Duffy the Disney Bear is Mickey Mouse’s very own teddy bear. Born from an original Walt Disney Imagineering story, Duffy continues to be a popular Disney character with fans around the world. He has even been dubbed “the bear of happiness and luck,” and he is surely bringing lots of happiness and luck to his fans.
Duffy Through the Years
Duffy the Disney Bear came to be in 2002 for the opening of "Once Upon a Toy" at Walt Disney World Resort. At the time, he was known only as "The Disney Bear." Two years later, Duffy was brought to Aunt Peg's Village Store at Tokyo DisneySea, where Imagineers added a story for him to make sense with the location. Duffy was sold exclusively in Aunt Peg's Village Store from 2005-2008, often selling out. Since then, Imagineers have expanded Duffy’s story to include a group of friends around the world. Today, Duffy can be seen at Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai'i. Guests often travel with their Duffy-inspired merchandise, posting photos of their adventures together.
Imagineers first created Duffy's story within the context of American Waterfront at Tokyo DisneySea. Almost everything done at Imagineering starts with story. This particular story goes…when Mickey Mouse the sailor, based in Cape Cod, was leaving on a long sea voyage, Minnie Mouse made Duffy 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. But stories can evolve, and as Duffy's story has evolved, he and Mickey have visited many exciting places together, meeting new friends along the way. With a willingness to do anything to bring a smile to his friends, and his quintessential innocence, Duffy takes all of us back to our childhood when we all had an "inner Duffy."
With the rise of Duffy's popularity, Imagineers noticed many guests purchased multiple plush of Duffy, giving the bears unique names and costumes. That inspired Imagineers to create a companion to Duffy—his 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. Learn more about Duffy's friends and their stories created by Imagineers here.
Duffy's Next Adventure
Duffy is no ordinary bear, as he was created by Imagineers. Often sporting his sailor suit that reminds him of his travels with Mickey, Duffy has been featured around the world in Disney parades, seasonal programs, specialty food and beverages and merchandise items including themed costumes. There are endless possibilities tied to the loveable and huggable bear, who resembles his owner with marks resembling Mickey Mouse on his face, back and feet. He's much more than just a soft, fluffy souvenir—he's a messenger of love and friendship with an ever-evolving story!