Disney's Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend.

This section contains articles about the Doll and Teddy Bear Convention at Walt Disney World. If you would like to see pictures, go the Pictures section and click on Teddy Bear Pictures. Then click Disney Conv 2003 or Disney Conv 2006 or Disney Conv 2007.

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2006 Disney Teddy Bear Convention: A Collector's View
Author: teddygirl | Tuesday May 23, 2006

This is a review of the 2006 Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convention from the perspective of a collector.

After waiting over a year for this, the Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convention has come and gone. The convention took place from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 22. As you may remember, the convention has been held in different months for the past couple of years. This year’s convention occurred along with Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. Like last year, there were some changes, but many things stayed the same. Except for seminars and workshops, all the events at the convention were held in Epcot’s old millennium building, and many of the same artists and manufacturers were there along with some new ones. Friday and Saturday were for the attendees only, and Sunday was for attendees and the general public.

Registration occurred from the morning until the late afternoon outside Epcot. We checked in and received our information packets. Our badge that we use to enter the millennium building included a schedule of activities, and it was a new and helpful addition.

From 4-6 pm, we got to see the bears in person for the first time. It’s so exciting to see the bears in the fur! We also got to see all the booths and the flower themed setup. During these 2 hours, we picked out which bears we wanted and filled out our sheets. For an explanation of how this works, see Disney’s Doll and Teddy Bear Convention 2005: Part 1. In addition to seeing the limited edition pieces, we saw the auction pieces and other pieces that the artists and manufacturers brought along. As opposed to last year, the artists and manufacturers were at their booths along with their work so we were able to talk to them about their work, which was great. I missed being able to do this last year and was happy to see that this returned. Plus, I love seeing how the artists and manufacturers set up their booths.

From 6-8 pm, there was a reception for attendees, artists and manufacturers. Disney served wine and hors d’oeuvres. We could also continue looking at the limited edition pieces and auction pieces. You can never look at bears enough!

Breakfast began at 9:15 am, and it was a great breakfast. It was a buffet, and we were able to sit with whoever we wanted. At the breakfast, we received our sheets that told us what bears we were able to purchase. The bears on our lists were guaranteed to us until that afternoon so there was not a rush to purchase them. After purchasing our bears, we stayed and talked to some artists and manufacturers. Beginning in the late morning, attendees could do a number of seminars and workshops.

At 2 pm, we attended a Steiff tea hosted by Claire Steiff Meisel in the old Odyssey restaurant. She is a really nice woman and loves sharing with you about her family. Richard Steiff was her grandfather. At the tea, we were served tea, coffee, and a lot of food. Claire shared private photos of her family that has never been seen before. She also shared stories about her family. She was a good speaker, and her presentation was very interesting. Richard was a fascinating and practical man, and he was very involved in his work. He loved life. Claire said that the family has not forgotten Richard and that they want to uphold his ideals with the company. As you may know, Steiff’s factory is in Giengen, Germany. Richard genuinely cared about the people in the town. Everyone that attended received a brown classic mohair bear, and Claire signed our bears. As a special treat, Claire gave everyone a copy of the history of the teddy bear that was written by Richard. This had never been in the public before. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

Dinner began at 5:45 pm. Like last year, there was at least one artist or manufacturer at every table, which is a great idea. Tables were assigned ahead of time. For entertainment, there was a piano player. After dinner was served, a group of singers performed. I preferred the Voices of Liberty last year. After dinner, we received our auction paddles. I like that all attendees are automatically enrolled in the auction; it makes things easier.

The auction began after 6:30 pm, and the auctioneer was the same one from previous years. The auction is always fun to watch whether or not you’re bidding. To see the auction prices, see the 2006 Disney auction prices article. The auction ended in time for us to go outside and watch Epcot’s show called Illuminations. The show is a combination of fireworks, fire, and a spinning globe that shows videos. I have seen this show many times, but I am still impressed every time.

I have never attended the convention on Sunday, but it is basically the same format as Saturday except for the dinner and auction. The show opens to the public (those who are in Epcot that day) after 11 am.

My picks:
Mickey Mouse with Disney bear by Steiff
Mickey is holding his teddy bear, and the bear is a smaller version of the Disney bear Steiff did last year. Mickey is made of mohair and velvet, and the bear is made of mohair. Both are fully jointed, and Mickey can stand up on his own. Mickey is 12 inches.

Walt Disney and Steamboat Willie by Oz Matilda Bear Company
If you are not familiar with Lisa’s work, she makes bears with oil paintings on their bodies. She sews the bears and handpaints them. The bear is 24 inches and has a painting of Walt Disney drawing Steamboat Willie. The mohair is shades of grey, the feet, ears and tail are black, and the hands are white. I like how she signed the painting as part of the sketch of Steamboat Willie. Walt is in color, and Steamboat Willie is in black and white.

Maggie Mae by Sandy’s Bearly Bruins
Maggie, who is 13 inches, is made of white Schulte mohair and stuffed with polyfill and pellets. She is wearing a purple and white floral head piece and a purple floral bead necklace. She has a purple nose, black glass eyes with shading around them, and she is holding a bouquet of purple flowers.

Mickey and Minnie by Koto Bears
Mickey and Minnie, who are both 11 inches, are made from white Japanese mohair, and they have black ears, noses and eyes. Minnie is wearing a red and white polka dot kimono with a red, white and blue sash. She also has a matching polka dot bow on top of her head. Mickey is wearing a black long sleeved shirt with a yellow bow and red shorts with white buttons.

School Daze by Zucker Bears
There are 3 different colors of this bear, and each has a different hat. The colors are light caramel, gold and light taupe. They are all 9 inches, made from mohair, have glass eyes, open mouths and airbrushing. In addition, they all have waxed noses, are weighted, and come with school blocks.

Cheeky Walt and Mickey Mouse by Merrythought
Cheeky Walt is a deep chocolate mohair, and Mickey is made of felt. This set is based on the statue of Walt and Mickey in front of Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom.

The women who put on this show are really great and work hard. They are willing to listen to everything you say and are genuinely interested in your opinions. I think they are continuously trying to improve the convention.

Here is my big complaint: the convention goes by too fast! I already love Disneyworld, and having a teddy bear convention there makes it even more fun. Anxiously awaiting next year’s convention . . .

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