Teddy Bear Tuesday: ShellieMay available at Walt Disney World and Disneyland!

I've been excitedly reporting over on my Princess Rants Facebook page about the release of ShellieMay merchandise at WDW and DL, and entirely forgot to share my excitement here on my blog! 

Guess what!!! ShellieMay merchandise is finally available in the parks and - even better! - online at the DisneyStore.com! :-)

 

My girls fell in love with Duffy on our very first trip to Disney in 2011, and immediately started dressing him in Princess costumes from Build-a-Bear Workshop. A little googling turned up the information that a girl-Disney Bear was available.... but only in Tokyo. I am fortunate to have a global network of friends from Grad School and we were able to get Viola her very own ShellieMay bear from Tokyo DisneySea for her birthday in April 2012. ShellieMay has been a constant companion ever since! 

Even though her merchandise was released earlier this year at Aulani, we had given up hope that she'd ever make the move to mainland USA when the Duffy Meet&Greet was closed in September. It's great to be wrong! I'm so excited that many more kids will get to enjoy sharing adventures with ShellieMay now!

We are keeping our fingers crossed that if her merchandise sells well, that there might be a return of Duffy Meet&Greet and a ShellieMay Meet&Greet someday down the road! That would be the best! :-)

This makes the giveaway that I had just started for our spare ShellieMay from Aulani a bit pointless now, of course! I have always had terrible timing! :-)

Teddy Bear Tuesday: Farewell Duffy Bear!

Disney quietly retired Duffy the Disney Bear last week --- the meet & greet character, not the merchandise. I happened to be down at Walt Disney World for an impromptu grown-ups trip without my daughters. As we were walking through EPCOT I decided to stop by Duffy’s pavilions for one last photo shoot. I felt a little silly, I mean… it’s just a guy (or gal) in a costume, right? But when I got up there and it was my turn, I felt unexpectedly emotional. Duffy has been a big part of my girls’ lives since they were little--- they take their Duffy bears everywhere,  on lots and lots of adventures! I think their Duffy bears have more clothes than I do. Eventually we splurged and imported Duffy’s friend, ShellieMay, from Tokyo Disney thanks to eBay --- and she definitely has more clothes than I do.

I know that Duffy isn’t considered a very popular character and there are many theories why: some folks saw Duffy as a blatant merchandising money grab, a “made-up” character. I wonder if the choice to bring Duffy with his EPCOT lands wardrobe wasn’t part of the problem--- if they’d brought of ShellieMay and a closet full of tiny princess dresses I think the franchise might have gone much differently.  In anycase, my girls loved Duffy---- genuinely loved him. And to see him leaving the parks was like watching a little bit of their childhood leaving too.

I’m glad I got one last snuggly hug and visit in! 

My girls had been patiently waiting and waiting for ShellieMay to make the switch to the US. When her merchandise was brought to Aulani in Hawaii the girls got really excited that a Disney World Shellie would soon follow. I don’t know what the retirement of Duffy means for that…. it’s a bit confusing since a new English version ShellieMay book was just released. Maybe Duffy isn’t gone for good, just hibernating a bit until he can be re-introduced with his better half? The Disney rumor experts seem to think that that is unlikely, but I'm staying optimistic! 

Who is ShellieMay you ask?  No other than Disney favorite girl! Here are some of our favorite ShellieMay pictures: 

Teddy Bear Tuesday: Padawan Duffy

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

We went to see Avengers2 this weekend and were treated with the Star Wars: Force Awakens trailer in 3D! It looks amazing!!! I can't believe it comes out later this year! I'm so, so excited!!

Duffy is, of course, a big Star Wars fan, obviously. So, we took every opportunity on our last trip to get some pictures of him in his Jedi Training Academy outfit (though his lightsaber got misplaced somewhere along the way!)


Speaking of Star Wars and bears, on Monday Build-a-bear let folks preorder Chewbacca stuffed animals.

I hope this means that we'll have a bunch of new Star Wars teddy bear merchandise to look forward to as we get closer to December, both from BABW and from Disney! Hey, maybe ShellieMay will have finally made it to the USA by then?  She'll make a great Teddy Princess Leia! Fingers crossed!

Teddy Bear Tuesday: Prince Charming

Happy Teddy Bear Tuesday! I thought you might enjoy this pictures from our 2015 trip! The teddy-sized Prince Charming outfit was hard to come by, but what else could he wear to meet Cinderella, dine in the castle, and ride the Regal Carousel? :-) 

This isn't Duffy's first visit to Cinderella's Royal Table, either. He escorted ShellieMay there on our last trip in 2013! See for yourself the adorableness!

After breakfast we swung by one of the girls' favorite rides so that Duffy could photobomb Mr. Winnie the Pooh.... or maybe is it the other way around?  

Teddy Bear Tuesday: All I want for Christmas is a Duffy Bear!

Folks who know me well, know that I'm not a big fan of babies. Whatever that gene is that gets folks crooning over itty bitty newborns--- I don't have it. I'm actually quite terrified of tiny babies. They so small and fragile and prone to vomiting.... but the great thing about babies is that they don't stay that way for long! Within the blink of the eye you no longer have an infant anymore and you suddenly have a toddler!  And toddlers are, hands down, the best thing ever!

When Viola was about three, she finally started to grasp the idea of Christmas, which was pretty exciting for me as I had grand plans for a grand Christmas tree stuffed with presents for us --- I mean, for her to play with. The company I worked for, situated in the heart of downtown Detroit, always had a Santa in the lobby starting in about the middle of November. One night after work I took her down to see Santa; as we waited in line I tried to coach Viola on how this whole wish-list thing worked. "You can ask for anything you want!" I explained, "A puppy! A bicycle! A helium floating shark!" 

Much to my surprise, when she climbed onto Santa's lap what she asked for was..... a teddy bear. It was kind of a let down, really.  I mean, she had teddy bears already --- lots of them. What I really wanted... I mean, what she really wanted was a puppy! 

After that visit, I'd explained that she didn't have to stick to her request for a teddy bear. When she wrote her letter to Santa she could change her mind and ask for something else (like a puppy!) But she was resolute--- she wanted a teddy bear. Period. Every opportunity she had to see a Santa it was the same thing, "Pleeeeeeeeaaase, bring me a teddy bear?"  

About a week later, we made our first (impromptu) trip to Walt Disney World, where we met Duffy the Disney Bear for the first time. Clearly, it was fate. What Viola had wished for most of all was a very special teddy bear, and what could get more special than Mickey's own BFF?

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But since the teddy bear was meant to come from Santa, we had to get through our trip without buying one... which was easier said than done as there were stacks of Duffy bears in literally every single souvenir store and  this kid really wanted a teddy bear. When she gets to batting her eyelashes and pouting her pouty lips it's very hard to say no, trust me. Viola was beginning to understand numbers, but fortunately for me she didn't yet understand decimal points. I told her that the Duffy Bears were $3,000.00! and that there was no way mommy could possibly afford such a special but expensive teddy bear. She would just have to be very good and hope that Santa brought one for her for Christmas. 

Which, of course, she was. And which, of course, he did. 

Duffy has been her constant companion ever since, joining us on most trips and adventures. For the past three years we've had a great time building our Teddy Bear photo album of all the places we've seen together. She even has a "little Duffy" (keychain bear) hooked to her backpack whom accompanies her to school every day. And in 2013 the Duffy Bear tradition passed on to little sister Evangeline. So, in retrospect her seemingly simple Christmas wish was probably the best one ever.... and we got a puppy, too! :-)