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NEWS - Olaf FINALLY coming to DHS, Zootopia characters debut in Hollywood, character cuts and a new show at WDW, and much more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 18, 2016 10:20:38 AM
Hello everyone,

Let's start today's news in Walt Disney World, where this week has seen the start of some unfortunate character cutbacks. At Epcot you can no longer meet Chip, Dale, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh or Princess Aurora, while at the Magic Kingdom Lady Tremaine is on her way out, too. The schedules no longer list those characters, and their spots are empty. Hopefully we will see improvements in other areas in the coming months, and these cuts are just temporary in order to bring new experiences to the parks.

Having said that, while there have been definite cut backs, at least one new character will be joining the roster, at Disney's Hollywood Studios (though with a loss of the six others I mentioned above, it's a little bit of a stretch to call it an addition). Olaf, the lovable snowman from Frozen, will finally be able to give warm hugs in the Sunshine State after the Disney Parks Blog announced his imminent arrival yesterday. From "spring" 2016 you'll be able to meet Olaf around Echo Lake at a new location that actually sounds as though it will be more of a new-stars-rotational location. The Parks Blog state, "the all-new Celebrity Spotlight, the perfect place for a dream encounter with one of Disney’s latest stars. At opening, you are invited into the Celebrity Spotlight to meet lovable snowman Olaf", and later in the comments Shawn Slater replied to someone with this, "While the Celebrity Spotlight location is being designed to showcase different characters over time, Olaf is expected to be there for the foreseeable future". We can't wait to see who else may show up, even if that takes a while.

In the same announcement, the Parks Blog also revealed that Mickey and Minnie would be getting new permanent homes in the Commissary Lane area of the park, after having spent the best part of the last year moving from location to location following the closure of the Animation Building. It is unclear as to whether Minnie will get a new dress, as it talks about Hollywood glitz, and her current dress suffices for that, and Mickey will remain in his sorcerer robes, as he has been for many years at the park.

The Disney Parks blog also announced a brand new show to replace the long running Dream Along with Mickey. After ten years at the Magic Kingdom, the final curtain call for Dream Along will be 2nd April, 2016. Dream Along has been a staple of our trips to the park over the past ten years, and we have many fond memories, but of course things change, and it's time for something new. That something new will be in the form of "Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire", which will debut in "summer" 2016. The show will feature Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy as they prepare for a festival. Each character invites a special group of friends to join the festivities - Tiana, Naveen and Louis; Rapunzel and Flynn Rider; and Anna, Elsa and Olaf. The artwork below was shared on the Parks Blog:

Images copyright Disney.

Finally for Florida, before we move on, Disney also announced additional dates for Club Villain at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This separate ticketed event had a rocky start, with some being cancelled after bookings had been made, but now extra dates have opened up. Club Villain will run on select dates through March 2016, and features Disney Villains, including Dr Facilier, The Queen, Cruella de Vil, the Queen of Hearts and Maleficent.

Last night was the US premier of the latest animated movie, Zootopia, in Los Angeles. Nick Wilde and Judy Hopp made their debut at the premier and look super cute! Let's just hope that they don't suffer the same fate as Sadness and Joy from Inside Out, and don't fade away never to be seen at the parks. With the new location at Hollywood Studios (which I mentioned above), it would be a perfect way to bring them to Walt Disney World!

Image taken from D23's official Instagram, and is copyright Disney.

That's actually all I'm going to mention for today. There are lots of social media accounts on the Internet that are speculating many things this week, and while some of the rumours swirling around are interesting, things are so changeable all the time, I don't like to indulge them too much. When I have some more solid news, I'll be sure to update here on the blog, as always.

In the meantime, why not check out the latest part of my Tokyo Disney Resort trip report, which can be found here. I'll be posting the final part in the next few days, so look out for that.

Character Central also received a good number of new pages over the past couple of weeks, and a lot of new locations and characters have been added including (all links clickable and go to the respective pages): The Seventh Sister, Kylo Ren, Adventure Happens Here, and Minnie's Silver Screen Dine.

Have a great week everyone,

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