The Buzz

7 posts from September 2010

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Introducing the New

By Gina, Sep 29, 2010 3:21 PM

New Site

If you're a regular visitor to, you most certainly noticed some pretty big changes to the site today.  That's because just launched its new fully redesigned website featuring improved functionality, including easier navigation and faster page loading.  To tell us more about the new, Megan Ford from the E-Commerce and Site Optimization Team agreed to answer a few questions.

Gina:  What was the main reason for re-designing

Megan:  That’s an easy one…our guests!  Through direct feedback and behavior, our guests told us that they loved Disney, but they wanted a faster, easier shopping experience.  The site design project was initiated to significantly reduce page load times and enhance the browsing experience by surfacing more products and increasing navigation options.

Gina:  Can you elaborate on the enhancements to the new

Megan:  First, it’s much faster; No more waiting for pages to load!  Second, we have created a top-of-page navigation structure that allows the guest to choose how they would like to   shop.  Guests can visit landing pages for top product categories, characters, recipient  Hompage gender & age, brands, occasions, etc.  They can search, or they can go directly to a list of products from the 200+ links on our fly-out navigation.  Third, we have added scrolling product displays to many of our key pages.  Each of these displays constantly updates to show the 60 most popular products for each category.  They really do make browsing fun!  You can check them out on our homepage.

Gina:  From start to finish, how long did the redesign take?

Megan:  Ideas for an enhanced guest experience have been underway for years, but this new site project was officially launched in May of 2009 – so 17 months!   After almost a year and a half of hard work, the team is excited to finally share the new experience with guests. 

Gina:  Will the new platforms allow for constant evolution of the site?

Megan:  Absolutely.  One of the largest benefits of the new site format is that it is flexible.  We can quickly change product displays and navigation options as we continue to learn about how our guests want to shop.   We can feature top products by favorite Disney characters one day, and top gifts by age range the next.  And, there is more to come!  We have additional site enhancements planned to roll out throughout the year. 

Gina:  Thank you for taking the time to discuss the new site.  I can't wait to go shopping!

So, Buzz readers, what do you think of the all new

Remembrances of Things Past: Halloween Costumes

By Gina, Sep 28, 2010 5:41 PM

Kids love Halloween, and why shouldn't they?  It's the greatest holiday ever!  It's all about candy, going out at night and, perhaps most importantly, dressing up as your favorite character.  I remember as a kid, beginning about mid-September I'd start fantasizing about what I wanted to "go as" for Halloween.  The problem was, as wonderful as my mom was in most of the typical mom ways, she had virtually no ability to craft a decent Halloween costume.  This meant that my brother, sister and I would usually end up wearing the easiest costumes to cobble together from old clothes and bed sheets: hobos, gypsies and ghosts.  My dream of dressing as one of my favorite characters, Minnie Mouse, was finally realized one year when my mom decided to let us pick out "store bought" costumes. 

Vintage Minnie Mouse Costume Now, anyone who grew up between 1960 and 1980 will be familiar with the typical mass-produced costumes available during that time.  They usually consisted of a cheesy plastic mask with 3 tiny holes for the nostrils and mouth and two larger holes for the eyes.  The mask was was held in place by a length of stapled on elastic (that broke with the slightest amount of pressure.)  The rest of the costume was a vinyl or rayon smock which mimicked the clothing of the character it was meant to imitate and was usually (and inexplicably) illustrated with a picture of said character.  The edges of the plastic mask were often sharp and uncomfortable and the smell of the plastic combined with the warmth of one's own breath usually led to the the abandonment of the mask well before trick or treating was done.  Hey, maybe that the reason for the illustration of the character on the smock!

Girls Minnie Mouse Costume at DisneyStore.comI'll admit to feeling a certain bit of nostalgic fondness for those costumes from my childhood days.  After all, I got to dress up as Minnie Mouse instead of a hobo!  But the truth is the costumes themselves were pretty awful.  When I look at the costumes available now at Disney Store, it seems pretty clear that today's kids have a pretty amazing choice when it comes to quality and selection.  There are even great costumes for adults.  I don't think I have a single memory of my parents (or my friends' parents) dressing up in costume for Halloween.

Right now, you can save $10 on select costumes at Disney Store and .  But you better hurry for the best selection.

What are some of your favorite Disney Halloween costumes from your childhood? 

New Disney Store Opens in Mission Viejo 9/21 (Tomorrow!)

By Gina, Sep 20, 2010 4:39 PM

Magic is Back Listen up, good citizens of Mission Viejo and surrounding areas:  Disney Store will unveil its fourth newly designed store in Southern California at The Shops at Mission Viejo on Tuesday, September 21. (That's tomorrow!)  The new Disney Store is located on the second floor near the mall’s Dining Veranda.

The new Disney Store at The Shops at Mission Viejo will feature:

  • The Disney-Pixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ Attraction — Launching with three favorite CARS characters — Lightning McQueen, Mater and Sally — you'll have the opportunity to use tools to assemble your car, and use your imagination to customize it with a wide selection of rims, side pipes, hoods scoops, blown engines, spoilers and many more accessories. Disney-Pixar CARS-branded Ridemakerz toy vehicles will only be available within the new Disney Store design and, later this year, at Ridemakerz retail locations.
  • The Princess Castle — As you walk under the iconic (child-sized) castle you will encounter a magic mirror and with the wave of a wand, you'll watch in delight as your favorite Disney Princess character appears.
  • The Disney Store App — Accessed via an interactive kiosk with touch screen, this animated experience gives you the ability to navigate a 3-D view of all Disney Store and products and discover the latest Disney Store news via video clips, articles, and social media feeds. This application allows the Disney Store to share its news with you, so you can then share information and in-store events via email, Twitter and Facebook.
  • The Disney Store Theater — You'll be able to pick from a selection of pre-loaded content that will be updated regularly and view classic and new Disney entertainment, sneak-peek previews, music videos and more. The theater will also serve for special in-store events such as reading time, scavenger hunts and other fun happenings.

You'll also find an expanded assortment of exclusive Disney Store merchandise for kids of all ages, including select Adult Apparel and Disney Parks Authentic Vinylmation.

Imagination Park So, be among the first in Mission Viejo to hit the “Pixie Dust Trail” with its glistening blue glitter and let it lead you through the store as you enjoy a Disney-themed skyline and surrounding magical trees with their ever-changing colors, images, and music.  Here's the skinny:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
10:00 AM - FREE Mickey Mouse Ears to first 250 Guests

The Shops at Mission Viejo is located at:

555 The Shops At Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

If you can't make it tomorrow, don't worry 'cause there's a Grand Opening Celebration planned for Saturday, October 9th.  Mark your calendars!


Disney Triathlon Team Raises over $200K for Children's Hospital Los Angeles

By Gina, Sep 14, 2010 10:34 AM

On Sunday, September 12th, the Disney Triathlon Team competed in an event to raise money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  Makini Mask, one of my fellow Disney Store cast members, was on the team and files this report on her experience.  Go Team Disney!

Just Tri It

by Makini Mask

On Sunday September 12th, I completed my first triathlon. At some point last year I decided that I wanted to complete a tri. I’m not sure where this crazy idea came from, but it became more firmly rooted when I found out about the Disney Triathlon Team. If you are unfamiliar with triathlon it’s a sport that consists of three sports: swimming, biking, and running.

Team Photo at Race The Disney Triathlon team is an amazing group. Each year seasoned, dedicated, remarkable, super triathlete cast members train and inspire newbie Disney triathletes’ like me.  The mission of the club is simply “to promote a healthy lifestyle in the working environment by providing valuable resources for anyone who has the dedication to make a difference in their lives. In addition, the team raises money for children/family charities and provides a social network across the company.” There are structured workouts that the team leaders organize to help us train for our primary event, The Nautica Malibu Triathlon. The Nautica Malibu Triathlon consists of a half mile swim, an 18 mile bike ride, and a 4 mile run. It’s a charity event as well. Each Disney Tri Team member competing in the race has to raise at least $200. This money goes to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for their pediatric cancer unit.

For three months leading up to the event I trained with the Disney tri team and was more than prepared for race day. My race day started at 4:15am when I arrived at Zuma Beach in Malibu. My tires pumped and my tri bag packed, I left my car and headed over to the transition area where 325 of my Disney team members were setting up for the race. There were cast members from all over Disney participating. Tri team members had traveled from Florida, Pixar (in Emeryville), Anaheim, and all over LA to compete in the race. The team is comprised of people from all ages and varying athletic skill level. During this process I met team members who had just learned to swim and/or bike for the race, those who were on the journey to awe inspiring weight-loss, as well as those interested in improving and/or maintaining their overall health. We also had a few Disney celebrities (including Teri Hatcher) as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger on our team.

Continue reading "Disney Triathlon Team Raises over $200K for Children's Hospital Los Angeles" »

New "Tangled" Teaser: Double Tower

By Gina, Sep 10, 2010 1:45 PM

Walt Disney Animation Studios has released the first of several new videos promoting the upcoming animated film "Tangled."  This one parodies the famous (or perhaps infamous) "Double Rainbow" video that recently went viral on YouTube. The new "Tangled" video artfully manages to tease us with a look at Rapunzel's tower (exterior and interior) and her impossibly long golden tendrils of hair, and at the same time pokes some good-natured fun at the effusive and hypersensitive double rainbow guy.



By the way, you'll find a variety of "Tangled" items at Disney Store and, including costumes, toys and apparel.  Happy shopping!

Toy Story 3 DVD Available for Pre-Order

By Gina, Sep 03, 2010 12:28 PM

I'm no movie critic, but I'm going to make a pronouncement:  Toy Story 3 is the best movie of the year.  Yeah, I know, there are still a lot of films to see before year's end, but I can't imagine a more hilarious, adventurous and heartwarming film than Toy Story 3.  It's, dare I say it, perfect.  It's the kind of movie I can enjoy over and over... to infinity and beyond, if you will.  It's so great that, even though I don't normally buy movies to own, I'm definitely going to pre-order Toy Story 3: 2 Disc Blu-ray + DisneyFile + DVD at this weekend. 

"Wait just a second," you may be saying to yourself.  "I know what a Blu-ray is, but what's a DisneyFile?"  Well, let me tell you.  A DisneyFile Digital Copy is the "Disney-branded Digital Copy experience, which enables buyers of DVD and Blu-ray to receive the standard definition digital version of the movie in their choice of iTunes or Windows Media formats. The DisneyFile Digital Copy is located on a stand-alone disc and is Mac & PC compatible."  In other words, with the DisneyFile Digital Copy, I can watch the movie on my computer and transfer the movie file to iTunes or Windows Media compatible devices.  How cool is that? 

Meanwhile, before my Toy Story 3: 2 Disc Blu-ray + DisneyFile + DVD arrives in November, I'm probably going to go see it again at my local theater.  Who knows, I might even go this weekend.  Did I mention this movie is perfect?

Here's a little something to remind you of just how great this movie is:


Only 59 Days to Go

By Gina, Sep 02, 2010 5:05 PM

59 Days to Halloween

Yup.  Only 59 short days to go before Halloween.  And with's Labor Day Free Shipping offer, what better time is there to stock up at's Halloween Boootique with everything you'll need for a ghoulishly good holiday? 

At, you'll find the very best in Disney Halloween Decor and Costumes for the whole family, including a large assortment of Disney Parks Authentic costumes for kids.  Whether it's a princess or a pirate, a mermaid or a world-famous mouse, you're sure to find the perfect Halloween outfit for you and your little ones.

So, tell me, what are you going to be this Halloween?