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Disneyland Thanksgiving Banquet, November 2017 - A Photo Report
DisneyDan  Friday, March 16, 2018 3:10:34 PM
Hello everyone,

In my continued effort to catch up on my reports, today I am going to share with you my photos from our amazing experience at the Disneyland Resort Thanksgiving Banquet.

The Thanksgiving Banquet was held on Thanksgiving day, November 2017, at the Disneyland Hotel. The Banquet was held in one of the main ballrooms, and required pre-booking at least 60 days in advance.

The main reason for us wanting to attend this experience is because in previous years they have had some really neat characters. While we didn't get anyone super rare at this one, there was a really good number of characters in attendance, including many of our favourites.

The food was pretty good, and was buffet style. We did have a server who brought drinks and saw to any requests we had. The buffet food was pretty good, and while there wasn't anything amazing for vegetarians, there was enough for us to eat.

For the money we paid (and while I don't recall the exact cost right now, it was certainly less than $100 per person), it was exceptionally good value. The sheer number of characters and the amount of time we spent there (at least four hours!), and the quality and quantity of the food, made it well worth it. Regular character meals can easily cost upwards of $60 per person these days, and the fact there were
18 characters at this meal made it phenomenally good value.

My only complaint is that the character lines were long (you lined up, as opposed to them coming to you), and they rotated without guarantee who you would get - hence why we spent four hours there! It took us three attempts of standing in line to get Horace, which was a little frustrating. However, the backgrounds were really nice, and well themed for Thanksgiving/fall.

Since it was several months ago now, I won't say anything more - so please enjoy these photos!
  [ Read More... ]
Meeting Cruz Ramirez at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure
DisneyDan  Sunday, August 13, 2017 6:54:31 PM
Hello everyone,

You can currently meet Cruz Ramirez, one of the stars of the new Cars 3 movie, at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure. We visited her at both of her new locations recently, and so I thought I'd share some photos with you here.

Enjoy!

Meeting Cruz Ramirez in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure:













Meeting Cruz Ramirez in PIXAR Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios:













Dan.
Halloween Time and Mickey's Halloween Party Details and Dates
DisneyDan  Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:32:38 PM
Hello everyone,

Earlier this week the Disney Parks Blog announced the Disneyland Resort's plans for Halloween Time this year, including dates for the popular Mickey's Halloween Party event.

The daytime activities at Disneyland park are anticipated to be the same, with Mickey and friends greeting in their Halloween costumes, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, and the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. For the most part, the Mickey's Halloween Party event at Disneyland park sounds very much the same as last year, with the return of the Frightfully Fun Parade, which features the Headless Horseman, the Halloween Screams fireworks, character greetings, and more. I'll come back to the party a little later, however, Disney California Adventure will be joining the spooky festivities with its own Halloween celebration, with two key additions. Buena Vista Street will be taken over by Oogie Boogie, and Cars Land will feature "Haul-O-Ween".

The images below were shared by the DPB:
  [ Read More... ]
Disneyland, February 2017 - A Trip Report
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:41:27 AM
Hello everyone,

Last month I shared with you my report on our trip to Disneyland for AP Days and the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. That report specifically focussed on those two things, can be found by clicking here.

In this second and final part of my trip report for our visit to Disneyland, I am going to share with you everything else that we managed to do in the whirlwind less-than-two-day adventure we had there!

  [ Read More... ]
AP Days and the Main Street Electrical Parade Final Homecoming - A Trip Report, February 2017
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:37:23 AM
Hello everyone,

On January 19th this year the Main Street Electrical Parade came back to Disneyland at a special event, which was followed the next day by the start of its final daily run at the park, which will end on June 18th this year.

Last weekend (Friday 10th February), Disneyland began hosting the first of this year's AP Days events, which for this month is themed to the Main Street Electrical Parade. Running until March 9th, annual passholders can visit the park every week to receive special buttons, menu cards, and other giveaway items, and meet characters. We were there this past weekend for the 2017 debut of AP Days, and to see the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP), and so I have my report here for you now!   [ 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... ]
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.
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.
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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