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News - Brand new Halloween parade coming to DL, Halloween Dine outfits revealed, and Star Wars event coming to DLP
DisneyDan  Monday, August 29, 2016 12:50:01 PM
Hello everyone,

Today the Disney Parks Blog revealed that a brand new parade (although it's more of a cavalcade) will feature at Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland park in California. The parade, titled the "Frightfully Fun Parade", will feature the Headless Horseman, and characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Haunted Mansion, Princess and the Frog, the Disney Villains and "beyond". Characters specifically mentioned in the article are the Headless Horseman, Jack Skellington, the Hitchhiking Ghosts, Dr Facilier, Hades, the Queen, Jafar and Cruella. It is not yet known how this new parade will affect the character greetings around the park during the event evenings, or whether having the characters in the parade will mean those ones will not be greeting (up until last year nearly all of those, save for the Horseman, met during the parties).

On Friday the DPB also gave us a sneak peek at two of the costumes that the characters will be wearing at the next Minnie's Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine.


Image taken from the Disney Parks Blog. (C) Disney.

It is interesting that they chose to go with a Halloween theme over a fall/harvest theme, given that the Halloween Dine will run from the 12th September until well past Halloween - 6th November in fact. We look forward to seeing what Goofy, Donald and Daisy are wearing, too!

Finally, last week Disneyland Paris announced that they would be filling their early 2017 low season with a brand new star Wars themed event, titled Season of the Force. The event will run from 14th January until 26th March, and will primarily run at the Walt Disney Studios Park. There will be Stormtroopers patrolling the streets, a March of the First Order, featuring Captain Phasma and Stormtroopers, and a brand new light projection show at the Tower of Terror at night, that will also include - as of yet unspecified - characters. The new official landing page for the event also mentions something in Production Courtyard, but it really gives no details at all; "Let the Force guide you to Production Courtyard in Walt Disney Studios Park for an extraordinary example of galactic might." Whatever it means, it'll be yet another cool and welcome addition to the park and this already awesome sounding line-up.

Ok, that's all for today. Have a great day everyone.

Dan.
News - Disney's Electrical Parade leaving WDW, coming to DL, DLP Halloween announcements and Christmas in TDR!
DisneyDan  Thursday, August 11, 2016 9:30:18 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog made the surprising announcement that Disney's Electrical Parade (fondly known as the Main Street Electrical Parade to fans) would be coming to an end after a final performance on 9th October. In an odd twist, they also announced that it would be moving to Disneyland in California for a "limited engagement", "early next year". As always, Disney are completely vague as to what they mean exactly - "early" could mean anywhere from January to April, and of course "limited engagement" could mean a month or six months! Even stranger still, just last week as I reported here on the blog, Disneyland are ending their popular Paint the Night parade, but instead of that moving somewhere else, the most recent update from the DPB suggests that Paint the Night will actually remain at the DLR and return for holiday events! Having two electrical parades at one park, that could potentially switch out depending on the day/season/event is quite odd, especially since it leaves WDW without a nighttime parade.

Disneyland Paris yesterday released its Halloween press release, and everything sounds just about the same as it has for the past couple of years. That isn't altogether a bad thing since the Halloween season there has been quite strong and reasonably successful in recent years, so there isn't much need to change the formula I suppose. Returning to Parc Disneyland this Halloween season will be Mickey's Halloween Celebration, which is their daily Halloween cavalcade (not quite a full parade, for those wondering). It’s Good to Be Bad with the Disney Villains!, which stars Jafar, Cruella, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, The Witch, Frollo and Dr Facilier, will also be returning to the Castle Stage. Daisy and Stitch will appear at Costume Corner (Daisy replacing Minnie this year), and Maleficent will return to the Castle Courtyard. Rumours have gone around the internet of other character appearances, such as Marie and even Cheshire Cat - but I'll say what I always say: nothing is certain until Disney says otherwise, and even then, things can change on a daily basis! All we know right now is what I have mentioned above. Disney's Halloween will run from 1st October until 2nd November, with Disney's Halloween Soiree ticketed event featuring on 31st October, as per usual.

Tokyo Disney Resort revealed its Christmas offerings yesterday, and since much of it was new last year (TDR tend to have a three-to-five year life cycle of its seasonal entertainment), it wasn't much of a surprise that it will all be pretty much the same. At Tokyo Disneyland we can expect the return of the Disney Christmas Stories parade, the Christmas version of Dreamlights, and the seasonal overlays to the bands, Haunted Mansion and the Country Bears, and other minor entertainment. At Tokyo DisneySea we can expect to see the return of A Perfect Christmas, Colors of Christmas, and again, the overlays to regular entertainment such as A Table is Waiting and the bands. We were lucky enough to be in Tokyo Disney Resort for Christmas season last year, and you can read my report about it here on the blog!

That's everything for today. Have a great day everyone.

Dan.
News - Paint the Night and Forever Fireworks to end at DL, Elena and Muppets coming to WDW, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, August 5, 2016 8:59:50 AM
Hello everyone,

Earlier this week the Disney Parks Blog announced that the entertainment added for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland last year would all end on 5th September. The Disneyland Forever fireworks, the Paint the Night electrical parade, and the current version of World of Color would all have their final performances on that date. In addition, Fantasy in the Sky fireworks will return to Disneyland park Fridays through Sundays only.

With Disneyland Forever leaving, it means that we will no longer see Nemo swimming high above Sleeping Beauty Castle, and potentially Tinker Bell. When we saw Fantasy in the Sky, when they ran it for a while in 2015, there were no flying characters in it at all.

The loss of Paint the Night is the most detrimental to the park. With the scaled back fireworks performances, and Fantasmic! being down because of the Star Wars Land construction, it leaves Disneyland park with very little in the way of nighttime entertainment - especially Monday through Wednesday.

Over at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida the Disney Parks Blog revealed that a brand new show starring the Muppets would be coming to Liberty Square in then Magic Kingdom, in "October" (DPB being as vague as ever). Sam Eagle, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo and James Jefferson will all appear in a new show outside the Hall of Presidents. The description makes it sound as though throughout the day there will be numerous different performances, retelling popular stories from American history. It is interesting that WDW have chosen to introduce the Muppets to Liberty Square since they decided to re-theme and rededicate the area around Muppet*Vision 3D (at DHS) as Muppets Courtyard recently. It would seem the Muppets (who were cancelled from ABC recently also) are making a belated comeback to WDW!

The Magic Kingdom is set to welcome Princess Elena of Avalor from 11th August, starting with a special welcome ceremony that will be live streamed on the DPB. Then, from 12th August, multiple times per day, Cinderella and Prince Charming will join Princess Elena at the Castle Stage for a musical performance. The show is a "limited time" happening (again with the DPB being vague), so catch Elena while you can!

From 7th until 31st August, guests who purchase the WDW Memory Maker will be entitled to a special private greeting with a Disney Princess inside Heritage House (Liberty Square), at the Magic Kingdom. Terms and limitations apply. Check the DPB for all the details.

Finally, I have been continuing to add more and more new content to the site, and you will now find brand new pages loaded with photos for the following character-filled experiences at WDW: Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire, Minnie's Summertime Dine, and the Royal Sommerhus.

Ok, that's all for today! Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
News - Halloween Time and Mickey's Halloween Party dates announced - with new surprises!
DisneyDan  Thursday, July 14, 2016 8:59:38 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog finally officially announced the dates for Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland this year, as well as the dates the tickets go on sale to various groups of guests.

The blog confirmed the return of Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy for the season, as well as the return of the Halloween Screams fireworks for the parties. They did also reveal that new for this year, the Headless Horseman would make a "spooky ride" through the park each party night! The Magic Kingdom's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party has done this for many years, so it'll be interesting and fun to see the ghoulish horseman at Disneyland this year!

Halloween Time will run from 9th September until 31st October, inclusive, with Mickey's Halloween Party running on 17 select nights from 23rd September until 31st October.

The dates for the parties are as follows:

September 23, 26, 28 and 30.
October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29 and 31.

Tickets go on sale for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Visa Reward members and Disney Vacation Club members next week, on the 21st July, and to the general public on 28th July. Prices start from $72 (plus tax) and go up to $99 (plus tax), depending on the night.

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
News and Updates - Mulan and Mushu to appear at DCA, Mulan and Pocahontas get new outfits, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, June 10, 2016 12:53:53 PM
Hello everyone,

I know it has been a while since I posted here. Life has a way of getting in the way, and I haven't had time to post as many updates as I would like. Having said that, for the eagle eyed among you, and those who regularly visit this site, you will have noticed that I have been updating many pages throughout the site, including changing character categories, moving things around, adding some brand new characters and locations, and other smaller items. So while the blog hasn't had much recently, I have been here, and Character Central still aims to be as on top of character happenings as possible!

Let's begin with some news that was released by the Disney Parks Blog yesterday. Next week, on Thursday 16th June, Shanghai Disneyland officially opens to the public, following its rather extensive soft opening period. To celebrate, Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort will be featuring Mulan and Mushu from 10am until 5pm. Mushu rarely gets out at any of the Disney Parks these days, and so it will be great to see him visiting California.

Pocahontas and Mulan got new outfits last week, and we were lucky enough to be at Animal Kingdom and Epcot the day they debuted! Take a look at their new looks below!

Mulan

Pocahontas

Mickey and Minnie Mouse finally got a new permanent greeting location at Disney's Hollywood Studios, after several months of them moving from place to place, following the closure of the Animation Building. The new location is much nicer than anything previously, and Minnie even got a new outfit!

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Along similar lines, after what seemed like an eternity, Olaf finally started greeting his fans at Disney's Hollywood Studios, at the new Celebrity Spotlight location.

Meeting Olaf

Some people have asked us about some of the new characters appearing at the parks, and I can happily confirm that last week I was finally able to add Nick and Judy, Captain Phasma and Joy and Sadness to Character Central (click on the names to go to their pages!).

Before I leave you with some of my photos of those brand new characters (there are many more on their respective pages!), I want to just mention that in the next few days I will be making a blog post/guide to the character experiences at the brand new Shanghai Disneyland. While we are not visiting just yet and therefore Character Central won't feature the park until then (since we need photos - we have our trip booked though!), I wanted to gather together all the information we know about character experiences at the new park, in one handy reference guide, until such a time when I can add the park to the website.

In the next week I also will be writing my latest Walt Disney World trip report here on the blog.

So stay tuned for both of those!

Anyway, that's all for today. Be sure to scroll down for the photos of Joy, Sadness, Nick, Judy and Captain Phasma that I promised!

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.

March of the First Order

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party

Meeting Joy and Sadness

Meeting Joy and Sadness

Meeting Joy and Sadness
NEWS - VIPs get new look in Shanghai, Inside Out, Zootopia, Spring around the world, and much more!
DisneyDan  Sunday, March 20, 2016 11:09:26 AM
Hello everyone,

The past week or two has seen a surprising amount of character news come out the Disney parks worldwide, so I have my usual round-up of everything, complete with sources!

Let's start at Disney's newest resort, set to open on 16th June this year, Shanghai Disneyland. The Xinhua English News reported online the other day that, I quote,

"Classic Disney characters are getting a Chinese re-styling for Shanghai Disneyland, with Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck set to appear as old Shanghai stereotypes when the park opens in three months.

Of the 7,000 souvenirs ready to debut at Shanghai Disneyland's opening on June 16, at least half were tailored exclusively for the park, said sources there on Saturday.

Minnie will be dressed like a typical Shanghai beauty in the 1920s and 1930s, wearing a pink Chinese jacket and red embroidered silk sandals.

"The dressing style was typical of ladies whose portraits appeared on calendars in every household 80 to 90 years ago," said Gu Zhengwei, director of Shanghai Disney Resort's commodity department.

In Shanghai, Mickey will be a young man wearing a top hat and holding a stick, while Donald will appear as a middle-aged Shanghai man, good-natured but aloof."


Obviously nothing is certain until the park opens, but I think it is interesting that, at least from this article, it sounds as though these costumes will be their "standard" dress in Shanghai, rather than the classic outfits we are used to seeing them in at the other parks. It's always nice to see new costumes for the characters in shows and parades, and we look forward to meeting them there!

Whilst I was on that article I clicked around the site and found something posted a couple of months ago that I don't believe anyone else has picked up on, that I thought was really interesting. Again, I quote,

"Shanghai Disneyland will feature favorite Disney characters from Snow White to Luke Skywalker, under an entertainment program announced for the upcoming park on Wednesday.

The stories of classic Disney princesses will be staged in the site's signature Enchanted Storybook Castle, said Matt Almas, the company's creative executive.

Visitors will learn to draw Marvel characters and interact with the heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe in sci-fi zone Tomorrowland.

Chinese elements will also be incorporated, Almas said.

The final carriage of Mickey's Storybook Express, a train running through the park, will be dedicated to Mulan, an animated movie depicting a female war hero of ancient China. Each carriage will be based on a different Disney film.

The Lion King musical will be performed in Chinese at the park's theater. Visitors will also join Donald Duck and Chip'n'Dale to practice traditional Chinese martial art Tai Chi."


We already knew about the castle show, so that doesn't sound too surprising, and the same for the being able to "interact" (think meet) the Star Wars and Marvel characters. What is interesting though is the information about the parade, Mickey's Storybook Express. We have heard so very little about this parade so far, that it is interesting to hear something about it, and that it will include Mulan. The other interesting statement is the one about learning Tai Chi with Donald, Chip and Dale. This is the first time we have given any kind of information about smaller, potential "pop-up" entertainment around the park - everything so far has been very much focussed on the larger stage productions. It's nice to see that this new park will have random park atmosphere entertainment, too. It should be noted that the Lion King show that they mention is actually the broadway style show, and is located outside the park at an additional cost.

Moving across the country to Hong Kong Disneyland, where spring season has started. This year Mickey and friends are appearing in some unique outfits, that while don't scream spring to me, they are really cute and offer something different to guests visiting the park. I don't have any photos of my own to share, but a tag search on Instagram shows up some pretty decent images, as I discovered. Hong Kong Disneyland are also continuing to up their character offerings across the park with the recent addition of Princess Sofia and Baymax. You can learn more about the spring season and the new character greetings, here on the official HKDL page.

Across the East China Sea, in Japan the immensely popular show, Big Band Beat, at Tokyo DisneySea has held its last weekend of performances. The newly reimagined show for the 15th anniversary of the park will open on the 15th April 2016, along with the new Crystal Wishes Journey show at Mediterranean Harbor and The Year of Wishes Greeting Drive at American Waterfront on the same day. Across the resort at Tokyo Disneyland, the new Polynesian Terrace dinner show that replaces Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise, opens tomorrow. The show will be presented up to four times daily, and is expected to feature Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale and Clarice.

Heading east to Disneyland in California, and it was announced on the Disney Parks Blog that the Super Hero HQ in Tomorrowland would be closing. Saturday 2nd April will be the last day to meet Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America at the building. However, Captain America and Spider-Man will be moving over to Disney California Adventure the very next day, Sunday 3rd April. Along similar superhero lines, the Parks Blog also announced that the former Avengers half marathon weekend at Disneyland will now become the Super Hero half marathon, and will expand its offerings to include for the first time Dr Strange. Though the blog doesn't specifically say who will appear, it does say there will be "surprises" and that Dr Strange would "host", which makes it sound very likely that Dr Strange will make his first ever Disney Parks appearance! The marathon event will be held from 10th through 13th November 2016, with registration opening on 12th April 2016.

Obviously we still have a week until Easter, but it currently looks as though, much to our sadness, that spring will not be retuning to Disneyland Resort this year. We really loved the offerings the past couple of years, with a several month long celebration featuring the VIPs in special outfits and special greetings with the Disney bunnies, including Roger Rabbit. Perhaps they will surprise us next week with something, but at the moment it doesn't look likely, sadly.

I had previously posted here on the blog about the arrival of Nick and Judy from Disney's latest smash hit, Zootopia. It had been announced on the Parks Blog that they would appear for greetings at Disney California Adventure and in Move It! Shake It! at the Magic Kingdom. While that hasn't changed, we now have a clearer idea on timeframe. Shawn Slater later confirmed in the comments that Nick and Judy would be around until at least June at DCA, and while there is no firm date on their start in DCA, they would start appearing in MISICI at the Magic Kingdom from next weekend (Easter). Disney entertainment schedules typically start on a Sunday, which means that Saturday will be the last day for the current format. It is expected, though not officially confirmed, that Stitch and Genie would be the ones replaced by Nick and Judy. Saturday is also expected to be Marie's last day in Town Square, with Stitch replacing her the following day possibly at the front of the park (although Tomorrowland is just a good a location for him, of course).

There are just two weeks left now for Dream Along with Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, with its last day being Saturday 2nd April. There is still no confirmation as to when the new show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, will begin.

It was also finally announced, much to everyone's huge relief, that Joy and Sadness from last year's hit PIXAR movie Inside Out start greeting guests at the Epcot Character Spot from early April. While there is still no firm date yet (Shawn Slater's comment son the Parks Blog even say as much), it is such a welcome addition - if a little late. Shawn also confirmed that there would be no FastPass+ offered for the new experience.

Across the ocean at Disneyland Paris spring season officially started there, with their ever expanding seasonal offerings, including Minnie's Spring Train which for the first time, though rather sporadically, has included the Cheshire Cat! He appeared for the press launch last week, and has made a couple of further appearances since, giving hope to fans that he will become more of a permanent fixture in the park. An Instagram search shows up some good pictures of him, if you're interested.

Finally for today, the Parks Blog confirmed that the popular Star wars Days at Sea will return to select Disney Cruise Line sailings in 2017.

Ok, that's it for today! If you haven't already, be sure to check out my latest trip report, which can be found in the blog list on the side panel.

Have a great week everyone,

Dan.
NEWS - Kylo Ren coming to Disney Parks, Tokyo DisneySea 15th anniversary and more closures at DHS
DisneyDan  Friday, January 15, 2016 4:31:51 PM
Hello everyone,

Today the Disney Parks Blog announced that Kylo Ren, the main villain of the new "Star Wars - Force Awakens" movie, will be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park in California. Kylo Ren will feature at the Star Wars Launch Bay at both parks, replacing Darth Vader. It is not currently known if he will also appear at the Disney Visa meet 'n' greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios, replacing Darth Vader when he appears there, too. This is really exciting news for Star Wars fans, and fans of the new movie, as it will, for the first time, bring a   [ Read More... ]
Character Central Advent Calendar - 20th December
DisneyDan  Sunday, December 20, 2015 9:26:48 PM
Hello everyone,

Today is the 20th December, so it's time to find out who is behind today's very special Character Central advent calendar door!

Here we go...

  [ Read More... ]
Character Central Advent Calendar - 18th and 19th December
DisneyDan  Sunday, December 20, 2015 9:19:51 PM
Hello everyone,

We have been exceptionally busy over the past few days, so I didn't get chance to post this - but we're here now! So, without another moment to lose, let's find out who was behind doors 18 and 19 of our very special Character Central advent calendar!

  [ Read More... ]
Character Central Advent Calendar - 3rd and 4th December
DisneyDan  Friday, December 4, 2015 9:09:21 AM
Hello everyone,

We were travelling yesterday and so I couldn't post an advent calendar blog, so today I'll share two photos instead of the usual one.

Let's see who is behind the doors today!

  [ Read More... ]
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