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News and Rumours from Around the World: WDW cuts DHS parade and show, New DLR Long Lost Friends Week vote and more!
DisneyDan  Monday, March 18, 2013 11:42:39 AM
Hello everyone,

A few small pieces of news today.

First up, Disneyland in California has abruptly ended the Plaza Inn's "My Disneyland Birthday" which used to take place at the restaurant. The special gathering which saw the debut of a brand new park-exclusive character "Pat E Cake", ran for over 10 years, before ending this past Sunday. It was a neat little happening that also featured Mickey and Minnie meeting the invited guests together for pictures.
You may recall last year WDW similarly cut its Tony's Town Square Gathering, which featured the Lady and the Tramp's chef Tony exclusively at the Tony's Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
It's sad to see that these unique events are gradually disappearing from the parks, as it is often these little details and happenings that really add that extra sparkle to a guest's day.

The Disney Parks Blog finally announced details of Disneyland's version of Long Lost Friends Week. Although no date is set yet, they have released on the blog a list of characters which can be voted on, and the top ones will be the ones that appear in the park that week (whenever that may be). The list has been met with some mixed reaction from the fan community overall, simply because it isn't as diverse as we were all hoping for. Sure, it does have the Three Good Fairies, Merlin and Ludwig Von Drake, amongst others, but it also has Alice, the Mad Hatter, Peter Pan, Chip 'n Dale, and many more who are all in the park regularly.
Some have pointed out that it's the opportunity to get these groups of characters together that is also the draw, but to be honest, when I think "long lost", meeting Alice with the Tweedles doesn't exactly inspire me. The fear is also of course that people will vote for those characters, and the event will end up being nothing more than a big gathering of current friends, rather than the return of anyone truly "lost".
I guess we shall see soon enough what happens!

Over at WDW, although Disney themselves haven't made a public announcement, Cast Members there are reporting that Hollywood Studios' Countdown to Fun parade and Disney Channel Rocks will both be ending permanently on April 6th this year.
There is no word on any replacement yet for either offering, sadly.

In Disneyland Paris, our friends at Dedicated to DLP reported that they have heard whispers of a runDisney event being held there late next year. For anyone who doesn't know, usually these events have lots of random and cool characters featured along the course! I guess we should all start training now!
This past weekend DLP also held its annual St. Patrick's Day event, which featured characters in their Irish finest, and Leprechauns! It's one of the very few things that we still haven't been to, here at Character Central. Every year we say we will, and we always fail! Maybe next year?...
Lots of the main DLP Facebook and Twitter pages had some good updates throughout the weekend of the characters, shows, special fireworks and the pre-parade, so be sure to check them out!

Remember that just a few days ago I made another News post, which contains details of lots more cool things coming to the parks this year, including a Greek event at DLR! So be sure to read that.

Although its birthday has passed now, two days ago it was Walt Disney Studios Park's 11th anniversary. I made a special tribute post with lots of really great photos in it, so if you're curious at all, then have a look.

Finally, I want to mention our brand new Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planner that was launched last week. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, and haven't yet seen our special Trip Planner, I would suggest you do not miss it!
For those who have asked, or are curious, more Trip Planners are on their way, for the other Disney Parks and Resorts - they just take a lot of time to create! We'll let you know here on the blog when we do launch them.

Ok, I think that's all for today.

Dan.
News and Rumours from around the World: Tokyo's 30th Anniversary, Fantasy Faire, Animal Kingdom, Limited Time Magic and more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:51:21 AM
Hello everyone,

I have some character related updates for you this afternoon.

In Tokyo, our friend attended a Disneyana convention, and made a report on our forums about what he saw, which includes Mickey and Friends in their brand new 30th Anniversary outfits! I believe this is the first time they have been out for any public event, so he was very lucky to see them! I have to say, they do look better in person than what the previous artwork releases had made them appear. We'll be in Tokyo Disney Resort in May, shortly after the 30th launch, so we can't wait to see all the cool new stuff, including their brand new parade!
For those interested, also in that thread are pictures of the brand new 30th merchandise, including pins.

The Disney Parks Blog has officially confirmed that the new Fantasy Faire in Disneyland will open on March 12th (less than 2 weeks away!). The Disneyland website has been updated accordingly, and now includes lots of info of what we can expect to find there!
It details the new stage which will bring to life two beloved Disney stories. One will be Beauty and the Beast, and will star Belle; the other will be about Tangled, and star Flynn Rider. The website specifically says "Disney heroes and heroines". I think they are deliberately going for a Flynn oriented story for Tangled, to appeal to the boys, which will be cool.
It also mentions the new Princess met 'n' greet, which sounds like it will be really detailed, and much better than the Princess meet 'n' greet in either Magic Kingdom or Paris.
We'll be there in May, and can't wait to see it all!

Over in Animal Kingdom, the new Mickey and Minnie meet 'n' greet will open in "the spring", which could mean anytime soon basically!
Taking over the former Beastly Bazaar store (because DAK really needs less retail...), it will literally just feature Mickey and Minnie. Donald and Daisy are apparently moving to Discovery Island where the Pooh friends currently are, and Goofy is already seen in Dinoland practically all day.
Camp Minnie-Mickey is remaining as-is, less the Greeting Trails, for the time being, and you can continue to meet some critter friends and other random Disney pals, as well as watch the Lion King show. The Pooh friends are suspected to move into C M-M, maybe to Greeting Trails, but no official confirmation of that, as yet.

Limited Time Magic continues to be a bit of a flop, with the Golden Horseshoe Revue (DL) and Long Lost Friends Week (WDW) still being the best ones so far.
Disneyland is yet to hold its own Long Lost Friends Week, and I have heard rumours that they want to out-do Florida, and so we might be treated to some really cool characters!
Other upcoming events include Pirate Week (Jack Sparrow rumoured to appear. No date yet), Independence Week (Patriotic characters) and Friday 13th Villains Dance Party (Villains of course! September 13th).

If you're planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort this year for the 30th Anniversary, you might want to read my brand new two part trip planning article series, which begins here.

Remember also that this new version of the site has some wonderful new features, including the ability to create your own profile and check off all the characters you have met! They'll appear on your profile in a big list! Find out how, here!

If you really love our site, and want to support our work, you can find out how you can help us out, here.

Ok, that's all for today,

Dan.
Welcome to the BRAND NEW Character Central! (version 2.0)
DisneyDan  Sunday, February 3, 2013 2:44:41 AM
Hello everyone!
WELCOME TO THE BRAND NEW VERSION OF THIS SITE!

We are so pleased and excited to FINALLY be able to share it with you, after a long update process.

It has taken us a very long time to bring this to you, and we really hope it was worth it!
There are some fantastic new features built into this new site, which we really hope you will love!

If you encounter any problems with the new site, please let us know.

I will make a fuller update later, as I want to showcase some of the new site features, but for now I'll let you go and explore! Have fun everyone!

Dan.
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.

Dan.
Happy New Year! - An important message from Character Central
DisneyDan  Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:32:20 AM
Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a fun and restful break, and are all looking forward to the fun and challenges that 2013 is sure to bring.
This coming year will be yet another incredible year for us, as we start the year with grand plans for visiting Disney Parks across the world as often as possible, as we have done in recent years.
We actually saw the New Year in over at the Disneyland Resort in California, and next month will be visiting our "home", Disneyland Paris, particularly for their Valentine's offerings.

More importantly right now for us though, Happy 3rd Birthday Character Central!
It was 3 years ago yesterday that, after designing and creating the site, we went live for the first time! (We were travelling all day yesterday, so I didn't get chance to post).
Since that day three years ago, our lives have got more incredible with every passing month. Our experiences have surpassed anything I could have imagined, and it is all because of the support and love we get for this site.

Character Central started out as being a website solely dedicated to the Disney Characters at the Disney Parks and Resorts.
We have both always loved Disney Characters, and have always enjoyed seeing them and meeting them at the Parks.
Character Central was born from that enthusiasm.
We had this vision that we wanted to be able to provide pictures and information about every Disney Character that has ever existed at the Parks, and bring them to life through our love of photography, and our love of Disney.
Over time, the site has grown, and we have grown with it. We have had some extraordinary experiences, and met some wonderful people.
The website has now exploded into this vast database of information about, and photos of, the Parks and Resorts - and of course characters.
We literally have somewhere around 100,000 pictures (at least), on the website.
We photograph everything from the stores, restaurants, food, attractions... You name it, we have seen it, done it and photographed it!
We have not abandoned our original idea, and we still focus heavily on characters, but now we also provide information and guides to everything Disney. We have a blog, and a forum with a growing number of very friendly Disney fans. We use Twitter and Facebook frequently too, and everyday more people are liking our page or following us.
We are constantly updating every page on the site, and some day soon hope to have a complete guide book of every Disney Park, down to the last detail. I can assure you, it's been hard work, but it's getting there, and even now we currently have a more-or-less complete guide to ALL of Disneyland Paris, and a complete guide to ALL of Hong Kong Disneyland.
The Asian parks are our particular project right now. There is so little information out there about them, that we are aiming to have the single largest and most comprehensive guide to those parks on the Internet - and I think I can safely say we are nearly there!
We hope that people will find the website useful when planning to visit these destinations, and hope that we are an invaluable resource to Disney fans across the world.

We thank you all for your continued support for the work we do, and we promise that there are some really neat things coming in the new year!
We have some very grand plans for the website, and we look forward to sharing our work with everyone.

Dan and Jon
Character Central
Angel and Christmas offerings at DLP, WDW's Silly Sideshow details revealed, DL's Fantasy Faire to close in August and more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, August 7, 2012 9:47:24 AM
Hi all,

After our hectic trip to California and other things that get in the way, I have some news to report this evening! Hooray I hear you all cry!

Starting in California, and the Disney Parks Blog announced this week that the Princess Fantasy Faire will close on August 12th to make way for a brand new show that will debut in summer 2013!
The Princesses will be moving to a temporary location along the Small World Mall until their new Fantasy Faire next to the Castle is completed - which the article claims will be next spring.
We look forward to seeing the developments on the new show and the new Princess meet 'n' greet area.

At Disneyland Paris, Angel has been seen out with increasing frequency. She was with Stitch at the Disneyland Hotel again this week, further laying the path for her to start meeting regularly in the Park. We understand that she will be in Discoveryland on a regular basis. My guess is that it is going to be sooner rather than later, seeing as she is being seen more often in random spots. Maybe in time for Halloween?
I have also heard that for Christmas this year, despite the rumours, that FantIllusion will return, but the long running Mickey's Winter Wonderland will not.
I have also heard on a more exciting note, that there will be a cavalcade for Christmas Season this year too. I had heard previously that DLP are reluctant to change the Parade this year due to it being the 20th Anniversary. So, a separate daily cavalcade would be a great addition instead!
Of course, these things are not confirmed officially by Disney yet. When we know more, we'll let you know!
Also, we and a few of our fans on our Forums here at Character Central have noticed that DLP have seemingly increased their character offerings again, and have returned to how they were before the 20th Anniversary began. For the first half of this year, DLP seemed to suddenly lose a lot of characters, which was mostly due to the massive resources required for launching the 20th. But, DLP has always had a good reputation for random characters, and true to form, the last few weeks have seen a dramatic increase once again. Friends in the Parks have reported to us that they have seen everyone from the Sheriff of Nottingham to Friar Tuck! (Not to mention Angel, like I reported above!)

At Walt Disney World, the Disney Parks Blog, just today in fact, revealed - finally - some information about the new Pete's Silly Sideshow in the New Fantasyland. Minnie and Daisy will appear together, as will Goofy and Donald. All of them are now confirmed to be getting brand new circus themed outfits. I especially love Daisy's! No date has been set yet, but reading the comments, the Blog replied to one person saying the dates would be coming very soon. We'll keep you posted!

Finally, we have been working really hard to get more and more content on the site, and to update pages that had been left behind. We are really excited for some brand new features and new content that I promise will be coming soon! Just a little more patience! In the meantime be sure to have a look around, discover some of the new stuff - including a bunch of new characters! - and let us know what you think by going to our Forums and joining the conversations and fun there!

Ok, I think that's all for now,

Dan.
Disneyland Resort Trip Photo Update!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, August 1, 2012 2:55:54 AM
Hi all!

We are back from our amazing trip to Disneyland in California!

There are a lot of updates to come, but I just wanted to share some pictures that were
posted to our Facebook page while we were there, in case you don't use Facebook,
or missed our posts for some reason.  [ Read More... ]
And we're off! Again!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, July 24, 2012 1:09:52 PM
Hi all,

Just to let you know that we are off on our travels again this evening!
We'll be at Disneyland in California for 5 days starting tomorrow (Wednesday), so be sure to follow our live updates from the Parks on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

There will of course be full updates here on the blog, when we return next week.

All the best,

Dan.
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,

Dan.
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,

Dan.
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