|Happy 42nd Birthday Walt Disney World Resort!||
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 11:27:53 AM
|Today is the 42nd anniversary of the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Since the opening of Disneyland, in Anaheim, CA, Walt Disney's dreams had grown even bigger. The limit of space in the Southern California park had meant that Walt's ultimate dreams had to be confined to a relatively small area.
In the early 1960's Walt Disney set about bringing to life his beloved Disneyland on a much larger scale, this time somewhere where there was all the land he could ever imagine - Florida.
Sadly, Walt passed away before his dream had became a reality, but his brother, Roy, ensured that the park kept on track, and finally on the 1st October 1971, the Magic Kingdom opened, at Walt Disney World - renamed by Roy from just Disney World in honour of his brother.
Since then, more and more of Walt's dreams have come true, including the opening of EPCOT, also on October 1st, in 1982.
EPCOT was Walt's vision of the future, where people worked and played together in a utopian community.
Although some may say this dream has never fully been realised, since EPCOT isn't quite how Walt envisaged it, I think that actually, it has, and more.
The Walt Disney World Resort brings together people from all over the world, not just to visit, but to live and work, too. With its hugely diverse Cast Members, international cuisines, celebrations of different cultures, and world class entertainment, shopping, dining and indeed living (Celebration, Golden Oaks, Cast Member housing etc), Walt's ultimate dream truly has become a reality.
Since 1971, millions upon millions of dreams have come true, simply because one man believed that if you could dream it, you could do it.
Happy 42nd birthday Walt Disney World, here's to many, many more!
In our usual style, here's a cavalcade of photos of our magical experiences at Walt Disney World over the years. I have deliberately left out character images for today, since I really wanted to celebrate the beauty of the parks, and the work of the dreamers who believed they could build this magical place.
|Just a few minutes ago the Disney Parks Blog announced its list for the vote for the next Long Lost Friends Week at Walt Disney World.
The list consists of:
- Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horse Collar
- Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John
- Fifer Pig, Fiddler Pig, Practical Pig and Big Bad Wolf
- Clarice, Chip and Dale
- Wendell, Liver Lips, Shaker and Big Al
- Chicken Little and Abby Mallard
- Brer Bear, Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit
- Flik and Princess Atta
- June and Leo from Little Einsteins
- Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee and Queen of Hearts
- Louis the Alligator and Dr. Facilier (Face)
- Penguins from Mary Poppins
- Suzy and Perla
I have to say, overall, the list is somewhat disappointing. The first three sets were out last time!
Chip and Dale are regulars, and although Clarice is "rare" for WDW, she can be met all the time in Paris, Tokyo, and sometimes in California.
The Country Bears are out regularly in California, Tokyo, and actually at the Christmas Parties in the Magic Kingdom, too!
I give them credit where it is due for Chicken Little and Abby Mallard - they are definitely rare these days.
The Brers, well, all three can be met in Tokyo, and Brer Fox and Brer Bear are out in California often.
Flik used to be out daily in WDW, and still is at DCA in California. Atta is definitely more unusual, but was at the dance party for the Party for the Planet LTM recently at Animal Kingdom. Why not also have Francis and Gypsy, or some other bug friends?
June can be met everyday at the Play 'n' Dine at DHS, if you eat there. Leo is definitely more rare, but was out regularly until just about two years ago. But why not have Quincy and Annie too?
The Tweedles and the Queen of Hearts are out daily in California, Paris and Tokyo, and the Queen of Hearts can be found at the Halloween Parties in the Magic Kingdom too.
Louis is definitely a rare one. Dr Facilier can be met during Halloween in Paris and California, and at the Halloween Parties in the Magic Kingdom.
The Penguins from Mary Poppins are OUT in WDW sometimes - we saw them when we were there last month! Ok, they aren't regular, but they DO appear! There is also a good chance of finding them in the afternoon pop-up surprise sets on the Streets of America at DHS! Definitely not a good option.
Suzy and Perla are out fairly often in California and Paris, though not all the time. For WDW they are definitely uncommon.
I realise my comparisons are between the other parks, but as you can see, these characters are not truly "Long Lost" - and some of them CAN be found at WDW! It just depends on the time of year (Christmas, Halloween etc).
Overall I think they really needed to up their game with this one, especially after Disneyland held such an AWESOME one that totally blew everyone away! For those who don't recall, DL had REAL rare characters such as the Three Good Fairies, John Smith and Ping (Mulan's alter ego).
Let us know what you think by hitting the 'Discuss' button below, and commenting on the Forum!
|After many random fairy sightings in Epcot the last few weeks it doesn't come as a surprise but the official Limited Time Magic page has been updated with "Disney Fairies Week" April 15th to April 21st, 2013!
This will be coming to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland; however, it sounds like Walt Disney World is getting the better version of the week as it mentions Iridessa
, and Terence
in addition to Tinker Bell
while at Disneyland it only mentions Tink, Rosetta, and Terence (which isn't much better than normal).
In both resorts the fairies will be found at their normal locations (Tinker Bell's Magical Nook
in Magic Kingdom and Pixie Hollow
at Disneyland). If you are a big Disney Fairies fan, it sounds like Walt Disney World will be the place to be next week!
If you had been following our Twitter last week, you will know that we spent 5 days in WDW over the Easter period.
Of course, going to WDW is nothing new for us (!), and so I don't usually post a review or trip report these days, but, there were a lot of new things on this trip that we hadn't experienced before, so I thought I would cover them in a short photo report (as opposed to a full trip report), so that you can all see some of our adventures.
[ Read More... ]
A few small pieces of news today.
First up, Disneyland in California has abruptly ended the Plaza Inn's "My Disneyland Birthday" which used to take place at the restaurant. The special gathering which saw the debut of a brand new park-exclusive character "Pat E Cake", ran for over 10 years, before ending this past Sunday. It was a neat little happening that also featured Mickey and Minnie meeting the invited guests together for pictures.
You may recall last year WDW similarly cut its Tony's Town Square Gathering, which featured the Lady and the Tramp's chef Tony exclusively at the Tony's Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
It's sad to see that these unique events are gradually disappearing from the parks, as it is often these little details and happenings that really add that extra sparkle to a guest's day.
The Disney Parks Blog finally announced details of Disneyland's version of Long Lost Friends Week. Although no date is set yet, they have released on the blog a list of characters which can be voted on, and the top ones will be the ones that appear in the park that week (whenever that may be).
The list has been met with some mixed reaction from the fan community overall, simply because it isn't as diverse as we were all hoping for. Sure, it does have the Three Good Fairies, Merlin and Ludwig Von Drake, amongst others, but it also has Alice, the Mad Hatter, Peter Pan, Chip 'n Dale, and many more who are all in the park regularly.
Some have pointed out that it's the opportunity to get these groups of characters together that is also the draw, but to be honest, when I think "long lost", meeting Alice with the Tweedles doesn't exactly inspire me. The fear is also of course that people will vote for those characters, and the event will end up being nothing more than a big gathering of current friends, rather than the return of anyone truly "lost".
I guess we shall see soon enough what happens!
Over at WDW, although Disney themselves haven't made a public announcement, Cast Members there are reporting that Hollywood Studios' Countdown to Fun parade and Disney Channel Rocks will both be ending permanently on April 6th this year.
There is no word on any replacement yet for either offering, sadly.
In Disneyland Paris, our friends at Dedicated to DLP reported that they have heard whispers of a runDisney event being held there late next year. For anyone who doesn't know, usually these events have lots of random and cool characters featured along the course! I guess we should all start training now!
This past weekend DLP also held its annual St. Patrick's Day event, which featured characters in their Irish finest, and Leprechauns! It's one of the very few things that we still haven't been to, here at Character Central. Every year we say we will, and we always fail! Maybe next year?...
Lots of the main DLP Facebook and Twitter pages had some good updates throughout the weekend of the characters, shows, special fireworks and the pre-parade, so be sure to check them out!
Remember that just a few days ago I made another News post, which contains details of lots more cool things coming to the parks this year, including a Greek event at DLR! So be sure to read that.
Although its birthday has passed now, two days ago it was Walt Disney Studios Park's 11th anniversary. I made a special tribute post with lots of really great photos in it, so if you're curious at all, then have a look.
Finally, I want to mention our brand new Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planner that was launched last week. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, and haven't yet seen our special Trip Planner, I would suggest you do not miss it!
For those who have asked, or are curious, more Trip Planners are on their way, for the other Disney Parks and Resorts - they just take a lot of time to create! We'll let you know here on the blog when we do launch them.
Ok, I think that's all for today.
It has sadly been a long time since I really had chance to update the blog properly with any real updates. Actually, there hasn't really been any good character news for a long time, either, so that coupled with Jon and I always being mega busy makes for more sporadic posting than I would like!
Anyway, here we are with the first proper update of 2013, and it's shaping up to be quite the year so far - which of course is good news for us character fans!
We'll start with the US Parks, and first up is California.
As you may recall, the old Fantasyland Theater in Disneyland has for the longest time been used for a Princess meet 'n' greet, which just about everybody agreed was a massive waste of time and space. Last year Disneyland closed it and finally started making preparations for a brand new show to debut there.
Since then we have all waited anxiously to find out what new show would appear at the theatre.
Well, our questions were answered this week, finally, when the Disney Parks Blog announced that 'Mickey and the Magical Map' would start in "summer 2013". I am hopeful that this will become a well loved show, as it looks quite neat, and that we get to see it when we visit in August (providing it has started by then!).
Since the show is taking over Fantasy Faire, you may also recall that Disneyland are relocating their Princess meet 'n' greet to what was the beloved Carnation Plaza Gardens area, next to Sleeping Beauty Castle. They are of course making some massive upgrades, and this week, again, the Parks Blog announced that we would see the opening of the new location in "spring 2013" - which could mean as early as say, the end of March (that's what I've heard, but who knows!).
Disney never like to give much away, but we are still anticipating - though it hasn't been re-confirmed properly for quite some time. They keep missing that detail out... - that the former stage area from Carnation Plaza Gardens will remain, and there will be some sort of mini show or live entertainment there, also.
Staying with Disneyland, and last weekend saw the return of their popular Day of the Three Kings event, which featured entertainment, and of course characters! Mickey and Minnie were out in special Mexican clothing, and Donald appeared with none other than Panchito and Jose! I believe though, that this was being billed as "special" for the new Limited Time Magic promotion, despite not really being new at all!
Which then brings me to Limited Time Magic itself. Loren informs me that he has been told by Cast Members in Disneyland that their Chinese New Year entertainment will also return this year, but will be advertised as one of the Limited Time Magic events, and also something similar to last years Character Fan Weekends will reappear as a Limited event, too.
I am of course very happy that these things are returning, but it makes me a little sad that they cannot think of something new and special, instead of re-branding something existing.
Of course, Disneyland are also getting their Horseshoe Revue Back for a very limited run, which I know has proven to be a very popular move.
That brings me to Florida, and their Limited Time Magic.
So far, as far as I am aware, they have had a Tomorrowland dance party, and limited edition ear hats as their first two "special" events. The problem with both of these is that they are, well, not new! Anyone who has been to Florida in the last two years will have seen Stitch and the gang rock it out in Tomorrowland almost constantly! The only real difference is that Stitch is wearing his Elvis outfit.
Incidentally, before we move on, it was Elvis's birthday yesterday, and the little blue guy we all love wanted to just pay a small tribute...
Going back to Limited Time Magic, and although we don't know much else right now, we do know that for Valentine's the parks are planning some special things (though I don't think we can expect too much), and in September in Florida a Villains dance party for Friday the 13th.
You can check out the official Limited Time Magic website here, but be warned, you might die of boredom before anything exciting is put on there! (It's a pretty dire page!)
Over at Disneyland Paris, although I am not yet allowed to reveal any details, I would say that if you were thinking about planning a trip over any time soon, especially around Valentine's Day, then you most certainly should... I have heard there will be something really extra special and magical this year! (That will be additional to their regular Valentine's offerings, which usually consist of a character brunch, special character meets and a special Magical Moment at the Disneyland Hotel).
When I am allowed to say more, trust me, I will let you all know!
Speaking of brunches, a friend informs us that there is a Chinese New Year brunch at Inventions (with characters of course) on Sunday 10th February. I thought I would point that out, as that is pretty unique. As well as Mulan and Mushu, I wonder if Li Shang will appear?...
Also, I have heard that DLP's long running Tarzan show will once again return this summer to Frontierland.
I just want to take the opportunity to direct you to my recent New Year post, which has a special message from us here at Character Central.
You might also want to check out my now (finally!) completed Hong Kong Trip Report here, my Tokyo Trip Report here, and my latest report which is from our day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmas, here.
Ok, I think that is everything for now.
Happy New Year everyone!
Not really a news update per se, but more just some updates regarding some things that have been going on at the Parks over the last week or so.
Halloween has of course started now at DL and DLP.
DLP has seen a massive overhaul of it's Halloween Season this year, with some FANTASTIC new decorations, lots of new entertainment (at least 3 new bands!), as well as the return of the Trick or Treat stage show starring Mickey and Friends.
The Villains have all returned, and meet daily in Fantasyland, and Jack and Sally are back at Phantom Manor. Villains I have confirmation of this year are: Maleficent, The Witch, Dr Facilier, The Tremaines, Frollo, Gaston, Cruella, Gideon, Ratcliffe, Jafar, the Queen of Hearts, Shan Yu and Hook.
Goofy also has a new location on Main Street, as well as brand new outfit. Pooh has returned once again in his Bumblebee costume, too.
In California, the bulk of their Halloween offerings have moved to the Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland.
The Villains and Mickey and Friends are all there in their Halloween finest. There are also some other small Halloween offerings, activities and games that take place there.
Of course, the park is decked out for the season too.
Much to the fans sadness, and although it was almost expected, Buena Vista Street was not decorated this year for its first Halloween.
This year we'll be visiting FOUR of the Resorts (9 of 11 parks!) for Halloween! We've already done WDW two weeks back, next up is Hong Kong, followed by Tokyo, the finally Paris! 17 days and counting until that craziness begins!
Speaking of Halloween and Florida, they had one of their many marathons that they hold, just last week, and it was a special Halloween themed one. More accurately, it was Villains, and there were some really neat characters there. Most notable were the Hyenas and the Haunted Mansion Gravediggers! We would LOVE to meet the Hyenas!
Jumping back to Paris, you may have noticed that Duffy was missing from the list of characters for Halloween. It was originally expected that he would appear in the same outfit as the US Parks, but in fact, he has been recently dropped from the park altogether (namely due to lack of interest from Guests).
We have heard that he will probably not return for Christmas, either.
Over in Florida, we have heard that at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the long running Beauty and the Beast show will be leaving, as will the Little Mermaid show. No word yet as to when, or what their replacements will be.
Florida has also mixed up some characters this autumn. Marie has moved from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom, Beast has left altogether (to get ready for his debut in the winter at MK presumably) and Chip 'n' Dale have moved from Camp Minnie-Mickey to Rafiki's Planet Watch.
I think there may have been some other minor changes too, but I don't recall what they were right now!
Back to DLP now, and today saw something quite unusual. The Three Good Fairies - Flora, Fauna and Merryweather - made a surprise appearance in Fantasyland! Apparently DLP is considering having them out regularly, and so they asked the Fairies to appear for Guests today to test their popularity! Amazing!
We had heard previously (and I have mentioned this before I think), that DLP want to start having more and more rare characters appear (something that they have always been good at anyway!), and so maybe this is the start of that? A very good start I would say!
Recently there was a promotion in France by Disney for the new Cinderella DVD release, and something quite odd happened. Disney France gave Prince Charming a name for the very first time! Disney has always insisted that the Prince's name was indeed Charming, but now I guess they have decided otherwise! The name was Henri (French of course for Henry)!
So next time you see Prince Charming in the Parks, call him Prince Henri, and see what he says!
And now to Christmas at DLP. I have to say that when I saw the release for the Holiday information this year, it made me REALLY sad that we won't be in DLP for Christmas, as we'll be in DL instead (which I'm still really excited about, of course!).
Here's a list of EVERYTHING that has been confirmed for DLP Christmas thus far, including some really neat BRAND NEW character related items!
Both DL Parc and WDS are getting brand new Christmas Trees and decorations! The DL Parc Tree will feature all new lights and decorations on it.
DL Parc is also getting brand new decorations and garlands all up Main Street, as well as brand new "snow scenes" around Central Plaza featuring character snowmen!
Brand new 3 times per day Christmas Cavalcade in DL Parc featuring Mickey and Friends, Toy Story, Santa and other Holiday friends. FOUR floats - 2 of which are brand new!!
NO MORE PRINCESS LAMP POSTS!! HOORAY!!
Christmas lights ("ice") on the rooftops of the Castle.
Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mickey and Friends
Brand new outfit and Christmas photolocation on Main Street for Minnie!
Brand new Christmas photolocation for Mickey in the Studios that is a "Christmas Tree Forest"
Santa Goofy in Town Square
Santa Claus at the Cottonwood Creek Ranch
Snowfall on Main Street
"it's a small world" Celebration
NEW Christmas photolocation at the Old Mill for Belle! (replaces Belle's Christmas Village)
Jack and Sally at Phantom Manor - they will be staying after Halloween Season to meet throughout Christmas, for the first time ever!
How amazing does all that sound?!
Ok, so I think that is all for now! It was quite a DLP-heavy article today, but then, I guess that is because they have the most news to share!
As always, you can share your own thoughts and discuss with others on our Forums.
|Today is the 41st Anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Polynesian Resort and Disney's Contemporary Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Also, on this day 11 years later, EPCOT opened, which means it is also celebrating, and is 30 years young today!
Over the years Walt Disney World has strived to be the number one vacation destination in the world; and for us Disney fans, I think you'll agree that it really is a truly beautiful and magical place.
Magic truly lives at Walt Disney World, and I am sure that Walt Disney would be proud of the work that his company has achieved. Walt had one goal - to provide a place where people can come to have fun and escape the real world. He also dreamed of a place where a diverse range of cultures come together and live their dreams in a vast community built on the ideals and promises of a better future.
Those dreams and ideals have come true, and tens of nationalities work at Walt Disney World, and many more visit every day.
Happy Birthday Walt Disney World Resort. Long may you bring us joy and happiness, and a vision of a better tomorrow, for all.
Seeing as the most notable birthday today is EPCOT, my photo tribute will be primarily EPCOT orientated, with some pictures of the Contemporary, Polynesian and Magic Kingdom added at the end.
Wow it has been a crazy few weeks for us, but things are finally settling down, and I can catch up on all the character news in the world! Ok, so we might be a little late on some of this, but it's good to have it all in one place, and who knows - you may have missed something!
So, first up California.
The Disney Parks Blog revealed a few things about the new Cars Land, and some coming entertainment offerings.
Big Red and DJ, both characters from the popular movie series will debut on June 15th - Cars Land official opening date - in two new unique shows.
All the details can be found here on the Parks Blog. We can't wait to see these this summer!
Across the Esplanade, Disneyland surprised us all by announcing that they will be adding a new weekend entertainment to the Ranch area of Frontierland. It sounds like there could be some really awesome things going on there, with some rarer characters too, such as the Country Bears, Clara Cluck, Clarabelle and Horace - as well as Mickey and the gang in special themed outfits!
We're not sure that this will still be there when we go in the late summer, but we hope it is, as it sounds really neat!
MiceAge king, Al Lutz reported that the new Fantasy Faire, which replaces the Carnation Gardens (which closed this past week), will feature a daytime show which will rotate between the different princesses, and a special new meet 'n' greet area. Apparently the new meet 'n' greet rooms will be better than the new WDW versions which are going in to the Snow White attraction's space, which doesn't surprise me to be honest!
Over in Tokyo, they are gearing up for a summer of fun, and the Disney Parks Blog (in an unusual move) released some details about some of their character filled events.
There are a few different festivals and celebrations going on, which includes all your favourite pals in some neat outfits. Sadly I think we'll probably miss these when we go, but if you are able to get there we'd love to see your pics on the Forums!
The Parks Blog ALSO announced information regarding Tokyo's 30th Anniversary, which is coming up next April. The new parade will be titled Happiness is Here, and will replace the current day time parade, Jubilation (which incidentally is just four years old right now!). Tokyo sure do like to get through new parades! You can find a link to the official OLC Press Release on the Forum here.
Over in Walt Disney World, Princess Merida has been making surprise appearances ahead of her grand debut. She has been spotted by fans in EPCOT this week. Our fans here at Character Central have posted some awesome pictures to this thread here on our Forum, so be sure to check those out!
Finally, WDW have announced their dates for this years Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween and Very Merry Christmas Parties.
Check out all the dates and prices here for Halloween, and here for Christmas!
We attended Halloween last year and were really happy to see some great additions such as Gaston to the line-up. We can't attend this year due to other plans (how about Tokyo and Hong Kong for Halloween instead?! ;) ), but we look forward to hearing which villains might show up this year!
If you posted to our forums in the last month, be sure to check out the results of our competition that was held for our forum users!
Ok, that's all for now!
Welcome to this first in a special series of articles looking at the top 10 best places for meeting the Disney Characters at the Disney Parks and Resorts.
In this first edition we look at Walt Disney World Resort's top ten. Throughout the article you can click the links to the specific places mentioned to find more detailed information about meeting characters there. At the end of the top ten, be sure to check our links to other hints and tips pages on this site!
So, let us begin in the Magic Kingdom...
1. Town Square - Town Square has a number of different character meet 'n' greet oppportunities, namely the Town Square Theater. At Town Square Theater you can meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Mickey's backstage dressing room. In a separate room of the theatre you can also meet the Disney Princesses. There are usually three, and are usually from the main 5 (Belle, Aurora, Cinderella, Ariel or Snow White), although Tiana and Rapunzel are there from time to time also.
Outside in the street, by the flagpole you can normally meet Daisy Duck or Pluto. Sometimes Pinocchio makes appearances too. You may bump into the Citizens of Main Street from time to time, including Mayor Weaver, Victoria Trumpetto and Fire Chief Smokey Miller.
2. Adventureland - Adventureland is the new home of the Fairies of Pixie Hollow, who were evicted from their previous location last year to make way for the new Fantasyland expansion. Tinker Bell is almost a dead cert, and these days either Terence or Vidia with her, although you may find any one of the other 4 Fairies instead (Silvermist, Fawn, Rosetta or Iridessa).
Adventureland is also the home to Pirate Goofy, Aladdin and Jasmine. For a small area of the park you can meet a good number of characters in a short space of time!
3. Halloween or Christmas Parties - These are EXCELLENT opportunities for meeting some neat characters, and meeting characters in special outfits. They can vary from year to year, but most recently the two different seasonal events have seen the likes of the Seven Dwarfs, Gaston and the Princes, to name but a few. Mickey and Minnie are on hand to meet fans at the Town Square Theater, and will be in special themed costumes, and look out for other favourite characteres around the park wearing seasonal attire approriate for that party.
Now let's take the Monorail over to EPCOT...
4. Future World - Future World is home to the EPCOT Character Spot (opposite Innoventions West), where you can meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto all in one go. Opposite the Character Spot, Chip and Dale usually meet their fans. Inside Innoventions West, for those who hold a Disney VISA card you can have a special meet 'n' greet with two random characters (you'll need to show your card and ID, and will not know which characters are inside until you enter).
At the main entrance in Future World you will often find Stitch or Daisy Duck meeting near Spaceship Earth.
Sometimes, if you're lucky you can find random/rare characters inside the hallway behind the Character Spot.
5. World Showcase - World Showcase offers some fantastic character meeting opportunities. Here are some of our favourites:
Mexican Donald at Mexico
Mary Poppins, Alice and three random Pooh friends at the United Kingom
Marie, Aurora, Belle and Beast at France
There are more, but those are the more noteworthy ones!
At Christmas World Showcase offers the fantastic Holidays Around the World Celebration, which means you can meet a whole load more special seasonal characters, from the Monkey King in China, the Three Kings in Mexico, the Nutcracker in Germany and many more!
On occasion you may also find random characters appearing at International Gateway, World Showplace (near Canada and UK pavilions) or to the side of the American Adventure. Recently fans have met the likes of John Smith, Meg and Foulfellow to name but a few rare ones!
We exit through the International Gateway and make our way down the river to Hollywood Studios now...
6. Animation Building - The Animation Building is home to Sorcerer Mickey, the Incredibles (any combination of Mr, Mrs or Frozone), plus lots of random ones down on the floor later the day. These can vary widely from day to day but can include Goofy, Mulan, Aladdin, Pocahontas and more! We think this is a great place to cool off, and meet some random characters!
7. Star Wars Weekends - During the early summer (May/June), Hollywood Studios hosts the ridiculously popular Star Wars Weekends. A fantastic experience, but immensly busy, you can meet Stormtroopers, Anakin, Darth Vader, Ewoks, Leia, Luke and many, many more (there are far too many to list). On top of that, the Fab 5 friends get in on the act too, and you can find Jedi Mickey, Vader Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald and Leia Minnie! We highly recommend these weekends to anyone, especially Star Wars and Character fans, but be prepared for long waits!
Let us cool off now under the shade and trees of Animal Kingdom...
8. Discovery Island - At Discovery Island you can find Flik and any given three Pooh friends (nearly always Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore - but Piglet has been known to appear also).
9. Camp Minnie-Mickey - probably the best place in the park for characters, here you can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald or Daisy all dressed in their Camp Councillor outfits at the Greetings Trails. Wandering around Camp Minnie-Mickey you can almost always find some other loveable pals to hang out with.
Thumper, Miss Bunny and Chip 'n' Dale are nearly always there. We have also seen Meeko, Pocahontas, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit there recently. In the past Koda and Kenai would meet fairly often too, but not so much any more.
Finally for our top 10 WDW character hot spots is something special at the Grand Floridian...
10. 1900 Park Fare - Although 1900 Park Fare is a character meal which you have to pay extra for, there variety of characters is good, and can vary depending on the time of day/type of meal. You can meet the Tremaines, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Mary Poppins, Alice, Pooh, the Mad Hatter or others depending on the time of your visit, making it probably the most varied character meal on property (the others are very specific such as Princesses, Playhouse Disney or Fab 5, where as this one can vary).
I hope you all found that useful!
You might also want to check out our special Hints and Tips Blog Post here, and join our members discussion about hints and tips for meeting characters here on our Forum. Other users have posted some great tips, so be sure to check those out and maybe make your own contributions!
Stay tuned over the next few days for my next in this series which will be Disneyland Paris's Top 10!