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: Mermaid Shellie May

Happy Teddy Bear Tuesday! As you might have guessed after our Ariel Birthday Party last month, mermaids are a fan favorite in our house. So, of course, Shellie and May have their own Ariel costumes. And, of course, they packed those Ariel costumes in their teddy bear suitcases for our 2015 trip to Walt Disney World!  

We purchased these beautiful hand-made dresses from Connie (HotTotsCoolKids) on Etsy for Eva's birthday party. They were worth every penny! I had talked to Connie about doing Duffy Bear-themed dresses for our trip, but unfortunately my budget wouldn't allow it .... next time, for sure! The girls received so many compliments on their outfits, and had so much fun doing twirling competitions while we waited in line!

Frozen merchandise finally coming to Build-a-Bear!

Frozen merchandise is coming to Build-a-Bear "in time for the holiday shopping season". Honestly, I'm surprised it took them so long! We've been getting by since last Christmas with the Anna/Elsa American Girl sized costumes that "Santa" brought (from Etsy), but the girls get frustrated getting them on/off their ShellieMay bears

I'm pretty surprised that BABW was able to license sound bites for the popular movie songs.... I was hoping to avoid buying more bears, but that might be hard to do, they look so cute! And apparently they'll sing!! Alternatively, I'm thinking maybe I can work the soundchips into the bears' costumes somehow in the same way that some of the Limited Edition costumes have singing amulets...I sense some bedazzling in my future. :-)

UPDATE: Shortly after finishing up this post I received a VIP email from BABW that the Frozen merchandise was available from the online store. I tried, but was unable to place an order online. So, I called up and ordered the costumes for the girls via their customer service line and they said that they were experiencing a ton of calls even though the email went out to "only the VIP list". Our local BABW location said that they'll have the bears available on the 1st of November, so we're going to try and go make the bears this Saturday.... I wanted to make sure we got the costumes, just in case they sell out, but the girls LOVE making their own bears so I decided not to buy the bears from the online store, and take our chances on the 1st... the woman I spoke with said that they'd received 5 crates of Elsa and Anna bears.... hopefully that'll last a few hours! :-)

Below are our handmade from 'Santa' bear costumes, purchased from EliesStitches (Etsy)

Teddy Bear Tuesday: Fairy House Shopping

Last weekend we drove out to Holly for the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Viola wore her new (off brand) Tinkerbell costume and Evangeline her (hand me down, Theme park) Rapunzel dress. It was a sparkling, sun-shining day and likely the last warm day of the summer. Both ShellieMay bears came dressed as fairies. The first thing that the girls wanted to do, of course, was find the fairy houses. 

The last time that we were are the RenFest the fairy houses were hidden throughout the grounds in flower gardens here-and-there, and it was a delight to find them unexpectedly. This year, they'd been herded together into a fairy house subdivision toward the back of the festival. I had my doubts, but the girls actually seemed to enjoy them more this way. They spent forever peeking into every little door and window, exclaiming over the tiny details. There was much discussion over where their fairy-bears might want to reside, if they were tiny fairy-bear size... here are some of our favorites!  Enjoy!  :-)

All-in-all it was a great way to spend the last day of summer, with teddy bears and fairy houses. We ran into the good green fairy a couple times throughout the day. She was handing out fairy wishing stones, so the girls came home with lots of little sparkly hopes to put under their pillows before bedtime.