Duffy the Bear Debuts in Epcot at Walt Disney World
Duffy the Bear was introduced to Epcot at an Annual Passholders Event held September 18, 2010.
While Duffy is mostly unknown in the US Disney Theme Parks, he is VERY well known and extremely popular at Tokyo Disneyland (Jack Spence's Blog on Duffy!) Although I did meet a woman who drove 3.5 hours this morning to see Duffy and she had a large size Duffy with her!
If you are wondering just who Duffy the Bear is....... there are storyboards in the queue line and in the store to help enlighten you!
Today, Duffy made his official debut in Epcot! In true Disney fashion, he received an Official Welcome with a short opening ceremony, followed by a ribbon cutting.
Today, Duffy was making 2 appearances: 12:20pm - 2:30pm and 3:45pm - 7:00pm. Be sure to check the times guide, or at Guest Relations to confirm the time Duffy will appear during your visit.
The ceremony was to begin at noon and a good size crowd was already waiting when I arrived about 11:15am. Several folks in the crowd were Japanese Cast Members who work in Epcot.
A few Cast Members were handing out Duffy cutouts which are now part of the Epcot Kidcot Fun Spots!
Vanessa Rosas - WDW Ambassador, began the festivities! She welcomed everyone and then introduced Liz Boice, Senior Vice President of Merchandise Development.
Soon Epcot Vice President Dan Cockerell joined Liz on the stage.
Duffy and Mickey made a grand entrance being brought over by a Friendship Boat in the lagoon. Oh, and Duffy has his very own song too!
Time for the official ribbon cutting of Duffy's Epcot Home.
Duffy led us to his Meet and Greet location, but before greeting guests, he posed for photos with Dan.
Long before I arrived after 11am, a line of guests waiting patiently to meet Duffy had already formed.
Duffy is ready to meet his Guests!
This fan's excitement was echoed by most folks who came to see Duffy. In fact, there were quite a few adults in line without children.
Soon it was time for Duffy's first break of the day and his hostess escorted him back stage.
These ladies were very excited about their US encounter with Duffy the Bear!
And lest you wonder about Duffy Merchandise..... there is plenty! From a closet full of costumes, to key chains, to Duffy in various sizes and more. In fact, all the "World Showcase" costumes for Duffy were sold out today. More are expected soon! And, there will be plenty of holiday merchandise for Duffy too!!!