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Happy 42nd Birthday Walt Disney World Resort!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, October 1, 2013 11:27:53 AM
Today is the 42nd anniversary of the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Since the opening of Disneyland, in Anaheim, CA, Walt Disney's dreams had grown even bigger. The limit of space in the Southern California park had meant that Walt's ultimate dreams had to be confined to a relatively small area.
In the early 1960's Walt Disney set about bringing to life his beloved Disneyland on a much larger scale, this time somewhere where there was all the land he could ever imagine - Florida.
Sadly, Walt passed away before his dream had became a reality, but his brother, Roy, ensured that the park kept on track, and finally on the 1st October 1971, the Magic Kingdom opened, at Walt Disney World - renamed by Roy from just Disney World in honour of his brother.

Since then, more and more of Walt's dreams have come true, including the opening of EPCOT, also on October 1st, in 1982.
EPCOT was Walt's vision of the future, where people worked and played together in a utopian community.
Although some may say this dream has never fully been realised, since EPCOT isn't quite how Walt envisaged it, I think that actually, it has, and more.
The Walt Disney World Resort brings together people from all over the world, not just to visit, but to live and work, too. With its hugely diverse Cast Members, international cuisines, celebrations of different cultures, and world class entertainment, shopping, dining and indeed living (Celebration, Golden Oaks, Cast Member housing etc), Walt's ultimate dream truly has become a reality.

Since 1971, millions upon millions of dreams have come true, simply because one man believed that if you could dream it, you could do it.

Happy 42nd birthday Walt Disney World, here's to many, many more!

In our usual style, here's a cavalcade of photos of our magical experiences at Walt Disney World over the years. I have deliberately left out character images for today, since I really wanted to celebrate the beauty of the parks, and the work of the dreamers who believed they could build this magical place.

Wandering around EPCOT

Wandering thru Italy

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Taking the boat to Fort Wilderness

Walt Disney - One Man's Dream

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Cinderella Castle

Checking out the new Tangled bathrooms area

Chilling at the Polynesian

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Wandering around the Studios

Wandering around Dinoland USA

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Exploring Mexico

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Kilimanjaro Safaris

On the Wild Side event

Exploring Fantasyland

Fantasmic!

Wandering around Future World

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

Wandering thru Fantasyland

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Taking the boat to Fort Wilderness

Tower of Terror

Expedition Everest

Wandering around World Showcase

The Dapper Dans

Rivers of America

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Wandering around Discovery Island

Wandering around World Showcase

The Crystal Palace

Exploring Fantasyland

Wandering thru the new Storybook Circus area

Kilimanjaro Safaris

WDW April 2009 - Roy And Minnie

Walt Disney - One Man's Dream

WDW Sept 2008 - Heading towards the castle

Dan.
Happy 15th Birthday Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Happy Earth Day!
DisneyDan  Monday, April 22, 2013 1:19:49 PM
Hello everyone,

Today is the 15th anniversary of the grand opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Set in the most lush and natural surroundings of any Disney Park (and probably any theme park!), Disney's Animal Kingdom is dedicated to the preservation of life, and researching new ways of saving the animal kingdom from extinction.

At it's centre and carved with over 300 animals, is the magnificent Tree of Life, which towers above the park.

From the trails, animal habitats, and of course the mind blowing Kilimanjaro Safaris, Disney's Animal Kingdom is incomparable in concept, design, and sheer beauty.

Happy 15th birthday Animal Kingdom!

By no coincidence, April 22nd is also Earth Day. Earth Day celebrates the diversity and beauty of the only known planet to support the ecosystems and life that is found here. Earth Day spreads the important message that we all need to do our bit for the planet through research and conservation, we can all hope to reach the goal of sustaining a better future for every living creature on this beautiful little blue and green world.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

The picture cavalcade below is all from Disney's Animal Kingdom, but of course matches both themes appropriately.

If you're at Disney's Animal Kingdom this week, why not check out their special combined birthday and Earth Day celebrations, 'Party for the Planet', which includes some cool character happenings! (The official LTM website has more information here.)

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Maharajah Jungle Trek

Maharajah Jungle Trek

The Tree of Life

Dan.
Walt Disney World Easter 2013 - A Photo Report
DisneyDan  Monday, April 8, 2013 6:44:36 AM
Hello everyone,

If you had been following our Twitter last week, you will know that we spent 5 days in WDW over the Easter period.
Of course, going to WDW is nothing new for us (!), and so I don't usually post a review or trip report these days, but, there were a lot of new things on this trip that we hadn't experienced before, so I thought I would cover them in a short photo report (as opposed to a full trip report), so that you can all see some of our adventures.
  [ Read More... ]
News and Rumours from around the World: Tokyo's 30th Anniversary, Fantasy Faire, Animal Kingdom, Limited Time Magic and more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:51:21 AM
Hello everyone,

I have some character related updates for you this afternoon.

In Tokyo, our friend attended a Disneyana convention, and made a report on our forums about what he saw, which includes Mickey and Friends in their brand new 30th Anniversary outfits! I believe this is the first time they have been out for any public event, so he was very lucky to see them! I have to say, they do look better in person than what the previous artwork releases had made them appear. We'll be in Tokyo Disney Resort in May, shortly after the 30th launch, so we can't wait to see all the cool new stuff, including their brand new parade!
For those interested, also in that thread are pictures of the brand new 30th merchandise, including pins.

The Disney Parks Blog has officially confirmed that the new Fantasy Faire in Disneyland will open on March 12th (less than 2 weeks away!). The Disneyland website has been updated accordingly, and now includes lots of info of what we can expect to find there!
It details the new stage which will bring to life two beloved Disney stories. One will be Beauty and the Beast, and will star Belle; the other will be about Tangled, and star Flynn Rider. The website specifically says "Disney heroes and heroines". I think they are deliberately going for a Flynn oriented story for Tangled, to appeal to the boys, which will be cool.
It also mentions the new Princess met 'n' greet, which sounds like it will be really detailed, and much better than the Princess meet 'n' greet in either Magic Kingdom or Paris.
We'll be there in May, and can't wait to see it all!

Over in Animal Kingdom, the new Mickey and Minnie meet 'n' greet will open in "the spring", which could mean anytime soon basically!
Taking over the former Beastly Bazaar store (because DAK really needs less retail...), it will literally just feature Mickey and Minnie. Donald and Daisy are apparently moving to Discovery Island where the Pooh friends currently are, and Goofy is already seen in Dinoland practically all day.
Camp Minnie-Mickey is remaining as-is, less the Greeting Trails, for the time being, and you can continue to meet some critter friends and other random Disney pals, as well as watch the Lion King show. The Pooh friends are suspected to move into C M-M, maybe to Greeting Trails, but no official confirmation of that, as yet.

Limited Time Magic continues to be a bit of a flop, with the Golden Horseshoe Revue (DL) and Long Lost Friends Week (WDW) still being the best ones so far.
Disneyland is yet to hold its own Long Lost Friends Week, and I have heard rumours that they want to out-do Florida, and so we might be treated to some really cool characters!
Other upcoming events include Pirate Week (Jack Sparrow rumoured to appear. No date yet), Independence Week (Patriotic characters) and Friday 13th Villains Dance Party (Villains of course! September 13th).

If you're planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort this year for the 30th Anniversary, you might want to read my brand new two part trip planning article series, which begins here.

Remember also that this new version of the site has some wonderful new features, including the ability to create your own profile and check off all the characters you have met! They'll appear on your profile in a big list! Find out how, here!

If you really love our site, and want to support our work, you can find out how you can help us out, here.

Ok, that's all for today,

Dan.
Beastly Bazaar to become meet 'n' greet, Disney at the Jubilee, PIXAR Play Parade drops some characters and lots more!
DisneyDan  Monday, June 11, 2012 9:46:27 AM
Hi all,

Overall not too much going on in the character world this week, but there were a few interesting points to note.

Over in California, Buena Vista Street got it's previews, and some of the brand new Citizens of Buena Vista Street were out greeting for the first time, as well as Mickey and Friends in their brand new 1920's style Hollywood outfits!
I don't have any pictures to post here (all from my contacts, sadly), but if you find any, hit the Discuss button below and reply on our Forum! We'll also be there at the end of July for ourselves, and will meet them all, of course! We're really excited to be able to go to DCA so soon after the new things open!
Along with the Buena Vista Street preview, Cars Land also had a preview, and Mater, McQueen and the brand new Red character were there. Mater and McQueen have been park regulars for a long time now, and will continue to meet once DCA re-opens. Red will star in his own new show in Cars Land once the land opens this week!  [ Read More... ]
Updates, updates and updates!
DisneyDan  Monday, April 23, 2012 1:12:49 PM
Hi all!

Wow what a crazy April it has been for us! For those of you who have been following us on Facebook I am sure you have seen our updates there, but sadly when we travel it is harder to update the website.
But, we are back now and we have some updates to share with you!  [ Read More... ]
Disneyland Paris starts to celebrate 20 years, and much more!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:52:25 PM
Hi all,

I know we haven't had any proper updates in a while, but it's all been a bit crazy here since getting back from the Cruise and WDW.
And of course at the end of next week we'll be in DLP for the 20th for a week... so as you can imagine we have a lot to do, and can't always keep things as up to date as we'd like.

That all said, we do have a few updates to share with you this evening.

Disneyland Paris has of course been having "soft opening" showings of it's new version of the Parade (Disney Magic On Parade) and the once again revamped character train, now the 20th Anniversary Celebration Train.
The Parade has seen some cool changes. The soundtrack is of course different, but here a list of other changes we have noticed so far.
Wendy, Pluto, Belle, Prince Adam, Aladdin and Jasmine have all been dropped. In their place we have gained the Blue Fairy, Merlin, the Fairy Godmother, Flora, Fauna, Merryweather, Geppetto, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider and Duffy. Tinker Bell is also due to soon re-join the parade, having been absent the last 2 days.
I don't think losing 6 characters for 11 new ones was a bad trade overall! Do you?
Peter Pan has lost his parade-specific outfit.
The Dreams of Imagination and Dreams of Romance 1 floats have been revamped and re-themed, and Mickey and friends have been switched form the front to the back of the parade, complete with brand new wizard costumes.
There are a bunch of new performer costumes.
Baloo and King Louie no longer have their grass skirts.
The floats have been re-ordered, and characters moved from the float to the ground (such as Jessie and Bert).
There are undoubtedly more than that, but I felt those were the more noteworthy ones for now.
The Celebration Train has now lost it's face, sadly. Which kind of takes away form it's overall appeal I think. He had a little personality before, now it's just a train.
The characters who currently appear for meets in Central Plaza when the train stops are Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Clarice, Chip and Dale. No Mickey yet, but we have heard he may appear in the future.
You can check out a video of the new parade here, and the new character train here.

Staying with Paris, and work continues on the new Mickey meet 'n' greet in Fantasyland, but while that is being completed, they have temporarily converted the Woody's Roundup area into a "Meet Mickey" experience, which features Mickey and Minnie in their regular outfits.
It is an interesting move, seeing as Minnie will be on the train all year (not saying she can't meet here also), and Mickey will be moving soon to Fantasyland... makes me wonder why go to all that trouble just for the time being?

Finally, jumping over to Florida, and Flik sadly went back to the ant hill this week, and has been replaced by Russell and Dug form UP.
I think that this was quite a nice change, and look forward to seeing them next time we'rein DAK!

Ok, that's all for now. Don't forget to catch up on my latest part of my Cruise Trip Report - there shall be another one coming in the next day or two, so stay tuned!

Dan.
Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Christmas Season ends bringing new changes, WDW Marathons include amazing characters and much more!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:38:38 AM
Hi all,

A few small pieces of information for this week, but nothing major.

Christmas Season ended at the Parks and Resorts, and at Disneyland Paris, unusually, Mickey's Winter Wonderland - which previously was a winter show running through February - ended also.
This now makes Winter Wonderland more a Christmas show than a Winter one, which is a little sad since it added some nice seasonal entertainment through the boring months of January and February!

Along with that, Central Plaza Stage has begun being decommissioned, hence ending the Mickey's Magical Celebration show. Disney Dance Express also had it's last performance.
The Once Upon a Dream Parade lost the Imagination unit so it can be converted to the new Fairies unit, and the Romance 2 unit is soon to follow.
All these changes are in preparation for the 20th Anniversary celebration, which will begin on 1st April.
We can't wait to see everything they have planned once it is all up and running!

Staying with Paris, and of course with the end of Christmas Season the Characters revert back to regular outfits. Duffy had made his début in Paris during the Christmas period, and so now makes his official regular début on Main Street in his regular sailor outfit on a permanent basis, alongside Mickey Mouse. Incidentally, the new Mickey meet 'n' greet is taking shape apparently, with some fresh new colours being painted onto the former Fantasy Festival Stage building. Again, we look forward to seeing it completed!

Over in Florida, much to my sadness, Dug and Russell from UP have stopped meeting guests just a month after they were added at Animal Kingdom.
This week saw the half marathon and the full marathon in WDW, and there were some truly amazing characters there. We really want to do a marathon some year (when we eventually get time!), and if any year has spurred us on to want to do it, it was this year. We have so far seen pictures of Darkwing Duck, Ludwig Von Drake, the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, amongst others. There were many more of course, but they are the most amazing ones I have seen posted online so far. Oh what we wouldn't do to meet Darkwing and Ludwig!!

In California, Disneyland held their Three Kings Day celebration, and of course Loren was there to get all the best pictures for us! Check out his picture filled Forum post here.

Finally, I posted some photo filled entries that I thought I would just highlight, as they are worth a look.
You can check out Part One and Part Two of my Disneyland Paris Christmas and New Year Photo Trips Reports here and here respectively.
I also posted a great over view of all the fantastic Character related things we have done this year, in my Year in Review post which can be seen here.

Ok, that's all for now,

Dan.
Character News and Updates From Around the Web - WDW Rumours, New show for the Dream and more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, December 15, 2011 1:01:53 PM

Hi all,

It has been really quiet o nthe Disney Character news as late, but I have been searching around and have a few small items to share today.

The Disney Parks Blog announced the dates for Star Wars Weekends next year. These events are always ridiculously popular, and are filled with some excellent Star Wars characters, as well as Disney Characters in Star Wars outfits.

Dug and Russell are now meeting in Disney's Animal Kingdom, near the Flame Tree BBQ.

I have also heard a rumour - and this really is jus tthat right now - that Dumbo may appear maybe in Aniaml Kingdom (although could be elsewhere) for the early part of next year while his ride relocates across the Magic Kingdom. This is certainly a viable rumour since they did the same thing back in 2005.

Lastly for WDW, the Pooh characters are now meeting in Town Square, and not Fantasyland.

Over in California, Loren has been keeping us up to date with all the happenings there. Be sure to check out last week's and this week's posts.

The Disney Parks Blog also announced a brand new show coming to the Disney Fantasy, called Wishes. It looks pretty neat, so we look forward to hearing more about that one as it develops.

Finally, don't forget to check out Part Five of my Grand Circle Tour of Disneyland Paris, which was about Frontierland. Of course, it features some of our favourite friends along the way!

Jon and I are off to Disneyland Paris this weekend again, to check out the Christmas Season, and will be back at our desks Monday.

Have a great weekend all!

Dan.

Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Character cuts coming to DAK, Jake débuts at DHS and more DLP 20th info emerges!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:09:16 PM
Hi all,

This week sees some sad news from Disney's Animal Kingdom. Apparently due to the new character lunch at Tusker House, WDW feel it apparently necessary to cut a whole bunch of characters from the Park's meet 'n' greet line up.
To be honest nothing actually surprises me with WDW any more, and this is just another sad change that will go unchecked.

Quite why they have to cut regular meet 'n' greet characters - especially popular ones such as Lilo and Stitch, when they are receiving money for the meals anyway, is quite baffling. Doesn't it already cost enough to get into Disney, without having to pay for a meal to meet characters? Shouldn't the cost of the meal cover that service? Why should regular meet 'n' greets suffer?
Let us know your thoughts on this by replying to this article, below.

Over at the Magic Kingdom, our friend Drew has posted some rumoured characters for Pete's Silly Sideshow. We hope that there are no cutbacks there, and some of those mentioned indeed come true! Oswald would be particularly amazing!

At Disney's Hollywood Studios Jake has finally made his official debut at both the Play 'n' Dine and outside Disney Junior Live at a meet 'n' greet. Sadly, once again, in favour of this one new character, ALL the Little Einsteins have faced the axe! The only one left that I am aware of is June, who still meets at the Play 'n' Dine (which is of course a paying service...)
Jake has also started greeting at Hollywood Pictures Backlot in Disney California Adventure. I am sure Loren will have all the updates form that next weekend!

Here in Europe at Disneyland Paris, artwork has been released showing what is expected to be some of the changes to the Once Upon a Dream Parade for the 20th anniversary. I had already posted on the blog back in the early summer that the Fairies would appear at the front, and Mickey and Friends would move to the back onto Princess 2, but this seems to now be confirmed.

It also looks like there could be some new characters in the parade, such as Mowgli and Mike Wazowski.
The Mickey and Friends characters are expected to have new outfits, which are the same ones which have been used for all the 20th anniversary advertising so far. Hopefully that will translate into meet 'n' greet outfits too, as they look pretty cool!

Regarding next year and Halloween, I had mentioned before that Halloween may be facing some cuts next year due to the massive expediture on the new "Dreams" night time spectacular. The new brochure (which can be found here, and also has a lot of the new artwork in it) does indeed confirm the sad demise of Mickey's Halloween Parties, but leaves the Soirée in place. It does confirm however that ther ewill be a Halloween Season, filled with characters and Disney Villains. Hopefully that means at least the Fab 5 friends, Pooh (Fab 5 and Pooh in Halloween outfits that is) and Jack and Sally will continue to meet, as they have always done, as well as all the cool Villains.

Our good friend Hilde posted her Christmas Season DLP trip report to the forum here. Be sure to check out all the neat things including characters in her report!

Finally, don't forget to check out the latest part of my Grand Circle Tour of Disneyland Paris here, and vote for the next part here!

Ok, that's all for now,

Dan.
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