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News and Updates - Mulan and Mushu to appear at DCA, Mulan and Pocahontas get new outfits, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, June 10, 2016 12:53:53 PM
Hello everyone,

I know it has been a while since I posted here. Life has a way of getting in the way, and I haven't had time to post as many updates as I would like. Having said that, for the eagle eyed among you, and those who regularly visit this site, you will have noticed that I have been updating many pages throughout the site, including changing character categories, moving things around, adding some brand new characters and locations, and other smaller items. So while the blog hasn't had much recently, I have been here, and Character Central still aims to be as on top of character happenings as possible!

Let's begin with some news that was released by the Disney Parks Blog yesterday. Next week, on Thursday 16th June, Shanghai Disneyland officially opens to the public, following its rather extensive soft opening period. To celebrate, Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort will be featuring Mulan and Mushu from 10am until 5pm. Mushu rarely gets out at any of the Disney Parks these days, and so it will be great to see him visiting California.

Pocahontas and Mulan got new outfits last week, and we were lucky enough to be at Animal Kingdom and Epcot the day they debuted! Take a look at their new looks below!



Mickey and Minnie Mouse finally got a new permanent greeting location at Disney's Hollywood Studios, after several months of them moving from place to place, following the closure of the Animation Building. The new location is much nicer than anything previously, and Minnie even got a new outfit!

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Along similar lines, after what seemed like an eternity, Olaf finally started greeting his fans at Disney's Hollywood Studios, at the new Celebrity Spotlight location.

Meeting Olaf

Some people have asked us about some of the new characters appearing at the parks, and I can happily confirm that last week I was finally able to add Nick and Judy, Captain Phasma and Joy and Sadness to Character Central (click on the names to go to their pages!).

Before I leave you with some of my photos of those brand new characters (there are many more on their respective pages!), I want to just mention that in the next few days I will be making a blog post/guide to the character experiences at the brand new Shanghai Disneyland. While we are not visiting just yet and therefore Character Central won't feature the park until then (since we need photos - we have our trip booked though!), I wanted to gather together all the information we know about character experiences at the new park, in one handy reference guide, until such a time when I can add the park to the website.

In the next week I also will be writing my latest Walt Disney World trip report here on the blog.

So stay tuned for both of those!

Anyway, that's all for today. Be sure to scroll down for the photos of Joy, Sadness, Nick, Judy and Captain Phasma that I promised!

Have a great day everyone,


March of the First Order

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party

Meeting Joy and Sadness

Meeting Joy and Sadness

Meeting Joy and Sadness
My thoughts on PIXAR's 'Inside Out', and what it can do for Epcot
DisneyDan  Monday, June 15, 2015 10:16:25 PM
Editor's Note: I originally posted this article five days ago, but for matters outside of my control, I had to remove it until today. Below is the original article in its unedited format (I mention we saw the films "last night", when in fact now it was five days ago) - Dan.

Hello everyone,

I don't usually write posts like this, but something struck a chord with me last night that I just have to share. Last night Jon and I were very fortunate to be given the opportunity to watch Disney-PIXAR's latest movie, 'Inside Out'. The movie doesn't come out for general release for another eight days yet, so seeing it nine days early was a real privilege.

The film had its first premiere in Cannes on 18th May this year, and this week had its US debut. Many of you probably saw the photos floating around social media of the characters Sadness and Joy, who appeared at the US premiere.

(C) Disney/PIXAR. Taken from their Facebook page.

Initially character fans were really excited to see Sadness and Joy appear, giving us a glimpse of, hopefully, what to expect at the parks. A short while later, the rumour mill started, and various inside sources on Twitter, including the usually accurate @DCharacternews, implied that this will be pretty much the only time they'll appear. To send characters back to their own worlds before a movie has even had its general release is a real blow to fans who are excited for the movie and for the characters. The characters at the parks are a way of fans connecting with their heroes and step into some of the movie magic with them. How could Disney be considering not having them out?!

So, then we come to last night, when we saw the movie ourselves for the first time. The short story at the start, 'Lava', was cute, and probably one of the better ones I've seen in recent years. It involved a lonely island volcano who pined for a female companion. I won't give it away, but it seemingly has a twist at first.

Now we come to the main feature. 'Inside Out' follows the five core emotions inside Riley Anderson's head. Riley is a twelve year old girl whose family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. There are a variety of hiccups along the way, including a delayed delivery van, that all contribute to Riley feeling rather down. With good intentions, the emotions inside her head plan to keep her happy.

We meet five core emotions; Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. All of these emotions have their own distinct characteristics, but all also contribute to the overall wellbeing of Riley. As we discover, sometimes everyone needs to be sad, or angry, or whatever else, in order to function as a human being - and that really gets you thinking. With that in mind, the movie can be quite deep and emotional, but at the same time, it has a lot of comedy moments, which I must admit are more adult than I was expecting for a Disney-PIXAR film, and it definitely has one of the saddest moments of any PIXAR film I have seen in a long time.

The message of the movie, to me, was that it's ok for you to be sad sometimes, and that is a good thing. Sadness brings out a quality in us that can only simply be described as 'human'. It probably won't connect with young children as well as adults, but you know what? This movie proves to us that PIXAR still have what it takes to be the best at what they do. Please, no more sequels. Let's have this kind of quality again.

So how does this all fit with the title of this article, I hear you ask?

For the longest time now, the Imagination pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot has really lacked something. This is a company that built itself on the ideas and dreams of its founder, with the vision that there is always something else to be done, so long as we have imagination. So why has the Imagination pavilion sat all-but-abandoned for the past fifteen years or more? That only Disney can answer, but what I do know is that with 'Inside Out', they have the perfect opportunity to start over again.

As much as I love Figment as the next person, nobody I think disagrees that the current incarnation is nothing more than an insult to its former self. It would be better for it to disappear with some dignity left, than carry on for another twenty years, floundering along. Cue 'Inside Out'. A movie that has entire scenes set inside a little girl's imagination, abstract thought, and dream studio (you have to see it to understand), not to mention featuring her awesome imaginary friend, Bing Bong, is perfect for an Imagination revamp. Let's take the Train of Thought (again, wait until you see the film), and ride through a real imaginary place (well, isn't that an oxymoron?), filled with imaginary friends like Bing Bong and all the cast of the dream studio. I know it's probably just a pipe dream, but I really hope that this was the kind of movie Disney was waiting for in order to revitalize Imagination. Let's have the characters walking around; let us meet all five of the core emotions. Let's breathe
life back into Imagination once again.

Let me know your thoughts by clicking here and going to our forum to discuss this article.


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