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NEWS: Disney PhotoPass Day returning in August, iCan Showbot, Guest Star Day, and more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, July 11, 2017 7:49:20 PM
Hello everyone,

This evening I have a few things to share from the world of characters at Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Let's start with Walt Disney World, where the Disney Parks Blog (DPB) yesterday confirmed that the new iCan Showbot will continue to greet guests in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom until at least "late August" (DPB are as vague as ever!). It's a neat idea, and adds a little atmosphere to the area, much like the Citizens of Main Street and the Citizens of Hollywood - one could say a Citizen of Tomorowland! We will be at the Magic Kingdom in a few weeks time, after D23 this coming week, and will be able share photos of him once we see him.

Staying with WDW, and today the DPB announced that Disney PhotoPass Day would return to resort on August 19th, and will be, in their words, "even bigger than last year’s inaugural event. [Y]ou can expect to find numerous event-exclusive Animated Magic Shots, even more one-day-only Character Experiences, and incredible photo locations at all four theme parks!"
Last year's appearances included Pinocchio, Gideon and Foulfellow in Storybook Circus, Mushu and Mulan in China, Snow White and Dopey in Germany and the Queen of Hearts in the United Kingdom.

Over in Disneyland Paris, today the resort hosted the second of its "Guest Star Day Parade" pre-parades, which today starred Joy and Sadness from Inside Out. Last week was the first event, and featured Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia. The event is designed to celebrate Disney characters from the wonderful world of Disney, in order to commemorate the new Mickey Mouse Club series coming to Disney Channel later this year. It is not announced who will be there every Tuesday, and as of yet has no end date - so catch it while you can! Our friends at Characters Photos Blog have photos on their Facebook page from today and last week, if you want to check it out (click here).

Tokyo Disney Resort started its summer event, and while we have known for some time what it would be (they announce things very far in advance in Tokyo), it has been interesting to see the photos on social media. Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa take over the port in Tokyo DisneySea, soaking guests with thousands of gallons of water daily, and in Tokyo Disneyland see Mickey and friends in the more traditional Disney Natsu Matsuri.
The ever-beautiful and ever-changing Dreamlights also just got its most recent upgrades, with the new Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Frozen floats joining the procession. While we don't have photos of our own just yet, you can easily search any social media page for lots of photos of all these events, or visit the most recent DPB post about it all, here.

Finally for today, Hong Kong Disneyland are hosting their second annual 10K marathon weekend, this year themed to Marvel. On September 16 and 17 you have the opportunity to participate in the Marvel 10K Weekend 2017 - Presented by AIA Vitality! There should be character appearances at the event, though it is not yet confirmed as to who. It should be noted that this event is not hosted by runDisney.

That's all for today. Tomorrow we're off to Disneyland Resort in California for resort and d23 fun! Look our for all our live posts from the parks and the expo on our social media pages, such as Facebook and Instagram!

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Seven
DisneyDan  Tuesday, October 4, 2016 10:26:03 AM
Hello everyone,

In this seventh installment of my Shanghai Disney Resort trip report, we are going to explore the town of Treasure Cove. In case you missed any of the previous parts, I have provided the links for you, 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.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Four on Character Central
In this report I shared with you the futuristic world of Tomorrowland, with over 150 photos.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Five on Character Central
In the fifth part of my report, I shared with you our time at Enchanted Storybook Castle and the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, with over 140 photos.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Six on Character Central
In the sixth part of my report, I detailed our adventures through Fantasyland, with over 210 photos.

Leaving Fantasyland behind us, we enter the port town of Treasure Cove, filled with pirates, scallywags, ships and adventure at every turn! When approaching from Fantasyland, you will find yourself on more open pathways with lots of surrounding green spaces. If you approach from the Gardens of Imagination, you do get a nice welcome sign - and some more pathways.

  [ 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 - Shanghai Disney Resort reveals characters and entertainment, and June 16th opening date! (UPDATED 14/01)
DisneyDan  Wednesday, January 13, 2016 10:37:19 AM
Hello everyone,

Today the full Shanghai Disney Resort website went live for the first time, complete with park information, hotel information (with prices coming soon, apparently) and character and entertainment listings!

Yesterday Disney announced that the resort would open on June 16th this year, and so launching the official website today was a smart move.

So, let's take a look at what character offerings and entertainment we can expect at this brand new park!

  [ Read More... ]
News and Rumours from Around the World: Captain America coming to DCL! And more!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:28:44 AM
Hello everyone,

There is breaking news today from the Disney Parks Blog. They just announced that Marvel's Captain America will appear starting in October aboard the re-imagined Disney Magic cruise ship!
He will feature at Marvel’s Avengers Academy in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, aboard the ship.
The really annoying thing about this is that the Oceaneer Club is just for kids. Regular guests are not normally allowed to go down there unless it's an open house (at which time things like the Marvel Academy would not normally be running).
The biggest thing we can take out of this is that, besides the expected appearances at D23 this week, this is the first official confirmation from Disney that any Marvel character will appear to regular guests on a Disney owned property.
I wonder how long it is now until we can expect them in the parks? Time will tell.

In other news, yesterday the Disney Parks Blog also announced that Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort is returning once again from 12th November through 6th January.
This will be a relief for anyone who has been hearing the strong rumours across the internet that Christmas this year would be very different, and would even perhaps have ticketed events for the bulk of the seasonal offerings, like at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

I was busy last week, and didn't get chance to post about the latest Long Lost Friends Week for Limited Time Magic.
Disneyland had a vote on the Disney Parks Blog (now closed), which featured pretty much the same characters as before, with a few more thrown into the mix.
From what I recall characters included the Robin Hood gang, Hunchback friends (still no Quasimodo though), the Three Good Fairies, Merlin (he was a new one), Flik and Atta (Atta was also a new option), and Chicken Little (Abby wasn't listed, oddly enough, even though she was for WDW).
There is no official date for this event yet, but it is expected by most to be in the next two weeks.

Disneyland Paris fans have been hearing rumours across the internet for a few weeks now that Jack Sparrow would be setting sail from the parks after a long running stint there, in October this year. Pirate fans need not despair though as rumour has it that Jake from the Neverland Pirates will start appearing, as well as Sofia the First, over at Walt Disney Studios around the same time Jack goes away.
It'll be nice to get some new characters at the park. The last new characters from any new movie or TV show that DLP got were Rapunzel and Flynn.

Staying with DLP, and Timon has decided to sport his new look in DLP as of yesterday. This now brings him in line with the other parks.

Finally, although we (sadly) aren't attending, D23 takes place this week and is expected to star some brand new characters. We'll of course keep you all posted.

Ok, I think that's all for now,

Dan.
Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Dreamfinder makes surprise appearance in WDW! Phineas and Ferb coming to DCA and much more!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 11:35:42 AM

Hi all,

Disneyland Paris yesterday had it's premier showing of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie (not the French premier though). Disney Central Plaza posted to their Facebook page a photo of Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones meeting Guests at the cinema in Disney Village! There is some conflict of information as to whether these were real or not, but whether these characters were provided by Disney, or by the cinema, they were certainly very convincing, and were on Disney property for a Disney movie premier! In our eyes that makes them characters, but take a look and make your own judgement. Let me know what you think by hitting the Discuss button at the end of this post.

I have also just literally heard from an inside source that Café Mickey in Disney Village, sadly, is no longer offering random characters at the meals! From now on it is only the Fab 5 and friends! This is quite a shame, as this was one of Disney best Character meal experiences around, and you never knew who you would get!

Loren posted his latest Character Updates to the Character Central Forum. Jon also posted to the forum that a user on MiceChat heard that Phineas and Ferb would be coming to Disney California Adventure at the start of June!

Of course the biggest news was from Florida where the D23 event came to a spectacular finish. None other than Dreamfinder and Figment made a surprise, and much welcomed appearance on stage. Check out the video Jon posted in the Forum here.

Staying with Florida, I heard that Rapunzel and Flynn made a random appearance at International Gateway in EPCOT, and Tinker Bell is now greeting alone in the temporary Fairy Garden near Mouse Gear. She has six set times with no friends joining her. This is a massive come down from the glory days of her appearing from open to close with two other friends in Pixie Hollow in the Magic Kingdom. The lines get far too long, and she is way too popular to only have six half hour slots per day. Hopefully when she moves back to Adventureland, things will be restored to order.

Don't forget to check out the latest Character of the Week, and vote for next week's star.

Ok, that's all for now,

Dan.

Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Rare sightings in DL, PIXAR 25th at EPCOT, New Musical Event for Walt Disney Studios and Much More!
DisneyDan  Sunday, May 15, 2011 12:05:10 PM

Hi all,

So after a slow week for character news, I now have quite a lot to tell you!

First off Disneyland Paris has redesigned Jack Sparrow’s costume, and he is due to start appearing in his updated gear very soon, to coincide with the new movie. He already wears his new outfit in California, where the film had its premiere last week[ Read More... ]

Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Loads of Disneyland Paris updates for Magical Moments Festival, and Jack Sparrow returns to California!
DisneyDan  Monday, April 4, 2011 8:51:23 AM

Hi all,

The last few days have been quite eventful in the Character world!

Let me begin by going back the start of the weekend at Disneyland Paris, which saw the press launch of the new Magical Moments Festival. All the main features of the new celebration were previewed during the day, treating regular park Guests to a snippet of what is to come. Later in the evening, they had the main press event, and that consisted of a spectacular show on the hub – though sadly not one we’ll see during the main celebration. Photos and one video of the press event and show can be found on DLRP Express’s website here[ Read More... ]

Happy 44th Birthday Pirates of the Caribbean!
DisneyDan  Friday, March 18, 2011 11:41:06 AM
Hi all,

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in California.

A lot has happened over the last four decades, and the attraction has inspired an entire movie franchise, brand new characters, and multiple sister attractions around the globe. The success of the attraction and its offspring is phenomenal, and will undoubtedly continue to grow over the years.
Let’s take a photographic tour of what the attraction has given us over the years…  [ Read More... ]
Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Angel, Jack Sparrow and a new character coming to WDW, and something magical launching on Character Central!
DisneyDan  Monday, February 7, 2011 11:34:08 AM

Hi all,

This week has a been a bit quiet on the Character news front, with two small exceptions.

Drew on WDWMagic reports that Angel may start appearing with Stitch over at the Animal Kingdom, in place of Lilo. Lilo and Stitch currently meet on Discovery Island near Pizzafari and the entrance to Camp Minnie-Mickey.  [ Read More... ]

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