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Discover the 25th Anniversary Celebrations at Disneyland Paris! (Updated 1st Feb!)
DisneyDan  Tuesday, January 31, 2017 1:00:59 PM
Hello everyone,

As always, I have been pressed for time to write updates recently, but I am here today to share with you some things that I thought worth mentioning regarding the imminent arrival of the 25th anniversary celebrations at Disneyland Paris. Over the past week or two a lot more information about the celebrations has been coming to light, with various sites and pages leaking information, and of course Disneyland Paris revealing a little more themselves, too.

During the 25th anniversary celebrations, you will be able to experience two brand new stage shows, a brand new parade, meet and greets, and other offerings such as the new versions of Space Mountain (Hyperspace Mountain), and Star Tours (Star Tours - The Adventures Continue), and the new nighttime spectacular, Disney Illuminations. Of course, being Character Central, I am going to share with you the character based offerings in this article.

To begin, let's take a look at the parade.   [ Read More... ]
News - Disneyland Paris' 25th Anniversary, Princess Elena coming to WDW and Halloween in Shanghai
DisneyDan  Thursday, October 20, 2016 10:16:30 AM
Hello everyone,

A few days ago the Disney Parks Blog announced that following her August debut in her welcome show at the Magic Kingdom, Princess Elena of Avalor will greet guests at the Princess Fairytale Hall from 24th November. Princess Elena will feature on the Cinderella-side of the Hall, with FastPass reservations already available from the start date.

In an unexpected move, Shanghai Disney Resort are currently celebrating Halloween season - but only at Disneytown (their equivalent of Downtown Disney). From just a few days ago until 31st October, you can see Mickey and Minnie in a special show, wearing Halloween costumes, for free at Disneytown. It is great to see that Shanghai Disney Resort have decided to take a seasonal direction, since it was unclear up until now (because the park is still so new) whether they would follow what the other parks around the world do.

The big news of the week is the announcements from Disneyland Paris regarding its upcoming 25th anniversary. In non-character related revelations, there was confirmation of everything that had been pretty much anticipated for months now: a new nighttime spectacular, titled Disney Illuminations; Star Tours - The Adventures Continue; and Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain.
On the character front we also got confirmation of the very-much anticipated parade. Rather simply titled Disney Stars on Parade, it will feature a fire breathing dragon (much like the one from Festival of Fantasy at the Magic Kingdom), as well as using two floats from the old Jubilation parade, from Tokyo Disneyland. These floats are expected to be the Peter Pan and Jungle Book ones. While it was expected that there would probably be a new stage show, they actually surprised us all with announcing two! Very few details are known right now about either, but we do know that the first one, Mickey presents: "Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris", will feature Mickey, Goofy, Chip and Dale and other Disney stars as they celebrate the 25th anniversary. It is not known at which theatre or in what capacity the show will be held. The second show will be titled The Starlit Princess Waltz, and will feature the Disney Princesses, including Belle, Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White, throwing a majestic ball to celebrate the 25th Anniversary.
Interestingly, the Disney Parks Blog reported a slightly different version of the announcements, and also mentioned decorations, new meet and greets (though unspecified as to what), hotel renovations, a new version of Peter Pan's Flight, and something they name as Mickey's Goodnight Kiss. What this will involve is anybody's guess, but it was included in the section that read, "we will have many opportunities for our guests to see their favorite Princesses and Characters throughout their time at the park", so it sounds as though it will be a character based offering. Finally, the DPB version also appeared to confirm that Mickey and the Magician - the brand new show at the Walt Disney Studios that was billed to end before the 25th started - will indeed remain in place through the 25th anniversary. This will make many fans happy, as the show has been widely praised and is already well loved.

In case you missed them, I recently wrote my trip report for Shanghai Disney Resort, and a guide to Tokyo Disney Resort's 2016 Halloween season, here on Character Central. Click the highlighted text to go to those pages!

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

Dan.
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 - Brand new Disney On Ice show to star Inside Out, Moana coming to DLP, and more!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, June 22, 2016 8:56:22 AM
Hello everyone,

Today Disneyland Paris sent out a press release announcing that Moana - or Vaiana as she will be known in France - will feature at the resort during their Enchanted Christmas season, which begins on the 11th November. The press release was actually a little vague, giving no more details other than she will be at the resort during the season, so whether that means she will be greeting, feature in a new Christmas show, or in the parade, is yet to be seen. Disneyland Paris are notoriously bad at providing clear information, and are even worse at holding fast to what they have said - so we shall see what happens. At least, for now, we can say that Moana will feature this Christmas in some capacity at the French resort! The movie is released on 30th November in many places in Europe, including France, and the week before in the US, so it will also be interesting to see whether she debuts at the start of the season (starting 11th November), or if she will only appear once her movie premiers at the end of the month.

Disney On Ice this week announced another brand new show, "Follow Your Heart", and while much of it is once again a rehash of previous shows, there are two really cool new scenes of note. A Finding Dory scene will be added, which, if the image and text on their main website is to be believed, should feature Dory, Hank and Nemo. Of course Dory and Nemo have featured before, but the Finding Dory characters, such as Hank, and story will be new to Disney On Ice. Additionally - and the most exciting part of all - characters from the blockbuster PIXAR movie Inside Out will be added! After waiting for an eternity for them to come to the US parks, we are now also going to see them in this new show. Again, things are a little vague, but from what the images depict, and what the text on the website says, at very least we should expect Joy, Sadness and Anger, and most likely Fear and Disgust, too! The new show starts in the Washington DC/Baltimore region at the end of October. You can buy pre-sale tickets on Ticketmaster now, using the code "BUBBLES".

As always, Character Central has been receiving continual updates. This week I added Constance Purchase (Main Street Citizen), Captain Phasma, the March of the First Order, The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Also, you can find out about our latest trip to Walt Disney World in part one of my most recent trip report, here on the blog. In this part I share with you our adventures at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, the Boardwalk and the three separate Disney resort hotels that we stayed in during our trip.

This weekend we will be in Disneyland Paris, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see our live updates from the resort.

Have a great day everyone,

Dan.
NEWS - VIPs get new look in Shanghai, Inside Out, Zootopia, Spring around the world, and much more!
DisneyDan  Sunday, March 20, 2016 11:09:26 AM
Hello everyone,

The past week or two has seen a surprising amount of character news come out the Disney parks worldwide, so I have my usual round-up of everything, complete with sources!

Let's start at Disney's newest resort, set to open on 16th June this year, Shanghai Disneyland. The Xinhua English News reported online the other day that, I quote,

"Classic Disney characters are getting a Chinese re-styling for Shanghai Disneyland, with Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck set to appear as old Shanghai stereotypes when the park opens in three months.

Of the 7,000 souvenirs ready to debut at Shanghai Disneyland's opening on June 16, at least half were tailored exclusively for the park, said sources there on Saturday.

Minnie will be dressed like a typical Shanghai beauty in the 1920s and 1930s, wearing a pink Chinese jacket and red embroidered silk sandals.

"The dressing style was typical of ladies whose portraits appeared on calendars in every household 80 to 90 years ago," said Gu Zhengwei, director of Shanghai Disney Resort's commodity department.

In Shanghai, Mickey will be a young man wearing a top hat and holding a stick, while Donald will appear as a middle-aged Shanghai man, good-natured but aloof."


Obviously nothing is certain until the park opens, but I think it is interesting that, at least from this article, it sounds as though these costumes will be their "standard" dress in Shanghai, rather than the classic outfits we are used to seeing them in at the other parks. It's always nice to see new costumes for the characters in shows and parades, and we look forward to meeting them there!

Whilst I was on that article I clicked around the site and found something posted a couple of months ago that I don't believe anyone else has picked up on, that I thought was really interesting. Again, I quote,

"Shanghai Disneyland will feature favorite Disney characters from Snow White to Luke Skywalker, under an entertainment program announced for the upcoming park on Wednesday.

The stories of classic Disney princesses will be staged in the site's signature Enchanted Storybook Castle, said Matt Almas, the company's creative executive.

Visitors will learn to draw Marvel characters and interact with the heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe in sci-fi zone Tomorrowland.

Chinese elements will also be incorporated, Almas said.

The final carriage of Mickey's Storybook Express, a train running through the park, will be dedicated to Mulan, an animated movie depicting a female war hero of ancient China. Each carriage will be based on a different Disney film.

The Lion King musical will be performed in Chinese at the park's theater. Visitors will also join Donald Duck and Chip'n'Dale to practice traditional Chinese martial art Tai Chi."


We already knew about the castle show, so that doesn't sound too surprising, and the same for the being able to "interact" (think meet) the Star Wars and Marvel characters. What is interesting though is the information about the parade, Mickey's Storybook Express. We have heard so very little about this parade so far, that it is interesting to hear something about it, and that it will include Mulan. The other interesting statement is the one about learning Tai Chi with Donald, Chip and Dale. This is the first time we have given any kind of information about smaller, potential "pop-up" entertainment around the park - everything so far has been very much focussed on the larger stage productions. It's nice to see that this new park will have random park atmosphere entertainment, too. It should be noted that the Lion King show that they mention is actually the broadway style show, and is located outside the park at an additional cost.

Moving across the country to Hong Kong Disneyland, where spring season has started. This year Mickey and friends are appearing in some unique outfits, that while don't scream spring to me, they are really cute and offer something different to guests visiting the park. I don't have any photos of my own to share, but a tag search on Instagram shows up some pretty decent images, as I discovered. Hong Kong Disneyland are also continuing to up their character offerings across the park with the recent addition of Princess Sofia and Baymax. You can learn more about the spring season and the new character greetings, here on the official HKDL page.

Across the East China Sea, in Japan the immensely popular show, Big Band Beat, at Tokyo DisneySea has held its last weekend of performances. The newly reimagined show for the 15th anniversary of the park will open on the 15th April 2016, along with the new Crystal Wishes Journey show at Mediterranean Harbor and The Year of Wishes Greeting Drive at American Waterfront on the same day. Across the resort at Tokyo Disneyland, the new Polynesian Terrace dinner show that replaces Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise, opens tomorrow. The show will be presented up to four times daily, and is expected to feature Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale and Clarice.

Heading east to Disneyland in California, and it was announced on the Disney Parks Blog that the Super Hero HQ in Tomorrowland would be closing. Saturday 2nd April will be the last day to meet Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America at the building. However, Captain America and Spider-Man will be moving over to Disney California Adventure the very next day, Sunday 3rd April. Along similar superhero lines, the Parks Blog also announced that the former Avengers half marathon weekend at Disneyland will now become the Super Hero half marathon, and will expand its offerings to include for the first time Dr Strange. Though the blog doesn't specifically say who will appear, it does say there will be "surprises" and that Dr Strange would "host", which makes it sound very likely that Dr Strange will make his first ever Disney Parks appearance! The marathon event will be held from 10th through 13th November 2016, with registration opening on 12th April 2016.

Obviously we still have a week until Easter, but it currently looks as though, much to our sadness, that spring will not be retuning to Disneyland Resort this year. We really loved the offerings the past couple of years, with a several month long celebration featuring the VIPs in special outfits and special greetings with the Disney bunnies, including Roger Rabbit. Perhaps they will surprise us next week with something, but at the moment it doesn't look likely, sadly.

I had previously posted here on the blog about the arrival of Nick and Judy from Disney's latest smash hit, Zootopia. It had been announced on the Parks Blog that they would appear for greetings at Disney California Adventure and in Move It! Shake It! at the Magic Kingdom. While that hasn't changed, we now have a clearer idea on timeframe. Shawn Slater later confirmed in the comments that Nick and Judy would be around until at least June at DCA, and while there is no firm date on their start in DCA, they would start appearing in MISICI at the Magic Kingdom from next weekend (Easter). Disney entertainment schedules typically start on a Sunday, which means that Saturday will be the last day for the current format. It is expected, though not officially confirmed, that Stitch and Genie would be the ones replaced by Nick and Judy. Saturday is also expected to be Marie's last day in Town Square, with Stitch replacing her the following day possibly at the front of the park (although Tomorrowland is just a good a location for him, of course).

There are just two weeks left now for Dream Along with Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, with its last day being Saturday 2nd April. There is still no confirmation as to when the new show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, will begin.

It was also finally announced, much to everyone's huge relief, that Joy and Sadness from last year's hit PIXAR movie Inside Out start greeting guests at the Epcot Character Spot from early April. While there is still no firm date yet (Shawn Slater's comment son the Parks Blog even say as much), it is such a welcome addition - if a little late. Shawn also confirmed that there would be no FastPass+ offered for the new experience.

Across the ocean at Disneyland Paris spring season officially started there, with their ever expanding seasonal offerings, including Minnie's Spring Train which for the first time, though rather sporadically, has included the Cheshire Cat! He appeared for the press launch last week, and has made a couple of further appearances since, giving hope to fans that he will become more of a permanent fixture in the park. An Instagram search shows up some good pictures of him, if you're interested.

Finally for today, the Parks Blog confirmed that the popular Star wars Days at Sea will return to select Disney Cruise Line sailings in 2017.

Ok, that's it for today! If you haven't already, be sure to check out my latest trip report, which can be found in the blog list on the side panel.

Have a great week everyone,

Dan.
Character Central Advent Calendar - 8th December
DisneyDan  Tuesday, December 8, 2015 5:58:43 PM
Hello everyone,

Today is the 8th December, so it's time to see who is behind today's door on our special Character Central Advent Calendar!

  [ Read More... ]
News - Christmas around the world, TONS of new Tokyo entertainment announced for next year, and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, September 18, 2015 12:06:13 PM
Hello everyone,

Today I have a round up of the latest character news out of the Disney Parks around the world, including Tokyo Disney Resort where is there is a huge amount of information about the coming 18 months at the resort.

Let's start with Walt Disney World in Florida, where this week saw the first of the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties. This year there is a new stage show, titled "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular", featuring the Sanderson Sisters, and other Disney Villains, including   [ Read More... ]
Disneyland Paris, August 2015 Photo Trip Report
DisneyDan  Tuesday, September 8, 2015 3:44:21 PM
Hello everyone,

A couple of weeks ago, in August, Jon and I were back in Disneyland Paris for five days, after a hiatus from visiting for a while (not a hiatus from Disney though - if you follow our adventures you'll know we've been to the US parks numerous times this year already!). Despite being annual passholders and having visited Disneyland Paris six times last year, due to personal circumstances we hadn't been back since last September. So, following our extended break from the resort, we were glad to finally be able to get back there.

For the first time in all our trips to Disneyland Paris,   [ Read More... ]
NEWS - Goodbye Halloween at DLR, WDW to FINALLY welcome Olaf and a new Villains show, Christmas at DLP and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:57:59 AM
Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I have had chance to make a full news post here on the blog, but today I thought it would be nice to finally share some of the things we have learned recently.

Let's start with Disneyland Resort in California,   [ Read More... ]
Happy 23rd Anniversary Disneyland Paris!
DisneyDan  Sunday, April 12, 2015 8:49:54 AM
Hello everyone,

Today is the 23rd anniversary of the grand opening of Disneyland Paris' main theme park!

Often described as the most beautiful of all the Magic Kingdom style parks, it features the gorgeous Sleeping Beauty Castle, and incredible detail in every land, attraction, boutique and restaurant. Parc Disneyland at Disneyland Paris is simply stunning.

So, in our usual tribute style, I'm going to post some of Character Central's pictures below, for your enjoyment!

Happy 23rd Birthday Disneyland Paris!

20 Years of Magic! event

20 Years of Magic! event

Wandering up Main Street before opening!

Main Street USA

Busy traffic day on Main Street

Plaza Gardens Restaurant

Wandering up Main Street before opening!

View towards Sleeping Beauty Castle

Wandering thru Fantasyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle Gallery

The Dragon's Lair

DLP April 2012 - Visiting the Dragon's Lair

View over Fantasyland from the Castle Balcony

Auberge de Cendrillon

Wandering thru Fantasyland

Wandering thru Fantasyland

Au Chalet de la Marionnette

Sir Mickey's

View towards Pizzeria Bella Notte

Spring has arrived at "it's a small world"

Wandering thru Fantasyland

Wandering thru Fantasyland

Wandering thru Fantasyland

The W. F. Cody passes thru Fantasyland

Toad Hall Restaurant

Alice's Curious Labyrinth

Alice's Curious Labyrinth

View from the Queen of Hearts Castle in Alice's Curious Labyrinth

View from the Queen of Hearts Castle in Alice's Curious Labyrinth

View from the Queen of Hearts Castle in Alice's Curious Labyrinth

Le Pays des Contes de Fees

Le Pays des Contes de Fees

DLP June 2012 - Wandering through Fantasyland

DLP April 2012 - Riding Peter Pan's Flight

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Frontierland

DLP Halloween 2012 - Wandering through Frontierland

DLP Aug 2011 - Wandering through Frontierland

DLP Feb 2011 - Cowboy Cookout BBQ

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Frontierland

DLP Feb 2013 - Exploring Frontierland

Pueblo Trading Post on a very autumnal day

Exploring Fort Comstock - Legends of the Wild West

DLP Halloween 2009 - The Silver Spur Steakhouse

Down by the Rivers of the Far West

Down by the Rivers of the Far West

Getting dinner at The Lucky Nugget Saloon

DLP June 2012 - Exploring Fort Comstock

DLP June 2012 - Riding Pirates of the Caribbean

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

Restaurant Hakuna Matata

DLP April 2012 - Exploring Adventure Isle

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

DLP Feb 2009 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

DLP June 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

DLP June 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

DLP Feb 2009 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP June 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP June 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP April 2012 - Exploring Adventureland

DLP June 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

DLP June 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

Exploring Discoveryland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

Annual Passport Office

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

DLP April 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

DLRP Feb 2009 - Space Mountain: Mission 2

DLP Halloween 2012 - Wandering through Discoveryland

DLP June 2011 - Wandering through Discoveryland

DLP Feb 2009 - X-Wing on Space Mountain Attack Run

The Hyperion

DLP April 2012 - Cafe Hyperion

DLP April 2012 - Cafe Hyperion

DLRP Feb 2009 - Attack of the Kraken

DLP Spring 2010 - Wandering around Discoveryland

Horse-Drawn Street Car

Halloween in Frontierland

Christmas on Main Street USA

Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle

Buzz Lightyear oversees the action at Constellations

The C K Holliday

Wall-E and Eve

DLP Halloween 2012 - Disney Dreams!

DLP April 2012 - Disney Dreams!

DLP Feb 2013 - Disney Dreams!

DLP April 2012 - Disney Dreams!

Of course, let's not forget that Disneyland Paris features its second park, the Walt Disney Studios, plus seven themed hotels, Golf Disneyland, Lake Disney and Disney Village!

Walt Disney Studios by night

The brand new Ratatouille area by night

Bistrot Chez Remy

Wandering around by the Hotel New York

Down by Lake Disney

Happy 23rd Birthday Disneyland Paris!

Dan.
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