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Disneyland Resort September 2015 - A Photo Trip Report
DisneyDan  Wednesday, September 30, 2015 2:46:45 PM
Hello everyone,

Last week Jon and I spent five days at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland in California. This was our third trip to the Disneyland Resort this year, and our final one this year until next year.

We went to (finally) see the 60th anniversary celebrations and celebrate Halloween Time. It had been four years since we had been at Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time, and so we were excited to go back. Unfortunately, we already knew that Disneyland had made many cutbacks to their Halloween season this year, but despite that, we were still looking forward to seeing the things that were spared.

I'll organise this report into themed groups so that we don't jump around all over the place. Let's start with the Halloween Time offerings, and meeting Mickey and friends on Main Street USA in their Halloween costumes.   [ Read More... ]
Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland - A Report
DisneyDan  Monday, September 28, 2015 4:25:42 PM
Hello everyone,

Last Friday night (25th September) Jon and I attended the first of this year's Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland.

We had previously attended Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland four years ago, and due to lots of other travelling commitments, have only just now managed to make it back again for the party!

I was anxious because it was the first one of the season, and obviously things can change from year to year. So although I had some idea from looking at details from last year, I didn't really know what to expect this night.

Around 4pm on Friday   [ Read More... ]
News - Christmas around the world, TONS of new Tokyo entertainment announced for next year, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, September 18, 2015 12:06:13 PM
Hello everyone,

Today I have a round up of the latest character news out of the Disney Parks around the world, including Tokyo Disney Resort where is there is a huge amount of information about the coming 18 months at the resort.

Let's start with Walt Disney World in Florida, where this week saw the first of the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties. This year there is a new stage show, titled "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular", featuring the Sanderson Sisters, and other Disney Villains, including   [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Goodbye Halloween at DLR, WDW to FINALLY welcome Olaf and a new Villains show, Christmas at DLP and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:57:59 AM
Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I have had chance to make a full news post here on the blog, but today I thought it would be nice to finally share some of the things we have learned recently.

Let's start with Disneyland Resort in California,   [ Read More... ]
Throwback Thursday - Celebrate! A Street Party
DisneyDan  Thursday, August 13, 2015 8:58:07 AM
Hello everyone,

Today's Throwback Thursday is to Disneyland's "Celebrate! A Street Party".

Celebrate! A Street Party replaced the much loved Parade of Dreams, opening on 27th March 2009, during the "What Will You Celebrate?" campaign at the US Disney Parks. Unfortunately, Celebrate! A Street Party was no comparable replacement for the Parade of Dreams, and was widely unpopular with regular Disneyland guests.

Celebrate! A Street Party featured twenty-three characters, ranging from Mickey and friends, Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Woody, as well as many talented performers. The performance was not so much a parade, but more what the name suggests, a street party. In general, there was nothing wrong with this concept, but when you take into account the fact that this replaced a much loved day parade, which featured beautiful floats and great music, this was not going to cut it. It would be like the Magic Kingdom ending its day parade and advertising Move It! Shake It! as the main parade for the day - and we all know how awful that is.

To its credit, the street party did include new costumes for Mickey, Minnie and Clarabelle Cow. Chip 'n' Dale's sweet heart, Clarice, was also featured in the party; fans will know that, sadly, Clarice doesn't get out much in the US parks, so it was good to see her.

Celebrate! A Street Party featured the (actually not-so-bad) Disney created campaign song "Celebrate You", along with a remix of King Louie's "I Wanna Be Like You", and even Ricky Martin's "Ole Ole Ole". Overall, the idea of having a street party with popular characters is not a bad one, but when you look at the characters they included, and then listen to the soundtrack, you can see why it didn't work! Mary Poppins, Bert, Geppetto and Winnie the Pooh, all dancing along to "Ole Ole Ole" is not really within those characters' genre. Combined with the fact that this was the replacement for a wildly popular parade, it simply didn't work.

Celebrate! A Street Party ran for a year and a half, and ended at the start of the 2010 Christmas season. It did not return in spring 2011, and was replaced with the much more appropriate, and much better received, Mickey's Soundsational Parade, which still runs today.

Let's take a look back at some photos from both August 2009 and August 2010, when we watched Celebrate! A Street Party.

  [ Read More... ]
Your Frequently Asked Character Questions Answered! - Disneyland Edition
DisneyDan  Friday, July 24, 2015 10:39:19 AM
Hello everyone,

Here at Character Central we always strive to have good, reliable and up-to-date information, which is why I don't tend to use the blog to make these kinds of posts usually. Character locations and information are usually updated via the individual location and character profile pages on this site, as it is easier to control. However, following on from the success of my previous Walt Disney World article on the same subject, I felt I needed to write a guide to characters at Disneyland Resort, too.

Please remember that these are the most frequently asked questions that we get for Disneyland Resort only.

Where can I find Mickey Mouse?

Mickey Mouse

One of the top questions for guests to ask is, "Where can I find Mickey Mouse?" Well, Mickey has several permanent locations at the Disneyland Resort theme parks. The top place to meet Mickey Mouse is at his very own home, in Toontown. Here, you can meet Mickey Mouse while he films scenes from various cartoon shorts. Sometimes he might wear his "classic" outfit, and on other occasions you may be lucky enough to find him dressed in his Sorcerer's Apprentice, Steamboat Willie or Band Concert costumes!
Other great locations to find Mickey Mouse include in Town Square on Main Street USA, intermittently throughout the day, or on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure, where he wears his cute Buena Vista Street outfit.

Who else appears besides Mickey Mouse? Can I meet the Disney Princesses, for example?

Meeting the Princesses

Across Disneyland Resort theme parks, you can nearly always meet Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Chip and Dale. All six of those have regular locations across both parks, but times and availability may change depending on the day of your visit. The Disney Princesses appear at Disneyland Park at various locations, such as Royal Hall at Fantasy Faire, Pixie Hollow, and on Main Street USA. Royal Hall is home to a multitude of princesses who rotate throughout the day, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Merida, Belle and Snow White, although of course Disney could change this at any time. You can also meet Anna and Elsa at the Animation building in Hollywood Land, or Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater in Cars Land, all at Disney California Adventure. Other characters, such as Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and friends, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and many more, all appear throughout the theme parks. You should check the schedules for the day of your visit (see further below for more information).

Do the Disney characters appear randomly at the Disney Parks?

Meeting Flik

Many of the character appearances at the Disney theme parks are on the published schedule, which can be picked up upon entering the theme parks. There are some that are not always listed though, depending on whether there are other events happening, and how much space is dedicated to the characters on that schedule. If a character does appear that is not on that day's schedule, chances are they nearly always out in the parks anyway. Disneyland Park especially, more than Disney California Adventure, will often feature characters on Main Street, near the Castle and around Fantasyland that are not on the published schedule. It is quite common (though never guaranteed) to see Peter Pan, The Queen, Mickey and friends, and even Disney Princesses on Main Street and around the Castle. Their locations can be changeable, and they may not even appear in the same place twice on the same day.

Do the Disney characters walk freely around the Disney Parks?

Character fun in Fantasyland

Many of the unpublished characters mentioned above do not have a host with them, which guests who frequent Walt Disney World often may find strange. There is a certain calm and laid back approach to character greetings at Disneyland Resort that Walt Disney World seems to lack. More often than not, when meeting characters such as Mary Poppins and Bert, Peter Pan, The Queen, Alice and the Mad Hatter and the Princesses on Main Street, there will be no host, but guests will form an orderly in anyway. Characters such as Peter Pan sometimes wander and run around having fun rather than stopping for photos. This is quite normal for Disneyland, and the local guests seem to get a lot out of it. If a character is roaming and doesn’t look as though they are stopping, you probably shouldn’t harass them by asking them for individual photos with your entire family.

Do the Disney characters visit the Disney Resort Hotels?

Meeting Santa

Unfortunately the Disney characters rarely make hotel appearances at Disneyland Resort. In the past, around Christmastime, Santa Claus has appeared at the three Disney hotels, but as with everything, this is subject to change.

Do rare characters appear at the Disney theme parks?

Big Thunder Ranch Springtime Roundup fun

This one is a tricky one to answer, but overall the answer is, "no, not nearly as often as we'd like!" Of course, the definition of "rare" can change considerably from one year to the next, but generally speaking, if a character has not appeared in over a year, and show no signs of returning, then they are pretty "rare". Characters at Christmastime and during the Halloween parties, although not appearing daily, aren't so much rare as they are seasonal or event specific. For two years running Disneyland Park has held the popular Springtime Round-up event at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, which starred Roger Rabbit, Br’er Rabbit and other more common bunnies. Although Roger Rabbit appeared (almost) daily at this event, it is never guaranteed that he, or even this event, will return again. Roger Rabbit hadn’t appeared for many years before his return for this spring happening, so you could say he’s pretty rare.

Do you have any tips for a better experience when meeting the characters? Do the characters sign autographs, for example?

The Tsums adventures in Disneyland

This one is pretty open ended, but I would say that if you're going to meet a character, be sure to know who they are! Before your trip, if you think there is a chance you may meet one particular character, watch their movie before you visit. When you visit them, you can ask them about their adventures, their friends and families, etc. For example, if you are going to meet Aladdin, ask him how Abu is and if he has gotten into any more trouble lately. Characters also love seeing themselves on clothing and accessories, bags, pins and lanyards, etc. Be sure to have your cameras ready to capture any cute moments, and buy an autograph book and a pen that works, so they characters can sign their names. Something which we have taken to doing recently, which both us and the characters really enjoy, is taking along our Disney Tsum Tsums to meet the characters. If we know we are going to meet a specific character on any given day, we try to take with us the Tsum Tsum of them, or someone related to them. They’ll often (though not always) pose with the Tsum Tsums, making for super-cute photos!

Do the characters appear in shows and parades?

Mickey and the Magical Map

The Disney characters appear in many shows and parades across the theme parks. Disneyland is well known for the sheer amount of entertainment they offer, which can change frequently. Currently, and always subject to change, the most popular shows and parades include (but definitely not limited to): Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, Paint the Night parade, Mickey and the Magical Map, Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular, the Frozen Sing-Along and the PIXAR Play Parade.

Can I dine with the Disney characters?

Breakfast at the Plaza Inn

Yes! You most certainly can! Character dining is a fun way to meet the Disney characters while enjoying a great meal at one of Disney's fabulous themed restaurants. Currently, you can dine with the Disney characters at five locations at Disneyland Resort. These are: Minnie’s Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Ariel’s Grotto at Paradise Pier, Chip ’n’ Dale’s Critter Breakfast at Storyteller’s Cafe in the Grand Californian, Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel and Surf’s Up with Mickey and Friends at the Paradise Pier hotel. What's fun about these meals is that at many of them, the characters wear special themed outfits for the occasion, for example at Storyteller’s Cafe, Chip ’n’ Dale wear cute scarves, at Goofy’s Kitchen Goofy and friends wear chef outfits, and at the Surf’s Up breakfast, Mickey and friends wear beachwear.

Where can I find more information?

Wandering around the Esplanade

Here are some of my suggestions for finding out more about how and where to meet the Disney characters. Words highlighted in blue take you to that specific link.

  • The official Disneyland Resort website has some limited character greeting information, however, I personally have found this to sometimes not have all the information I want.
  • Here at Character Central we have a vast guidebook for all the Disney parks, locations and characters. A good start for a good general overview would be what we call our "cheat sheet" for finding characters at the parks. On this cheat sheet we list the characters we have seen at Disneyland Resort, rate the chances of you finding them, and the general location you might spot them.

These links are of course only my recommendations, and should be used as a guide for planning only. Anything can change at any time, without notice from Disney.

If you have any further questions, you can join our friendly forum, and us or our members will happily help you out!

Have a great day everyone,

Happy 60th Anniversary Disneyland!
DisneyDan  Friday, July 17, 2015 9:31:13 AM
Today is the 60th anniversary of the grand opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

We have had many character filled adventures at Disneyland over the years, and so I am going to share with you some of our favourite moments.

For my non-character related tribute post, head over to our new Two Lost boys blog.

Happy 60th anniversary Disneyland!

Tangled show

Meeting Tinker Bell and Periwinkle

Having fun with Foulfellow, Anastasia and Drizella

The characters are ready for Santa to come!

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Disneyland Resort DDE Closing Ceremony

Meeting the Princesses

Halloween Screams - A Villainous Surprise in the Skies Fireworks

Big Thunder Ranch Springtime Roundup fun


Meeting Ralph and Vanellope


Big Thunder Ranch Springtime Roundup fun


The Disneyland Band and Characters have fun at the Main Entrance

Meeting Captain America


Meeting Peter Pan and Wendy


A Christmas Fantasy Parade

Disneyland Resort Photo Trip Report, April 2015 - including Springtime Roundup and much more!
DisneyDan  Monday, April 13, 2015 10:54:46 AM
Hello everyone,

At the start of April Jon and I spent nine full days in the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland Resort in California.

I'm going to break this report down into themed areas of the parks, as we did so much in nine days, it's actually easier to group things together to ensure I don't forget, or even repeat anything.

You should be warned that this report is very photo-heavy, so if you have a slow connection you may want to save it for later.

  [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Summer and 24 hour events announced for US Parks, and Summer at Disneyland Paris
DisneyDan  Thursday, March 12, 2015 10:02:31 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog made two announcements regarding upcoming events at the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort.

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, summer is being dubbed the "Coolest Summer Ever", and will feature events based upon the wildly popular movie, Frozen. Kicking off the "Coolest Summer Ever" is the now-traditional 24 hour event over Memorial Day weekend in late May. Although few details have been given about it, the Parks Blog did say the event would launch the summer summer season, and given the name, and the fact they claim Olaf is the "host" of the summer events, it wouldn't be too surprising if the 24 hour event ended up being Frozen themed, at least to a degree. As with previous 24 hour events, you can expect characters, entertainment, food and merchandise offerings. After that event ends, you then have to wait until June 17th for the start of the next summer happening, "Frozen Summer Fun LIVE", which will run until September 7th. Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are returning to the parade route at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and this year will be joined by Olaf (as per the description on this new page on the WDW website). Nighttime at Hollywood Studios will be topped off with the special Frozen fireworks.
In addition to all these "cool" offerings, Hollywood Studios' awesome Star Wars Weekends are of course retuning from May 15th through June 14th.

At the Disneyland Resort in California, the Diamond Anniversary celebrations, which were previously announced to begin on May 22nd, will also begin with a 24 hour event. As with Walt Disney World, very few details have been released, except we can expect to see special characters and entertainment.

Disneyland Paris today officially sent out their press release for information regarding their summer events, and unsurprisingly, they are also Frozen over. They actually provided quite a lot of detail, so I will copy the information below.

"Let it go" this summer with Frozen at Disneyland® Paris

It's official: Disneyland® Paris will celebrate the 5th highest-grossing film ever this summer. Frozen, which has racked up more than 5 million ticket sales in France, will take centre stage from 1 June to 13 September 2015. The famous sisters, Anna and Elsa, will appear on stage with Olaf, their adorable snowman, in a spectacular event that will give guests chills!

New show: "Frozen Sing-along"

After catching a sneak peak of them in the famous Disneyland® Park Parade and meeting them to pose for pictures last Christmas, Disneyland Paris guests will be able to sing along with the stars of Frozen this summer! Enjoy this unique live experience with the heroes of the greatest Disney hit of all time.

Starting June 1st, the world of Frozen will appear in Frontierland in Disneyland Park, with a brand new show. An ice-themed musical production combining singing and dancing with guest participation. The famous sisters, Anna and Elsa, along with their faithful companions, Kristoff and Olaf the funny snowman, will take to the stage to bring the show to life and expand the unique experience of Frozen live. They'll be surrounded by dancers straight out of the Kingdom of Arendelle.

As the show begins, the villagers are preparing to celebrate the Arendelle winter festival. The intrepid Princess Anna appears and welcomes guests to the snowy universe of the Kingdom of Arendelle. She invites them to help her create a surprise for her sister, Elsa, asking them to join together as a choir. The show is a wonderful occasion to experience, relive and participate in the most beautiful musical moments of the greatest Disney success story of all time.

Olaf, renowned as the only snowman in the world capable of dreaming of heat and sunshine, will also join the party live on stage. To celebrate his longed-for summer, guests are encouraged to sing along, while he dreams innocently of sun tans and beaches!

Among the highlights is an emotionally charged performance of the unforgettable song "Let it go" by Elsa. [The French version of "Let it go" ("Libérée, Délivrée", sung by Anaïs Delva) has over 45 million hits on YouTube].

  • Do you wanna build a snowman?
  • In Summer
  • Love is an open door
  • Let it go

The show will take place several times a day, with live performances in French and English, with French and English subtitles on screen.

Venue: Chaparral Theater, Frontierland, Disneyland Park.

June and September: 7 days a week (6 shows a day from Monday until Friday – 12 shows a day at weekends)

July and August: 7 days a week - 12 shows a day

Limited number of seats

A Market Place decked in the colours of Frozen

At Cottonwood Creek Ranch, guests are invited to visit the Market Place, inspired by the universe of the kingdom of Arendelle, and enjoy all the delights that recall one of the greatest Disney hits of all time.

Venue: Cottonwood Creek Ranch, Frontierland, Disneyland Park

Two other magical appearances showcasing Frozen at Disneyland Park

The two heroines of Frozen will appear at Disneyland Park every day, for two special events. On their frosty float, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will star in "Disney Magic on Parade!" with Olaf. They will also cross the Park several times a day for a special carriage ride, "Frozen: A Royal Welcome", waving to the crowd from their royal carriage.

"Disney Magic on Parade!" Once a day, 7 days a week, Disneyland Park

Frozen: A Royal Welcome, 3 times a day, 7 days a week, Disneyland Park

A special Frozen feature in Disney Dreams®!

Frozen is now part of the traditional version of Disney Dreams®!. A breath-taking night-time show with fountains and pyrotechnics, where famous Characters from the world of Disney come to life through projections onto Sleeping Beauty Castle.

"Disney Dreams®!" tells a magical and moving story. Guided by Peter Pan, guests discover, or re-discover, the greatest Disney stories, from Beauty and the Beast to Aladdin, not forgetting Rapunzel and many others.

Frozen is now part of this amazing night-time show, taking its place among Disney classics such as The Lion King and Peter Pan, as well as the unforgettable Parisian hits Ratatouille and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This feature is vibrant and full of emotion, thanks to a specially re-orchestrated version of Let it go and the special effects expertise of Disneyland Paris.

Venue: Sleeping Beauty Castle, 7 days a week, Disneyland Park

Come to Disneyland Paris between 1 June and 13 September 2015 and celebrate a superbly snowy summer with Frozen at Disneyland Paris.

What is interesting is that their sing-along sounds completely different from either of the US versions. Although Florida and California both have slight variations from one another, the Parisian one sounds like a whole new concept, with villagers, dancers and even Olaf live on stage! We will be there in August, and look forward to seeing it.
Anna and Elsa featuring in Disney Dreams! is a new addition, and the cavalcade through the park I anticipate will be very similar to what they had at Christmas (perhaps with the addition of Kristoff and Olaf since they will be in the sing-along?). Anna and Elsa featuring in the main day parade however, is not new (just like how the Disney Parks Blog uses existing attractions such as Splash Mountain to advertise the "Coolest Summer Ever").

That's all for new items for today, but I just wanted to point you all towards some other highlights from the past couple of weeks that you may have missed, that are definitely worth reading.

Disney recently announced the dates for their popular Halloween and Christmas parties at the Magic Kingdom. Click here to find out the dates. Tickets will be available April.

The next part of my in-depth Grand Circle Tour of the World's Magic Kingdom's was posted, and covers Fantasyland. You can catch that here.

This past weekend we were in Walt Disney World for Flower and Garden, and of course other Disney fun. I wrote a trip report yesterday, which can be found here.

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

A Grand Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the World: Part 4 - The Kingdom of Dreams and Magic
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:02:20 PM
Hello everyone,

Welcome to part four of my grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the world. In this part we will take an in-depth look at Fantasyland. In case you missed the previous three parts of this tour, you can find them here:

This article features many photos, so be prepared if you are on a slower internet connection. This is going to be the longest of any of the parts in this tour, since Fantasyland at all the parks contains the highest number of attractions and other experiences, compared to any other land.
  [ Read More... ]
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