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Star Wars Galactic Nights, April 2017 - A Review
DisneyDan  Tuesday, May 9, 2017 3:41:47 PM
Hello everyone,

Last month, on the 14th April, Disney's Hollywood Studios held its first ever Star Wars Galactic Nights; a premium ticketed event held after park closing.

When Disney first announced Galactic Nights, it was kind of bittersweet. 2015 saw the last ever Star Wars Weekends at the park, which at the time we didn't know would be the final event. Star Wars Weekends were held over four or five consecutive weekends in May and June since 1997. The weekends were insanely popular, and involved many fun character greetings, shows, celebrity appearances, special dining options, special merchandise and much, much more. They were quite simply the ultimate Star Wars fan event. Without warning, Disney announced, after the 2015 event, that they had decided to cancel them, and so anyone who missed 2015 - or had already made plans for 2016 - were left very disappointed, and honestly, as diehard fans we were left bitterly let down and a little stunned.

Disney have tried in the past year to increase the Star Wars presence at Hollywood Studios, including the Star Wars Launch Bay, the March of the First Order, the fireworks spectacular and other small offerings. When Galactic Nights was announced, with the celebrity appearances, cavalcade and special character greetings, it felt like they were trying to give the fans a little bit of Star Wars Weekends back, if only for one night, and at a high premium.

With all that in mind, I was a little skeptical, honestly. How could one night live up to the all-day activities that lasted for four weeks per year? And how could we possibly get everything done in one night? I imagined it being a little frustrating, and actually anticipated complaining to guest relations at the end of the night, based on our recent experiences at Disney events. I don't deliberately go into these things wanting or intending to complain, but I think I was so jaded by the loss of Star Wars Weekends, and now having to pay a lot of money to just even get a slither of that back for one night, that I just expected to dislike it.

  [ Read More... ]
A Walk Through the Parks, February and March 2017
DisneyDan  Tuesday, April 11, 2017 1:55:03 PM
Hello everyone,

As Jon and I spend an increasing amount of time at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, I find it correspondingly redundant to post "trip reports", in the more traditional sense. You may have noticed that, for example, recently I posted a stand alone review of the Garden Grill, a report on meeting the stars of Cars 3, and my report on the DVC Moonlight Magic event here on Character Central, and over on Two Lost Boys, my review of Flower and Garden 2017 at Epcot. I thought that it would be nice to share the more "generic" things we saw, too, over the past two months, and so decided to make this report more of a round-up of multiple visits, rather than breaking it down into separate trip reports. We will actually be back at the parks again this week and next, and so you should expect to see a similar round-up and more specialised individual reports once I get around to doing them, too.

Let's start our February-March walk though the park with the Magic Kingdom.   [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Music of PIXAR Live show, Cars 3 Characters at WDW, New Disney Jr Dance Party, StellaLou to debut and more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:52:29 PM
Hello everyone,

This week has been a particularly good week for character news, with lots coming out of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris.

Let's start with Tokyo Disney Resort, where last night they announced a brand new character to join Duffy and friends at Tokyo DisneySea - a bunny named StellaLou.   [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World December 2016 Trip Report, Part Two - Hollywood Studios and Epcot
DisneyDan  Saturday, March 4, 2017 2:05:47 PM
Hello everyone,

In this second part of my Walt Disney World December trip report I am going to share you with your our adventures at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. In case you missed it, the first part of my report, which covers Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Disney resort hotels, can be found here.

Let's start with Hollywood Studios.   [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Summer of Heroes, Beauty and the Beast, Happily Ever After, and Doc McStuffins
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:07:28 AM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog (DPB) made a surprise announcement about an upcoming event at the Disneyland Resort. From May 27th - the day that the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction opens at Disney California Adventure - until September 10th, the park will present the Summer of Heroes.

The DPB describes this new event as follows:   [ Read More... ]
Walt Disney World July 2016 Trip Report
DisneyDan  Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:47:42 AM
Hello everyone,

I realise that this is a little late, but better late than never, right?

Back in July we made one of our several trips for this year to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. As always, we had an agenda for visiting at the time that we did, and filled our short trip with everything that was wondrous and new!

Let's start with our hotel, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. We have previously stayed at Kidani Village several times, and of course have visited Jambo House (but up until this trip never stayed there), and while we have enjoyed our stays at Kidani Village, Jambo House is clearly the better of the two.   [ 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 - 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.
Walt Disney World May 2016 Trip Report, Part Two
DisneyDan  Monday, July 18, 2016 9:28:10 AM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report I shared with you our adventures at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, the resort hotels, Disney Springs and the Boardwalk. In this second and final part I am going to tell you about our time at Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

The week of our trip was also the last week of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, which we try to see every year. While we always enjoy Flower and Garden, I do feel that over the years they have cut back more and more, and now there is very little new to see year on year, which is really unfortunate. At any rate, what they do have is pretty, and we like to walk around taking photos of all the topiaries, and occasionally sampling the different foods and drinks (while the number of topiaries has been reduced over the years, the festival seems to have taken on the role of "Food and Wine Festival 2.0", adding more and more food stands in place of the flowers!).   [ Read More... ]
News and Updates - Mulan and Mushu to appear at DCA, Mulan and Pocahontas get new outfits, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, June 10, 2016 12:53:53 PM
Hello everyone,

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

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

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

Mulan

Pocahontas

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

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse

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

Meeting Olaf

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

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

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

So stay tuned for both of those!

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

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.

March of the First Order

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

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

Meeting Joy and Sadness

Meeting Joy and Sadness

Meeting Joy and Sadness
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