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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 - 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.
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... ]
A Year with Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World
DisneyDan  Wednesday, August 5, 2015 11:17:45 AM
Hello everyone,

Throughout the years at Walt Disney World, Minnie Mouse has appeared in hundreds of costumes, making her wardrobe one of the most diverse in the world! From shows, to parades, and character greetings, Minnie has an outfit for every occasion! I thought it would be fun to take a look at the outfits you can meet Minnie in throughout the year at Walt Disney World.

The costumes below are based on our most recent experiences at Walt Disney World, however, as always, schedules, events and greetings are subject to change and cancellation by Walt Disney World, without prior notice.

Let's start with Minnie's regular locations around the four Walt Disney World theme parks.

  [ Read More... ]
A Year with Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World
DisneyDan  Thursday, July 30, 2015 9:58:38 AM
Hello everyone,

Mickey Mouse has a vast collection of costumes from many years' worth of parades, shows and greetings at all the Disney Parks and Resorts around the world. I was thinking recently about how many different outfits you can meet him in at Walt Disney World during any given year (Christmas, Halloween, etc), and I thought it would be interesting to share with you all my thoughts and experiences on this.

The costumes below are based on our most recent experiences at Walt Disney World, however, as always, schedules, events and greetings are subject to change and cancellation by Walt Disney World, without prior notice.

Let's start with Mickey's regular locations around the four Walt Disney World theme parks.

  [ Read More... ]
Disneyland Paris August 2014 Trip Report and Photo Round-Up Part 2!
DisneyDan  Saturday, August 23, 2014 7:43:08 AM
Hello everyone,

Two weeks ago Jon and I were in DLP, and I put together a photo trip report which you can read here. Last weekend we were at DLP again! So, here's another photo report from our three days in the magic!

Let's start at Disneyland Park.   [ Read More... ]
Disneyland Paris August 2014 Trip Report and Photo Round-Up - including Ratatouille!
DisneyDan  Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:56:17 AM
Hello everyone,

Last week Jon and I were in Disneyland Paris again for three days. As always, we had an awesome, action packed time! I wanted to share with you some photos from our trip.

Let's start on Main Street USA with the brand new "New Century Notions - Flora's Unique Boutique" that has replaced the former Town Square Photography. It should be noted that PhotoPass pictures can still be viewed and purchased here.
  [ Read More... ]
News - Anna and Elsa arriving at Hollywood Studios for "Frozen Summer Fun - Live"!
DisneyDan  Friday, June 27, 2014 7:50:54 AM
Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog announced a summer full of fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios featuring the incredibly popular Frozen characters, Anna and Elsa.

The biggest news to come out of it is that it would seem Kristoff will be stepping out of Arendelle to make his Disney Parks debut in a special procession through the park! 'Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome' will happen at 11am each day.

There is mention of Olaf too, and although we don't know for sure yet, from the description it is likely he will appear on the big video screen only, and not as a character on stage. However, anything could happen, and we really hope he does appear!

Here's a roundup of everything you can expect from 5th July through to 1st September inclusive.

  • Olaf on Summer Vacation – Olaf the snowman is having the time of his life on his very first summer vacation! He chimes in throughout the day to keep everyone updated on all his adventures. Plus, you can pick up your very own Take-Along Olaf from locations in the park, so he can join you on your summer vacation. And when you share your photos with Olaf on social media, be sure to tag them with #OlafSummerVacation. They may just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!

  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – At 11am each day, Elsa and Anna arrive in Hollywood as part of their goodwill tour of neighbouring kingdoms, making their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh. Kristoff is along for the fun, too, joined by a flurry of skaters, skiers, ice cutters and more! The entire procession culminates in a special moment at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage to officially welcome the visiting royalty to this kingdom of Hollywoodland.

  • For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – Cool down inside the Premiere Theater, where Anna and Elsa join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun and comedic retelling of the unique history of their Kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from “Frozen.”

  • Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Frozen Funland – Inside Soundstage One, Oaken and his cousins have created a Frozen Funland filled with cold weather activities, unique photo opportunities, and more! There’s a frozen pond with ice skating demonstrations, wintertime fun for kids in the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” play area, a “big summer blowout” with plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen”-inspired food and beverage offerings.

  • “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – Starting at 5.30pm each day, a dance party takes over the area around the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, with a DJ, live band, and more! The band plays a variety of classic and contemporary summer rock and roll hits, as well as a cool, rocking medley of “Frozen” favourites. It’s going to be hot!

  • “Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular – Everything wraps up at 9.45pm when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come together at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen!”

Once more information becomes available, I'll be sure to post it here on the blog.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Dan.
Happy first day of summer!
DisneyDan  Saturday, June 21, 2014 2:43:34 PM
Today is the Summer Solstice, which means in the Northern Hemisphere it is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year!

I thought I'd share some of my favourite pictures from fun in the sun with our Disney pals!

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse in their Summer Beach outfits

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Beach Goofy

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Having fun at Castaway Cay!

Meeting Chip and Dale

And finally, these guys know all about summer!...

Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party

Happy first day of summer everyone!

Dan.
News and Rumours - Tokyo's Tanabata Star Festival, Summer and Halloween, Unleash the Villains at WDW and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Friday, June 20, 2014 7:47:41 AM
Hello everyone,

Sorry for the lack of news updates lately. I, as always, have been quite busy with normal life. Anyway, there are a number of things I want to talk about that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

We'll start with Tokyo Disney Resort, and work our way around the world.

From 24th June until 7th July at Tokyo Disney Resort, you can celebrate the magic of Disney Tanabata Days, also known as the Star Festival. At Tokyo DisneySea you can meet ShellieMay and Duffy in their special Disney Tanabata Days costumes at Cape Cod's Village Greeting Place in American Waterfront. You can also see Mickey and friends in a very special show on Mediterranean Harbor, three times per day (10.45am, 1pm and 4.30pm) wearing their special Star Festival costumes.
At Tokyo Disneyland there is a special parade each day at 11.20am and 4.15pm, featuring your favourite Disney friends wearing yet more beautifully crafted costumes.
At both parks guests will be given the opportunity to make a wish on special cards, and tie them to specially dedicated "Wishing Places" in the parks.

After the Disney Tanabata Days end, summer season arrives at the resort, and so does the water! Jon and I have been to Tokyo Disney Resort in the summer before, and I must warn you - prepare to get wet!
At Tokyo DisneySea's Summer Festival, Minnie's Tropical Splash is described as being a "carnival celebrating the bountiful harvest of fruit" and where "hot Latin rhythms begin to throb as colourful fruit themed barges appear on the Harbor". The TDR website then goes on to describe the "torrent of water" that then sprays from the barges and the shore! Characters appearing in the show - and in new costumes this year too - are Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Clarice. The show will be presented three times daily and lasts about 20 minutes.
At Tokyo Disneyland's Natsu Matsuri event, "hot and lively dances" are the thing at the Castle Stage, during Garyo Gunbu. Team Miyabi Kenran starring Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Max and Pluto compete against Team Ryobu Shippu's Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Clarice in a water filled dance battle! We've seen these water canons in action, and trust me when I say, if you don't want to get wet, avoid Central Plaza during your visit! The show will be presented three times per day and lasts about 13 minutes.
The other show at Castle Stage will be Ondo-Ko-Don! which will be presented once per day, morning only, lasting 11 minutes. It will feature Mickey, Minnie, Donald and "others" in a special performance of a Japanese dance called the "ondo".
At both Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland there will be special merchandise, decorations and menu items to accompany these events.
Summer season at both parks runs from 8th July through 31st August inclusive.

We have a discussion topic about the summer fun, here on our forum.

A week later on the 7th September, the long running Legend of Mythica will end. If you're visiting before then, be sure to see this jaw dropping show before it goes away forever!

After the summer, we come to Halloween. At Tokyo DisneySea, the park will be filled with Disney Skeletons! In American Waterfront you can join the skeletons as well as the Disney characters in special costumes for their brand new show "New York's Halloween Follies". At Mediterranean Harbor you can join skeletons for "Welcome Skeleton Friends" in a participation show as they try to make new friends. In the Lost River Delta you can watch Chip 'n' Dale's Skeleton Fiesta, and finally "Street Party of the Skeleton" will be carried out in multiple areas of the park, where skeletons will dance and play around, interacting with guests and greeting them.
At Tokyo Disneyland, from what I can make out from the Japanese release, the Happy Halloween Harvest parade will return with the theme of a Halloween fair.
As with every event in Japan, there will be decorations, merchandise and food involved, too! Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort runs from 8th September until 31st October inclusive.

Don't forget that throughout the year you can enjoy the brand new nightly spectacular at Cinderella Castle, Once Upon a Time. You can read my review of it from opening week, last month, here.

Additionally, remember that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit made his Disney Parks debut just about 8 weeks ago at Tokyo DisneySea's American Waterfront! He is super cute and gives you yet another reason to visit this summer - as if you needed ay more excuses, right?! You can check out my blog post about meeting Oswald for the first time, here, and our dedicated Oswald page, here.

Finally for Tokyo, member Ryo on our forum posted that OLC have announced some new changes to Dreamlights in 2015, including the addition of Rapunzel and an update to Peter Pan's float! I can't seem to find the actual OLC release for this, as it's probably entirely in Japanese, but if I do, I'll link it here.

Ok, moving on to Walt Disney World now, and the Disney Parks Blog released a short list of some of the characters we can expect at the Unleash the Villains event on 23rd August this year. This is the only official list posted so far, but rumours have been flying around the internet of all sorts of rare appearances! None of the characters on the current list come as any great surprise, so it'll be interesting to see who else they put into the mix. We have a discussion topic about the event here on our forum, so join us in the speculation!

The new Harambe Theater District opened in Animal Kingdom just recently, and is now the new home to the Festival of the Lion King, after a short hiatus when it closed in Camp Minnie-Mickey. Not too much to report here, but people seem to like the new location and the show remains as popular as ever. I'm glad that Timon and friends have now moved back to their native Africa after spending the past ten years in an American Summer Camp!

Finally for WDW, our friends on our forum noticed that when visiting the Magic Kingdom recently, Winnie the Pooh has decided to sport a slightly different expression! Check out this discussion thread to see how he looks now when greeting at the Crystal Palace.

Jumping across the continent to Disneyland in California, and summer has kicked off with a special Frozen pre-parade at Disneyland Park. You can check out this video of it from Inside the Magic here, and discuss it here on our forum.

Also at Disneyland, Merida has now stopped meeting at her location near "it's a small world", and has been moved to inside the Royal Hall, where I guess her appearances will be more random (switching with her royal friends). In other princess news, Anna and Elsa's greeting times have apparently been extended, and they now meet until 8pm daily.

Flying across the Atlantic to Disneyland Paris, the press preview of the brand new Ratatouille attraction and restaurant happens this weekend. The restaurant is believed to be character dining (based on concept art and even one lady on the reservation line at Disneyland Paris), but is yet to actually be confirmed - we shall find out in the next day or two for sure! Rumours have been circulating for quite some time now, and have additionally strongly suggested that Linguini will appear in the new area (not inside the restaurant)! I'll let you know of any developments on those rumours as the weekend progresses. Jon and I have reservations for Chez Remy in August, and cannot wait to see the new land! You can join our discussion topic about Chez Remy (the new restaurant), here on our forum.

Staying in France, and DisneylandBerry on Twitter (who is often very reliable) has suggested that long running show Animagique will close at some point in 2015. As much as I love this show, it would be great if they put in a brand new show, since this once has been here for over 10 years now! Disneyland Paris are notoriously bad at announcing anything, so we won't know if this is actually true for quite some time yet, I would imagine. Our members are discussing this topic here on our forum.

Finally for Disneyland Paris, InsideDLParis revealed that from 5th July this year Disney's Stars 'n' Cars parade would end. The meet 'n' greets that currently take place using the same characters and cars would be extended to include more set times, and 4 of the current cars would be used to transport the characters on and off set from the greetings. InsideDLParis also revealed that the Incredibles would return to the park for the summer near the new Spider-Man location.

To our final topic today, Iron Man. Our good friend DisneyMart discovered something interesting yesterday, while randomly poking around the Disney Consumer Products website. The recent Disney Consumer Products at Licensing Expo 2014 featured Iron Man as a character, alongside Mickey Mouse, Stormtroopers and Buzz Lightyear! What's interesting is that his appearance has been kept so quiet. He did appear at D23 last year, but since then fans have discovered that the Marvel characters at the event were not wearing their official Disney outfits, meaning that Iron Man and Spider-Man were not appearing as they will at the Disney Parks. I have no idea if this is the case for this most recent appearance, and it could be why Disney have kept hush about it, not wanting people to believe they have already developed Tony Stark's new outfit for him, but instead using an older outside design of his!

Finally, although it was a couple of weeks ago now, why not check out my previous news post to read about the Frozen Disney On Ice show and Hong Kong Disneyland's new nighttime parade!

Ok, that is everything for today! Have a great weekend everyone,

Dan.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Crystal Palace Character Dining, click here.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey and Company Dinner Show, click here.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise Dinner Show, click here.

To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disney Resort's Chef Mickey Character Dining, click here.

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