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October 14, 2012

Disney character costumes among kids' top picks for Halloween 2012

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Party City analyzes pop culture, the latest fashion trends and Hollywood blockbusters to prepare for the year's biggest costume crazes. This year, the Halloween retailer is sharing which characters you can expect to see when you open the door to trick-or-treaters. It's probably no surprise that Disney characters are perennial favorites.

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Classic Disney Princess costumes are always big sellers for little girls, the retailer says. This year, though, look for a new addition to the royalty -- Merida from Disney-Pixar's "Brave." Sellers, including the Disney Store, have reproduced her "Hero" (green) and "Games" (blue) dresses for the spooky season.

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Cinderella also is expected to be popular because the classic movie was released on Diamond Edition Blu-ray and Disney HD Digital for the first time on Oct. 2. Disney Store is anticipating the demand for Cinderella costumes by offering three versions: original Cinderella, Deluxe Wedding Cinderella and Limited Edition Cinderella. The store points out that all Disney Princess costumes feature story-telling trim on their skirts, with shimmering glitter accents and intricate details.

The Disney Fairies are big business this year, too, likely because of the popularity of PIxieHollow.com and the direct-to-DVD movies. "Secret of the Wings," which stars Tinker Bell and her long-lost sister Periwinkle, will be released on Oct. 23. (Periwinkle already is greeting guests at the Magic Kingdom.)

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For boys, it's all about the superheros, and this certainly is the year with Disney acquiring Marvel and "The Avengers" being released in theaters and on DVD. Disney Stores are selling Captain America, Thor, The Hulk and Iron Man costumes. Younger boys may identify more with Jake from "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," a popular television show on Disney Junior.

Can't find a costume modeled after your child's favorite Disney character? Try giving the Walt Disney World mail order department a call at 877-560-6477 because the Disney Parks carry different selections than the national retail chain. For example, Disney Store isn't selling any costumes from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise this year, but the gift shop outside the ride at Magic Kingdom offers two swashbuckling boys costumes and one for wenches. We also spotted a rare Perry the Platypus costume at Disney's Hollywood Studios last month. Also, many of the costumes in the parks come in sizes that are larger than what Disney Store carries.

If you're feeling creative, you may be able to piece together a costume to represent a beloved character. Perhaps your child is anticipating "Wreck-It Ralph" and would love to dress up as the title character. Or your child is obsessed with Club Penguin and wants to be a puffle. How about hard-to-find Phineas and Ferb costumes?

Several years ago when the "High School Musical" and "Camp Rock" movies were popular and costumes had yet to flood the store shelves, I had to come up with Troy and Shane costumes for my son and Mitchie and Gabriella outfits for my daughter. I'm not a seamstress, so I resorted to many shopping trips to find items that would mimic what they wore in the TV movies.

Have a tip or creative idea for a Disney character costume? Tell us in the comments, please.


September 6, 2012

New Phineas and Ferb interactive experience opens at Downtown Disney

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Phineas and Ferb, characters from the Disney Channel hit show, are turning up in yet another spot at Walt Disney World. Now, guests don't even have to go into the theme parks to meet up with the animated versions of the duo and their counterparts Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Agent P.

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Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality is a virtual experience set up adjacent to Bongos Cuban Cafe on the West Side of Downtown Disney. Guests queue up in a themed area, and when their turns arrive, they step into a fenced area to interact with the characters on a large screen before having their photos taken.

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There are 20 different pre-programmed scenarios, including dancing "The Platypus Walk" to getting caught in Dr. Doof's Freeze-inator. My daughter had the honor of "pushing" Perry the Platypus (Agent P) in a stroller. Cast members help position each guest in the photo area to compose the image, which then can be retrieved and shared online afterward.

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Each experience at Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality lasts only a couple minutes, which keeps the line moving and the wait down. It's so simple that guests of all ages can have fun participating, and it's free. Clearly this is not a complex attraction, but it is great for killing time while guests are waiting for dinner or a movie nearby. And, of course, a Phineas and Ferb merchandise cart has been set up in front of the experience.

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Phineas and Ferb & YOU is open from 2 to 9:30 p.m. daily through December 1. If you're looking for a more three-dimensional experience with the characters, the pair actually meets guests daily at Hollywood Studios near the exit to Muppet Vision 3D. Also, guests also can find Perry and Dr. Doofenshmirtz at Agent P's World Showcase Adventure at Epcot, which opened this summer. (To read my review of the new Epcot attraction, please click here.)

Expect to see a lot more of Phineas, Ferb, Perry and others from the hit Disney Channel animated series in the days ahead. After all, they will appear in their first feature-length, 3-D movie next summer. Various web reports have stated that, though the characters will be animated, the film will be a live-action theatrical release and that it, like the TV series, will feature musical numbers.

July 24, 2012

Disney characters bring magic to your house with calls and postcards

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What child wouldn't be thrilled to have a favorite Disney character call him or her? It's not impossible. In fact, Disney families have three choices for such calls and they're all free, courtesy of The Walt Disney Company.

Kids turning 2 to 7 years old can receive a birthday message from the title character in "Jake and The Never Land Pirates," Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse via phone and animated video. You can even request both greetings.

To sign up, Disney fans must register on Disney.com and subscribe to the Disney Junior "It's Your Birthday!" mailing list. (If you're already a member, make sure you have opted to receive The Disney Junior offer.) Then, sit back and wait for your instructions. You'll receive an email about five weeks before your child's birthday with an invitation to schedule your call and/or video.

This offer is limited to United States residents. Calls are not available to area codes originating from WA, GA, KY, MS, NE, TN, ID and LA. For full details, go to the official Disney page.

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If you have an older child, become a member of Disney Movie Rewards and you can surprise that special someone with a Disney Enchanted Call from his or her favorite character for any occasion. It's free to sign up on DisneyMovieRewards.com and easy to schedule the call. Enter code ENCHANTED CALL and then follow the online directions.

Enchanted Calls are open to residents of the United States and Canada, excluding Quebec and ID, WA, GA, KY, MS, NE, TN, and LA in the U.S. There is a limit of one call per member.

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Finally, if you will be vacationing on a Disney Cruise Line ship, let Mickey or Goofy share the news. Once you have logged in to Disney Cruise Line's planning page, you can select the character and theme before being given the option to personalize the call. Simple instructions will be given to schedule the phone call.

Residents of the states of ID, WA, GA, KY, MS, NE, TN, and LA ARE eligible for this promotion, but they must use alternate instructions to retrieve their calls. Guests can schedule these calls up to a year in advance. There is a limit of two calls per reservation.

See full Disney Cruise Line details or leave a message for a Disney support operator at 800-404-5590.

Also, guests who stay at Disneyland or Walt Disney World properties can request wake-up calls from the characters.

The Walt Disney Company has so many ways to sprinkle Pixie Dust and here is yet another way they extend the magic to your home. Kids can write letters to their favorite characters, and they will receive autographed postcards in return. What a great way to encourage writing and the lost art of handwritten letters! Be sure to have your children explain why the characters are special to them. (Parents also can pen these notes, especially if their children are too young to write or they are planning a surprise gift.)

Send your letter to either of these addresses and allow up to eight weeks for delivery:

Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

The Walt Disney Company
Attn: Fan Mail Dept.
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

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About Disney characters

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Disney characters category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disney Channel is the previous category.

Disney Collection by Vera Bradley is the next category.

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