Character Spotlight: Disney California Adventure Halloween Time Update October 2017

Last week we took a look at some of the fun character shenanigans going on for Halloween Time at Disneyland Park. This week it’s time to turn our attention to Disney California Adventure!

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out this year to make Disney California Adventure the new destination for park fans for Halloween Time. And nowhere is this more evident than in Cars Land, where all of the Cars characters have been given new Halloween costumes to wear!

From a Vampire Tow Mater to a Super Hero Lightning McQueen:

Everyone is dressed up for the festivities. And I mean everyone!

Check out Red the Fire Truck dressed as a cute clown:

And the town’s newest visitor, Cruz Ramirez, looks like she would be right at home with the Pirates of New Orleans Square!

Ahoy there, Cruz!

But I was most charmed by the new costumes worn by the Fab Five characters on Buena Vista Street… Continue reading

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Character Spotlight: Disneyland Park Halloween Time Update October 2017

Since there is a lot to cover for character updates during the Halloween Time season at the Disneyland Resort, I’m going to separate this into multiple reports. Today’s will cover the characters you may encounter at Disneyland Park, while next week we’ll take a look at some of the fun costume changes that have appeared for characters at Disney California Adventure.

Meeting on Main Street in their familiar garb from the past few Halloween Time celebrations are the Fab Five of course.

Here’s Mickey! But don’t get spooked by his costume – he’s still the same lovable mouse as always!

Cruella De Vil is out in Town Square as usual, but lately I’ve spotted the Queen of Hearts there, too! Happily, I actually found her listed on the Disneyland app so I knew when to look for her!

Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts!

In other locations, the popular Meet & Greet area for Jack & Sally (The Nightmare Before Christmas) in the Sky Room between the shops in New Orleans Square has reopened for the Halloween season. Be prepared for long lines for this duo! Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Disneyland Resort Update August 2017

Once again I’ve been noticing some different characters out and about around the Disneyland Resort, so I thought I’d share a few pictures!

At Disneyland Park, Fantasyland of late has proven to be a wonderland of characters, literally – none of whom are listed on the daily Entertainment Times Guide nor the Disneyland app. It’s just a matter of being lucky enough to stumble upon them at the right time!

I’d heard repeated rumors – yet constantly missed – seeing multiple Alice in Wonderland characters roaming the area near the Mad Tea Party attraction lately until I FINALLY achieved a major character goal which was to meet the Tweedles!

TWEEDLES!!!

Yes! Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee have been repeatedly out interacting with guests. They don’t always stop for photos, so you may have to catch them on the move, but when I recently saw them, they were not only posing for pictures but they stopped in the middle of the walkway by the attraction and had a “dance-off” with guests! It was fantastic to see the characters playing with the guests this way!

Tweedles at play with guests!

Having had a fair amount of playtime over the years with always fun Chip ‘n Dale, there is absolutely a difference between characters who appear together rather than characters who appear more often individually. There’s just an extra level of mischief and cooperation with two characters rather than one. And getting to see both Tweedles cavorting in the park completely made my day!

But they were not the only ones in the area at that time. I also saw the Queen of Hearts: Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes 2017 – Extras

I should have known that just because I thought I covered everything new being offered for the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure in last week’s feature that I wasn’t done!

Sure enough – they have already plussed up the event and updated it, so today I’m going to give you a quick rundown on the changes and additions!

First of all, I did take a peek into the Sunset Showcase Theater (the former Muppets/now movie previews theater) and they are indeed showing an unadvertised clip show of all the Marvel movies to date leading into the next one – Thor: Ragnarok. It is similar to the Path of the Jedi clip show playing in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park except, as with many of the movie previews they’ve done at the Sunset Showcase Theater, there are movie costumes to go see as well!

Costumes for Black Widow, Captain America, Thor and Hawkeye.

As a bit of a costume and prop nerd, I really enjoy these displays, whether they are at the park, at the D23 Expo (this year’s Expo is coming up soon!), or at the El Capitan Theatre.

Some new shows for the season are already being tweaked as I went back to see the Avengers Training Initiative again and they’d cut an entire segment (with power crystals) out of it. Not sure if that’s a permanent cut or not, but it did help the show run faster.

Avengers Training Initiative with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Black Widow and Hawkeye.

The park also continues to add to the Marvel offerings, seemingly in a testing phase to see what resonates most with the crowd. The results will likely ultimately be seen in the anticipated Marvel Land that’s been rumored for Disney California Adventure.

In this case, the newest additions include a Meet & Greet with Gamora in front of the Guardians attraction in Hollywood Land: Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Disneyland Resort Update April 2017

And in the category of – you just never know what “characters” you’ll run into at a Disney Park – you probably already heard that Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance this week at Disneyland Park, dressed in full Captain Jack Sparrow regalia and greeted guests riding the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction! Now that’s an effective reminder that next month the new movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, will be released and we should all go check it out for more adventures with our favorite pirate captain!

While sadly I wasn’t there for it, I was getting updates from friends as it happened and it sounded like a swashbuckling good time was had by all.

This follows Depp’s previous interactive video booth appearance in character as the Mad Hatter at Disneyland to promote Alice Through the Looking Glass.

But although such promotions are incredibly fun, they are pretty much once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and luck of the draw if you happen to be there.

Fortunately, for the rest of us, Disney Parks and Resorts continue to surprise us with various character appearances and while you never can predict who may pop up without warning to Meet & Greet, it’s always worth keeping your eyes open for an opportunity!

For example, I’ve only been lucky enough to spot Belle & Beast once wandering through Fantasyland at Disneyland Park this year, but I’ve seen Gaston walking there at least two or three times.

I haven’t always had my camera at hand, however. But I was quite lucky I did a few weeks ago, when who should I see waddling quickly through Fantasyland? Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Mickey Mouse at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts

In honor of the birthday of the Mouse that started it all, I thought today would be a good day to run through some of the places where you can see and/or meet with Mickey Mouse himself at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

I’d suggest trying some of these spots!

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland

  • Mickey Mouse can often be spotted in Town Square on Main Street, USA doing a Meet & Greet with guests. But the best place to find him for daily Meet & Greets is in Mickey’s House in ToonTown!
Mickey Mouse March!

Mickey Mouse March!

  • Mickey Mouse joins the Disneyland Band and the Dapper Dans in a March-Along held generally around late morning or lunchtime each day.  While the March-Along is usually announced over the loudspeakers a few minutes beforehand in Town Square, your best bet is to check at City Hall in the morning to ask when it will happen. Mickey also participates in the Soundsational parade (and seasonally he can currently be seen in A Christmas Fantasy Parade).
Hiya Mickey!

Mickey says hi in his Mapmaker outfit!

  • Mickey and the Magical Map – watch Mickey Mouse learn the secrets of the map in this wonderful musical theatrical adventure as he aspires to become a fully-fledged mapmaker!

Check your daily Entertainment Times Guide or the Disneyland app for the schedules for the parades and showtimes. Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Star Wars Launch Bay

Since we focused on Marvel last week for the release of Captain America: Civil War, it’s only fair that this week’s focus belatedly celebrates Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You!). So it’s time to head for the center of all things Star Wars at the Disneyland Resort right now – off to Tomorrowland!

Disneyland Park began its “Season of the Force” (or “Star Wars Awakens” as the promotion is now called) with multiple additions to Tomorrowland including a new Star Wars: The Force Awakens scene placed into Star Tours, a greatest-hits reel of the previous Star Wars films called “Path of the Jedi” airing in the Tomorrowland Theater (former home of Captain Eo), and an updated version of the Jedi Training Academy called Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (to be spotlighted tomorrow!).

There were also some menu changes in Tomorrowland to add Star Wars-themed food offerings including the one I opted to try: Darth by Chocolate. They call it a parfait, but to me it seemed a mix of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, red velvet cake and chocolate frosting topped by a dark chocolate (of course!) Darth Vader. It was overwhelmingly rich and despite it being in a reasonably small cup and my being a big chocolate lover, I actually couldn’t quite finish the whole thing myself! So I’d recommend it as a treat to share. It’s available at Pizza Port and at the Galactic Grill (aka Tomorrowland Terrace).

The Darth by Chocolate dessert is even more decadently chocolate than it looks!

The Darth by Chocolate dessert is even more decadently chocolate than it looks!

But my favorite part of this overall event is the addition of Star Wars Meet & Greet characters – mostly found inside the Star Wars Launch Bay (the building formerly known as Innoventions).

I say “mostly” as one of the best enhancements is the roaming First Order Stormtroopers. What makes these so different than the previous Imperial Stormtroopers that had also wandered around Tomorrowland? They talk!

Yes, the best update to these new characters – from the Stormtroopers to several others found in the Launch Bay – is their interactivity and vocals!

The First Order Stormtroopers mean business in Tomorrowland!

The First Order Stormtroopers mean business in Tomorrowland!

These current Stormtroopers don’t just stand around and pose – they deliberately make their way through the crowds and “arrest” random (lucky!) guests! It is SO much fun to watch – and I really hope they “arrest” me at some point, but no luck so far! Guess I just don’t look like an enemy of the First Order!

That’s the fun to be had outside the Launch Bay – but inside is where you’ll find the Meet & Greet characters – both announced and unannounced!

First up: the listed character Meet & Greets… Continue reading