The Buzz

7 posts from June 2014

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New This Summer! 'Frozen' Fun at Walt Disney World

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jun 26, 2014 2:30 PM

Disney's Hollywood Studios is heating up the summer with a little Frozen fun!

Frozen Fun at WDW

From July 5 - September 1, "Frozen Summer Fun Live!" will bring to life the world of royal sisters Anna and Elsa and their fairy tale kingdom of Arendelle. The celebrations will include a daily character procession, sing-alongs with Anna and Elsa, fireworks, a polar playground, ice skating rink, ice carving demonstrations and a nightly party featuring a live band. 

Sounds like heaps of fun, with something for everyone! Read below for more details on each activity.*

So what do you think? Will you be making a trip to experience "Frozen Summer Fun Live!"? 


Anna's & Elsa's Royal Welcome: Each day at 11 a.m., Anna and Elsa, riding in a horse-drawn sleigh, will travel in a royal procession down Hollywood Boulevard. Rugged mountain man Kristoff is along for the fun joined by a flurry of skaters, skiers and ice cutters, all dressed in their Arendelle best.

For The First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration: Inside the park's Premiere Theater, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun and comedic retelling of the history of their kingdom amidst projections, lighting and special effects. Guests will be invited to join in special sing-along moments from the film's chart-topping soundtrack. At the end of the performance, guests might find themselves becoming "Honorary Citizens of Arendelle." The 20-minute show will be presented multiple times each day.

Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Frozen Funland: There's a "big summer blowout" happening inside the park's Soundstage One, where Oaken – the film's trading post owner – and his cousins have created the "Frozen Funland" amidst a winter wonderland. Living up to its name, there will be plenty of frozen festivities inside the makeshift adventure park Oaken and his cousins built to make the most of the sudden snowstorm.  

Part of the Oaken's Frozen Funland will be an ice skating rink with demonstrations by some of Oaken's talented cousins on the Arendelle ice.

In addition, icy artisans will put their talents on display, creating carvings of favorite "Frozen" characters from giant frozen blocks.  Kids can enjoy frozen wintertime activities in the "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" area.  For all of his Frozen Funland friends, Oaken has plenty of merchandise at his Trading Post, along with hot cocoa and sweet treats available for purchase.

Guests can take pictures with the film's animated characters in a virtual setting, and then email them or share on their social media channels.

When guests want to escape the icy atmosphere of Oaken's outpost, all they have to do is look for the door marked "Sauna," where they once again will exit to the warm Florida sun.

Coolest Summer Ever Dance Party: From 5:30-9:30 p.m. each evening, a live band will take the stage to celebrate the Frozen summer fun with contemporary songs and a few familiar tunes from the film.

Take-Along Olaf: As a special feature before the fireworks, guests will have a chance to be a part of a pre-show celebration by hashtagging photos of themselves in the park with a "Take-Along Olaf."  Throughout the day, Take-Along Olafs will be distributed at various locations in the park.  Guests are then invited to take Olaf along with them on their Disney's Hollywood Studios adventures.  By sharing their photos with the unique hashtag #OlafSummerVacation, their photos may appear on the big screen in this special pre-show feature.

Frozen Fireworks: At 9:35 each evening, the giant Sorcerer Mickey Hat on Hollywood Blvd. gets the full Frozen treatment with special projections of snow and ice images, in an eye-popping spectacular above Hollywood Blvd.  Set to the film's soundtrack, the fireworks show will feature some special guests – including a very magical appearance from Elsa in which she will show how her powers flurry "through the air and to the ground" to produce magically icy blue and white gleaming fireworks. 

*Most of the activities are included with park admission.

Announcing New Additions to the Disney Fairytale Designer Collection

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jun 24, 2014 1:15 PM

Last year, Disney Store unveiled the Disney Fairytale Designer Collection, a beautifully crafted assortment of products designed to capture the essence of “happily ever after” at its best and celebrate iconic Disney Princess characters and their leading men.

We are excited to officially announce a continuation of the collection with product featuring additional Disney Princess characters, anchored by five Limited Edition Doll Sets that include Tiana and Naveen; Pocahontas and John Smith; Cinderella and Prince Charming; Mulan and Li Shang; and Briar Rose and Prince Phillip.

Check back here later this summer for release dates and details on the entire collection. And take a look below for a sneak peek at these exquisite dolls, coming to North America and Europe later this year!






Behind the Scenes: Cars Artist Series & Interview with Jay Ward

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jun 16, 2014 10:05 AM

Ka-chow! Exciting news, Cars fans!

Today we are unveiling the Cars Artist Series, an all-new collection of finely detailed die cast designed by Disney Store under the guidance of renowned artists from Pixar Animation Studios. The Cars Artist Series Collection captures authentic automotive styling details and celebrates the beloved Cars franchise.

The first featured release includes both 1:18 and 1:43 scale vehicles designed by Jay Ward, Cars Legacy Guardian and Pixar creative consultant. For his design, Jay drew inspiration from traditional hot rods and land speed racers of the early 1950s to drive home the thrill of the race.

We were lucky enough to have Jay Ward answer some questions about his impressive career, passion for all things Cars and inspiration for the series. Read on below to get the inside look!

Cars Artist Series_Jay Ward
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Jay! To start, what is your official title with Pixar?
Of course! I am the Cars Legacy Guardian / Creative Director, Cars Franchise for Pixar.

Can you list out some of the projects you have worked on during your career with Pixar?

  • Monsters, Inc. - Art Coordinator
  • Cars - Manager, Character Team
  • Ratatouille - Art Department Manager 
  • Ratatouille - End Credits Producer
  • Presto - Associate Producer
  • Cars 2 - Development Art Manager 
  • Brave - Art Department Manager

You mentioned in your official title "Cars Legacy Guardian." Can you explain your connection to CARS?
It all started with being in the Cars art department while it was in development. Early on, John Lasseter realized that I had a natural understanding of automobiles, which lead to consultation on "all things automotive" in the Cars films and shorts.

What is most special about the CARS franchise to you?
I love the fact that Cars started out as an animated film, and has grown into a worldwide franchise with a large fan base of all ages. Even the fact that we have our own "land" at Disney's California Adventure...I just think wow, this is something that is going to live on forever!  

Let’s jump back a bit to the early years. When did your fascination and passion for the automotive world start? Where did it all begin?
My father was a car dealer. When I was a kid, I would lay on the floor with the Sunday classified newspaper and circle all of the classic cars. Then, I would look them up in the American Car Spotter's Guide by Tad Burness. This is where I first learned about all of the different makes and models of cars.  

Were there any designers who especially inspired you? 
Raymond Loewy, because he made the cross between industrial and automotive design, and Eugene "Bob" Gregorie, who designed the most beautiful Ford's, Mercurys and Lincoln's in the 1930's and 1940's.

We’re curious to know – what cars would we see parked in your driveway at home? And any dreams cars you have your eye on?
Currently, I have a 1929 Ford Model A Hot Rod, a 1939 Mercury Convertible (early Custom), a 1957 Pontiac Safari Wagon, and various motorcycles and scooters.

I have a list of dream cars! I keep it on my phone. My favorite car is the one I haven't found yet. There are so many that excite me, but someday I would like to own a 1970-73 Porsche 911.

Do you have any other hobbies on the side? 
I love film, so I am in the process of writing a live action film and an animated short, and raising two kids with my wife.

Of course, we must ask – who is your favorite Pixar movie and/or character and why?  
I'll ask you a question instead:  Which one of your children is your favorite, and why?

Lightning McQueen Custom Die Cast Car 1:18 - Artist SeriesLet’s get into your designs for the Cars Artist Series! What was your reaction to being asked to design a new paint job for Lightning McQueen, and where did you draw your inspiration from?
It was very exciting to be given the opportunity and creative freedom to make my own car design! I drew my inspiration from the love of land speed racing. Bonneville, El Mirage, and other land speed racing locations. I really tried to channel where hot rods meet land speed racing – what it would look like when those two worlds come together.

Your designs for the Cars Artist Series have a definite hot rod sensibility. Do you have an affinity for the hot rod?  
Yes, as you will see from my favorite list of cars (below)! I built a Ford Model A from the ground up, and drove it to Bonneville and back.  

Can you describe the design process for the Cars Artist Series? What challenges, if any, did you encounter during the process?  
As soon as the discussions began with the designers at Disney Store, we began to pass sketches, photos and concepts back and forth to one another. It was a very collaborative and fun experience. Any time there is a number of participants collaborating on a project, there is a lot of 'back and forth'. But the more we collaborated, the better the car became.  

What tools do you use to design and draw? Any secret techniques?
I use brushes on my iPad, and good old pencil and paper, of course!  

If you could build an actual life-size, working model of any of these four cars in the series, which would it be?
It would be the Hero McQueen, because that's the one I would actually like to take down to Bonneville and run on the salt flats!  

Lightning McQueen Die Cast Car - Artist Series Mater Die Cast Car - Artist Series Ramone Die Cast Car - Artist Series

Well, there you have it! A behind-the-scenes look at the talent and creativity of Jay Ward and the first Cars Artist Series collection. Be sure to check back for more inside info on all of Disney Store’s great product offerings, and take a look at Jay's Top 50 dream cars list below!

*The Cars Artist Series is available online at and in select Disney Store locations.

Jay's Top 50 Dream Cars

1. 1965 Buick Rivera GS
2. 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix
3. 1956/57 Continental Mark II
4. 1961 Lincoln Continental sedan
5. 1957 Corvette (f.i.) 4 speed
6. 1963 Corvette coupe
7. 1955 Chrysler 300
8/9. 1932 Ford Vicky & Roadster
10. 1936 Ford 3 window coupe
11. 1939 Lincoln Zephyr coupe
12. 1939 Ford DeLuxe coupe
13. 1949 Mercury coupe
14. 1949 Cadillac sedanette
15. 49-52 Olds Rocket 88 HT
16. 2006 Ford GT
17. 1936 Auburn Speedster

1. Austin Healey 100-6
2. Jaguar XK120 roadster
3. Jaguar E Type roadster
4. Ferrari  250 GT Lusso
5. Ferrari 250 SWB
6. Ferrari 275 GTB/4
7. Ferrari 365 GTB Daytona
8. Ferrari 512BB
9. Lamborghini Miura SV
10. Maserati Ghibli SS
11. 1954-56 Porsche 356 pre-A sunroof coupe
12. 1970-3 Porsche 911 S
13. 1955 Mercedes 300 SL gull wing
14. Lancia Aurelia
15. Alfa Disco Volante
16. AstonMartin DB5 

Twice Upon a Year Sale!

By Official Disney Store Blogger,

It's that time of year!

Disney Store's Twice Upon a Year Sale has arrived and the savings and selection are enormous! Up to 50% off select styles – from costumes and swim wear to accessories and summer gear, there is something for everyone!

  TUAY Banner


Go Inside the Mind with Pixar's "Inside Out"

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jun 13, 2014 11:00 AM

Ever wonder about the inner workings of an 11-year-old girl's mind? Wonder no more!

Pixar has been building up excitement and generating buzz for it's 15th feature, Inside Out, and one thing is clear – the award-winning Studio will not disappoint!


Director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.Up) recently revealed the inspiration behind the project is from his experience watching his daughter grow up. Docter noticed that when his daughter Elie turned 12, a part of her childhood joy disappeared, causing her to become more moody and withdrawn. With Inside Out, Docter wanted to explore that change on an emotional level.

Be sure to check back here for more details on exciting new product for Inside Out, and read Pixar's synopsis of the film below!

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Inside Out Character Line-Up
The voice cast for "Inside Out" includes Bill Hader (Fear), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Amy Poehler (Joy), Mindy Kaling (Disgust) and Lewis Black (Anger).


The Force is Strong for Star Wars at Disney Store

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jun 12, 2014 4:00 PM

Earlier this year we introduced Star Wars into the Disney Store family, and we are thrilled with the positive response it has elicited from our Guests. Our current assortment includes Talking Action Figures, Darth Vader and Stormtrooper roleplay costumes, apparel, select offerings from Hasbro’s Black Series and more, and this is just the beginning. We are excited to be rolling out new product in the coming months featuring everyone’s favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away, including new interactive lightsabers, character hoodies, back to school gear and several items that will feature Princess Leia.  

Star Wars fans will see Figurine Sets that will include iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Princess Leia and Yoda, which will be arriving in Stores and online this holiday. Later this summer, Star Wars will be added to’s Create Your Own Shop (exclusive to North America), allowing Guests to customize select product with their favorite characters. For Halloween, Disney Store will offer updated roleplay accessories, as well as a Princess Leia costume.

We are excited to continue developing products with the whole family in mind, and we look forward to supporting Star Wars for many years to come.

Disney Junior is Bringing "The Lion King" to Television!

By Official Disney Store Blogger,

Simba could not wait to be King, and we can't wait for "The Lion Guard"!

Just announced this week, "The Lion Guard" continues the story introduced 20 years ago in the classic Disney animated film, The Lion King. "The Lion Guard" will launch as an animated TV movie in fall 2015, followed by the television series, premiering on Disney Junior and Disney Channel early 2016.

The Lion Guard

Attention to detail and care to the storytelling is a key component to the series, as wildlife education experts at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park will serve as consultants on stories for the show, and author and Swahili expert Sarah Mirza is the language and cultural advisor. 

Read more about the backstory for "The Lion Guard" below!

"The Lion Guard" begins as Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a group of the bravest and brightest tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. Instead of assembling a team of young lions to serve with him, Kion challenges tradition by calling upon friends he believes are the best choices – Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a happy-go-lucky hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret.

The show's stories will also include special appearances by Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki and Zazu. We can't wait to see them incorporate these all-star, classic characters!

Simba Tee for BabyLion King Read-Along Storybook and CDSimba Plush Pillow