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Character News and Updates From Around the Web - Talking Mickey back in Disneyland, New Mickey meeting area in DCA and more!
DisneyDan  Saturday, March 5, 2011 11:52:11 AM

Hi all,

As ever Jon and I have been working hard to improve the site and its functionality, which means there have been some changes I need to point out.

The much asked for, and much anticipated comments feature for this blog is now up and running. At the end of each entry there is a link that says Discuss this Blog Entry. If you click it, it will take you to a pre-formatted version of this blog on the forum where you can post all your replies.

We have also moved some of the menu options. You can now find the Links, Trips and About us under the one single About Us heading. We will also shortly be adding the Calendar to this drop down menu too, so that you don’t have to search for it on the Blog.

We continue to add more features, and improve existing ones, and will be working on some new things over the coming weeks, so stay tuned as always.

Now to some Character news. Dateline Disney posted a picture on their Twitter of Mickey and Duffy’s new meet ‘n’ greet area in Disney’s California Adventure. The gazebo was previously Mickey’s World of Color gazebo. I have heard that since Duffy has not been the success Disney had hoped in the US Parks, they have now redesigned the area, and Mickey is moving back in with his favourite bear to attract more Guests. In the photo you can just about see Mickey, and no sign of Duffy. Duffy of course does have his own area just along the pier from here, so maybe Duffy is staying put for the time being, but who knows, maybe now the new gazebo is open Duffy will come over. As always, I’ll let you know when I get more info.

Also in California, this week saw more testing of the talking Mickey head that made its debut last year in Mickey’s Movie Barn in Toon Town. Nearly a year later, and Mickey was seen on his porch this week talking with Guests in a brave move for Disney. Coming from the controlled indoor location of the Movie Barn where limited numbers of Guests were allowed at any one time (and could be ushered out immediately given any sort of mishap), Mickey appeared in full public view!
When I first saw the technology last year, I was quite impressed with what I saw, but this second run actually didn’t look as impressive this time round. Mickey’s phrases seemed too static and almost pre-programmed. At one point in one video I saw, he didn’t even appear to answer a Guest’s question with the correct response (I think someone asked if he was having a good time, and he replied with something like “thank you!”). There are many great points to this advancement, but with it comes a great many problems. Consistency being the main one. Will young Guests be expecting every character to talk? What if they visit him and it isn’t the talking one? Not to mention he looks different! But for now we shall just wait and see what happens. Check out our friend Robert’s post about it here one DAPS Magic.

Finally, this weekend sees Disneyland Paris’s Welsh Festival. Our friends from Characters Photos Blog will be there, and I shall repost some pictures from them once they make them available.

Ok, that’s all for now,


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