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Character News and Updates - Rapunzel, Duffy and Agent Oso
DisneyDan  Thursday, September 9, 2010 8:10:23 AM

Hi all,

So this week saw Stitch Kingdom post the first picture of the new Rapunzel and Flynn Rider characters to feature at Disney Parks from next month. Rapunzel and Flynn will be making appearances in the Magic Kingdom and in Disneyland from October 15th. At the Magic Kingdom it is currently expected that they will be meeting in the Fairytale Garden, where the recently evicted Belle used to have Storytime. The location is interesting because at Disneyland, they will be meeting indoors at the former Gepetto's Candy Shoppe. It recently closed for the remodel to accommodate the new characters. The reason this is interesting is that the DL location is indoors, and the MK location is outdoors. It is expected that Rapunzel will have extremely long hair that would be difficult to move. With an indoor location it allows Disney to allow certain numbers of guests in at a time, then close the door when they are done, allowing Rapunzel and the Cast Members to do what they have to do to "remove" the character. In Walt Disney World the Fairytale Garden is a very exposed location, outdoors. How they are going to handle the arrival and departure of Rapunzel after every set time will be interesting. Watch this space for further news on that one!

Rapunzel and Flynn are also expected to be joining Disneyland Paris for meet 'n' greets from mid-November for the Christmas Season, and it has been suggested that they are going to appear at the Castle Stage. The same problem with the hair still stands here. But just recently DLP closed the former post-show area to "it's a small world", and it is expected to re-open as a Princess meet 'n' greet location. So far no suggestion has been made that it will be for Rapunzel, but logical thinking would indicate that given the indoor, enclosed nature of this location is would be suitable for the same reasons as the Candy Shoppe location in DL California.

In other news, Duffy the Disney Bear is expected to start making appearances in Epcot and California Adventure from November. Duffy is the cute stuffed bear owned by Mickey Mouse, made for him by Minnie. The story has it that Mickey was going on a long voyage, and was going to be lonely, so Minnie made him a travelling teddy bear. The bear came to life in Mickey's dreams while he was away, and would read Minnie's letters to him. A little weird, I know. For those of you who don't know, in reality Duffy is the bear created by Walt Disney World a number of years back to feature at their former Teddy Bear and Doll Weekends at Epcot. He became very popular with the Japanese, and so they decided to relaunch him at Tokyo DisneySea with a new name (Duffy, of course) and new back story (the one I described above). Apparently the name comes from the fact that Mickey would carry Duffy in his duffel bag.

Duffy is insanely popular in Japan, as Jon and I discovered last month! There are at least three stores in DisneySea that solely sell his merchandise, and people come to the parks decked out in as much Duffy stuff as possible. He also has his own show there, too, which is extremely popular.

It has been suggested that he will initially make appearances in Hollywood Studios, but all sources tend to indicate that this is untrue, and it will be Epcot - most likely at the American Adventure (though this is also unconfirmed). It is unknown where he will appear at in DCA. Merchandise has already started to creep it's way into the parks very gradually to break people into the concept, as we discovered last month in California.

Back in Florida, Special Agent Oso, the yellow bear from the Playhouse Disney show of the same name will start making regular appearances at the Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood Studios from October 3rd. He will be replacing Jojo.

Finally, it is expected that at some point in the next month Lotso, the evil pink bear from Toy Story 3 will stop meeting his fans at Hollywood Studios.

Ok, that's all for now!

Dan :)

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