a few months ago.. so I’m excited to see how it does in Epcot 🙂

    Emma