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Walt Disney World February 2016 Trip Report
DisneyDan  Tuesday, March 22, 2016 1:59:50 PM
Hello everyone,

Last month we made a very brief trip down to Walt Disney World to check out some new offerings that were not going to be around for very long. We spent Valentine's weekend there, staying at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, and managed to visit all four theme parks in two days.

Let's jump straight in, starting with Animal Kingdom, where it was Sweetheart Weekend (for Valentine's).   [ Read More... ]
Happy Valentine's Day LIVE from Disneyland Paris's "Be My Valentine" event! Includes EXCLUSIVE BRAND NEW CHARACTERS!!
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:46:08 PM
Hello everyone!

I am posting live from DLP after an INCREDIBLE day at Disneyland Paris's "Be My Valentine" event today!

In the park today were some VERY, VERY special happenings and characters... Let's take a photographic tour of everything that happened today, and I KNOW you will be REALLY surprised!! Be prepared to see some BRAND NEW and exclusive characters!!!

Throughout the day there were character meet and greets and a special cavalcade that ran three times.

Let's start with the highlight of the day, two BRAND new characters, and their sister who received a make over... all of which debuted this morning here at the park!

It's Berlioz, Toulouse and Marie from the Aristocats! They were at the gazebo in Town Square that had been specially decorated for today.

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

DLP Feb 2013 - Meeting Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie

DLP Feb 2013 - Meeting Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie

DLP Feb 2013 - Meeting Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie

DLP Feb 2013 - Meeting Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie

Then we went through the parks and met all the special Valentine's characters... The Mickey & Friends characters were in Town Square, either at the specially decorated gazebo, or the Boarding House.

DLP Feb 2013 - Chip, Dale, and Clarice  celebrate Valentines Day

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

DLP Feb 2013 -  Stitch and Angel celebrate Valentines Day

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

We watched the Be My Valentine Cavalcade twice, which featured performers in Valentine's costumes, the Aristocats atop the Omnibus which was decorated, and cast that handed out candy, real red roses and special Valentine's cards featuring the Aristocats, to guests all along the parade route! It was so cute!!

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

After the day's excitement, finally, the Disneyland Hotel featured Mickey and Minnie in special outfits, and Stitch and Angel at the Main Street Lounge for evening meet 'n' greets for guests returning from the parks. We stayed for Mickey and Minnie, but were sadly exhausted, and had met Stitch and Angel earlier, so we didn't stay for those.

"Be My Valentine" event at DLP

The whole day was awesome, despite the rain. DLP really stepped up their game with Valentine's and blows the Limited Time Magic attempt at the US Parks out of the water! Especially with their world premiere exclusive of the kittens!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

News and Updates from around the World - Limited Time Magic at US Parks, Fantasy Faire at DL and Valentine's at DLP
DisneyDan  Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:34:19 AM
Hello everyone,

Not really anything too exciting sadly this week, but just a few updates regarding Limited Time Magic,the new Fantasy Faire and Valentine's Day.

As Long Lost Friends Week at the Magic Kingdom draws to a close, we heard that it has been quite a success, and that WDW are now seriously considering more events for later this year, which would be really great! Once we hear more, we'll report it of course, but so far we heard it suggested that there could be a voting system like there was for Character Fan Days at DL last year.
This week's Lost Friends line-up consisted of the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, Scrooge McDuck, Ludwig von Drake, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Pinocchio, Geppetto and Jiminy Cricket (don't think I missed any!).
My only problem with an otherwise really neat week, is that some of those aren't so much "long lost" as they are just harder to find - especially the Pinocchio family. Long Lost to me would be characters that have not literally been seen in years. I guess we can't have everything! I hope that their next round - when ever they decide to do it - is just as well set up, and has even better characters!

Over at Disneyland, their Limited stuff continues with the Horseshoe running until the start of February, and the Bayou Bash with the Princess and the Frog gang.
Sadly, the next offering for this coming week is nowhere near as exciting, and is instead a vote on next years merchandise logo. I try to stay positive overall normally, with balanced arguments and seeing both side, but I have to admit, I'm at a loss with this one. In the past they wouldn't have thought twice about just asking that sort of thing on Facebook or the Parks Blog anyway, so why now make it a "limited time opportunity?" Did I miss something?

Anyway, later this year we know that they plan to hold a Villains dance party event in WDW, and at Valentine's both US Resorts will feature a week long celebration with all the Princesses and their Princes.
Also, in WDW we know that the 4th July will be celebrated all week long with patriotic characters and the like, instead of just on the day, as in the past. So there are definitely some good things to come, but this week is certainly the lamest attempt so far!

Speaking of Valentine's, you may recall that earlier this week I revealed some details exclusively here on the blog about Disneyland Paris's happenings this year. Now, in addition I have discovered that the character meet 'n' greets (click the link to see details) will extend through the weekend, making Valentine's a four day event this year! The cavalcade will remain exclusively for the 14th though, sadly.
We will be there for the entire 4 days, so be rest assured we'll be updating live from the parks on Twitter and Facebook!

Jumping back to Disneyland, and someone on the DIS posted some new details about how the new Fantasy Faire will be set up. I can't guarantee the accuracy of the information of course, but it does sound like it will be quite good once finished! Nearly every Princess will be represented and new character based entertainment will be in the line up. We look forward to seeing it in May!

Finally for the parks, and actually not a Disney park for once! As you probably know, we aren't just Disney Character fans, and we do visit other parks, including the Universal ones (which we LOVE incidentally!). Technically this site is actually Character Central, meaning we cover all characters where possible, and we do have dedicated sections for non-Disney Parks. Anyway, my point was going to be that we have been adding a bunch of characters from other parks to the site increasingly often, and two we added recently were Bumblebee and Optimus Prime (Transformers) at Universal Studios Hollywood. We now know that just in the last few weeks Universal added Megatron to their line up! I thought this was really cool, and worth mentioning, as I know a lot of our fans out there also love similar things to us! We look forward to meeting him some time!

Some brief website updates now. I have been adding some new Disney Characters also, and the latest ones can be easily seen on the Recently Added list in the panel to the left of this article.

We are also working really hard to get all the character meeting information up to date across the site, though this is a massive task! I have also been updating location information, descriptions and guidebook information, as well as giving many pages brand new images. It's hard work, but we hope that you all appreciate our efforts.
We are really hoping that VERY Soon the new version of the website will be launched, and we can assure you, you will all LOVE it!

Finally, although we are now three weeks into the New Year, I thought if any of you had missed it, you might still want to check out my EPIC Year in Review for 2012. Be warned though, it is HUGE and you need some time to be able to read the whole thing! There are HUNDREDS of pictures, so you might want to make sure you're at a good computer before hitting the link!

Ok, I think that is all for now. You can discuss anything mentioned here by clicking the blue title bar above, and then scrolling down to Discuss, to leave comments on our forum.

EXCLUSIVE News!!! Disneyland Paris Valentine's Day program of events!!
DisneyDan  Sunday, January 20, 2013 1:57:38 AM
Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well on this very wintry day!

I have heard from a couple of different inside sources some information about Disneyland Paris's Valentine's Day offerings this year, which I thought I would share with you all!

In the past, Disneyland Paris has had some characters, and a couple of years ago they even had a cute pre-parade. Well, after not really doing anything last year, this year they seem to have stepped up their game again! Probably to compete with the Valentine's Limited Time Magic in the US!

Anyway, this is everything that I have heard so far, that I am willing to tell you! (I can't ruin all the surprises after all!)

"Be My Valentine" will run just for the day of the 14th February, which is a Thursday this year.

I have heard that there will be some sort of cavalcade/pre-parade. It might run a couple of times that day.

Marie and Duffy will be in Town Square. Duffy might have a cute new outfit exclusively for Valentine's! The first time he will ever have one at any Disney Park!

Various rare and interesting Disney "couples" will appear all over the park. These romantic couples will greet fans throughout the day, and will be ones that cannot normally be found.

Duffy and Marie will have set times throughout the day, but the other characters are more of a "pop up surprise", with no set (or at least released) schedule.

We are so excited for these events, and can't wait to be there to experience it all! Just three and a half weeks to go! We'll be there Tweeting live from the park that day, so be sure to look out for those updates! I'll remind you all nearer the time, of course.

Ok, I think that's all for now. I might post later today about some of the new Limited Time Magic events in the US that have been revealed, so stay tuned for that.

Stay warm everyone!

Character News and Updates from Around the Web! Limited Time Magic, Valentine's Day, Fantasy Faire and more!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, January 9, 2013 3:23:05 AM

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...

Having fun with the Characters at Stitch's Hawaiian Paradise Party

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!

Leap Day events announced, DCA to get some new characters and more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:40:20 PM
Hi all,
Sorry it has been a few days since our last update, but we have been very busy preparing for WDW and the Disney Cruise in just a couple of days time! Very exciting!

Anyway, here's what we have from the last few days...

In California, Loren has been busy keeping us updated with all the latest happenings.
Be sure to check out his updates from the Blue Bayou Bash and Valentine's Day here, the launch of the brand new DCA show 'Minnie's Fly Girls' here (which features talking Minnie!), and some cool news about atmosphere characters to appear on the new Buena Vista Street when it opens (think Citizens of Hollywood and Main Street at WDW!).
Loren also reported that there is a chance of some rare characters at DL's Leap Day event. I have to admit that I have been so busy I haven't had chance to check properly, but as far as I know, nothing else has been announced yet for DL, and everything so far is just rumour.
On the other hand, over in Florida, WDW announced the schedule for their Leap Day event. As was expected, there is nothing special about the announced programme. Extra character entertainment includes the Main Street Electrical Parade, extended times for the the regular character meet 'n' greets and the Frontierland Hoedown in the middle if the night.
We have heard form a few different sources across the Internet that some other random characters may appear. So far nothing seems to be confirmed but a few different websites are reporting everything from Jack Sparrow, the Seven Dwarfs and Mickey and Minnie in their PJs. Of course there is no official word on any of this, and anything can change last minute. Nobody will know for sure until they are in the park sadly!
We'd love to hear from you if you are going to be there. Let us know what characters you got to meet. Just hit the Discuss button at the bottom of this article (if you're on the article page)!

Disneyland Paris held their annual meeting, and they had a sneak preview of the brand new outfits for the VIPs during the 20th anniversary. You can check out the video here, which also includes the Three Good Fairies, the Blue Fairy and Merlin all dancing along to the brand new Parade song!

Finally, this video was released for DLP's 20th anniversary, and is a "brief history" of the Resort's 20 magical years. It includes of course some very interesting character moments!

Ok, that's all for now,

Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Valentine's Day at the Parks and Character Dining changes at DLP
DisneyDan  Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:31:45 PM

Hi all,

Yesterday was of course Valentine’s Day, which in the past at Disneyland Paris has meant some great random and rare character appearances, but sadly, not this year.

Our friends from Characters Photos Blog were there all day, and alas had no luck, except right at the end of the day when they went to the Santa Fe and there was some mini-show happening. Mickey and Minnie were there in their Valentine’s outfits from last year to provide the entertainment.  [ Read More... ]

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