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Celebrating Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort, June 2018 - A Report
DisneyDan  Saturday, July 7, 2018 7:09:59 AM
Hello everyone,

Pixar Fest is in full swing at Disneyland Resort in California, and we were there recently to check it out.

To begin, let's take a look at the decor that greets you as you walk from the hotels and parking, through Downtown Disney and the Esplanade.
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Halloween Time and Mickey's Halloween Party Details and Dates
DisneyDan  Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:32:38 PM
Hello everyone,

Earlier this week the Disney Parks Blog announced the Disneyland Resort's plans for Halloween Time this year, including dates for the popular Mickey's Halloween Party event.

The daytime activities at Disneyland park are anticipated to be the same, with Mickey and friends greeting in their Halloween costumes, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, and the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. For the most part, the Mickey's Halloween Party event at Disneyland park sounds very much the same as last year, with the return of the Frightfully Fun Parade, which features the Headless Horseman, the Halloween Screams fireworks, character greetings, and more. I'll come back to the party a little later, however, Disney California Adventure will be joining the spooky festivities with its own Halloween celebration, with two key additions. Buena Vista Street will be taken over by Oogie Boogie, and Cars Land will feature "Haul-O-Ween".

The images below were shared by the DPB:
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Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure
DisneyDan  Wednesday, July 19, 2017 10:16:52 AM
Hello everyone,

Until the 10th of September you can enjoy the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure park. We were there last week, and so I have prepared this special guide to every aspect of the Summer of Heroes for those of you visiting within the next two months.
  [ Read More... ]
Happy 14th Anniversary Disney California Adventure!
DisneyDan  Sunday, February 8, 2015 3:34:36 PM
Hello everyone,

Fourteen years ago today, the then-named Disney's California Adventure Park opened its doors for the first time. Since then, the park has undergone huge changes, eliminating entire lands and building new ones from scratch. It has probably undergone the largest transformation in the past 5 years alone than most parks have in their entire lifespans. Disney California Adventure, as it is today, is a tribute to the unending dream of Walt Disney, to keep moving forward and to continue to bring joy to people all around the world.

Let's take a look back at some of our favourite moments from the park over the years.

Disneyland Summer 2013 - Wandering through Condor Flats

Wandering thru Cars Land

Wandering thru Hollywood Land

Enjoying morning EMH in Cars Land before the masses arrive!

PIXAR Play Parade

World of Color

Meeting Olaf

Disneyland July 2012 - Cars Land at Night

Disneyland July 2012 - Wandering through Paradise Pier

Fun at DCA

Wandering thru Bugs Land

Christmas in Cars Land

Operation: Playtime!

Taking a trip on the Monorail

Disney California Adventure main entrance

Enjoying morning EMH in Cars Land before the masses arrive!

Mad T Party

The Esplanade early on a Sunday morning

DL Jan 2015 - Morning on Buena Vista St

DDE May 2013 - Aladdin A Musical Spectacular

DDE May 2013 - Radiator Springs Racers

End of Summer Party at the Pier

Wandering thru Bugs Land

Meeting Elsa and Anna

Wandering around Paradise Pier

Disneyland July 2012 - Heading back to DCA

Disneyland Summer 2013 - Wandering through Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

Disneyland Dec 2012 - World of Color

Disneyland Dec 2012 - The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Disneyland July 2012 - Carthay Circle at Night

Disneyland July 2012 - Cars Land at Night

Disneyland July 2012 - Monsters Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue!

Disneyland July 2012 - Wandering through Paradise Pier

Disneyland July 2012 - Cars Land first thing in the morning

Disneyland Aug 2009 - Sunshine Plaza

Disneyland July 2012 - Cars Land at Night

Disneyland July 2012 - Wandering through Paradise Pier

Meeting Oswald

Disneyland July 2012 - Wandering through Cars Land

Happy 14th anniversary Disney California Adventure!

Dan.
Disneyland Resort Photo Trip Report, January 2015 - including "Frozen Fun" and "Disney Viva Navidad"
DisneyDan  Friday, January 9, 2015 7:13:03 PM
Hello everyone,

Last weekend we were in Disneyland to see the end of their holiday offerings and the start of Frozen Fun.

This post is photo heavy so be warned if you have a slow connection speed!

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Entertainment News for Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Resort
DisneyDan  Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:22:07 PM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday Oriental Land Company, the operating company behind Tokyo Disney Resort, released a press statement that revealed some changes to the entertainment line-up at the Resort from next year.

At Tokyo DisneySea, the long running Legend of Mythica will end on September 14th 2014. This seems a long way off, and no replacement has been announced for the epic harbour spectacular, but with over a year until its last performance, there is a lot of time for OLC to announce something new.
It is a very popular show, but by the time its last performance rolls around, it will have been at the park for over eight years, which is especially long for a Tokyo production (entertainment in TDR tends to change fairly frequently compared to the other Disney Parks. A maximum of about four years isn't uncommon).

Also in TDS, in Mermaid Lagoon, the Little Mermaid show will be given a compete overhaul, and will feature some new technology such as digital displays. Although the press release mentions characters such as Sebastian, Flounder and King Triton, it is not known whether they will be actual characters, or just digital versions or puppets.
The current show will have its final performance on 6th April 2014, and will be closed for about a year (no definite opening date announced yet - just 'spring 2015').

Finally for TDR, although not character related, OLC also announced that a new night time projection show would be coming to Tokyo Disneyland's Cinderella Castle. The press release talks about projection mapping technology to bring it all to life, which is what the ridiculously popular Disney Dreams! at Disneyland Paris uses - they even used a picture of DLP's Sleeping Beauty Castle in the release to illustrate their intention. Hopefully they won't lift directly from Dreams though, and instead have their own show. Disney Dreams! is a truly awesome show in every respect, and it really belongs uniquely at DLP.

Over in California, the DCA Today Facebook page yesterday announced (rather suddenly) that Dancin' with Disney is reopened at Hollywood Land. There is no word as to which characters are appearing, but I will keep my eye out, and post on the Blog as soon as I hear anything.

Ok, that's all for today.

Dan.
News and Rumours from Around the World: Monstrous Summer, Independence Week, D23, Marvel Characters and more!
DisneyDan  Monday, June 17, 2013 10:58:54 AM
Hello everyone,

There's a few things of interest this week that I thought I'd share. Sadly I haven't really had time to catch up properly recently after the big around the world trip, so you'll have to just go with it!

Anyway, Disney's Monstrous Summer at both US resorts has now started, and brings with it some new characters and greeting opportunities.
At Walt Disney's World's Disney's Hollywood Studios, Mike and Sulley can be met in their new MU dorm setting (same place as their old location), in their new MU outfits.
At the Big Hat they perform in the homecoming show, which is basically a large pop/rock dance party.

At Disney California Adventure, Mike and Sulley can be met, again at a new MU dorm setting, down in Hollywood Land.
The PIXAR Play Parade has been refreshed too, and stars Mike, Sulley and some brand new Monsters friends! Art, Scott "Squishy" Squibbles, Terry and Terri, and Archie the Scare Pig all join them! We'll be there in August and really look forward to seeing them!
Art was out for meets during the most recent 24 hour event back in May. Sadly we were not there to meet him (we were in DLP at the time!).

From the 1st to the 7th of July at both US resorts, Independence Day will be celebrated for a whole week, and will feature special character opportunities.
At Disneyland you will be able to meet Mickey Mouse in patriotic clothes, in Town Square every evening.
At Walt Disney World Goofy, Donald and Pluto will feature in patriotic clothes in a special pre-parade at the Magic Kingdom, which will also feature EPCOT's Fife and Drum Corps, as well as the much loved Citizens of Main Street (just how WDW use them in other pre-parades).
Interestingly, WDW have not yet said whether there will be character greetings at the American Adventure in EPCOT this year. Every year, for the last few years at least, WDW have featured Mickey and friends in patriotic clothes, as well as appearances by historical figures such Betty Ross and Benjamin Franklin.
I hope that the pre-parade is not a replacement for those greetings. That would be quite sad indeed to cut those.
You can read more about what is happening during Independence Week at the US Parks on the Disney Parks Blog which I linked to above (includes details of 4th July fireworks and more)

Probably the biggest news this week is that for the first time ever Disney will feature Marvel characters! Of course, they will be for limited sets at this years D23 Expo event in August, but it is a huge step nonetheless.
It is expected that Spider-Man and Iron Man will appear for limited sets on one of the days.
D23 will also feature Sofia the First (who debuted in the Christmas Day Parade at WDW last year, but not seen since), and for the first time Doc McStuffins!
The programme of events also listed characters from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but of course we already have Jake at the parks, sparking speculation that maybe Izzy or Cubby might be coming!
Our friends at Inside the Magic have a complete breakdown of the entire event, with the greeting times, so be sure to check out their post here.

Here at Character Central we have been working hard to update the website and add more new content, including characters, autographs and movies. Be sure to check them all out! (You'll have to look for them - I don't want to make it too easy for you!)

Ok, I think that's everything for today.

Dan.
Happy 12th Birthday Disney California Adventure!
DisneyDan  Friday, February 8, 2013 11:17:14 AM
On this day in 2001, Disney's California Adventure Park (now simply Disney California Adventure) was opened for the first time to the public.
Throughout the years it has undergone some extreme changes, which culminated in it's grand re-launch last summer.

Now, with Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the amazing entertainment and characters that they have in DCA, it really is a fantastic Disney Park and one I am sure Walt would be proud to have facing his beloved Disneyland.

You can check out our dedicated DCA page here, and discover all of it's shows, attractions, restaurants, stores and more!

Of course, we are going to celebrate in Character Central style with a photo cavalcade!   [ Read More... ]
Disneyland Resort Christmas 2012 Trip Report - Part Two
DisneyDan  Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:00:09 AM
Hello everyone,

Sorry this has taken me a bit longer than I had anticipated, but of course life gets in the way! Anyway, here we are at part two of my Christmas trip report!
You can check out part one here, which was all about Disneyland Park.

Before we move on to the hotels and Disney California Adventure, there are a few additional things that I wanted to mention for Disneyland.

We were sad that this year Disneyland had axed the reindeer that used to feature at the ranch. In the past they had featured at Santa's Reindeer Round-up, which this year became the Jingle Jangle Jamboree. Overall this was a positive move, as the characters were still on Main Street, and Santa was still at the ranch, but additionally there were more Christmas characters at the ranch too. Besides losing the reindeer, Santa used to also appear after Christmas in a "post-Christmas" outfit, since Christmas is over. This year though, they decided that Santa would not appear. Instead, what they did was change Mickey and Minnie's outfits for after Christmas. Before Christmas they wore traditional, almost Victorian wear, after Christmas they sported neat Santa and Mrs Claus outfits. So, overall not a bad change. No Santa, but some really cute outfits.
One really annoying thing we discovered also, is that Disneyland are REALLY fussy about the weather. We travel a lot to all the parks, especially Florida and Paris, and the rain, and even snow in DLP, doesn't seem to affect things too much unless it's really serious. At DL though, the second there was the slightest inkling of some small drops from the sky, that was it. Ranch closed, characters cancelled. I am all for safety, but honestly, if you had seen the way they over reacted, it was ridiculous.

Similarly on the Santa situation, Santa at DCA disappeared after Christmas too, and did not return like in the past (we'll come to him shortly though).

While we're still at Disneyland, although not Christmas related, we did get to meet Ralph and Vanellope from the new Wreck-It-Ralph movie, which was neat.

Ralph

Vanellope

We also, for the first time, had dinner at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. We had intended to eat here in the past, but for one reason or another, it had never happened.
I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The live entertainment were good, and while they normally have a band there, they were especially festive for the season. Oh, and make sure you order the dessert! (I think it was called a S'mores Bake, or something)...

Dinner at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

Dinner at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Something randomly that I thought of also, regarding "snow". At Walt Disney World, during the Christmas parade when it is travelling down Main Street, it snows. At Disneyland Paris, during the Christmas Cavalcade, and at intervals throughout the day, everyday, it snows. So, I don't understand why Disneyland only snowed at night during the Castle Lighting or the Christmas fireworks. I realise this shouldn't bug me too much, but would it have killed them to have it snow when Santa was heading down Main Street atop his sleigh? Just a thought.

One last thing before we head to the hotels, Downtown Disney and finally DCA, is about some things we heard while in DL. On many - far TOO many - occasions this trip we heard things like "because Florida say no", "because Florida don't allow it", and so on. It seems that gradually WDW are trying to somehow cripple everything that DL do. Every time we asked why something had changed, why something wasn't as nice or good any more, why something had to be cancelled - you name it - the answer was that Florida didn't like it. Maybe now that Meg Crofton is being inched out the door, things might change a little, but only time will tell.
The other thing we heard a few times is that to everyone's great sadness, it might appear that this would be the last real year for Christmas season as we know it in DL. Once again Florida want their way, and Christmas sounds like it might be ticketed, like it is at the Magic Kingdom. That would be a heavy loss indeed. I am glad we went this past year to experience it fully, before the magic is sold out to hard ticket events.

Ok, so that's enough about Disneyland, now we shall take a stroll through Downtown Disney and the resort hotels, before heading into DCA!

For the new Tinker Bell movie about the winter, and because it is winter, Downtown Disney featured an ice skating rink for the Christmas period. Other than that, and some regular decorations, there wasn't too much in the way of Christmas offerings at DTD, not that we saw at least.

At the resort hotels, before Christmas Day they had Santa greeting in the evenings in their main lobbies. We managed to meet Santa at the Grand Californian and DL Hotel, but not the Paradise Pier.
The hotels looked pretty with their large Christmas trees in their lobbies, and the restaurants had gingerbread houses made by the in-house chefs.

Meeting Santa

Meeting Santa

Christmas at Goofy's Kitchen

Ok, so we shall step in to Disney California Adventure now, and discover their festive line-up.

It was DCA's first Christmas with it's shiny new look. Buena Vista Street, Cars Land and all the other things that they had re-launched earlier in 2012 got another chance to shine with the decor and lights of Christmas.

The decorations on BVS and Cars Land were really nice, and felt appropriate and not too overdone. The rest of the park didn't have too many decorations, but here and there were some small things, that just added a nice touch.

Christmas in Cars Land

Wandering down Buena Vista Street

Wandering down Buena Vista Street

Wandering down Buena Vista Street

Wandering thru Cars Land

Wandering thru Bugs Land

Wandering thru Cars Land

Christmas on Buena Vista Street

There was some new entertainment offerings for Christmas too, including the really talented Community Bell Ringers.
The other regular park bands played seasonal tunes, too, and the Phineas and Ferb mini-show had a small Christmas overlay.
Of course there were all the normal things that you would expect for the holidays, such as treats and merchandise. Some of the DCA Christmas merchandise was actually really nice.

Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers

Over at Hollywood Land, they had switched the Muppets 3D movie for the new Prep and Landing short film. We got to see it twice, which was good as we got to sit in the warm, and see a decent Disney movie in 3D for free!

Prep and Landing

One other main thing that they did, oddly though only on select days, was the Holiday Tree Lighting in Carthay Circle.
This little show in front of the large Christmas tree involved the characters, Citizens of Buena Vista Street and the Bell Ringers coming together and lighting the tree.

The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers

Christmas on Buena Vista Street

It was a pretty touch, but for some reason they didn't do it every night, and it ended on Christmas Eve, which is weird since they call the entire season Holiday Time (note the lack of actually being Christmas), and their "Holiday Time" runs until 6th January. The least they could have done is lit the tree on Christmas Day itself, but nope, it ended on Christmas Eve. Odd.

Now we come to characters at DCA for the Holidays.
On Buena Vista Street, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale all had festive alterations to their BVS outfits. Milly/Molly the Messenger, Phi Phi the Photographer and Donna the Dog Lady got a few small additions too.

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Meeting Mickey Mouse

Over in Cars Land Tow Mater had a large Santa hat on (but not McQueen though), and at Paradise Pier Donald and Duffy had Christmas clothes too.

Donald Duck

Duffy

Christmas Mater

Of course no Christmas would be complete without Santa, and he was available up until Christmas Eve at Elias and Co, in a traditional America department store setting, along with some Elf helpers.

Meeting Santa

One of Santa's Elves

Lastly we come to New Year's Eve. We had decided that our best option would probably be to stay over at DCA because, honestly, we had experienced Disneyland on busy days, and that was bad enough. Add New Year into the equation and you get a whole other level of insanity! DCA provides larger open areas, wider walkways and generally less intensity of craziness than DL park (generally, not always!).
We actually ended up making the right decision, because really, honestly, compared to what DL Park had been the few days leading up to New Year, DCA was a BREEZE. We were pleasantly surprised how quiet it was. We wandered around and checked out the special New Year entertainment, which consisted of three bands. One country rock in Cars Land, and two jazz (one on BVS and the other in Paradise Pier). I'm not a fan of jazz and found them quite dull, especially the one on BVS, but that's just me.

Kelly and the Radiator Springs Rockers

Boringness

Wandering thru Paradise Pier

I think that overall the bands and entertainment for New Year's Eve could have been a bit better, but the best was yet to come!
For the turn of the year there was a breathtaking spectacular on Paradise Bay, with lasers, fireworks, fountains, music and an energy that really brought the park to a roaring climax, before they followed it up with a full presentation of World of Color.

New Year Fireworks

New Year Fireworks

New Year Fireworks

World of Color

Over at Disneyland they would never been able to achieve what they did at DCA simply because of the setting, surroundings and size. DL wouldn't have the fountains, and probably no-where near as many lasers, if any (has anyone ever seen lasers used in DL for spectaculars? Let me know!).
If we are ever back at DLR for New Year we would definitely chose DCA again. I can't imagine at the end of the night how horrendous the crowds must have been. Getting out of DCA was relatively easy. DL was at capacity, and we know from previous experience - on a non-New Year's event - that even if it gets remotely crowded the park grinds to a miserable halt. We made the right choice for sure!

Well, that concludes this report. We really enjoyed Christmas ("Holiday Time") at Disneyland Resort, and definitely recommend it. We just hope that they continue to add things to the season, and they manage to stave off Florida's advances regarding the ticketed Christmas!

Dan.
Happy 11th Birthday Disney California Adventure!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:16:25 AM
Eleven years ago today, the then named Disney's California Adventure Park opened at the newly branded Disneyland Resort in California, becoming Disney's 8th theme park around the world.
The park has seen many changes over the years, and this year is going to experience the grand opening it's most daring project yet!
So let's celebrate by taking a look back at our character adventures at Disney California Adventure, with many more to come!   [ Read More... ]

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