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A World of Characters A World of Characters
A World of Characters A World of Characters
Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Six
DisneyDan  Monday, October 3, 2016 10:45:01 AM
Hello everyone,

In this sixth installment of my Shanghai Disney Resort trip report, we are going to explore the magic of Fantasyland. In case you missed any of the previous parts, I have provided the links for you, 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.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Four on Character Central
In this report I shared with you the futuristic world of Tomorrowland, with over 150 photos.

Shanghai Disney Resort, September 2016 Trip Report - Part Five on Character Central
In the fifth part of my report, I shared with you our time at Enchanted Storybook Castle and the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, with over 140 photos.

Standing with your back to the castle, facing into Fantasyland, you discover that the view isn't quite the same as the other parks. There is no Castle Courtyard, Carousel or Sword in the Stone (the Carousel is in the Gardens of Imagination, as I discussed in a previous post). In fact, you have to make a right or a left to get anywhere else in the land - and in this instance we are going to turn left.

  [ Read More... ]
Character Central Advent Calendar - 14th December
DisneyDan  Monday, December 14, 2015 6:15:42 PM
Hello everyone,

Today is the 14th December, so it's time to find out who is behind today's very special Character Central Advent Calendar door!

Today it is...

  [ Read More... ]
Advent Calendar - 11th December 2011
DisneyDan  Thursday, December 11, 2014 4:46:14 PM
Hello everyone,

It's the 11th December, which means it's time to open the eleventh door of our very special Character Central Advent Calendar!

Here we go!...

  [ Read More... ]
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.

The Crystal Palace Character Breakfast at Tokyo Disneyland - A Review
DisneyDan  Thursday, June 5, 2014 4:05:18 AM
Hello everyone,

The Crystal Palace is a restaurant at Tokyo Disneyland that for some reason is technically listed as being in Adventureland. However, the only way to access the restaurant is from the front entrance on Central Plaza, just the same way the Crystal Palace is located in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Tokyo Aug 2010 - Wandering past Adventureland

First thing in the morning the restaurant offers character dining with the 100 Acre Wood friends. There are no reservations for the Crystal Palace, and it is only offered on a stand and wait basis. Although it doesn't get immediately full, if you wish to dine here them you should definitely get here right after park open to ensure you actually get in. When we were here this past trip we were in line right after park open at 8am, and it still took us 20 minutes to get seated, and by the time we were eventually at a table, the line I think was closed and guests were being turned away. The restaurant only offers the characters for 90 minutes, and only on days that the park opens before 10am. No character dining is available if the park opens at 10am, as this would conflict with their preparations for lunch (which does not feature characters).

The Crystal Palace Restaurant

Their setup is interesting, and is not a system which I've seem anywhere else before.
Once you enter the restaurant you will have to pay right away. Once you have paid you enter a line to collect your food - you cannot get a table as this has to be assigned by a cast member.
When you get to the serving area you are personally attended to by a cast member for your group. The odd thing is that there are no options. Everything is a set menu item, and while it's prepared in front of you, everybody gets the same things.
Pancakes, fruit, eggs, sausage, potatoes, orange juice, salad and a hot drink.
We are vegetarian and asked our cast member to tell the person preparing the plates to leave the sausage off, which they did with no problem.

The Crystal Palace Restaurant

Once the cast member has your tray in hand (yes, they carry it all for you), then they show you to a table. From here you are left to dine in peace (as much as one can have peace at a character meal!). If you want water there are taps with cups in the corners of the dining rooms where you can help yourself.

The seating arrangement is odd though, and I can't seem to fathom why this system is in place. You don't chose your own food, it's a set menu, so why have your entire party stand in a long line with all their bags while the characters bypass empty tables? Surely it'd be easier to seat you, then while they are getting the food for you, you could at least be settling in (taking jackets off etc), and possibly saving time by meeting a character who may be passing by.

The Crystal Palace Restaurant

Anyway, odd setups aside, the food is pretty good, though the eggs were a little runny (which seems to be the case in Japan in general, to be honest), and the overall service was friendly and efficient. The cast had no problem in accommodating our "no sausage" request, and there was plenty else on the plate so we weren't completely wasting our time or money.

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Characters in attendance are always the same. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Rabbit will make their way around to you with the usual Tokyo speed and efficiently. It should be noted though that they seem to rotate through entire dining rooms all at once, and it you just miss the rotation then all five will move to the other room, and you'll have to wait for all of them to finish on that side before they all come back to your side (by which time you'll probably be sitting with an empty plate, but the cast know you're there for characters, so don't panic - it just feels odd!).

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace

The meal costs 1850 Yen per adult, which is about US$19 (making it one of the cheapest character meals we've ever had anywhere!), and this is the only time you will need money as tips are not accepted in Japan. As I mentioned above, you pay upon entering the restaurant and should not leave a tip at your table as this is not Japanese custom - you wouldn't want to offend them.

Overall we had a pleasant experience at the Crystal Palace, and because there are no reservations it is one of the easier character dining experiences to get into at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Dan.

The Crystal Palace Restaurant
Happy Plush Animal Lover's Day!
DisneyDan  Monday, October 28, 2013 2:26:47 PM
Hello everyone,

Today is recognised as being Plush Animal Lover's Day, a day where you can celebrate the cute, loveable joy of your furry friends!

There are some very special Disney Characters who themselves are plush animals, such as the likes of Winnie the Pooh and all his friends (they are Christopher Robin's stuffed animals), Agent Oso, and Mickey's teddy bear Duffy (who was created for him by Minnie).

So, in our usual Character Central style, let's celebrate the day with a photo cavalcade of some of Jon and I's adventures with the adorable, and very huggable, plush Disney friends throughout the years!

Happy Plush Animal Lover's Day everyone!

Dan.

Character fun at Inventions

Meeting Christopher Robin and Kanga

WDW Dec 2008 - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

DDE May 2013 - Saying hi to ShellieMay

Disneyland Dec 2007 - A Christmas Fantasy Parade

WDW Dec 2010 - Eating lunch at the Play 'N Dine at Hollywood & Vine

DDE TDR Closing Event

Winnie the Pooh and Friends, too!

WDW Dec 2008 - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

DDE May 2013 - Duffy's Bedtime Story

Mickey's Halloween Celebration
Character News and Updates From Around the Web - DL to lose Pooh area, Trick or Meet-Up announced for FL, Duffy coming to Paris, a whole Avatar land coming to Animal Kingdom and MUCH more!
DisneyDan  Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:01:32 PM

Hi all,

Let us begin today's news in California, where apparently the Pooh meet 'n' greet area is being removed. At the moment it is unclear as to whether there is a replacement in the works, or if the Pooh characters are being permanently evicted. I guess we'll see in a few weeks, but it is strange that they didn't work on this when the whole land (Critter Country) was completely closed for several months earlier this year! California doesn't really need any less characters, and the Pooh friends are especially popular, so let's hope they return in a fab new location soon!  [ Read More... ]

Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Star Wars Weekends at WDW, New Happening at DLP and more!
DisneyDan  Saturday, May 21, 2011 12:27:01 PM

Hi all,

Some small updates for you this weekend.

Loren posted to the Forum a few updates from California, so why not check those out.

Over in Florida, this weekend saw the launch of the brand new Star Tours attraction in Hollywood Studios. The launch event was combined with this weekend’s Star Wars Weekends events, which made for an extremely busy, but exciting Star Wars filled day for everyone there! Lots of characters have of course been there, and were present at the new ride’s launch. Why not check out this forum post that Jon made including two videos from the opening event.  [ Read More... ]

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