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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.

August 28, 2012

First look: 2012 Halloween costumes and merchandise at Disney World

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Parents everywhere just finished shopping for clothes and supplies associated with a new school year, and already the store shelves are starting to show signs of the next retail opportunity -- um, holiday -- Halloween.

Is it too soon to start planning Halloween costumes and parties?

Maybe for some parents, but if you're someone who enjoys sewing it's understandable that you need to start now on your handmade creations. And if you have more than one costume to whip up, you certainly need the extra time. Or, perhaps, you need to spread out the cost of multiple costumes, so starting the shopping early helps with the budget.

And then there are those of us who just love the excitement of the holiday and aren't bothered by the extended retail season. I really dislike seeing Christmas merchandise before Halloween, but I don't mind the orange and black before there's even a hint of coolness in the air. Strange, huh?

Recently, we noticed some of the first kids' Halloween costumes have made their way into stores on Disney World property. The resort regularly stocks Disney princess dresses, including that of the newest addition to the royal family, Merida from Disney-Pixar's Brave. (To read more about where to find Merida gowns for girls of all ages, please see my previous blog post.)

Pirate costumes for both boys and girls also are a staple, and the widest selection can be found in the gift shop adjacent to A Pirate's League and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Magic Kingdom. There are two boys' outfits -- Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner -- and one generic Disney pink pirate costume for girls, as well as many T-shirts and accessories to create your own look.

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At Disney's Hollywood Studios, we recently saw a kids' furry Perry the Platypus costume that was adorable. With this costume, only your child's face would escape the blue and orange of Agent P.

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Also at the Studios, we spotted the new 2012 Halloween Minnie Mouse costume, and Mickey's girl is taking on a more traditional look. For the last few years, Minnie's costume sold at Disney Parks was orange and purple. This year, it is orange and black polka dots with green trim and a Minnie Mouse cameo on the neckline. Although the coordinating hat wasn't in the store we visited, it is already online at DisneyStore.com.

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So far, we spied two new designs on Walt Disney World treat sacks for this year. The iconic glow-in-the-dark pumpkin Mickey bucket wasn't yet available, but it, too, is already online at DisneyStore.com.

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New this year: a green Haunted Mansion Mickey Mouse lantern and orange door hanger. And, of course, the Halloween Mickey and Minnie plush have been updated with their new costumes.

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You can bet Disney World retail locations will have more choices for Halloween costumes as the holiday approaches. Be sure to let us know if you've seen something new for 2012's Fright Night.

June 30, 2012

Phineas & Ferb attraction opens at Disney World

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Epcot's scavenger hunt through the global pavilions, Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, reopened last week as Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure. Recently, my kids and I accepted two missions from Phineas & Ferb's pet platypus so we could check out the new version of this game.

I'm calling it a new version because Agent P is just about the same game as Kim Possible. Disney has not changed the basic clues, for the most part, within the countries. Instead, the update comes from the new characters, which certainly are more recognizable for today's young Disney Channel viewers.

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Guests begin playing by stopping by one of four recruitment centers -- near Showcase Plaza, Italy, United Kingdom and Norway -- and a cast member will swipe one ticket per group and issue a F.O.N.E. (Field Operative Notification Equipment) device. If the game is not crowded, guests initially will be given three countries from which they can select a mission. After some simple instructions, you're on your way.

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We noticed a welcome improvement with this version: Guests can start playing Agent P immediately, if space is available. With Kim Possible, guests received tickets indicating their start times later in the day. Agent P can accommodate about 30 guests per country at a time, a cast member told me. Guests have the option to continue playing with another mission, if slots are open.

Our roles as secret agents first took us to France, where we were charged with helping Agent P defeat his nemesis, Dr. Doofenschmirtz. Each mission has between five and ten assignments with code names. France has some cute clues, including one where the secret agents are instructed, "Say fromage!" when their pictures are taken. If you select this country, be sure to play until the end, because there is a clever surprise from Agent P on the last assignment.

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When choosing the country of your mission, you might want to consider whether you'd like to play indoors or outside. In France, the assignments are all outside in the blazing Florida sun or afternoon rains. But in Mexico, where we landed on our second mission, the game was played inside the cool pavilion.

My elementary-school-age children really enjoy these types of scavenger hunts at Walt Disney World and they're big fans of Phineas & Ferb, so this was a fun attraction for them.

I think, though, that the other game of clues at Walt Disney World -- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom -- has a big advantage over Agent P. Each portal in the Magic Kingdom is a different experience for every guest because of the way he or she plays the cards. With Agent P, the clues are the same for everyone, so if a line forms during the assignments, you see the clues unlocked by the party ahead of you.

Still, Agent P is a great way to entice kids' into the World Showcase pavilions. Each mission only lasts about 30 minutes, so it's not a big time commitment, and kids of all ages can play this game, with a little help from their parents or older siblings.

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About Phineas & Ferb

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

Perry the Platypus is the previous category.

pin trading is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.