NOTE: The following post is by the husband as a guest contributor to the Williams Family Blog. Enjoy!
During our latest visit to the World, I noticed a lot of toddlers clutching teddy bears. This wasn’t unusual. What small one wouldn’t want a small, soft, cuddly companion to give them security and share experiences with? Teddy bears fit the role nicely. (Although I carried a stuffed Snoopy when I was that age.) What caught my attention was that the bears were in sailor suits and named Duffy. I figured it was a new toy fad that I wasn’t aware of. I didn’t know Duffy was a Disney creation until I saw Duffy Disney trading pins.
Now, I had to know more. How could this character gain such notoriety between now and our last visit to the World?
Duffy first came out at the Disney World Once Upon A Toy shop in Orlando 2002. The first release of Duffy told the bear’s story. Mickey was in the
with his teddy bear Duffy. Mickey wished he had a friend to share the
wonder and magic of the park. Tinker Magic Kingdom , with some pixie
dust, granted Mickey’s wish and brought Duffy to life. Bell
Duffy’s popularity didn’t soar until he was marketed at Tokyo Disney Seapark. The fans there loved him and a new story about Duffy was created.
Duffy became the Disney bear and was welcomed at
Disneyland and Walt Disney World October 14, 2010. Yes, this did happen between while we were
between visits to Walt Disney World.
The unique fact about Duffy is that he is a Disney character not first featured in a Disney movie or TV show.
What’s the secret of Duffy’s popularity? The third sentence of this post answers that question.
We met Duffy at EPCOT in a gazebo at the entrance to World Showcase. The character meet and greet location is to the left when entering World Showcase from Future World. Check the Times Guide for meeting times.
Guests can purchase Duffy merchandise, including a variety of outfits and accessories, at the store located at the entrance of World Showcase, across from the meet and greet location. Duffy merchandise is also available throughout Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line ships.
Please feel free to share your Duffy experiences with us by offering a comment.