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NEWS - Star Wars Weekends not to return in 2016! Plus other Star Wars news
DisneyDan  Monday, November 9, 2015 11:46:18 AM
Hello everyone,

Today the Disney Parks Blog announced that in preparation for the brand new 14 acre Star Wars Land coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Star Wars Weekends would no longer be presented, making this past year retrospectively the last one. This is quite a blow for the park, and Star Wars Weekends will be desperately missed by pretty much everyone.

In the same announcement they confirmed that the Star Wars Launch Bay - a new in-between attraction in preparation for the new land - will open on December 1st, and will feature character   [ Read More... ]
Happy Force Friday!
DisneyDan  Friday, September 4, 2015 9:07:32 AM
Today has been dubbed Force Friday by Disney, in celebration of the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To celebrate the day, I thought I'd share with you just a few of our photos from   [ Read More... ]
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.

  [ Read More... ]
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.

  [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World Photo Trip Report, May 2015 - Part 1: Star Wars Weekends
DisneyDan  Wednesday, June 10, 2015 11:15:22 AM
Hello everyone,

At the end of May we spent ten days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where we attended (part of) the 24 hour event and two Star Wars Weekends. In this first part of my photo trip report, I'm going to cover the 24 hour event, the Four Seasons breakfast and Star War Weekends. The second part of this report will cover everything else.

This report is very photo-heavy, so be sure you have a good connection before clicking to continue.

  [ Read More... ]
News From Around the World - 24 hour event at the US Parks, Disney On Ice announce new Frozen show, new HKDL night parade and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, May 20, 2014 1:03:12 PM
Hello everyone,

First of all, apologies for being absent recently, we have had a lot going on here (real life) and so I haven't had chance to keep as up to date as I would like. Anyway, there are some cool new things I want to talk about today.

First of all the big event of the week will be the 24 hour event, "Rock Your Disney Side", coming to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and both Disneyland Resort theme parks on Friday this week (23rd).
Details are a bit sketchy right now though, sadly, as Disney seem to want to keep tight-lipped about which characters will appear, when and where. Of course, this doesn't make planning easy, especially since it is likely to be exceptionally busy like the previous events!

I have highlighted below some of the key moments (mainly character experiences) for Disneyland Resort, as per the Disney Parks Blog:

Event operating hours: 6 a.m May 23rd until 6 a.m May 24th.

At Disneyland Park:

At Disney California Adventure Park:

In terms of characters, that's pretty much all that has been announced for DLR, sadly. Of course everyone anticipates that there will be a lot of characters out and about, and there is speculation floating around that some characters - villains in particular - may replace the princesses at Royal Hall, but that has not been confirmed publicly by Disney yet.

Over in Walt Disney World, the Disney Parks Blog reported the following (again, I've only highlighted the important moments and character experiences):

Event operating hours: 6 a.m May 23rd until 6 am May 24th.

  • Everything kicks off with a special edition of the Welcome Show, as heroes and villains make their way to Magic Kingdom Park.
  • The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party will feature Disney heroes at 10 a.m and Disney villains at 1:30 p.m. When it comes to the 5:45 p.m. performance, though, exactly who makes an appearance will be determined by your votes throughout the day! (More information on how you can vote will be posted on Friday morning on the Disney Parks Blog).
  • Magic Kingdom Park parades will each have two performances. “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” will be at 12 p.m and 3:30 p.m, and Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade at 11 p.m and 1 a.m.
  • Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks at 9 p.m
  • Prior to each presentation of Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade, the Disney villains roll through Magic Kingdom Park in a pre-parade, celebrating how “It’s Good to Be Bad!”
  • Starting at 11 p.m half of Princess Fairytale Hall becomes Scary Tale Hall, where you can meet Maleficent and the Queen. The other side of the hall will still feature favourite royals Anna and Elsa.
  • Around 1:45 a.m, the villains will take over the rest of the park’s character greeting locations. Where Aladdin and Jasmine appear in Adventureland during the day, expect to find Jafar. Dr. Facilier takes the place of Princess Tiana in Liberty Square, Captain Hook replaces Peter Pan in Fantasyland, and more!
  • In Tomorrowland, the INCREDIBLES Super Dance Party rocks the Rockettower Plaza Stage from 4:30 p.m – 10 p.m, and is expected to feature characters from 'The Incredibles'.
  • Disney’s “Up All Night” Dance Party at Cinderella Castle and the Frontierland Dance Party will run from 2 a.m – 5:45 a.m, and may (or may not...) feature Disney characters (no official confirmation, yet)
  • The event concludes with a special “Kiss Goodnight” at 5:50 a.m at the Railroad Station in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.

The Move It Shake It heroes line up is likely to include Hercules, who has been seen out and about at EPCOT the past few weeks in preparation for his starring role in this event!

It should be noted that for both WDW and DLR there were more things announced such as bands, food and merchandise, which you can find out about if you search the Disney Parks Blog. Here at Character Central our main focus is of course characters!

Staying with Walt Disney World, and this year's Star Wars Weekends Celebrity Welcome and Motorcade saw the debut of
three new characters to the Disney Parks! Sabine, Ezra and a grumpy droid named Chopper have all landed on Earth for the special weekends this year, from their new Star Wars TV show, 'Star Wars Rebels'.
Check out this video below from Attractions Magazine, which features the new characters in the Motorcade!

At the Magic Kingdom, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends have left the Nook in Adventureland, and sadly all the fairies have now left Florida and are heading back to Pixie Hollow. Tinker Bell has found a new home at Town Square Theatre on Main Street USA, filling the empty space left by the princesses when they moved into the new Fairytale Hall. Other recent character changes in Walt Disney World include the Pooh characters leaving Animal Kingdom, and Donald and Daisy replacing them - just in regular outfits, sadly (I wonder what happened to their special DAK costumes from when they met in Camp Minnie-Mickey?).

Taking the heat off the summer at Disneyland Park in California, the Disney Parks Blog announced the other day that Anna and Elsa from the ever-popular Frozen will feature in a brand new pre-parade addition to Soundsational. At the moment no other details are known except they will feature from "mid-June".

Keeping with Frozen, and the big news this week was that there will be a brand new Disney On Ice show this autumn featuring the characters from Frozen! You may recall that I actually reported about this way back in January, when I even suggested that characters such as Olaf and Sven would appear, and now it has come true! The video below was posted by Disney On Ice and shows some great concept art for the new show.

The description on the Disney On Ice website also specifically mentions Olaf, Kristoff, Sven and the magical trolls, leading us to believe they will all feature in the new show!

Finally for news, and Hong Kong Disneyland finally announced today that their new nighttime parade will debut in October, ending long running speculation that it would start in the autumn. The brand new electric light parade will use innovative new technology and will be interactive, too, whereby guests can use a mobile app to control the colour changes on the floats!

Don't forget that Disney's Swing into Spring season continues at Disneyland Paris until the 22nd June, and features a fabulous new show-parade, characters and other offerings. You can read my review of it here, and visit our dedicated guidebook page to it here.

You can also continue to meet Spider-man at Disneyland Paris until the 10th July. The Walt Disney Studios is the only place in the world you can currently meet the webbed hero! You can read my review of our meeting with him here, and visit our dedicated location page here for more photos and information.

Finally, don't forget that the Halloween and Christmas party dates for WDW were released less than two weeks ago. You can check all the dates on my previous blog post, here.

Ok, that's everything for today,

May the 4th Be With You!
DisneyDan  Sunday, May 4, 2014 4:29:51 AM
Today is officially Star Wars Day around the world, and so to celebrate I have put together a cavalcade of photos from our adventures across the galaxy with the Star Wars characters at the Disney Parks!

May the 4th Be With You! Happy Star Wars Day everyone!

For more information about Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and the Star Wars characters, scroll to the end of this blog entry!

May the Force Be With You event

Legends of the Force Motorcade and Celebrity Welcome

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Jedi Training Academy

Meeting Ahsoka Tano, Commader Cody and Captain Rex!

Meeting Aurra Sing

Jedi Training Academy

Tusken Raider

Meeting Ventress

Clone Trooper

Meeting Mace Windu and Shaak Ti

Meeting a Jawa

Gamorrean Guard

Jango Fett


DDE May 2013 - Star Wars Weekends

Boba Fett watches over Han Solo in carbonite

WDW 2008 June - Wandering around Star Wars weekends

Star Wars Event

Why not visit our dedicated Star Wars Weekends page here at Character Central for more information on this year's dates and character appearances.

Earlier this year Disney announced some very special meals to take place throughout Star Wars Weekends, which you can find details of in my blog entry here.

Finally, why not check out the dedicated character profile pages for every Star Wars character appearing at the Disney Parks, on our Star Wars page here.

NEWS! Star Wars character meals now available for limited time in May and June at WDW!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:50:58 AM
Yesterday various Disney travel agency websites started reporting that from today (Wednesday 26th March) Disney would be accepting bookings for Star Wars themed character dining opportunities at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. This morning guests have started calling the reservation line, and indeed Disney are now accepting reservations for these meals! Some people are reporting having to wait for an hour on hold, so if you want to stand a chance of experiencing them, then it's best to call as soon as possible!

Of course, in order to help you make your decision though, I have details of both meals, right here!

Both meals are being offered from 4th May through to 15th June inclusive, including weekdays, according to those who have already booked this morning. The meals are of course to coincide with the immensely popular Star Wars Weekends at the park, held Friday to Sunday from 16th May through 15th June inclusive this year.

Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine-In.

May the Force Be With You event

Held from 8am to 12 noon inclusive, you will get the opportunity to have breakfast with Stormtroopers, a Jawa, Greedo, Boba Fett and Darth Vader! Darth Vader will reportedly be at a set location when you enter. Included in the price is a digital download photo of your party meeting Darth Vader. The restaurant's big screen will be playing Star Wars clips and trailers, and Star Wars music will fill the air.

Prices are $47.99 for adults, and $29.99 for children aged 3-9. Prices are not inclusive of taxes or tips.

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine at Hollywood & Vine

May the Force Be With You event

Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Ewoks Chip and Dale, Stormtrooper Donald and Darth Goofy will be serving up dinner from 4.15pm until park closing (times vary depending on the day) every night at a special meal at the Hollywood & Dine Restaurant! Chip and Dale will be at a photo-location at the start of the meal, and the photo will be available as a digital download for free (included in the price of the meal).

There is a Fantasmic! Package, which includes Fantasmic! priority seating: Prices are $59.99 for adults, and $36.99 for children aged 3-9. Prices are not inclusive of taxes or tips.

Regular package (no priority seating): Prices are $55.99 for adults, and $33.99 for children aged 3-9. Prices are not inclusive of taxes or tips.

As far as we are aware, the regular Play & Dine meals with the Disney Junior characters will still feature during breakfast and lunch at this restaurant.

Although these meals are a little expensive, they do have their benefits. The best thing about them is that you get to bypass the ridiculously long lines in the hot, Florida sun. The lines to meet Jedi Mickey, Ewok Chip and Dale, and Darth Vader can easily reach several hours (we've been there and done it!). Having them come to you, at your table, at an indoor, air conditioned location is definitely the best thing about these meals. $60 to meet 5 or 6 characters, have all your food and PhotoPass picture included without waiting for 3 hours in the sun is a huge selling point, and I can see that many people will want to do this.

Please be aware that all prices, availability and what is on offer at each meal can be changed or cancelled by Disney without prior notice, and is outside of our control.


Meeting Greedo

Meeting a Jawa
News and updates from around the world - Star Wars Weekends, Parade changes in Hong Kong, Oswald and more!
DisneyDan  Sunday, February 23, 2014 10:58:43 AM
Hello everyone,

This week the Disney Parks Blog announced that the insanely popular Star Wars Weekend at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios would be extended to a fifth weekend, up from its normal four. In addition, there would be brand new nightly fireworks (during the weekends), similar to those seen last year at the May the Fourth event. Other Disney news sites are also reporting that there will be a new "experience" to replace the long running and very popular Hyperspace Hoopla. There is no word yet as to why they are doing this and what exactly Hoopla will be replaced with, but we can only hope it's as energetic and fun as Hoopla has been in the past few years. We'll be sad to see Hoopla go, but look forward to having some new entertainment, hopefully!

Across the Twitterverse and beyond, many people have now been talking about the strong possibility that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit will finally be allowed to step out of Toontown and join the Disney Characters at the Disney Parks, for the first time ever this spring! It has been suggested by many that he will start appearing during Disneyland Paris' and Tokyo Disney Resort's spring events. Of course, it could be a rumour that has just spiralled and grown, or there could be something in it, but I have a feeling, and talking to some people I know, that it could very well be true! I guess we shall see at the end of next month! Let's hope it is true!

Speaking of the new spring season at Disneyland Paris, although I had talked about this before, and other sites have also all been talking about it, I wanted to just mention here what we know so far, to give a roundup of what we can expect.
There will be a brand new cavalcade at Disneyland Park, featuring around thirty characters, some of them I'm told are "uncommon". It's strongly hinted that Thumper and Miss Bunny will come to Disneyland Paris for the first time (as well as Oswald, who I mentioned above). The cavalcade will utilise the former Casey Jr train from years gone by, along with three of the cars from Stars 'n' Cars (Walt Disney Studios Park's parade). The cars being taken out of Stars 'n' Cars are Mary Poppins and Bert, Snow White and Dopey and Sulley. The loss of three cars and five characters means that the parade will no longer be able to operate in its current capacity, and therefore plans are in the works to use the remaining cars for a special meet 'n' greet cavalcade. Details are sketchy right now, so we will have to wait until next month to see how it all works out.
As well as the parade changes for both parks, Disneyland Park is also expected to get some awesome decorations, musicians, street artists and there has even been talk of a small show on Main Street, but, that's still as yet unconfirmed.
As you would expect, there will also be some special meet 'n' greets at Disneyland Park, with our favourite characters in special outfits.
Of course, as I said, much as all this is currently unconfirmed. Admittedly, a lot has come from usually very reliable sources, and the odd thing about DLP is that rumours more often than not tend to turn out true! So let's hope all of this works out that way, too!

Staying with DLP, I want to draw you attention my extensive report I posted the other day that covered the new changes at the Disney Hotels and character greetings around the park. It's a sort of hybrid trip report and news report, but if you're planning a trip to DLP soon, it's well worth reading.

Finally we skip over to Hong Kong Disneyland, where the popular blog Disney and More revealed that the long running Glow in the Park Halloween Parade will sadly not return this year. Jon and I saw it several times in 2012 and really liked it. However, the park will be gaining a brand new nighttime parade, titled 'Disney Paint the Night' which will be a permanent addition. This of course is awesome, but I'm sure the Hong Kong fan community will miss not having a dedicated Halloween parade during the season.

Ok, I think that's everything for today,

New Year, New Updates!
DisneyDan  Sunday, January 5, 2014 12:34:32 PM
Hello everyone,

First off, I'd like to wish you all a Happy 2014! Last year was a turbulent, but exciting year for Jon and I, and we hope to have many more amazing adventures in the coming months, which we look forward to sharing with you all. In case you missed it, you can check out my blog post, '2013 - A Year in Review'. Be warned, there are literally hundreds of photos (nearly all character ones!), so it might take a while to load, and a while to look through!

Anyway, it's a new year, which means there is always news from the parks to report. We'll start at Walt Disney World in Florida, and work our way around the world.

Tomorrow, January 6th is the final day for Disney's Animal Kingdom's Camp Minnie-Mickey. The small, forested trails of this cute corner of the park will close permanently to make way for the controversial Avatar Land, currently being developed by Walt Disney Imagineering. This means that Timon and his pals at the long-running Festival of the Lion King will be relocated to a new theatre later in the year, elsewhere in the park. It also means of course that the Greetings Trails will close forever. The characters will be moved to new locations around the park. At the moment, what I've heard is that Baloo and King Louie will greet up on the trail between Africa and Asia (a place they have frequented in the past anyway), Chip and Dale (as well as Gi-Tar Dan) will move to Rafiki's Planet Watch, Pocahontas can be found in the Discovery Island Trails, and Donald Duck will move to Dinoland. Mickey and Minnie already moved early last year from the Greeting Trails to their new home on Discovery Island (at the Adventurer's Outpost).

At Disney's Hollywood Studios' character dining location, Disney Junior Play 'N Dine at Hollywood & Vine, June and Agent Oso are being replaced with Princess Sofia and Doc McStuffins. I have tried to find what date this will happen, but nobody knows for sure, although one friend did tell me perhaps the 26th January. This will mean that June and Agent Oso will no longer appear regularly at any Disney Park around the world. It does also mean that for the first time ever, Doc McStuffins will be available daily, for greetings, for all guests (albeit at a meal). Also for Hollywood Studios, dates for the mega popular Star Wars Weekends were released for 2014. This year they will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 16th May until 8th June inclusive.

At the Magic Kingdom, yesterday the epically long running Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade had its final curtain call. Running twice, the parade was given a neat final send-off, with a few old props returning, and fans lining the parade route with signs of support for the cast and characters. Many people have very fond memories of this parade, since its debut back in 2001 as Share a Dream Come True Parade, for Walt's 100th birthday. Although it was loved by many, I for one, and I know many others feel the same too, very much welcome a brand new day parade after 12 long years! The new parade, Festival of Fantasy is currently slated for a spring debut, and will feature a mixture of brand new floats and some that have been imported from Tokyo Disneyland's beautiful, and much missed, Jubilation parade. The new parade is confirmed to have floats representing Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Brave, and of course Mickey and Friends. Two of the floats brought from Tokyo used to be the Pinocchio float (it's Monstro) and the Princess one, and therefore fuels speculation they'll be used for the same purpose again, but official images of them/concept art are yet to be released.

As a reminder, today and tomorrow are the final days for the full Christmas season offerings at both the Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris. If you're in the area, be sure to stop by and catch their parades and shows again before they bid farewell for another 10 months! Brand new offerings this year included the Viva Navidad event and World of Color Winter Dreams at Disney California Adventure and Disney Dreams! of Christmas and the revamped Christmas Cavalcade at Disneyland Paris.

Speaking of Disneyland Paris, we were there for Christmas and New Year, which was amazing as usual! They always put a huge effort into their special entertainment offerings, and this year did not disappoint! The highlight was the "plussed" version of the Disney's Stars 'n' Cars parade at the Walt Disney Studios, which featured awesome characters just for New Year such as Darkwing Duck, Yzma and Kronk, the Cheshire Cat and many more!

It has been strongly rumoured across the internet that Disneyland Paris will also be bringing back a very old festival of theirs from some years back, called the Festival of Flowers. The Festival of Flowers was like a DLP version of EPCOT's Flower and Garden Festival. It is rumoured that the festival will return for a three month long spring event that will also incorporate a special happening (involving characters) as well as meet 'n' greets. There is nothing confirmed yet, but we all hope that this is true!

Finally, we have been aware that many of you have been searching the website for Princess Anna and Queen Elsa from Disney's Frozen. It took a while to get them up, but I have finally done it! (Click their names to go to their pages)

Ok, that's everything for today. Have a good week everyone,

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