Originally reported by Theme Park Tourist…By Amanda Kondolojy, Monday, October 31, 2016 04:32
Character meet and greets are a big part of what makes a trip to Walt Disney World so special, and in recent months Disney has taken it upon themselves to make a number of improvements and changes to each park’s character line-up. While not all of these changes are always popular with guests, Disney is constantly making adjustments to try and make character offerings as diverse as possible while still keeping things running efficiently around the parks.
In this month’s character update, we take a look at two upcoming characters experiences that are coming later this month to the Magic Kingdom, the return of a fun holiday character dining experience to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, plus the confirmed (but still unannounced) debut of a new Disney princess coming to Disney parks sometime later this month!
1. Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps character meet and greet to debut at 2016’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps technically made their Magic Kingdom debut earlier this year at the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party at Magic Kingdom Park, but unfortunately, despite appearing in this daily dance party, these popular characters have not yet been made available for official meet and greets at Walt Disney World (despite meeting guests on the west coast at Disney California Adventure). However, it was confirmed several days ago that these Zootopia favorites will finally begin meeting guests for the first time during the upcoming Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party upcharge event, which kicks off in just a few days on November 7th. It is unknown if these characters will have a regular meet and greet at the Magic Kingdom after the conclusion of this event, but hopefully we’ll know more after the new year.
2. Elena of Avalor hits the Princess Fairytale Hall a little early at the Magic Kingdom
Though Elena of Avalor isn’t set to officially join the character lineup at the Princess Fairytale Hall until later this month on November 24th, Princess Elena of Avalor of the Disney Channel TV series has been making random appearances in recent days as a “visiting princess” at the Princess Fairytale Hall to get ready for her big debut later this month. In addition, Elena has also been spotted at the Coronado Springs Resort as well in recent days, meeting guests staying here in advance of her official Magic Kingdom meet and greet debut.
3. Mickey Mouse’s Birthday Party celebration to bring limited-time character experiences to the Magic Kingdom
November 18, 2016 will mark Mickey Mouse’s 88th birthday, and as you might expect, there will be some in-park celebrations at Walt Disney World to mark this occasion. Guests who visit the Magic Kingdom on this special day will be able to take part in a special birthday-themed edition of the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party that will feature one-day only character experiences and other surprises. In addition, Disney will be handing out commemorative “Happy Birthday, Mickey!” buttons on this special day as well.
4. New character Moana coming to Walt Disney World sometime this month
Back in August it was confirmed via an official Disney audition listing that a new character experience with upcoming film heroine Moana was in the works for this fall to coincide with the launch of the new film of the same name. And while we don’t know whether this character experience will be a show of some sort (similar to Elena’s Royal Welcome) or a traditional character meet and greet, we should know something soon, as Moana will be released in theaters later this month on November 23, and it would make sense for Disney to introduce this new character experience (whatever it ends up being) before that date.
5. Minnie’s Holiday Dine coming back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios November 7
It has been a year since Minnie’s Seasonal Dine kicked off at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and now it looks like Disney will be bringing back the experience that started it all last year: Minnie’s Holiday Dine. Starting November 7th and lasting all throughout the holiday season until January 6, 2016, Hollywood & Vine will once again transform every evening into Minnie’s Holiday Dine, a festive dining experience featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy in all their holiday best. In addition to offering special holiday inspired food, drinks and of course characters and entertainment, guests can also guarantee seating for Fantasmic! with this experience. Prices for the Fantasmic! package are $52.99 per adult and $31.99 per child. Without the Fantasmic! option, the cost is $46.99 for adults, $27.99 for kids, or 1 credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
6. Club Villain gets an extension into 2017
Over on the other side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it has been announced that the Club Villain upcharge event at this park has been extended again beyond the Halloween season and will be offered every Friday and Saturday from now until the end of December. As has been the case in the past, this seperately-ticketed event will have two seatings, one at 5:00 PM and 8:15 PM. After the Christmas holidays, this event will switch to a Fridays-only schedule in January, with the same two seatings available. The price for this event is still $129 per person (last year it was initially offered at $99 per person before a price hike), including tax and gratuity.
7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom characters get all dressed up for the season
And speaking of the holidays, in just a few days Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be kicking off its annual celebration of the season with new, festive outfits for some of its most popular characters, including Mickey and Minnie over at the Adventurers Outpost, as well as Goofy (who will be in his Santa gear), Baloo, King Louie, Donald Duck and even Chip and Dale. These characters will stay in their holiday costumes from the middle of November until just after New Year’s Day.
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