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

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

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

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

Have a great day everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Dan.
NEWS - 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.
Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 6 - The Grand Finale!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:21:07 PM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report I covered all the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari and other areas. In part two we explored World Bazaar and Adventureland. In part three we ventured into Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. In part four, I shared my photos from the Christmas parade, Dreamlights, Nightfall Glow and the fireworks. In part five we looked at Med Harbor, American Waterfront and Port Discovery. In this final part we are going to explore Arabian Coast, Mermaid Lagoon, Lost River Delta, Mysterious Island and Christmas Wishes offerings.

In the last part we left off in Port Discovery. Now we are going to head from Port Discovery, along the back path, to Lost River Delta.   [ Read More... ]
Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 5 - Med Harbor, American Waterfront and Port Discovery
DisneyDan  Tuesday, February 9, 2016 11:20:20 AM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report I covered all the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari and other areas. In part two we explored World Bazaar and Adventureland. In part three we ventured into Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. In part four, I shared my photos from the Christmas parade, Dreamlights, Nightfall Glow and the fireworks. Now, in this part, we are going to explore three of the seven themed ports of Tokyo Disneyland's neighbouring park, Tokyo DisneySea.

The Tokyo DisneySea (TDS) entrance plaza is part of Mediterranean Harbor (Med Harbor), and where   [ Read More... ]
Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 4 - Tokyo Disneyland shows and parades
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:30:28 AM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report I covered all the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari and other areas. In part two we explored World Bazaar and Adventureland. In part three we ventured into Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. Now, in this part, I'm going to share with you some of my thoughts and photos from our viewings of the Christmas parade, Dreamlights, Nightfall Glow and the fireworks.

Tokyo Disneyland (TDL) had a brand new Christmas parade for 2015, titled Disney Christmas Stories. Although this was the first Christmas season we had spent at the park, I have to say, I was   [ Read More... ]
Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 3 - From Fantasy to Tomorrow, and beyond!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, February 2, 2016 1:53:55 PM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this report I covered all the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari and other areas. In part two we explored World Bazaar and Adventureland. Now, in this part we are going to discover Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland.

Leaving Adventureland behind, we   [ Read More... ]
Tokyo Disney Resort December 2015 Trip Report, Part 2 - World Bazaar and Adventureland
DisneyDan  Thursday, January 28, 2016 10:22:38 AM
Hello everyone,

In part one of this Tokyo Disney Resort trip report I covered the Disney Resort Hotels, the Disney Resort Line monorail, Ikspiari, and Bon Voyage. In this second part I am going to share our adventures within the magical lands of World Bazaar and Adventureland, at Tokyo Disneyland park.

Arriving at Tokyo Disneyland is an interesting experience. It is both one of pure joy and excitement, and one of sheer terror. Tokyo Disney Resort (TDR) has a very different feel to it, and really makes a Disney fan's emotions and senses go into over drive! Whether you arrive at the park via the monorail from the on site hotels, bus, or walking from Maihama (or any one of the other multitude of ways of arriving), you will ultimately find yourself on the vast concourse in front of Tokyo Disneyland park (TDL). You'll find a number of amenities, including a guest relations booth, picnic area (park left), coffee shop (park right), the TDL monorail station, and towering above everything, the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel (see part one for details of the monorail system and hotels).

There is a large, curved, entry system that contains the ticket booths and turnstiles beyond, which you will nearly always find completely packed with people at least   [ Read More... ]
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