Duffy the Disney Bear

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Duffy the Disney Bear
Duffy the Disney Bear
Duffy at a Hong Kong greeting
Information
AliasMy First Disney Bear
Disney Bear
SpeciesBear
AffiliationDisney Parks
Significant otherShellieMay

Duffy the Disney Bear is a Disney parks stuffed bear found at the Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland and formerly at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in California, and Walt Disney World in Florida.

Duffy has two Mickey Mouse features - a similarly shaped face and hip Mickey birthmark. Duffy is unique among Disney characters in that he was not first featured in a Disney movie or TV show[1] until he made his television debut in the 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

History[edit]

The Disney Bear was initially created for and briefly sold at the Disney World's Downtown Disney Once Upon a Toy shop in Orlando in 2002 as a unique product for its opening. The Oriental Land Company, looking for fresh ideas, adopted the character in 2004, giving it a name, a sailor suit, and a backstory. They aggressively marketed it in the Tokyo DisneySea park.[1] He was added as a walk-around character, becoming a regular character in 2005.[2] In 2005, the bear, as "My First Disney Bear," was the boys' substitute toy given out at the Perfectly Princess Tea Party at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.[3] Executives next added the My Friend Duffy show at a DisneySea restaurant. Due to Duffy's popularity amongst Japanese fans (as teddy bears in Japan are culturally lauded regardless of age), the park set limits on the number a guest could buy. Women aged 20 to 35 lined up at stores with any new costume release.[1]

Through the One Disney theme-park/corporate initiative of sharing IP/ideas, Duffy the Disney Bear was exported to the other Disney Parks. The American Disney parks welcomed Duffy on October 14, 2010. He then joined Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on November 19, 2010.[1]

DisneySea began expanding the Duffy franchise with the addition of three Duffy's friends starting in 2011. His girlfriend, ShellieMay was debuted that year with Gelatoni the Cat in 2014.[3] StellaLou, a bunny, was introduced on April 4, 2017, as a part of Easter celebration at the park.[2]

The next two friends debuted at other Disney Parks and Resorts. In 2018, Hong Kong Disneyland debuted CookieAnn the Dog.[3] 'Olu the Turtle was introduced at Aulani in July 2018.[4]

Fictional character history[edit]

Duffy was previously known as "The Disney Bear" with an entirely different backstory. In the original story, Tinker Bell gave Mickey's face to the blank-faced and nameless teddy bear.[5]

As the current Duffy story goes, Minnie Mouse hand sewed Duffy for Mickey Mouse as he was packing for a long voyage at sea. She presented him in a duffel bag, hence his name.[1][2]

Related characters[edit]

Duffy and ShellieMay.
  • ShellieMay (2011 debut @ Tokyo DisneySea), a female teddy bear who is Duffy's girlfriend that was also made by Minnie Mouse.[3]
  • Gelatoni (2014 @ Tokyo DisneySea), a grey cat who loves painting based at Tokyo DisneySea's Mediterranean Harbor[3]
  • StellaLou (April 4, 2017 @ Tokyo DisneySea), a lavender and pink ballet bunny with an aqua bow and tutu; made limited appearances until August 31, 2017; Duffy supports her goal of dancing on Broadway.[2] On August 10, 2017, the bunny made its first appearance at Hong Kong Disneyland.[6]
  • CookieAnn (2018 @ Hong Kong Disneyland), a dog that typically cooks waffles.[3]
  • 'Olu (July 27, 2018 @ Aulani), a ukulele playing sea turtle.[4]

Park attractions[edit]

  • My Friend Duffy show (at Cape Cod Cook-off at the "Old Cape Cod" section of American Waterfront at Tokyo DisneySea)[1]
  • Meet and Greet (Tokyo DisneySea American Waterfront in front of the S.S. Columbia)[2]
  • Meet and Greet (Epcot's World Showcase) ended Saturday, October 3, 2015[7]
  • "My Journeys with Duffy" meet and greet and shop (Main Street Cinema, Hong Kong Disneyland) Duffy with ShellieMay and Gelatoni; They are joined by StellaLou on 10 August 2017 and CookieAnn in 2018.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Garcia, Jason (November 23, 2010). "Duffy the Disney Bear lands on U.S. shores". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tribou, Richard (March 29, 2017). "Disney gives Duffy the Bear fans another character to obsess over". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Niles, Robert (July 20, 2018). "Who's who in Disney's 'Duffy Plush Universe'?". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Tuttle, Brittani (July 20, 2018). "Duffy's new friend 'Olu to debut at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Mumpower, David (May 24, 2017). "Who Are the Best Characters Ever Created at Disney Parks?". Theme Park Tourist. p. 1. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  6. ^ a b (in Chinese)"Duffy新朋友StellaLou 進駐香港迪士尼". Oriental Daily News. 10 August 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |newspaper= (help) Translated: Duffy's new friend StellaLou enters Hong Kong Disneyland.
  7. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 23, 2015). "5 Walt Disney World Meet and Greet Characters Who Were Retired Forever in 2015". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved August 14, 2018.

External links[edit]