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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,

A Year with Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World
DisneyDan  Wednesday, August 5, 2015 11:17:45 AM
Hello everyone,

Throughout the years at Walt Disney World, Minnie Mouse has appeared in hundreds of costumes, making her wardrobe one of the most diverse in the world! From shows, to parades, and character greetings, Minnie has an outfit for every occasion! I thought it would be fun to take a look at the outfits you can meet Minnie in throughout the year at Walt Disney World.

The costumes below are based on our most recent experiences at Walt Disney World, however, as always, schedules, events and greetings are subject to change and cancellation by Walt Disney World, without prior notice.

Let's start with Minnie's regular locations around the four Walt Disney World theme parks.

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A Year with Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World
DisneyDan  Thursday, July 30, 2015 9:58:38 AM
Hello everyone,

Mickey Mouse has a vast collection of costumes from many years' worth of parades, shows and greetings at all the Disney Parks and Resorts around the world. I was thinking recently about how many different outfits you can meet him in at Walt Disney World during any given year (Christmas, Halloween, etc), and I thought it would be interesting to share with you all my thoughts and experiences on this.

The costumes below are based on our most recent experiences at Walt Disney World, however, as always, schedules, events and greetings are subject to change and cancellation by Walt Disney World, without prior notice.

Let's start with Mickey's regular locations around the four Walt Disney World theme parks.

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2014 - A Character Filled Year in Review
DisneyDan  Wednesday, December 31, 2014 11:05:51 AM
Hello everyone,

Well, 2014 is nearly said and done, and 2015 draws ever nearer! It’s been a fantastic year here at Character Central, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of our fans for supporting us for another year of laughter and magic.

In 2014 we had so many adventures, it would be impossible to claim any one of them was our favourite. From starting the year with the Einsteins at Disneyland Paris, Easter with the Aristocats, meeting Oswald for the first time in Tokyo DisneySea, to Christmas at Walt Disney World, it has been simply incredible. If I tried to share every magical moment we had in 2014 I’d not only be here for a week embedding the photos, but you would also get bored! So, this year, instead of my epic "post ever single character we saw" review, I thought I would share with everyone a selection of our favourite character moments from the year (just characters, because if I shared other photos and moments too, again, I’d be here forever!). Having said that, a "selection" from the incredible amount of things we've done means that this post is still really long, so just be warned if you have a slow internet connection!

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News and rumours - Oswald coming to Tokyo DisneySea, Anna and Elsa at the Magic Kingdom and St. Patrick's Day at DLP!
DisneyDan  Friday, March 14, 2014 12:24:50 PM
Hello everyone,

Today we finally have official confirmation from Tokyo Disney Resort that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who had been rumoured to start appearing for some time, will appear from the 2nd April at Tokyo DisneySea's Cape Cod area! This will be the first time ever that Walt Disney's original cartoon star will appear at a Disney Park, and hopefully paves the way for him to make future appearances around the world!
It is not known if he will remain after their spring festivities end, as at the moment he is only listed under the spring pages of the Japanese language website. We can only hope he will remain!
Other offerings this spring at Tokyo Disney Resort include a brand new Easter parade at Tokyo Disneyland, Mickey and Duffy's Spring Voyage at DisneySea which features three separate shows around the park's ports, and greetings with Duffy who will be wearing a special outfit.

Over in WDW, the Disney Parks Blog today announced that Anna and Elsa would be leaving Norway at EPCOT and moving to the Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom from 20th April. FastPass+ is expected to be available. Cinderella and Rapunzel should still be available in one room, but Anna and Elsa will be replacing Aurora and Snow White in the other. The Parks Blog have said that Anna and Elsa would only be greeting during the day, and in the evening other princesses shall visit, meaning that hopefully Snow White and Aurora will still be greeting at some point during any given day.

Finally, Disneyland Paris last week celebrated their annual Welsh St. David's Day festival, and this coming Monday (17th) will be celebrating the Irish St. Patrick's Day. The schedule of events will include character greetings with Mickey and Minnie in special Irish costumes, lucky (and rather mischievous!) Leprechauns roaming around Frontierland, a small dance show featuring Chip 'n' Dale in their Irish finest, and a pre-parade featuring the Disney characters in their special Irish clothes. The day will be topped off with special St. Patrick's Day fireworks over Disneyland Park.

Have a great weekend everyone,

New Events Coming to Tokyo Disney Resort in 2014
DisneyDan  Monday, November 4, 2013 1:31:03 PM
Hello everyone,

Today's news is all about some great events coming to Tokyo Disney Resort in 2014!

A couple of weeks ago, Oriental Land Company released a press statement announcing the Easter and Spring events for 2014.
The complete press release can be read in English on the official TDR website, here.
A summary of everything regardning Easter/Spring is as follows:

  • The event will run from April 2nd through to June 23rd inclusive.
  • At Tokyo Disneyland there will be a brand new theme for Easter, titled "Easter Garden", complete with a new parade, and interactive activities such as Easter Egg hunts.
  • Mickey and Duffy's Spring Voyage will return at Tokyo DisneySea, apparently the same as - or at least very similar to - this year (2013).

The actual press release has more information about further events throughout 2014, right up until Christmas, but for the most part they seem the same as this year, and of course, anything can change between now and next Christmas!

It's really great to see the return of the Easter parade to Tokyo Disneyland, as, as the press release points out, it was missing this year, and was always a staple of the Spring events in the park.

The next thing is Sweet Duffy, but that was announced in Japanese only, on the official Tokyo Disney Resort Blog, which can be found here.
Using Chrome's in-built translator, here's everything I could figure out!

  • The event will run from January 6th until March 20th inclusive.
  • The incredibly popular 'My Friend Duffy' at American Waterfront will present a brand new version. As far as I could work out, the current My Friend Duffy will end on January 5th to make way for the new version. The new version, although being launched as part of Sweet Duffy, will remain permanently.
  • Everything else on the list looked like it was either smaller activities or photo-op based things, merchandise or sweet treats to me. As far as I could tell, there were no special greetings, parades or other shows, besides the new version of My Friend Duffy. There was, for example, mention of a new limited time show-stop for the day parade at TDL, but it sounded like it would just be a lot of clapping! (really, that's what it says!)

So, that's everything up until the start of summer, at least. Like I said above, there were some details about later in the year, but we can discuss those at a later date, once more information becomes available.

Ok, I think that's all for this evening!

Walt Disney World Easter 2013 - A Photo Report
DisneyDan  Monday, April 8, 2013 6:44:36 AM
Hello everyone,

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.
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Have a "Hoppy" Chocolate Filled Day!
DisneyDan  Sunday, March 31, 2013 5:50:18 AM
Hello everyone,

Whether you are of a faith that celebrates Easter, or not, Jon and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter, Chocolate Day, or whatever else you may want to call it!
Regardless of belief, today can be a day about being with your family, and enjoying some of the "sweeter" things in life!

Some very special VIPs have joined us to say... "Have a great day everyone!" It's the Easter Bunnies!

WDW April 2009 - Meeting Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny!

New Orleans Bayou Bash at Disneyland, Easter Wonderland in Tokyo and more!
DisneyDan  Monday, February 6, 2012 11:15:26 AM
Hi all,

There isn't much to report today, but thought I'd update nonetheless!

Over in Disneyland, it was announced that Mardi Gras would once again return to New Orleans Square in the form of the New Orleans Bayou Bash. It sounds as though it has been lifted right from last year's similar events during the Character Fan Weekends, but has a more extended run dedicated solely to this theme.
According to the Parks Blog there will be "special entertainment will include performances by Princess Tiana, Louis and Naveen and meet & greet opportunities with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – all dressed up in their Mardi Gras finest!"

You can find out more information, including dates on our Forum post about it here.

Loren has posted his most recent weekly character update from Disneyland, and that can also be found here on our Forum.

At Walt Disney World this afternoon, there was a special mini-parade to celebrate the Big Game that happened this weekend. Although I don't have pictures to share, I know that Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale were there on the parade route dressed in their special sports outfits, along with cheerleaders and balloon vendors selling special football shaped balloons!

In Tokyo last week they announced that Easter Wonderland would be returning. This high energy event has a long run through the Spring period, and is very popular, as with all seasonal events at the Japanese parks. You can find out more information about this here in Jon's post on our Forum.

Be sure to check out my first in a series of special articles for character hunting at the Disney Parks and Resorts, which includes our top 10 places. The first Resort is Walt Disney World, which can be found here. Check back in the next few days to find similar articles for Disneyland and Disneyland Paris!

We celebrated Peter Pan's birthday yesterday with a special tribute blog post, which you can see here.

Finally, we know there have been some issues with being able to access the site since Sunday, and we are working with our host to resolve these issues. Please be patient, but be assured we will be fully back on line as soon as possible!

As always we thank you all for your continued support. We really appreciate it.

Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Fantasmic! at DisneySea, Stars 'n' Cars to be reworked and more!
DisneyDan  Sunday, May 1, 2011 10:32:51 AM

Hi all,

The last couple of days saw the official launch of the brand new version of Fantasmic! at Tokyo DisneySea. It has had mixed reactions so far apparently, but does include some cool sequences. And of course much to my approval it has Stitch and Angel in it! I found this video here, but there are probably a lot more now if you search.

Staying with DisneySea, I also found some pictures of the "new" (at least within the last couple of months) meet 'n' greet trails at the Lost River Delta. These are the first images I have actually seen of the new area, and I have to say it looks really neat! This Flickr user has some pictures on her stream here.

This Flickr user has some pictures of a new show that replaced Over the Waves. A Table is Waiting looks just as bizarre as it's predecessor but has some interesting outfits including Chip and Dale with moustaches!

Jumping over to Florida, and last week you may recall me praising WDW for actually have some themed characters in the Easter pre-parade such as Chicken Little and Clara Cluck, well today I found this picture of a brand new Azalea Trail Maid Daisy Duck! Well done Magic Kingdom for actually doing something cool for a change!!

Also in Florida, Jon posted some information to the forum about Jake and Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Be sure to check it out!

Finally, I heard today that from June Disney's Stars 'n' Cars at the Walt Disney Studios will no longer perform the show section, but instead will run as a proper parade right across the park! I did also hear that Angel and Mike would join the parade with their respective friends, and that there would be some form of smaller show stop more akin to the regular parade show stops from other parks. How true these last two things are I don't yet know.

Jon and I have been working hard as always to get our latest trip pics up on the site, and these can be found by clicking the Flickr thumbnails to the bottom right. I have also been trying to update more character and location pages with more current information, and also added five new characters yesterday.

Ok, that's all for now.


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