Duffy the Disney Bear
|Duffy the Disney Bear|
Duffy at a Hong Kong greeting
|Alias||My First Disney Bear|
Duffy the Disney Bear is a Disney parks stuffed bear that can be found at the Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland and formerly at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in California, and Walt Disney World in Florida.
Duffy has two Mickey Mouse features, similar shaped face and hip Mickey birthmark. Duffy is unique among Disney characters in that he was not first featured in a Disney movie or TV show until he made his television debut in the 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.
The Disney Bear was originally created for and briefly sold at the Disney World's Downtown Disney Once Upon a Toy shop in Orlando in 2002 as a unique product for its opening. With The Oriental Land Company executives looking for fresh ideas and the teddy bears are culturally popular, the company adopted the character in 2004, gave it a name, a sailor suit and a backstory. They aggressively marketed it in the Tokyo DisneySea park. He was added as a walk-around character becoming a regular character in 2005. In 2005, the bear, as "My First Disney Bear," was the boys' substitute toy given out at the Perfectly Princess Tea Party at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. They then added The My Friend Duffy show at a DisneySea restaurant. Due to Duffy's popularity amongst Japanese fans, limits were set on the number a guest could buy. Women 20 to 35 lined up at stores with any new costume release.
Through the One Disney theme-park/corporate initiative of sharing IP/ideas, Duffy the Disney Bear was exported to the other Disney Parks. Duffy was released at the American Disney parks on October 14, 2010. He then joined Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on November 19, 2010. 
DisneySea began expanding the Duffy franchise with the addition of three Duffy's friends starting in 2011. His girlfriend, ShellieMay was debuted that year with Gelatoni the Cat in 2014. StellaLou, a bunny, was introduced on April 4, 2017 as a part of Easter celebration at the park.
Fictional character history
Duffy was previously known as "The Disney Bear" with an entirely different backstory. In the original story, Tinker Bell gave Mickey's face to the blank faced and nameless teddy bear.
- ShellieMay (2011 debut @ Tokyo DisneySea), a female teddy bear who is Duffy's girlfriend that was also made by Minnie Mouse.
- Gelatoni (2014 @ Tokyo DisneySea), a cat who loves painting based at Tokyo DisneySea's Mediterranean Harbor
- StellaLou (April 4, 2017 @ Tokyo DisneySea), a lavender and pink ballet bunny with an aqua bow and tutu; made limited appearances until August 31, 2017; Duffy supports her goal of dancing on Broadway. On August 10, 2017, the bunny made its first appearance at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Cookie (2018 @ Hong Kong Disneyland), a dog that typically cooks waffles
- 'Olu (July 27, 2018 @ Aulani), a ukulele playing turtle
- "My Friend Duffy" show (at a DisneySea restaurant)
- Meet and Greet (Tokyo DisneySea American Waterfront in front of the S.S. Columbia)
- Meet and Greet (Epcot's World Showcase) ended Saturday, October 3, 2015
- "My Journeys with Duffy" show (Main Street Cinema, Hong Kong Disneyland) Duffy with ShellieMay and Gelatoni; They are joined by StellaLou on 10 August 2017.
- Garcia, Jason (November 23, 2010). "Duffy the Disney Bear lands on U.S. shores". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Tribou, Richard (March 29, 2017). "Disney gives Duffy the Bear fans another character to obsess over". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Niles, Robert (July 20, 2018). "Who's who in Disney's 'Duffy Plush Universe'?". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Tuttle, Brittani (July 20, 2018). "Duffy's new friend 'Olu to debut at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Mumpower, David (May 24, 2017). "Who Are the Best Characters Ever Created at Disney Parks?". Theme Park Tourist. p. 1. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- (in Chinese)"Duffy新朋友StellaLou 進駐香港迪士尼". Oriental Daily News. 10 August 2017. Translated: Duffy's new friend StellaLou enters Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (September 23, 2015). "5 Walt Disney World Meet and Greet Characters Who Were Retired Forever in 2015". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved August 14, 2018.