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News - Disneyland Paris' 25th Anniversary, Princess Elena coming to WDW and Halloween in Shanghai
DisneyDan  Thursday, October 20, 2016 10:16:30 AM
Hello everyone,

A few days ago the Disney Parks Blog announced that following her August debut in her welcome show at the Magic Kingdom, Princess Elena of Avalor will greet guests at the Princess Fairytale Hall from 24th November. Princess Elena will feature on the Cinderella-side of the Hall, with FastPass reservations already available from the start date.

In an unexpected move, Shanghai Disney Resort are currently celebrating Halloween season - but only at Disneytown (their equivalent of Downtown Disney). From just a few days ago until 31st October, you can see Mickey and Minnie in a special show, wearing Halloween costumes, for free at Disneytown. It is great to see that Shanghai Disney Resort have decided to take a seasonal direction, since it was unclear up until now (because the park is still so new) whether they would follow what the other parks around the world do.

The big news of the week is the announcements from Disneyland Paris regarding its upcoming 25th anniversary. In non-character related revelations, there was confirmation of everything that had been pretty much anticipated for months now: a new nighttime spectacular, titled Disney Illuminations; Star Tours - The Adventures Continue; and Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain.
On the character front we also got confirmation of the very-much anticipated parade. Rather simply titled Disney Stars on Parade, it will feature a fire breathing dragon (much like the one from Festival of Fantasy at the Magic Kingdom), as well as using two floats from the old Jubilation parade, from Tokyo Disneyland. These floats are expected to be the Peter Pan and Jungle Book ones. While it was expected that there would probably be a new stage show, they actually surprised us all with announcing two! Very few details are known right now about either, but we do know that the first one, Mickey presents: "Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris", will feature Mickey, Goofy, Chip and Dale and other Disney stars as they celebrate the 25th anniversary. It is not known at which theatre or in what capacity the show will be held. The second show will be titled The Starlit Princess Waltz, and will feature the Disney Princesses, including Belle, Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White, throwing a majestic ball to celebrate the 25th Anniversary.
Interestingly, the Disney Parks Blog reported a slightly different version of the announcements, and also mentioned decorations, new meet and greets (though unspecified as to what), hotel renovations, a new version of Peter Pan's Flight, and something they name as Mickey's Goodnight Kiss. What this will involve is anybody's guess, but it was included in the section that read, "we will have many opportunities for our guests to see their favorite Princesses and Characters throughout their time at the park", so it sounds as though it will be a character based offering. Finally, the DPB version also appeared to confirm that Mickey and the Magician - the brand new show at the Walt Disney Studios that was billed to end before the 25th started - will indeed remain in place through the 25th anniversary. This will make many fans happy, as the show has been widely praised and is already well loved.

In case you missed them, I recently wrote my trip report for Shanghai Disney Resort, and a guide to Tokyo Disney Resort's 2016 Halloween season, here on Character Central. Click the highlighted text to go to those pages!

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

Dan.
Tokyo Disney Resort Halloween 2016 Guide
DisneyDan  Friday, October 7, 2016 7:40:41 PM
Hello everyone,

This year we were fortunate enough to be at the opening of Tokyo Disney Resort's Halloween season, even seeing the brand new Halloween Pop'n LIVE parade a day early, because of a preview.

I thought it would be fun to put together a short guide of the things you can find at the resort this year for Halloween.

Let's start with the main thing - character entertainment.   [ Read More... ]
News - TDR release 2017/18 plans, DLR AP Days, Muppets at WDW, Halloween in HKDL, and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Friday, September 23, 2016 9:43:11 AM
Hello everyone,

This is a fairly large update today since there is a lot of news, which of course is a great thing for character fans!

Let's start with the US parks, where at the Magic Kingdom, the Disney Parks Blog today gave an official opening date for the new Muppets show coming to Liberty Square (which I discussed here on the blog last month). The 2nd October is the official start date, with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Sam the Eagle and a new park character named J.J. Jefferson making appearances in several shows daily. I still find it interesting that they have decided to debut this in the Magic Kingdom, when they have made an effort to convert a part of Hollywood Studios to the "new" Muppets Courtyard, including turning Pizza Planet into a new Muppets dining location. Nonetheless, it will be neat to see the Muppets out in the parks again, and it is always great to have new character entertainment.

On the West Coast, at Disneyland Resort, they have been holding AP Days at DCA, which have featured character appearances exclusively for annual passholders. Running from 6th September until 2nd October, you could meet Wizard Donald and Skeleton Goofy (from 6-18 September), and Pocahontas and Meeko, and Patriotic Minnie Mouse (from 19th September - 2nd October). There has also been a lot of cool merchandise and giveaway items, such as buttons, artwork, recipe cards and more. Disneyland continues to really give back to its AP holders, while WDW sadly leaves them feeling quite left out.

Jumping westbound across the Pacific Ocean, we come to Tokyo Disney Resort, where we have the bulk of today's news.

To start with, popular Tokyo Disney Resort fan site, TDR Explorer updated their older news post regarding the new Westernland Woodchuck meet 'n' greet (opening 22nd November) to include a first-look image of Donald and Daisy Duck. I can't use the image here because I don't know where they got their one from to start with, but nonetheless, check out their page - the outfits are amazing! We can't wait to see them there on our next visit!

OLC, the operating company of Tokyo Disney Resort this week released all their parks entertainment information for 2017 and even the start of 2018! There were actually a few surprises, too. There was a lot of information, so I'm just going to cover the core character stuff here, but you should know that there was a lot about attractions, merchandise and food, too (which you can read about on sites that cover more general news).

From 4th April through 14th June Disney's Easter will return to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Tokyo Disneyland will get a brand new Easter parade that will feature Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps at the Japanese resort for the first time. Besides what sounds like giant Easter Eggs wearing bunny ears (really!), no other details about the parade have been released yet.
At Tokyo DisneySea the main harbour show doesn't specifically say it will be new, but instead that the characters will have new Easter bonnets; so you should expect that the show will be the same as this year.

From 15th June until 7th July Disney's Tanabata Days will once again be celebrated, with the entertainment again being similar to previous years. Tokyo Disneyland will feature a cavalcade, and Tokyo DisneySea will have a show on the harbour. Both will feature Mickey and Minnie wearing traditional Japanese Hikoboshi and Orihime attire.

For the summer season, from 11th July until 31st August, Disney Natsu Matsuri will return to Tokyo Disneyland. Again, the release doesn't specify that the event will be new, so while you should anticipate some costume and music changes for the main show at the castle, expect it (for now at least) to be the same as this year's event.

At Tokyo DisneySea however, this year's event will not be returning, much to our sadness! Instead of the Disney characters in bright, colourful, fruit themed outfits (and Panchito and Jose riding a gigantic inflatable banana - yes, really!), we are getting a Pirates of the Caribbean event, to tie in with the new movie being released in July. At the moment, the only details in the release are that Jack Sparrow and pirates will be in the show, but I imagine (knowing Tokyo) that the popular Disney characters will also appear - perhaps in pirate costumes?

Last month I told you all about the new floats coming to Dreamlights at Tokyo Disneyland. Now, in this release, OLC have given the official debut date as 11th July - the start of the summer season. The brand new floats feature Frozen, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella.

The 11th July seems to be the date that a lot of things are changing at the resort, with yet another major announcement in this same release. The popular A Table is Waiting show, which replaced Over the Waves as a "sequel" several years ago will end on 17th March, and a brand new, as yet unspecified show, will begin on that same summer events start date.

Halloween will return to Tokyo from 8th September until 31st October, and apart from some likely costume and music alterations, it sounds as though it will be the same as this year, with the Halloween Pop'n Live parade returning to Tokyo Disneyland, and Villains World returning to Tokyo DisneySea. This year was only the second year of Villains World and the debut year of this particular parade, so it is of no surprise that next year will be the same, since Tokyo tends to run on three year life cycles.

As with Halloween, Tokyo's Christmas Fantasy (TDL) and Christmas Wishes (TDS) events sound the same as this year/last year, with the same parade (Disney Christmas Stories) at Tokyo Disneyland (which I anticipate will be its last year, since it will be the third year for it), and the same harbour shows at Tokyo DisneySea (A Perfect Christmas and Colors of Christmas).

From 1st January through 5th January 2018 (yes, they are going that far ahead!) Tokyo Disney Resort will once again celebrate New Year with special events at both parks, featuring Mickey and his friends in traditional kimono. While they don't go into any further detail, the tiny images used are from this year, which show a parade at Tokyo Disneyland and a harbour show at Tokyo DisneySea.

And that's not all! From 11th January until 19th March 2018, their popular Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy event will return to Tokyo Disneyland, with the parade and castle projection show.

Under the same date heading as the Frozen event, but dropped down a line for some separation - perhaps deliberately a little vague for now - OLC finish up the release with a really surprising announcement. A brand new PIXAR event will be coming to Tokyo DisneySea, that will feature character greetings and shows! Not only that, it sounds like Gelatoni may gain a larger presence in the park around the same dates, too, with hints of a new greeting ("photo locations where delightful keepsake photos can be taken") - but like I said, they are really vague about it for now.

Wow, so that's everything for Tokyo! It is really exciting to have so much information about the next 18 months already, and we cannot wait to hear more details about everything.

Finally for today, we come to Hong Kong Disneyland. While their Halloween season has already started, some of you may not be aware of how awesome it is this year! As well as having two entertainment offerings (one cavalcade, the other a mini-parade/show of sorts) which feature popular characters in cool costumes and the Disney Villains, they also have some really awesome villains out greeting, including Oogie Boogie! Others include the Big Bad Wolf, Captain Hook, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella de Vil, and Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is truly awesome to see Oogie Boogie making daily appearances, and the Big Bad Wolf in his regular outfit is pretty cool, too (he appears in Toontown in Tokyo often, but only in his "bling" outfit).

That's everything for today! I have heard rumblings of character dining changes at Disneyland Paris, and of course their first ever runDisney event is this weekend, but I'll save those updates for next week, once I have more concrete information!

We recently travelled to Shanghai Disney Resort for the first time, and I have been writing some massive updates here on the blog, which you can find the links for below.

Shanghai, September 2016 Trip Report on Two Lost Boys
I shared my experience travelling to Shanghai, arriving at the airport, getting to the resort, and then visiting the Disney Store in the city.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part One on Character Central
In part one of my main Disney report I shared with you all of our experiences at the two Shanghai Disney Resort hotels, Disneytown, and character dining at Lumiere's Kitchen.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Two on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at Mickey Avenue, with over 230 photos of all the details on the little entrance street to the park.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Three on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at the Gardens of Imagination, Mickey's Storybook Express parade, the Golden Fairytale Fanfare castle show and the Ignite the Dream nighttime spectacular, with over 210 photos of all the details.

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
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 - 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 - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party dates announced
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 23, 2016 4:06:21 PM
Hello everyone,

Today the Disney Parks Blog announced the dates for this year's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.

There will be 29 nights of parties, and they are as follows:

September: 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29 and 30
October: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 and 31

The Parks Blog has confirmed the return of character filled favourites, such as Mickey's Boo To You Halloween Parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular.

They have not yet announced any further details on pricing and sale dates.

Once we find out more information, I'll be sure to post it here on the blog.

Have a great week everyone,

Dan.
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... ]
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