bus entire

In the world of fantasy, Studio Ghibli gave us the magnificent Catbus in the anime film My Neighbor Totoro. Who wouldn’t want to catch a ride on a live, furry bus like that, right? Well, now in the real world here in Japan, it seems Disney is coming out with a unique ride that, while maybe not an exact recreation of the Catbus, comes pretty close. Yes, it’s the amazing furry “Duffy Bus”, and it’s a real-life cross between a bus and a stuffed animal! It’s so unique, you’ll have to see it to believe it!

You might be wondering, how can a bus be combined with a stuffed animal? As it turns out, the concept for the Duffy Bus is deceptively simple, but outrageously creative nonetheless. All they did was cover the surface of the bus, both outside and inside, with the same furry material as Duffy, the popular bear character from Disney. A bus covered in fur? You have to admit that’s not something you see every day.

To make sure the bus is undeniably cute as well as furry, they’ve put on Duffy’s face on the front of the bus and a darling little bottom with paw prints on the back.

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bus back view

And you can enjoy the soft texture of Duffy inside the bus too, as the same material is used on the seats as well. We can only imagine how dreamy it would feel to sit and recline on that fluffy surface!

bus interior

But what if it rains? Not to worry, they’ve apparently thought of that and treated the “fur” with a special coating so that it can withstand rain.

Unfortunately, the bus apparently isn’t set to be a regular ride in the Disney theme parks. According to the official press release, the bus will go on tour across Japan starting from the Tokyo area on February 20 and ending in Shizuoka Prefecture on March 31. The bus will travel around 19 different areas during this time for people to watch and enjoy. It seems there are plans for the bus to visit other areas as well from April onwards, but details haven’t been decided yet.

There will also be special “Duffy Bus Experience” events at five locations in the Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Osaka and Aichi Prefectures between March 1 and 30, where people will be able to see and take pictures of the bus up-close. Since Duffy is incredibly popular with Disney fans in Japan, there’s sure to be incredibly huge crowds at these events (so maybe it’s a good thing that there won’t be one near where I live — otherwise I may be tempted to brave the crowds to have a look at the half-plushie, half-vehicle creation). But even if you’re not close to one of the event locations, if you’re lucky, you may be able to see the bus on the streets as it travels around Japan. Whether you’re a fan of Disney or not, you have to admit this stuffed animal on wheels should be an amazing sight!

Source: Oriental Land press release (Japanese) via ITmedia (Japanese)
Photos: Oriental Land press release