Category Archives: Characters
If you’re traveling in a Grand Gathering, you have the option to enjoy exclusive experiences only for parties of 8 or more. Yes, these have an additional charge but they are wonderful experiences designed to delight everyone in your travel party.
International Dinner and IllumiNations Desert Reception: Enjoy a buffet dinner with international cuisine (from five different nations) while you are entertained with live music and storytelling. Keep an eye out for some of your favorite characters, you never know who might drop by! After dinner, your feast continues with a dessert buffet while you view “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” from an exclusive reserved area.
Safari Celebration Dinner: At the end of the day you’ll be taken on a ride through Kilimanjaro Safari, followed by dinner at the Tusker House Restaurant. This African inspired meal is all you care to eat and is served family style. Don’t forget your cameras and autograph books because during dinner you’ll meet and great Mickey and all his safari friends.
Good Morning Gathering: Enjoy a family style, all you care to eat breakfast at Tony’s Town Square at the Magic Kingdom. Meet Mickey and all your favorite Disney characters, take pictures, get autographs and join your friends in a dance party! Tony himself hosts this magical breakfast and will give you preferred entry to Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
There is an additional charge for these Grand Gathering experiences, but the price is all inclusive, including gratuities. Rates vary by the experience and your travel dates. These experiences require advanced reservations and payment. Separate park admission is required for these events as is not included in the cost of the Grand Gathering experience. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can utilize 2 of your table service credits per person for your Grand Gathering experience.
The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) is the park with the future in sight, here you can play with up and coming gadgets in Future World and experience the sights and flavors of11 countries in the World Showcase. Originally opened in 1982 the park boasted some pretty advanced engineering and ideas which continue to evolve today.
1. The inside of Spaceship Earth hosts a ride, but the outside of the structure also serves a purpose. Aside from finding shelter underneath the giant sphere during a Florida rain, the outside panels of Spaceship Earth were designed to absorb the water, so the rain would never hit the ground. Instead, the panels funnel water through an internal gutter system that are eventually empty into the World Showcase Lagoon!
2. Look up as you enter the Universe of Energy, hosted by Ellen Degeneres, those large panels you see outside are actually 80,000 photovoltaic cells that provide solar energy. The solar energy is converted and that’s what powers the ride!
3. When you become a “crash test dummy” on Test Track, the car you are riding in has more than 4 wheels. There are actually 22 wheels and 6 braking systems in each vehicle! Count your blessings when you exit the ride, the real crash test dummies you see throughout the ride cue are smashed on average of 720 times a day!
4. Mission Space was a bit too realistic for some when it first opened and now has two different versions: green (non-centrifuge version) and orange (the original, full blown experience). Although the ride now offers a less intense experience, it remains the only attraction in Orlando to come with “motion discomfort bags”.
5. Next time you board for your flight on “Soarin’”, look for the flight number listed during the pre-flight video. 5505 signifies your flight number as well as the date the attraction made its debut in Epcot (May 5, 2005)
Although Epcot may not have turned out exactly how Walt originally envisioned it, the advanced concepts used in the creation of the park are right on point with the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The foresight to save rain water to fill the lagoons is pretty advanced for an idea from 1982!
If you have any fun facts about Epcot we would love to hear them in the comment box below.
- 2011 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Details (chipandco.com)
- Teaching History Through the Parks: Epcot (chipandco.com)
This question comes from one of our readers, Jen S.:
“Last year while at Disney World we were told they were going to start trying out a “talking Mickey” we saw video of it and it seemed neat to be able to meet and greet Mickey and have him actually say something to you. Do yo know what happened to this? Did they scrap it?”
Jen, I’m happy to report that Mickey, as stated by Mickey’s voice, Brett Iwan, doesn’t have to save his voice as much anymore. Though currently only at the Disneyland Resort, Mickey can often be found in his Toontown Home, and wherever else he may be found around the park, talking to his fans.
There is no word on when he’ll be making his speaking appearances regular at the Walt Disney World Resort as of yet, but seeing that this is pretty regular at DLR, we can be hopeful that he’ll no longer need to save his voice as much in Florida!
If you haven’t seen the Magic that is talking Mickey, check out this as provided by Disney Parks! Talking Mickey
- Mickey Mouse’s voice Bret Iwan on Sorcerer Radio’s ‘WDW Tiki Room’ 4/15/11 (chipandco.com)
- Star Tours Grand Opening Webcast from Disney’s Hollywood Studios (chipandco.com)
Walt Disney World
May is one of the two months of the year that WDW usually changes around characters and this May is no different. The big changes are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where Lotso has left the animation building to make way for Winnie the Pooh once his meet and greet area is complete. Also, Phineas and Ferb will finally be making their debut; however, it sounds like it has been delayed until the end of the month. There may be other changes coming this month… normally some characters return for the summer months that are rare during the winter (Wendy for example). Another upcoming change will occur once the Flower Garden Festival ends when the fairies will most likely return to the Magic Kingdom; however, they will probably be located in the Adventureland Veranda where the Princesses were located before the Town Square Theater opened.
The main character related news for Disneyland is the upcoming debut of the Soundsational Parade! From concept art and some previews it appears it will be a great parade! Once again Disneyland will have a parade worthy of it.
April brought the beginning of the Magical Moments festival and with it a number of new shows and happenings. This includes a new once a day hub show named “Mickey’s Magical Celebration” that includes Sorcerer Mickey, Genie, Fairy Godmother, Merlin and most of the Disney royal couples. Also included is a Peter Pan happening named “Follow the leader with Peter Pan” which features Peter, Wendy, Hook, Mr. Smee, and John Darling! One upcoming rumor is that Star ‘n’ Cars will lose its show element and turn into a more normal parade with show stops that will feature character interaction.
Due to the earthquake it has been announced that several planned upcoming events have been canceled. Sadly this includes the night time summer programs as well as Halloween events in Tokyo DisneySea.
That is all the character news for this month. Be sure to visit Disney Character Central for all the latest character news and rumors!
Photo credit charactercentral.net
- Marvel characters going to Disneyland (chipandco.com)
Excerpt from the Disney Parks Blog:
As we await the gala launch of “Star Tours — The Adventures Continue” at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, we asked C-3PO, R2-D2 and some of their closest pals to join us for some sneak peek events.
Don’t forget Sorcerer Radio’s coverage of the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue VIP screening Thursday 5/19 after 7 pm/eastern. Sorcerer Radio’s WDW Tiki Room show will also be broadcasting from the Walt Disney World Resort for the Star Wars Weekends kick off and Star Tours opening ceremony Friday 5/20 at 8 am/e on SRSounds.com as well as a remote broadcast of the WDW After Dark vidcast on the Sorcerer Radio Network at 9 pm/e. There will also have live video streaming worldwide all weekend long. Video and audio streams can be found at .