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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!

Also, be sure to check out Loren's latest Disneyland updates here on the forum.

Over in Florida Tinker Bell got a new outfit that resembles what she wore in her Lost Treasure movie. Why it has taken all this time to get her this new outfit is a bit strange, seeing as that movie was some time ago now, but nonetheless a new outfit it is! We don't have any pictures currently, and we don't know if she is meeting in the new outfit in Disneyland, but Loren hopes to find out this weekend, so stay tuned!

Staying in Florida, and there have been a number of random appearances in EPCOT over the last week. Characters have included Bolt, Baloo and Jiminy Cricket, amongst others (Bolt being the rarest one).

Over at Animal Kingdom, Tarzan has also made a few unscheduled appearances. In the Magic Kingdom the Tweedles (who are quite common in most other places, but for some reason not in Florida) have been spotted at the Tea cups in recent days.

Today the Disney Parks Blog also announced something they are calling "Trick or Meet-Up", which is an after hours event in the Magic Kingdom. You had to be sign up for the event, which is free. All places are now filled, but the blog claims there will be surprises along the way - maybe some characters along the way?

Hopping across to Disneyland Paris, and the Princess Pavilion, I have heard, will begin soft opening (tests) from the 30th September, which is one day before the opening of Halloween Season. The Pavilion is scheduled to officially with a full official inauguration ceremony open on October 8th. If you're lucky enough to be there between the 30th and 8th, why not stop by and take advantage of the fact it isn't advertised as open yet, which will probably mean shorter lines!

I also had further confirmation today of the arrival of Duffy the Disney Bear at Disneyland Paris for the Christmas Season. I had previously said he would be appearing, but now it would seem he will be officially greeting Guests alongside Mickey Mouse on Main Street USA from the 7th November (Enchanted Christmas Season opening day). He will also appear in the Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Christmas addition to the Parade too. I have heard that he will be replacing the Nutcracker in the Parade, but this is as of yet unconfirmed.

In Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween Season is under way also, and as well as the début of the Headless Horseman which I had discussed a little while ago, Mickey and the gang have some really nice seasonal outfits which our friends at Disney and More Blog posted here.

Speaking of HKDL, I finally got around to editing my six part HKDL Trip Report into one complete report, and posted it to the Trip Reports section of this site. You can read it in full here.

Just some other minor things to do with the site that I want to mention now. Last week we revamped the About Us page, and I added some new dates and information to our Calendar, too. We have also been working hard to get more and more pictures edited, which appear almost constantly on our Flickr accounts, and subsequently on the appropriate pages throughout this site. I have also been adding more and more information and descriptions to pages still missing them. It is a long process, but we are getting there slowly but surely! We hope that you all continue to enjoy our work here.

Finally, and I thought I would save the biggest and more interesting news until last, the Disney Parks Blog announced today that, beginning with a substantial expansion to Animal Kingdom, that Disney Parks (note the plural) will be receiving new Avatar themed additions over the coming years!

Based on the James Cameron film, and working alongside the famous director himself, the first major Avatar themed area to open will be at the Animal Kingdom, and will feature attractions that will immerse guests in the Avatar world. Although this isn't directly related to Characters, it is pretty big news, and I am sure eventually they will find a way to integrate the Avatar characters into the areas they create.

I find this a little strange that Disney have outsourced to another company at this point in their development, especially with all the fantastic movies they have and the amazing Imagineers they employ. I am not saying they won't do a good job - I'm sure it will be nothing short of spectacular - but it is something I expect Universal to do, not Disney.

Ok, that's all for now. Don't forget you can debate on our Forums any of the news posted here today by clicking the Discuss button below.


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