I just love Duffy Bear! I have always been a fan of teddy bears so when Disney launched Duffy, I was in heaven! He is so adorably cute!!
Did you know that Duffy first appeared as “The Disney Bear” in 2002 as a marketing gimmick to promote the opening of the Once Upon a Toy store in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs)?
He wasn’t much of a success though until he launched in Tokyo Disney resort and the Oriental Land Company decided to invest in him and create an all-new original story to introduce his background.
Duffy Bear’s Story
When Mickey Mouse the sailor, based in Cape Cod, was leaving on a long sea voyage, Minnie Mouse made him a stuffed bear to keep Mickey company during his travels. Minnie presented her hand-sewn bear to Mickey in a duffel bag, which is how Mickey came up with the name Duffy.
For a few years, you could find Duffy Bear at Walt Disney World in Epcot until 2015. Sadly, Florida is no longer his home. Today, Duffy can be seen at Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai’i.
With the rise of Duffy’s popularity, Duffy gained another best friend. ShellieMay. Based on the pair’s increasing popularity, Imagineers decided to develop an entire collection of characters, each with a distinct personality and talent: artistic cat friend, Gelatoni, dancing rabbit friend, StellaLou, inventive dog friend, CookieAnn, and musical turtle friend, ‘Olu Mel.
Fun Facts about Duffy Bear:
- Though he never speaks, there’s no question about who Duffy belongs to by the “Hidden Mickeys” on his face, paws, and back.
- On the Tokyo Disney web site, Duffy’s been dubbed the “bear of happiness and luck.”
- “The My Friend Duffy” Show, which replaced a Donald Duck-themed show at the American Waterfront at Tokyo DisneySea, includes a special Duffy theme song, various characters, and lasts approximately 10 minutes.
- Duffy appeared in ABC’s The Neighbors (in a form of a 2011 12 inch Duffy plush), as well as the Grey’s Anatomy episodes “Walking on a Dream”,”Bad Blood”, “All Tomorrow’s Parties, “The Center Won’t Hold”, “It’s All To Much”, “Sorry Doesn’t Always Make It Right” and “Tradition” (in a form of a 17 inch Duffy plush).
- Plushes of Duffy and ShellieMay appear in the Disney+ film Noelle.