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Merchandise / Souvenirs Archives

October 5, 2015

2015 Food and Wine Festival Merchandise and Special Packages

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Even though I am, admittedly, not much of a shopper, I do like to poke around the shops during the special events at Epcot. Last week found me nosing around the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival's Festival Center shop and the other Festival Shops scattered around the theme park's World Showcase to see what new, unusual and festival-specific merchandise was available.

One of the first things that caught my eye was this adorable Figment plush ($14.95)

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I know everyone loves Figment, and it turns out that Figment is the star of the festival character merchandise this year, along with Mickey of course. He is featured on all sorts of things...

This t-shirt ($24.95)...

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(You can also get the same shirt with sparkles for $32.95.)

Chef's toque ($19.95), apron ($26.95) and potholder ($12.95) ...

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You'll find a lot of non-character merchandise that marks the festival's 20th anniversary, too. I especially liked this giant-sized coffee mug ($14.95), which just MIGHT hold enough caffeine to get me started in the morning:

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I also thought these logo trash can salt and pepper shakers ($9.95) were too cute!

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And of course there's the requisite t-shirts ($27.95):

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Caps...

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And assorted glassware (shot glasses, etc.) and other drinking vessels, including this fancy, dishwasher-safe, insulated tumbler that keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot ($24.95):

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If you're looking for something new without the festival logo, you might want to go for the "Brews" line of merchandise. I think this line was started last year, but this year the items are really eye-catching, particularly this cap with a built-in bottle opener for those who never want to be caught unprepared ($24.95):

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Of course, there are t-shirts to go with it ($27.95)...

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Each year, the festival publishes a cookbook with the recipes from the menu items found in the Festival Marketplaces. This year's book is a real item to treasure, though -- it's a lovely hardbound book ($24.95), with a history of the festival over the past two decades. It's going on my cookbook shelf, for sure!

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If you'd like to carry your own utensils with you, the festival has thought of that, too -- the shops offer a branded plastic knife, fork and spoon set in a convenient container ($14.95).

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I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the festival poster ($24.95, or $209.95 signed and framed). I apologize for the glare, but no matter where I went, it was a problem:

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And of course there are Limited Edition festival pins -- this one is $14.95:

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Speaking of pins, you have the chance to get some fun pins if you play the new Remy's Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt. Buy a map at the shop at the World Showcase Plaza for $9.95 then look for hidden Remy's around the International Marketplaces, affixing the appropriate sticker to the map when you spot him. Return the map, and receive your choice of one of eight different Remy pins. (Of course, party-poopers like me who don't have the time or desire to find the hidden Remys can pick up their pin when they purchase the game map!)

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I had the chance to speak with Ashley Taylor of Park Event Operations about the merchandise and some of the festival's special packages, too. You can see our little chat here:

Hope this helps you decide what you're going to be spending your festival souvenir dollars on!

Happy shopping!

June 6, 2014

Marketplace Co-Op Opens at Downtown Disney

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As part of the "re-imagining" of Downtown Disney, a new retail space opened today on the site of the former Team Mickey spot in the Marketplace. Known as the Marketplace Co-Op, the location serves as a "testing space for new Disney retail concepts, shops and products," and houses six small boutique-type shops under one roof.

I was over at Downtown Disney early this morning for a Disney Vacation Club member preview before the official 11 a.m. opening and had the chance to poke around a bit. I confess that I'm not much of a shopper, but I really did enjoy the space, which is open and airy with a great variety of merchandise offered.



The Trophy Room's merchandise has a weathered, vintage look, and some really unique displays made from recycled materials -- an old leather suitcase, stadium seats and the like. There are t-shirts, caps, hoodies, and memorabilia, such as old-fashioned bobbleheads.

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Beautifully Disney dedicates its space to a line of cosmetics and beauty accessories with color palettes themed around Disney characters. The most recent line, dubbed "Curioser and Curioser" with an Alice in Wonderland motif, is currently featured, and a new Villains line, highlighting nefarious females such as Mother Gothel from Tangled, is set to debut here in August. There's also a spot here where cast members will regularly help you apply their make-up for a mini-makeover.

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At D-Tech on Demand, you can find the latest in accessories for your electronic devices, all with a Disney motif, but more than that, you can customize your mobile phone cases... right on the spot. With the aid of a touch screen, you can choose your favorite character, theme park or even resort, add your name and a black or white border (or bumper as they called it) and within five minutes your case is ready for you to take home. I saw iPhone, Samsung and Android cases -- will need to verify if others are available. Cost of these customized cases is $44.95, but there's an entire wall of other cases -- including a few Limited Edition "Frozen" cases -- available for $36.95.

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Tween girls are targeted at the trendy Zoey and Pickles, with merchandise that includes funky accessories and casual apparel. I loved the sparkly shoes and some of the whimsical jewelry would be perfect for me teenage nieces.

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Cherry Tree Lane is the place for more upscale women's accessories, including the coveted Disney-themed Vera Bradley and Dooney & Bourke lines of handbags. The shope also features jewelry and scarves -- but the real attraction is the bags, as evidenced by the mountain of soft Vera Bradley bags they had on hand to appease anticipated opening day shoppers.

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Last but far from least is Disney Centerpiece, which sells housewares from dishes to textiles to wall art with subtle and not-so-subtle Disney designs and an emphasis on nostalgia. Of the six boutiques, this was clearly my favorite -- I was so tickled to see the small dishes with old attractions and logos, and so much tiki-type merchandise from the Polynesian resort. Although I don't really like to shop, I could be convinced to drop a small amount of my hard-earned pay here!

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With all the construction currently taking place, Downtown Disney is chaotic -- parking and walking around are real challenges. Still, a trip to this new Marketplace Co-Op is worth the effort, especially if you love to shop. I might suggest taking Disney transportation rather than parking if you can, just to save that particular hassle.

Let us know what you think of the new shops if you get the chance to stop by!


October 30, 2012

2012 Food and Wine Festival Merchandise

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If you're visiting Walt Disney World in the next few weeks, you'll surely be stopping by the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. When you do, you'll be impressed by the number of little specialty items you can take home as souvenirs for yourself or for favorite foodie.

There's a wide assortment of Festival logo merchandise this year, perhaps even more than in previous years. Along with the usual t-shirts (various styles/colors, but the one pictured is $31.95), caps, and tote bags, there are items for those who like to dabble in the kitchen and behind the bar, such as logo aprons ($24.95), oven mitt/potholder combos ($19.95), appetizer plates (four for $25) and shakers ($14.95).

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And of course, there's Duffy the Disney Bear, in his chef's toque, sporting a Food and Wine Festival emblem ($30).


But if you're looking for more unusual items, take a look in the Wine Shop in the Festival Center. There are miniature tequila bottles painted to resemble small "Day of the Dead" skulls for $9.95. The pretty bottle of Bohae Black Raspberry Wine (Bokbunjajoo), with its Asian influences apparent, makes a nice little gift, too, and sells for just $10.95. Another interesting bottle, not necessarily for what's outside, but more for what's on the inside, is that of the Chocolate Crave liqueurs. Made by John deKuyper and Sons, these sweet spirits feature Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Cherry flavors and sell for $21.95. They've only been out about a year, and are distinctively different -- especially the Chocolate Chili. (Just remember, if you're flying home, you'll have to pack these liquid items in your checked luggage!)


If you're a fan of the Disney artist NOAH, you'll want to snap up a few of the Festival art pieces he's had a hand in designing this year. Aside from the Festival poster ($24.95), you'll find his designs, which deceptively resemble photography, but are actually paintings of bottles and wine in warm brown and golden hues, on clocks ($39.95), cutting boards, coasters, mugs, ceramic tile trivets, serving dishes and more. There are even some fine art pieces by NOAH, including some framed artwork that cost more than $1000. (OK, maybe those aren't exactly souven-ears, but they were so impressive I had to mention them -- I even spotted a Hidden Mickey in one piece.)



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In addition to the merchandise specific to the event, the Festival Center has done a good job of bringing together an array of other food-related Disney-designed items in one location. Mickey, Goofy and Donald each seem to have their own distinct lines of items, including aprons, clocks, and cutting boards, all of which will make nice take-home gifts.

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Happy Shopping!

June 2, 2009

Disney's PhotoPass on AllEars.Net

AllEars® Team Member Erin Blackwell brings us this blog entry on Disney's PhotoPass.

What can we tell you about Disney's PhotoPass? Well, like everything else on the site, we try to be as comprehensive as possible, so you have all the information you need for your Disney vacation. Let's start with the basics for everyone who hasn't been to the parks in awhile or is about to go for the first time!

What is Disney's PhotoPass? It used to be Disney's photographers would take pictures of you in a park and give you a slip of paper to claim the photos at the end of the day. If you forgot or if you couldn't get the picture(s) then, you were out of luck. But now, that's all changed... and for the better! With the advantages of digital photography, Disney created the only system of this kind: the photographers still take pictures of your vacation, but now you can claim that any time, including online for 30 days after your trip is over. From there you can view your photos, order prints, and create photo keepsakes. Many guests say since PhotoPass has done away with the old system, they had more photos taken.

ppass-cards.jpgThe first time you have your picture taken, the photographer will give you a plastic Disney's PhotoPass card with an ID number on the back. Hang onto that card and use it for the duration of your trip. In fact, you can hang on to it and use it on every trip you take! Each time you see one of the roving photographers and want a photo taken, just go up and hand them your card - they'll get you situated, snap the pose, scan your card and off you go - and you can do this as often as you like.

By the way, you're not limited to one card. If you and others in your party each have a card, or you forgot yours in your room so you get another, it doesn't matter. Your online account will take the ID numbers from all those cards and combine them, so everything's in one place.

ppass-wrist.jpgYou'll also get a separate card if you attend a special event such as Halloween parties, and the Walt Disney World water parks give you a small card on a wrist strap like the one on the right. These cards are getting so popular, the Magic Kingdom now offers them at Pixie Hollow, and hopefully, that'll expand to all the parks.

The most important thing is the ID number on the back of the card. All of your photos are linked to that code, so write it down, take a clear picture of it, or save it somehow. That way, if you lose your card, you still have your pictures! You can even send this ID number to someone at home, so they can look at your pictures online and share in your trip. They can also tell you if a picture didn't come out well, so you can have it done again.

Each park at Disneyland and Walt Disney World has PhotoPass Centers, and even some of the resorts, so you can look at them while you're on your vacation. But since they're online for 30 days, from the date the photo was taken, you just go to http://www.disneyphotopass.com, register for free, and enter the ID number on the back of the card(s). Now you can add characters and borders, look at the Disney Gallery for their pictures, and figure out what kind of products you might like.

So where are the photographers? That's the biggest question that I hear. Where are they? How do you recognize them? I'm going to give you two ways of finding them. You'll be able to print these (and even download them to a PDA) so you can have them while you're at the parks.

photopass-photographers.jpgFirst, how do you recognize them? Most Disney PhotoPass photographers wear the same basic costume: dark shorts or pants, white shirt, and, most times, a khaki photographer's vest. One exception are the photographers on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom; look for blue and white pinstripe shirts, with white pants and oversized beret-type hats. Both costumes are pictured on the left.

Second, the next big question: where are they? And "why doesn't Disney have maps for them!" Actually, Disney does have maps for the photographer locations. It's true that they aren't on the maps you get in the parks; Disney feels the locations can change so much, the paper maps become too easily obsolete.

But! The All Ears.Net PhotoPass page gives you the link for the only Disney PhotoPass maps; they're online and in PDF format, broken down by the six parks: Disneyland, California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios. Just look for the camera icons on the map to find the photographers. You also get some general tips and where you can find the PhotoPass Center in that park.

I said I'd give you another way to find them, and here it is: each PhotoPass page on the site (one for Disneyland parks, and one for Walt Disney World) lists each location. I also give tips like the official maps and the PhotoPass Centers, but (putting on infomercial voice) wait, there's more! The pages give additional tips like characters in each section, and what can you get in the "magical photos", plus the restaurants, special event locations, and resorts. You can read these Disneyland PhotoPass locations and Walt Disney World PhotoPass locations tables, and use the print link to take them with you!

Remember: because of the weather, character times, and photographer availability, photo locations are subject to change without notice. Some locations are meant to be temporary: my husband and I had our picture taken by a photographer taking advantage of the sunset on a lagoon, as an example.

Some readers reported seeing fewer photographers lately; the good news is, Disney is bringing in more, so this problem can be resolved.

Note: one PhotoPass location outside the parks is the NYC World of Disney store, so you can get a touch of Disney while visiting the Big Apple.

laura-balloons.jpg"Magical photos"? Yes, Virginia, I did say "magical photos". They can also be called "special poses" or "magical poses". The photographers will ask you to pose in what might seem like odd ways: cupping your hands, pointing to the ground, looking surprised.... They do this because characters are added into the photo, like you crossing swords with Captain Hook or Stitch popping out of the ground. The latest magical photo is the Mickey balloons, like you see in All Ears team member Laura's hands. Disneyland told Laura they've only been available for a month. My personal opinion is, they've been added to coincide with the balloon theme for "What Will You Celebrate?", but it could just be, the balloons look great!

jack-balloons.jpgOne Disney manager told team member Jack Spence that these balloons are available at all PhotoPass locations. We haven't tested all the places, but we can say that they're definitely available at these two locations:

Disneyland in front of the train station: as you see with Laura.

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Disney's Hollywood Studios on Sunset Boulevard, as you can see with Jack on the left.

Ask if you get the balloon pose in other locations, and if you do, please let AllEars® know! More on that later.

The other newer magical photo that I've seen is also at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and it's Stitch bursting out of a hat in your hands. They offer it on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.

Professional Portrait Service: Walt Disney World offers a private portrait session for you and your party at five of their hotels: The Grand Floridian, The Polynesian, The Beach Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the newest location, Wilderness Lodge. (Each of these also has their own PhotoPass center.) For full information, check the Disney's PhotoPass page for Walt Disney World under Locations & Tips.

General tips: this section on the pages is about what you'd expect - tips on making Disney's PhotoPass work for you. The most important tip is what I said above: save that ID number! Others tips include help with dining locations, pictures with children, and not forgetting the great opportunity for beautiful night photos.

Ways to save money: that perked up the ears, didn't it? And why not? Who wouldn't like to save money? Disneyland guests save money on the PhotoCD of all your pictures, but did you know there is a way to get that price when you have a trip to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland?

Walt Disney World guests: If you booked your trip through either via Disneyworld.com or through Disney's Reservation Center, you will get an email from Disney Destinations called "Disney Vacation Must Sees for the (name) Family". It is sent approximately mid-way between when a reservation is booked and the arrival date (or 45 days prior to the arrival date if the mid-way point is more than 45 days prior to arrival). The email has a link to pre-order the PhotoCD and save! (Note: This is the ONLY way to get the link now and you only get this link if you booked your trip through the 2 ways described above. At this time, you will not get the discount if you booked through a travel agent, if you're staying off-property, or if you are a DVC member. Also, you must pre-order the PhotoCD to get the savings, you cannot do it during or after your trip, and the link is not transferable.)

Look for other ways to save money in this section. Of course, it lists all the products you can purchase; they're the same for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. If you've been to these sections before, one of the updates is to product prices. Some even went down.

Yes, Virginia, you read that right: some prices went down.

Tips on Posing: here's a whole new section added to the pages. It deals with what kind of fun and creative poses you can do. Some photographers are great with this and so are some guests. One of AllEars.Net's photographers, Lisa Berton, for example, got an apple to pose with the Evil Queen from Snow White poisoning her. She also used the crowd behind her at Cinderella's Castle to do a "I crush your head! Crush! Crush!" pose. (Everyone who knows Lisa is nodding their heads right now and grinning.)

Another that I really love is Mickey cupping his hands with a couple's hands folded on top of his, displaying their wedding rings like you would in a wedding album. It's a lovely "intimate" photo that is all Disney.

So check out these new sections to inspire your imagination and have fun!

Contacting PhotoPass: Two things that never change (besides death and taxes): 1) people make mistakes and 2) so do the machines they create. Your photos might not show up in your account, or you have some other reason you need to contact Disney's PhotoPass. The pages give you five different ways to do this: their contact form, 3 different email addresses, and their phone number.

The only difference between the Contact PhotoPass section for Disneyland vs Walt Disney World is: the latter also has the phone number for the Portrait Sessions and the NYC World Of Disney store.

Both also have a link to the Disney's PhotoPass Help FAQ.

What's coming up: For Disney's PhotoPass? Quite a lot, I'm sure: locations are fluid, technology improves, more and more special events are created. For the PhotoPass pages on AllEars.Net? My next big update will be Photo Galleries. This way, you will see all the "magical photos" characters, some of the creative poses you can do, Special Events, and PhotoPass pictures in general.

Of course, I need to keep the pages current so they're useful. One way I do that, in addition to whining badgering politely asking people on the team for help, is reading the feedback, tips and reviews from our readers. Please send in what you learn about Disney's PhotoPass. You help out me and your fellow guests!

Thank you to Jack Spence who dared to open an email with the subject line "Good Morning, Mr. Phelps" where I begged asked for help, and to Laura Gilbreath for all her help!

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About Merchandise / Souvenirs

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to AllEars® Team Blog in the Merchandise / Souvenirs category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Limited Time Magic is the previous category.

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