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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!

Entertainment News for Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Resort
DisneyDan  Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:22:07 PM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday Oriental Land Company, the operating company behind Tokyo Disney Resort, released a press statement that revealed some changes to the entertainment line-up at the Resort from next year.

At Tokyo DisneySea, the long running Legend of Mythica will end on September 14th 2014. This seems a long way off, and no replacement has been announced for the epic harbour spectacular, but with over a year until its last performance, there is a lot of time for OLC to announce something new.
It is a very popular show, but by the time its last performance rolls around, it will have been at the park for over eight years, which is especially long for a Tokyo production (entertainment in TDR tends to change fairly frequently compared to the other Disney Parks. A maximum of about four years isn't uncommon).

Also in TDS, in Mermaid Lagoon, the Little Mermaid show will be given a compete overhaul, and will feature some new technology such as digital displays. Although the press release mentions characters such as Sebastian, Flounder and King Triton, it is not known whether they will be actual characters, or just digital versions or puppets.
The current show will have its final performance on 6th April 2014, and will be closed for about a year (no definite opening date announced yet - just 'spring 2015').

Finally for TDR, although not character related, OLC also announced that a new night time projection show would be coming to Tokyo Disneyland's Cinderella Castle. The press release talks about projection mapping technology to bring it all to life, which is what the ridiculously popular Disney Dreams! at Disneyland Paris uses - they even used a picture of DLP's Sleeping Beauty Castle in the release to illustrate their intention. Hopefully they won't lift directly from Dreams though, and instead have their own show. Disney Dreams! is a truly awesome show in every respect, and it really belongs uniquely at DLP.

Over in California, the DCA Today Facebook page yesterday announced (rather suddenly) that Dancin' with Disney is reopened at Hollywood Land. There is no word as to which characters are appearing, but I will keep my eye out, and post on the Blog as soon as I hear anything.

Ok, that's all for today.

Happy 30th Birthday Tokyo Disneyland!
DisneyDan  Monday, April 15, 2013 11:18:19 AM
Hello everyone,

Today is the 30th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan.
Often billed as the most successful theme park of all time, it was Disney's first theme park venture outside of the United States.

We have been fortunate enough to visit Tokyo Disneyland (and the rest of the resort of course), a few times, most recently in October 2012 for Halloween. We will also be back again in just a couple of weeks, to check out all the 30th anniversary offerings!

So, in our usual Character Central celebratory style, here's a photo cavalcade from our adventures there!

Happy 30th Birthday Tokyo Disneyland!
  [ Read More... ]
News and Rumours from around the World: Long Lost Friends at Disneyland, Tokyo's New Parade and more!
DisneyDan  Monday, April 8, 2013 1:36:56 PM
Hello everyone,

Today sees the start of Disneyland's much anticipated Limited Time Magic event, Long Lost Friends Week.
As you may recall the Disney Parks Blog had previously held a vote, and these are the characters that officially won:

  • Esmeralda, Frollo and Clopin from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Pocahontas, John Smith, Meeko and Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas
  • Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Prince John and Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood
  • and Scrooge McDuck and Ludwig von Drake

User ssaamm on our Character Central Forum also informs us that they have also seen Lilo and Stitch, the Three Little pigs, the Big Bad Wolf, Peter and Wendy, and Tarzan and Jane appear so far at the Ranch! None of these won the vote.
It's definitely very cool that Disneyland have stepped up their game on this one. I am just
immensely sad that we are not there for it! If anyone else appears this week, I'll be sure to let you all know.

On Facebook, the Unofficial Disney Character Hunting Guide posted pictures of Princess Aurora sporting her new look at WDW, which debuted just the other day. Of the three Princesses that have been redesigned so far, I personally think that Aurora is the best one.

Also at WDW, although this is now old news, just as a reminder, Countdown to Fun and Disney Channel Rocks at Hollywood Studios ended permanently this past weekend. This now leaves the Studios without a parade until further notice.

Tokyo Disneyland have had a "soft opening" of their brand new parade for the 30th anniversary. Happiness is Here features some of our favourite characters, including some that are being let out in the parks for the very first time!
The Ugly Duckling, a Heffalump, and the King of Hearts are all welcomed additions! The King of Hearts was technically a character a very long time ago, but hasn't been seen in decades.
You can check out this good complete two part video that I found on YouTube. Part one here, and part two here.

Finally, you can check out my photo filled report from our trip last week to WDW, here.

Ok, I think that's all for now,

Welcome Back Roger Rabbit!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:52:04 AM
Hello everyone,

For a while now there have been whispering amongst Disney Cast Members and some guests in-the-know that a certain rabbit, who has been absent for many years, would make his grand return this year... For the most part it's been a closely guarded secret, but here and there, information has been leaked...

Yesterday, in keeping with those rumours, finally after a long time away, the much loved Roger Rabbit made his first of several appearances this week at Disneyland, for their Limited Time Magic Easter "Bunny Hop" down Main Street USA!
I can honestly say I don't think that my friends and I could have been any more shocked that Disneyland actually have him out this week! To see Roger Rabbit actually back in the park is amazing.
After years of legal wrangling about licensing for his appearances, Roger has finally been let out of Toontown and back to the Disney Parks! Up until now, fans have only been able to see Roger whilst taking a spin through Toontown in his attractions at both Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

For those of you, who for some reason don't know, Roger Rabbit is the adorable but über excitable bunny from Disney's 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Roger was framed for a terrible crime, and faced erasure! Or course, there was a happy outcome, and Roger was reunited with the love of his life, another toon named Jessica Rabbit.

Along with the rumours that he was coming to Disneyland, I have also heard from several sources that he will make further appearances at some of the other Disney Parks in the very near future! Although just rumour at this stage, he might appear in Tokyo Disneyland, in their new parade (not yet confirmed), and also later on this year at Disneyland Paris!
Of course, these are just rumours, but then again, so was the Disneyland one, and that came true this week!

Now that Disney have apparently overcome whatever issue they had with him visiting the parks, let's hope that even if the rumours aren't exactly true, that at some point we start seeing more and more of him - and soon!

Our good friend Loren Javier was in Disneyland yesterday, and has let us use these two pictures he took of Roger, for all your enjoyment!
Hopefully someday soon, here at Character Central, we will have our own pictures of him too!

Welcome back, Roger! We have missed you!

Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planning - Part Three
DisneyDan  Saturday, March 2, 2013 11:35:24 AM
Hello everyone,

Earlier this week I published my two part trip planning guide to Tokyo Disney Resort.
Since then, I have had some questions, and thought of some additional things I think might be useful for you to know.
So, here we have a part three, albeit much smaller than the previous two parts.

  [ Read More... ]
Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planning - Part One
DisneyDan  Friday, February 22, 2013 9:53:07 AM
So you want to go to Tokyo Disney Resort?…

Planning a trip to Disney can be exciting, rewarding and indeed frustrating - and that's just to the US Parks! Now consider this, you find yourself wanting to visit Tokyo Disney Resort.
Sounds exotic, right? Land of the Rising Sun, the Far East.
Fortunately for you, Jon and I will be going for the third time this spring, and we are quite familiar now with the bizarre and even infuriating systems and hoops you have to jump through to get a trip organised. Hotels, tickets and dining reservations are not as easy as the US and DLP to arrange, and take some concentration and forward thinking.

Let us begin where all trips would begin, and that's with booking flights and hotels.  [ Read More... ]
Rapunzel now at TDL, Grizzly Gulch opens, DLP Halloween info, site updates and more!
DisneyDan  Sunday, July 22, 2012 6:00:45 AM
Hi all!
Sorry that it has been a few days since a proper update.
I have been very busy with getting ready to move house, preparing for our trip to Disneyland this week, and a whole lot of other things that basically get in the way!
We do actually try to keep up to date on our forums, and our members there often post news before I get chance to blog about it; so be sure to join our friendly forum to get the most out of Character Central!

Ok so to the news!
Tokyo Disneyland have finally added Rapunzel and Flynn as meet 'n' greet characters, which means that Rapunzel can now be met at all five resorts worldwide!
Disneyland celebrated it's 57th birthday last week, and there was a small ceremony in Town Square. Here's a link to a video of the occasion.
Hong Kong Disneyland's newest land opened last week. Grizzly Gulch features a new take on the Frontierland concept, with a new attraction that is a unique take on Big Thunder.
Of course characters now meet there, and guests can meet Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale in brand new Western outfits. Koda and Kenai also meet there.
Over in Disneyland Paris they released their press information for Halloween Season this year.
I had already said previously here on the blog that people should expect the Mickey's Trick or Treat in the Street to return, and I was right!
Goofy will have a new Halloween location in Town Square, and will be themed around the Goody Candy Co concept which they have in the US.
The Villains will of course be back, but in Fantasyland, and Jack and Sally will return as usual, this year near Phantom Manor.
The Soirée sadly will not be getting a replacement show because of the loss of Central Plaza Stage, but Disney Dreams! will be run instead (which can of course be seen any night of the year).
I haven't heard of any more changes to the Soirée, so hopefully all the other weird French entertainment, performers and characters will return as usual.
There is one last thing for Halloween, but it is linked with a recent event too.
We all know that Duffy the Disney Bear has never been popular at any park except Tokyo, despite the fact that he continues to be pushed everywhere. Well, despite the US pushing him ever forward, Paris actually decided last week (unofficially I guess) to drop him!
Now, instead of Duffy at the Boarding House in Town Square, any other main character (usually a Big 8 or Pooh pals) appears if they decide to do that, at any given point (Duffy might still appear, but it is less likely now).
What we have heard though is that Duffy will be back full time for the Halloween Season in a Halloween outfit. I wonder if it will be the same as the US Parks outfit?
I think that's everything for the news today!

A couple of things here at Character Central before I go.
First off, and I hate to write this sort of thing but needs must, I have seen on a number of occasions again recently people copying our work. Whether that be pictures and even my blog posts. Please do not do this. We work hard - and unpaid! - at this to bring you the best character website on the Internet, and it is so disappointing that people can't even be bothered to link back to us or credit us. Groan over!
Second, we have been working really hard to get some great new content up on the site ready for our relaunch, and we are really pleased with how it is all going! I know some of you have asked us on the forums when you can expect to see the new version of the site, and at the moment all I can say is, just be patient and it'll come soon enough!
Thirdly, we are off to Disneyland in California on Wednesday, and as always - where possible - we will be updating throughout our trip with pictures and more on our Facebook page and Twitter. So be sure to follow us there!
Finally, we are still trying to reach our goal of 2000 Likes on our Facebook page, and when we do, we'll be running another great prize giveaway! So get sharing our page with all your friends!

All the best,

Summer Season is here! Character Updates from across the World!
DisneyDan  Sunday, July 8, 2012 11:24:04 AM
Hi all,

Just a few small updates this evening for you.

Starting in Disneyland Paris, and the Summer Season has officially begun. In the past this would mean longer hours, the start of Fantillusion, the Tarzan show and nightly fireworks. this year is a bit different. Disney Dreams! runs every night of the year - it has since April and will until at least next April - cancelling out the need for fireworks, the Tarzan show started back in June, and due to the 20th, the Parks are open quite late now anyway - 11pm being fairly normal these days. So "Summer Season" has been somewhat reduced in its value to being just being the start of Fantillusion's run.
On saying that, it does mean though of course that the park has now got a full schedule for the summer season, with a nighttime spectacular and the night parade. It is an awesome time to be at DLP! The 20th Anniversary certainly has done it wonders!
We have also been getting reports from friends who are at the parks daily, that more and more random characters are starting to show up again - something that until recently DLP really did well, and prided itself on. Sadly in recent months character numbers had dwindled, but I am happy to report that it appears to be back to normal! We have seen friends post pictures of Snow White, The Prince and all the Dwarfs, the Villains and some other randoms out and about. Rapunzel also seems to be back appearing outside again, making an additional princess meet 'n' greet on top of the Pavillion. As well as all that characters have been showing up in more unusual outfits at the Hotel morning meets too. As DLP fans, we LOVE the fact that they always have characters at the hotels throughout the day, but it appears since the start of July, they have really been having some fun with them, with different characters and costumes showing up randomly (Summer outfits and beachwear at the New York for example, and Mickey in sports shirts at the Sequoia for the Euro football games).
As an additional note, Minnie Mouse appears to have a brand new permanent outfit at the Sequoia Lodge. It is now yellow, replacing the old green one.

Jumping across the pond to WDW, and July 4th saw Patriot Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Chip and Dale appear at EPCOT. At Mickey's Backyard BBQ dinner Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald wore special outfits, and were joined by Phineas and Ferb - they NEVER appear there! - as well as Chip and Dale in their regular BBQ attire.

Finally for the park news, I saw pictures earlier in the week of Angel meeting outside Space Mountain in Tokyo Disneyland. I have no idea if this is a permanent arrangement, but it did make me wonder something. We had heard that Angel is going to start appearing in DLP soon, and so maybe this is the start of Angel appearing in a number of the parks regularly? Will she appear in DLP in the near future? It seems more likely if she is now also in Tokyo. But I guess we'll see what happens.

A few updates from us here at Character Central now.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to scale back our summer adventures some, but will still be visiting both Disneyland CA and WDW during the summer. We also will be visiting Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland - just later in the year now. At WDW we are attending the first Mickey's Not So Scary of the season on the 11th September.

Finally tonight, just a reminder that we are trying to get to 2000 Likes on our Facebook page so that we can run another big giveaway like we did in April! So go to the page and share it with your friends so we can run another awesome competition!

Ok, that's all for now,

Lots of Character News and Updates from around the World!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:11:35 PM
Hi all!

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!

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