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Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Five
DisneyDan  Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:57:38 AM
Hello everyone,

In this fifth installment of my Shanghai Disney Resort trip report, we are going to explore Enchanted Storybook Castle. In case you missed any of the previous parts, I have provided the links for you, below:

Shanghai, September 2016 Trip Report on Two Lost Boys
I shared my experience travelling to Shanghai, arriving at the airport, getting to the resort, and then visiting the Disney Store in the city.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part One on Character Central
In part one of my main Disney report I shared with you all of our experiences at the two Shanghai Disney Resort hotels, Disneytown, and character dining at Lumiere's Kitchen.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Two on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at Mickey Avenue, with over 230 photos of all the details on the little entrance street to the park.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Three on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at the Gardens of Imagination, Mickey's Storybook Express parade, the Golden Fairytale Fanfare castle show and the Ignite the Dream nighttime spectacular, with over 210 photos of all the details.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Four on Character Central
In this report I shared with you the futuristic world of Tomorrowland, with over 150 photos.

Set in the heart of Shanghai Disneyland, Enchanted Storybook Castle watches over the park with a grandeur and majesty unlike anything before it. Enchanted Storybook Castle is nothing short of gigantic, and when seen in person, is spectacularly stunning in every aspect. Enchanted Storybook Castle breaks from tradition and does not exclusively belong to any one princess, but instead celebrates the stories of all the Disney Princesses.

  [ Read More... ]
Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Four
DisneyDan  Sunday, September 25, 2016 11:48:01 AM
Hello everyone,

In this fourth installment of my Shanghai Disney Resort trip report, we are going to take a look at Tomorrowland. In case you missed any of the previous parts, I have provided the links for you, below:

Shanghai, September 2016 Trip Report on Two Lost Boys
I shared my experience travelling to Shanghai, arriving at the airport, getting to the resort, and then visiting the Disney Store in the city.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part One on Character Central
In part one of my main Disney report I shared with you all of our experiences at the two Shanghai Disney Resort hotels, Disneytown, and character dining at Lumiere's Kitchen.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Two on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at Mickey Avenue, with over 230 photos of all the details on the little entrance street to the park.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Three on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at the Gardens of Imagination, Mickey's Storybook Express parade, the Golden Fairytale Fanfare castle show and the Ignite the Dream nighttime spectacular, with over 210 photos of all the details.

Approaching Tomorrowland you may feel as though you are really leaving behind everything you just experienced in Mickey Avenue and the Gardens of Imagination, and heading out into some uncharted territory! Tomorrowland sits, what feels like, so far back along the walkway, that it actually feels quite disconnected. There is even a vast open green area, which you can look back on towards Disneytown, which is a weird angle. You start to feel the future with some speaker and light posts, and eventually the Tomorrowland entrance sign, but still, you feel a little "out there".   [ Read More... ]
News - TDR release 2017/18 plans, DLR AP Days, Muppets at WDW, Halloween in HKDL, and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Friday, September 23, 2016 9:43:11 AM
Hello everyone,

This is a fairly large update today since there is a lot of news, which of course is a great thing for character fans!

Let's start with the US parks, where at the Magic Kingdom, the Disney Parks Blog today gave an official opening date for the new Muppets show coming to Liberty Square (which I discussed here on the blog last month). The 2nd October is the official start date, with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Sam the Eagle and a new park character named J.J. Jefferson making appearances in several shows daily. I still find it interesting that they have decided to debut this in the Magic Kingdom, when they have made an effort to convert a part of Hollywood Studios to the "new" Muppets Courtyard, including turning Pizza Planet into a new Muppets dining location. Nonetheless, it will be neat to see the Muppets out in the parks again, and it is always great to have new character entertainment.

On the West Coast, at Disneyland Resort, they have been holding AP Days at DCA, which have featured character appearances exclusively for annual passholders. Running from 6th September until 2nd October, you could meet Wizard Donald and Skeleton Goofy (from 6-18 September), and Pocahontas and Meeko, and Patriotic Minnie Mouse (from 19th September - 2nd October). There has also been a lot of cool merchandise and giveaway items, such as buttons, artwork, recipe cards and more. Disneyland continues to really give back to its AP holders, while WDW sadly leaves them feeling quite left out.

Jumping westbound across the Pacific Ocean, we come to Tokyo Disney Resort, where we have the bulk of today's news.

To start with, popular Tokyo Disney Resort fan site, TDR Explorer updated their older news post regarding the new Westernland Woodchuck meet 'n' greet (opening 22nd November) to include a first-look image of Donald and Daisy Duck. I can't use the image here because I don't know where they got their one from to start with, but nonetheless, check out their page - the outfits are amazing! We can't wait to see them there on our next visit!

OLC, the operating company of Tokyo Disney Resort this week released all their parks entertainment information for 2017 and even the start of 2018! There were actually a few surprises, too. There was a lot of information, so I'm just going to cover the core character stuff here, but you should know that there was a lot about attractions, merchandise and food, too (which you can read about on sites that cover more general news).

From 4th April through 14th June Disney's Easter will return to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Tokyo Disneyland will get a brand new Easter parade that will feature Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps at the Japanese resort for the first time. Besides what sounds like giant Easter Eggs wearing bunny ears (really!), no other details about the parade have been released yet.
At Tokyo DisneySea the main harbour show doesn't specifically say it will be new, but instead that the characters will have new Easter bonnets; so you should expect that the show will be the same as this year.

From 15th June until 7th July Disney's Tanabata Days will once again be celebrated, with the entertainment again being similar to previous years. Tokyo Disneyland will feature a cavalcade, and Tokyo DisneySea will have a show on the harbour. Both will feature Mickey and Minnie wearing traditional Japanese Hikoboshi and Orihime attire.

For the summer season, from 11th July until 31st August, Disney Natsu Matsuri will return to Tokyo Disneyland. Again, the release doesn't specify that the event will be new, so while you should anticipate some costume and music changes for the main show at the castle, expect it (for now at least) to be the same as this year's event.

At Tokyo DisneySea however, this year's event will not be returning, much to our sadness! Instead of the Disney characters in bright, colourful, fruit themed outfits (and Panchito and Jose riding a gigantic inflatable banana - yes, really!), we are getting a Pirates of the Caribbean event, to tie in with the new movie being released in July. At the moment, the only details in the release are that Jack Sparrow and pirates will be in the show, but I imagine (knowing Tokyo) that the popular Disney characters will also appear - perhaps in pirate costumes?

Last month I told you all about the new floats coming to Dreamlights at Tokyo Disneyland. Now, in this release, OLC have given the official debut date as 11th July - the start of the summer season. The brand new floats feature Frozen, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella.

The 11th July seems to be the date that a lot of things are changing at the resort, with yet another major announcement in this same release. The popular A Table is Waiting show, which replaced Over the Waves as a "sequel" several years ago will end on 17th March, and a brand new, as yet unspecified show, will begin on that same summer events start date.

Halloween will return to Tokyo from 8th September until 31st October, and apart from some likely costume and music alterations, it sounds as though it will be the same as this year, with the Halloween Pop'n Live parade returning to Tokyo Disneyland, and Villains World returning to Tokyo DisneySea. This year was only the second year of Villains World and the debut year of this particular parade, so it is of no surprise that next year will be the same, since Tokyo tends to run on three year life cycles.

As with Halloween, Tokyo's Christmas Fantasy (TDL) and Christmas Wishes (TDS) events sound the same as this year/last year, with the same parade (Disney Christmas Stories) at Tokyo Disneyland (which I anticipate will be its last year, since it will be the third year for it), and the same harbour shows at Tokyo DisneySea (A Perfect Christmas and Colors of Christmas).

From 1st January through 5th January 2018 (yes, they are going that far ahead!) Tokyo Disney Resort will once again celebrate New Year with special events at both parks, featuring Mickey and his friends in traditional kimono. While they don't go into any further detail, the tiny images used are from this year, which show a parade at Tokyo Disneyland and a harbour show at Tokyo DisneySea.

And that's not all! From 11th January until 19th March 2018, their popular Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy event will return to Tokyo Disneyland, with the parade and castle projection show.

Under the same date heading as the Frozen event, but dropped down a line for some separation - perhaps deliberately a little vague for now - OLC finish up the release with a really surprising announcement. A brand new PIXAR event will be coming to Tokyo DisneySea, that will feature character greetings and shows! Not only that, it sounds like Gelatoni may gain a larger presence in the park around the same dates, too, with hints of a new greeting ("photo locations where delightful keepsake photos can be taken") - but like I said, they are really vague about it for now.

Wow, so that's everything for Tokyo! It is really exciting to have so much information about the next 18 months already, and we cannot wait to hear more details about everything.

Finally for today, we come to Hong Kong Disneyland. While their Halloween season has already started, some of you may not be aware of how awesome it is this year! As well as having two entertainment offerings (one cavalcade, the other a mini-parade/show of sorts) which feature popular characters in cool costumes and the Disney Villains, they also have some really awesome villains out greeting, including Oogie Boogie! Others include the Big Bad Wolf, Captain Hook, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella de Vil, and Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is truly awesome to see Oogie Boogie making daily appearances, and the Big Bad Wolf in his regular outfit is pretty cool, too (he appears in Toontown in Tokyo often, but only in his "bling" outfit).

That's everything for today! I have heard rumblings of character dining changes at Disneyland Paris, and of course their first ever runDisney event is this weekend, but I'll save those updates for next week, once I have more concrete information!

We recently travelled to Shanghai Disney Resort for the first time, and I have been writing some massive updates here on the blog, which you can find the links for below.

Shanghai, September 2016 Trip Report on Two Lost Boys
I shared my experience travelling to Shanghai, arriving at the airport, getting to the resort, and then visiting the Disney Store in the city.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part One on Character Central
In part one of my main Disney report I shared with you all of our experiences at the two Shanghai Disney Resort hotels, Disneytown, and character dining at Lumiere's Kitchen.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Two on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at Mickey Avenue, with over 230 photos of all the details on the little entrance street to the park.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Three on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at the Gardens of Imagination, Mickey's Storybook Express parade, the Golden Fairytale Fanfare castle show and the Ignite the Dream nighttime spectacular, with over 210 photos of all the details.

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Three
DisneyDan  Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:23:14 PM
Hello everyone,

So far in my ongoing report on our trip to Shanghai we have taken a detailed look at the following (titles are clickable links that will take you to those entries):

Shanghai, September 2016 Trip Report on Two Lost Boys
I shared my experience travelling to Shanghai, arriving at the airport, getting to the resort, and then visiting the Disney Store in the city.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part One on Character Central
In part one of my main Disney report I shared with you all of our experiences at the two Shanghai Disney Resort hotels, Disneytown, and character dining at Lumiere's Kitchen.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Two on Character Central
In this report I took an in-depth look at Mickey Avenue, with over 230 photos of all the details on the little entrance street to the park.

In this next part I am going to share with you my photos and thoughts on the Gardens of Imagination, Mickey's Storybook Express parade, the Golden Fairytale Fanfare castle show, and the Ignite the Dream nighttime spectacular.

  [ Read More... ]
Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Two
DisneyDan  Tuesday, September 20, 2016 4:05:10 PM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report on the Character Central blog, I shared with you our adventures around Shanghai Disney Resort, outside of the main theme park. I told you about the Disney hotels, Disneytown and other relevant areas. Over on the Two Lost Boys blog, I gave my account of arriving in Shanghai and visiting the Disney Store in the city. Now, in this part, we are going to step through the main gates of the park and discover the magic and wonder of Mickey Avenue!

There are a LOT of photos in this post, and I will be covering every last detail, including all the stores and restaurants, inside and out, character greetings and any other relevant information regarding Mickey Avenue.

So, let's kick off with the view you will see when arriving at the front entrance - a vast gray concourse, with security entrance lines, and the Steamboat Willie fountain.

  [ Read More... ]
Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part One
DisneyDan  Monday, September 19, 2016 4:10:49 PM
Hello everyone,

Earlier this month we visited the brand new Shanghai Disney Resort for the first time. We spent three days at the park, plus an extra evening at Disneytown and in the city. You can read about our arrival experience at the airport, using the taxi to the resort, and visiting the city itself, here on my Two Lost Boys blog. There's lots of useful information, so be sure to check it out!

With that said, let's dive into part one of my report on the new resort. In this first part I'll be sharing our experiences of the hotels, Disneytown, general impressions of the resort area and the character dining we did at one of the hotels.

  [ Read More... ]
News - Brand new Halloween parade coming to DL, Halloween Dine outfits revealed, and Star Wars event coming to DLP
DisneyDan  Monday, August 29, 2016 12:50:01 PM
Hello everyone,

Today the Disney Parks Blog revealed that a brand new parade (although it's more of a cavalcade) will feature at Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland park in California. The parade, titled the "Frightfully Fun Parade", will feature the Headless Horseman, and characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Haunted Mansion, Princess and the Frog, the Disney Villains and "beyond". Characters specifically mentioned in the article are the Headless Horseman, Jack Skellington, the Hitchhiking Ghosts, Dr Facilier, Hades, the Queen, Jafar and Cruella. It is not yet known how this new parade will affect the character greetings around the park during the event evenings, or whether having the characters in the parade will mean those ones will not be greeting (up until last year nearly all of those, save for the Horseman, met during the parties).

On Friday the DPB also gave us a sneak peek at two of the costumes that the characters will be wearing at the next Minnie's Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine.


Image taken from the Disney Parks Blog. (C) Disney.

It is interesting that they chose to go with a Halloween theme over a fall/harvest theme, given that the Halloween Dine will run from the 12th September until well past Halloween - 6th November in fact. We look forward to seeing what Goofy, Donald and Daisy are wearing, too!

Finally, last week Disneyland Paris announced that they would be filling their early 2017 low season with a brand new star Wars themed event, titled Season of the Force. The event will run from 14th January until 26th March, and will primarily run at the Walt Disney Studios Park. There will be Stormtroopers patrolling the streets, a March of the First Order, featuring Captain Phasma and Stormtroopers, and a brand new light projection show at the Tower of Terror at night, that will also include - as of yet unspecified - characters. The new official landing page for the event also mentions something in Production Courtyard, but it really gives no details at all; "Let the Force guide you to Production Courtyard in Walt Disney Studios Park for an extraordinary example of galactic might." Whatever it means, it'll be yet another cool and welcome addition to the park and this already awesome sounding line-up.

Ok, that's all for today. Have a great day everyone.

Dan.
News - PhotoPass character fun coming to WDW, and new floats being added to Dreamlights at TDR
DisneyDan  Tuesday, August 16, 2016 9:19:27 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog announced that this coming Friday, 19th August, Epcot and the Magic Kingdom would be celebrating "PhotoPass Day" with special character appearances throughout the parks. The DPB has so far suggested that Dopey would join Snow White in Germany, Mushu would join Mulan in China, the Queen of Hearts would join Alice in the UK, and Gideon and Foulfellow would meet with Pinocchio at Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom. While this is a neat idea, it is a shame that they have given such short notice, since many character fans will find it hard to get there for Friday, and additionally, these are characters that up until a couple of years ago, used to appear daily at the Walt Disney World Resort anyway! Nonetheless, it is nice to see them using some initiative that character fans can benefit from, and we hope they continue to do things like this - hopefully with more notice in the future.

The Tokyo Disney Resort Blog today announced that five new floats would be joining Dreamlights at Tokyo Disneyland from July 2017. There will be one new float featuring Anna and Elsa, two new floats featuring Cinderella and Prince Charming, and two new floats for Belle and Beast. Tokyo Disney Resort for the past couple of years have been going through and renewing and replacing the Dreamlights floats, with some recent ones being Pete's Dragon, the Blue Fairy and Peter Pan. The old floats were always better than the US parks versions, but the new floats are beyond stunning in every possible way. We look forward to seeing these newest floats glowing through the streets of Tokyo Disneyland next summer!

In case you missed it, last week I reported new about Paint the Night and the Electrical Parade in the US, Halloween at Disneyland Paris, and Christmas at Tokyo Disney Resort, so check all that out, here!

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
News - Disney's Electrical Parade leaving WDW, coming to DL, DLP Halloween announcements and Christmas in TDR!
DisneyDan  Thursday, August 11, 2016 9:30:18 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog made the surprising announcement that Disney's Electrical Parade (fondly known as the Main Street Electrical Parade to fans) would be coming to an end after a final performance on 9th October. In an odd twist, they also announced that it would be moving to Disneyland in California for a "limited engagement", "early next year". As always, Disney are completely vague as to what they mean exactly - "early" could mean anywhere from January to April, and of course "limited engagement" could mean a month or six months! Even stranger still, just last week as I reported here on the blog, Disneyland are ending their popular Paint the Night parade, but instead of that moving somewhere else, the most recent update from the DPB suggests that Paint the Night will actually remain at the DLR and return for holiday events! Having two electrical parades at one park, that could potentially switch out depending on the day/season/event is quite odd, especially since it leaves WDW without a nighttime parade.

Disneyland Paris yesterday released its Halloween press release, and everything sounds just about the same as it has for the past couple of years. That isn't altogether a bad thing since the Halloween season there has been quite strong and reasonably successful in recent years, so there isn't much need to change the formula I suppose. Returning to Parc Disneyland this Halloween season will be Mickey's Halloween Celebration, which is their daily Halloween cavalcade (not quite a full parade, for those wondering). It’s Good to Be Bad with the Disney Villains!, which stars Jafar, Cruella, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, The Witch, Frollo and Dr Facilier, will also be returning to the Castle Stage. Daisy and Stitch will appear at Costume Corner (Daisy replacing Minnie this year), and Maleficent will return to the Castle Courtyard. Rumours have gone around the internet of other character appearances, such as Marie and even Cheshire Cat - but I'll say what I always say: nothing is certain until Disney says otherwise, and even then, things can change on a daily basis! All we know right now is what I have mentioned above. Disney's Halloween will run from 1st October until 2nd November, with Disney's Halloween Soiree ticketed event featuring on 31st October, as per usual.

Tokyo Disney Resort revealed its Christmas offerings yesterday, and since much of it was new last year (TDR tend to have a three-to-five year life cycle of its seasonal entertainment), it wasn't much of a surprise that it will all be pretty much the same. At Tokyo Disneyland we can expect the return of the Disney Christmas Stories parade, the Christmas version of Dreamlights, and the seasonal overlays to the bands, Haunted Mansion and the Country Bears, and other minor entertainment. At Tokyo DisneySea we can expect to see the return of A Perfect Christmas, Colors of Christmas, and again, the overlays to regular entertainment such as A Table is Waiting and the bands. We were lucky enough to be in Tokyo Disney Resort for Christmas season last year, and you can read my report about it here on the blog!

That's everything for today. Have a great day everyone.

Dan.
News - Paint the Night and Forever Fireworks to end at DL, Elena and Muppets coming to WDW, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, August 5, 2016 8:59:50 AM
Hello everyone,

Earlier this week the Disney Parks Blog announced that the entertainment added for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland last year would all end on 5th September. The Disneyland Forever fireworks, the Paint the Night electrical parade, and the current version of World of Color would all have their final performances on that date. In addition, Fantasy in the Sky fireworks will return to Disneyland park Fridays through Sundays only.

With Disneyland Forever leaving, it means that we will no longer see Nemo swimming high above Sleeping Beauty Castle, and potentially Tinker Bell. When we saw Fantasy in the Sky, when they ran it for a while in 2015, there were no flying characters in it at all.

The loss of Paint the Night is the most detrimental to the park. With the scaled back fireworks performances, and Fantasmic! being down because of the Star Wars Land construction, it leaves Disneyland park with very little in the way of nighttime entertainment - especially Monday through Wednesday.

Over at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida the Disney Parks Blog revealed that a brand new show starring the Muppets would be coming to Liberty Square in then Magic Kingdom, in "October" (DPB being as vague as ever). Sam Eagle, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo and James Jefferson will all appear in a new show outside the Hall of Presidents. The description makes it sound as though throughout the day there will be numerous different performances, retelling popular stories from American history. It is interesting that WDW have chosen to introduce the Muppets to Liberty Square since they decided to re-theme and rededicate the area around Muppet*Vision 3D (at DHS) as Muppets Courtyard recently. It would seem the Muppets (who were cancelled from ABC recently also) are making a belated comeback to WDW!

The Magic Kingdom is set to welcome Princess Elena of Avalor from 11th August, starting with a special welcome ceremony that will be live streamed on the DPB. Then, from 12th August, multiple times per day, Cinderella and Prince Charming will join Princess Elena at the Castle Stage for a musical performance. The show is a "limited time" happening (again with the DPB being vague), so catch Elena while you can!

From 7th until 31st August, guests who purchase the WDW Memory Maker will be entitled to a special private greeting with a Disney Princess inside Heritage House (Liberty Square), at the Magic Kingdom. Terms and limitations apply. Check the DPB for all the details.

Finally, I have been continuing to add more and more new content to the site, and you will now find brand new pages loaded with photos for the following character-filled experiences at WDW: Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire, Minnie's Summertime Dine, and the Royal Sommerhus.

Ok, that's all for today! Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
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