Beloved International Disney Character Finally Makes His Way to U.S.

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Mickey and friends at Hong Kong Disneyland

Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

There’s a character that’s quite possibly just as popular as Mickey Mouse when it comes to Disney fans, and that’s Duffy the Bear.

Duffy was initially created in 2002 for a toy shop opening at what was then called Downtown Disney (now called Disney Springs). He was marketed as Mickey’s personal teddy bear come to life. While the character was short-lived in the Florida parks, he was reinvented for the overseas parks, including Tokyo Disney, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris, where he took off in popularity.

Duffy and Gelatoni with a painting of Duffy on stage
Credit: Tokyo Disney

The character can be found in various meet and greets, as well as merchandise like purses, shirts, hats, and other souvenirs. Thanks to his popularity, Disney created several friends for Duffy, including ShellieMay, Gelatoni, StellaLou, CookieAnn, ‘Olu Mel, LinaBell, and Tippy Blue, all who have also found massive success overseas.

Many Disney fans have long hoped that Duffy and his friends would make their way across the pond to do US base theme parks. Now, it seems as though fans may get their wish in a roundabout way as Duffy is going to be available to fans in the U.S., although maybe not quite the way that they had hoped.

Duffy, ShellieMay, and Gelatoni at the port in DisneySea
Credit: Tokyo Disney

Earlier this week it was announced that the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse would be receiving a revival featuring an all new lineup of stories featuring the characters we all know and love: Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. However, perhaps most exciting, is the inclusion of Duffy in the upcoming show.

It’s unclear if he will be introduced as Mickey’s friend or Mickey’s teddy bear, the way he’s been marketed for the past several years, but he will be making an appearance in several upcoming episodes. Either way, maybe once Disney realizes just how popular Duffy is with fans, both at home and overseas, it will give Disney the boost it needs to officially bring Duffy to Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Live-action 'Little Mermaid' shot
Credit: Disney

The announcement of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse revival comes alongside several other exciting programs coming to Disney Junior, including a new Little Mermaid animated series and a new series called RoboGobo.

Would you want to see Duffy and his friends make their way to the U.S. parks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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