Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mirabel, Moana, Mickey & Figment Character Meet & Greets Coming to Disney World

Walt Disney World has introduced new and returning character meet & greets all through 2023 in Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and EPCOT. This submit shares timeframes, particulars, places, and commentary.

This follows at present’s different information about EPCOT’s New Nighttime Spectacular & Disney100 Anniversary Celebration in Late 2023. With EPCOT wrapping up its overhaul, the park will play host to the 100 Years of Marvel Celebration and a brand new nighttime spectacular, amongst different issues, whereas even have new devoted meet & greet areas.

This additionally follows earlier adjustments and updates for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which lately launched uncommon characters plus the Mandalorian and Child Yoda. So DHS followers shouldn’t really feel overlooked, as you’ve arguably already gotten a jumpstart on all of this–and one of the best characters of the bunch, in addition!

When it comes to at present’s information, Walt Disney World introduced that Moana will greet fellow voyagers on Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park starting April 22, 2023. That is simply in time for the park’s twenty fifth anniversary. (No phrase on how, or if, that milestone will probably be celebrated past cupcakes and banners.)

There’s a greater than gentle chance that this Moana meet & greet is foreshadowing a bigger enlargement of Animal Kingdom. Potential redevelopment and progress alternatives have been teased on the D23 Expo, and people embrace a Zootopia Metropolis and Moana Mini-Land. Our expectation is that each will occur, however the plans for Moana seem fairly concrete.

Turning to EPCOT, followers of Figment will get the possibility to hug the long-time icon on the Creativeness! pavilion starting in late Summer time 2023. As a few of these aforementioned Figment followers, we’re actually excited for this. It’s nice to see Figment returning, and I’m curious as to how this can differ from “FigZilla.” (I’m guessing that Dreamfinder will not be becoming a member of him, however I’d completely like to be fallacious.)

I’ll spare you my hypothesis as to what this might imply for Figment’s future prospects, whether or not that is testing the water to see how a lot demand the character nonetheless instructions (outdoors merchandise), and so forth. You possibly can see previous posts on the Figment Meet & Greet Coming to EPCOT and Figment Function Movie Being Made by Seth Rogen for my wild hypothesis and wishful pondering that doubtless gained’t come true.

Mickey Mouse and buddies may even have a brand new dwelling at Communicore Corridor opening later this 12 months as a part of the EPCOT transformation. This can be a purpose-built location that’ll doubtless be much like the outdated one in Innoventions.

See our submit about CommuniCore Corridor and Plaza Coming to EPCOT for extra particulars about this venue as an entire. No different specifics have been shared as to the meet & greets coming to the World Celebration neighborhood of EPCOT.

At Magic Kingdom starting in Fall 2023, Mirabel from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit movie “Encanto” will greet company in Fairytale Backyard surrounded by whimsical décor impressed by La Familia Madrigal. (The picture on the prime of the submit is from Disneyland, however Walt Disney World shared inventory footage from that, suggesting it may look equally.)

Fairytale Backyard is the official identify of the placement the place Merida from “Courageous” at the moment meets, so it’s say to say that location is being repurposed. No phrase on whether or not Merida will probably be relocated to Princess Fairytale Corridor or elsewhere. Her meet & greet is shockingly standard given how “Courageous” underperformed (I hope the film has discovered an viewers since its launch–I feel it’s underrated), so I’d anticipate to see Merida moved relatively than retired.

These new experiences comply with the return of a number of Magic Kingdom character experiences together with Pete’s Foolish Sideshow, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel in her underwater grotto, and the return of character eating at Cinderella’s Royal Desk.

In the case of commentary, I’ll begin with the constructive: it’s good to see Walt Disney World including extra characters across the parks. Not addressed on this announcement, however Walt Disney World additionally lately added a Princess Tiana ‘waving from the home windows’ character sighting in Liberty Sq..

This one is a bit bittersweet for me, as she seems in the identical spot close to Corridor of Presidents the place the Muppets Current … Nice Moments in American Historical past beforehand appeared. However what’s completed is finished–it’s good to see Tiana commonly showing and offering a nod to the way forward for this space(ish) of Magic Kingdom!

I additionally admire the combination of meet & greets and distanced character sightings (or no matter they’re being known as now). With the brand new additions, Walt Disney World has completed job of balancing the 2, giving company a wide range of character interplay varieties–and time commitments.

The character sightings have been the most effective additions of the phased reopening, and we brazenly hoped that the sort of character encounter–combined with conventional meet & greets–would turn out to be a everlasting fixture of Walt Disney World.

Distanced characters are nice for livening up the park and providing leisure worth with out having to attend in an extended and slow-moving line. I’m completely satisfied to see there be a wholesome combination of character experiences, and want Walt Disney World would do that with extra characters that draw ridiculous meet & greet waits. (Taking a look at you, Jack Skellington!)

To that time, we’ll quickly (properly, in a number of extra months!) discover out simply how standard Encanto is amongst Walt Disney World company. Whereas I feel they setting they selected is objectively higher, I’m actually shocked Mirabel isn’t coming to City Sq. Theater, which has extra capability. I’m sufficiently old to recollect virtually a decade in the past when Anna and Elsa first debuted in Magic Kingdom, and had common wait instances of 2-3 hours, and hit 4-5 hours once in a while.

Turning to critique, I’ll repeat what I’ve already bemoaned elsewhere (mainly rehashing a tangent from our unpopular article about Imagineering’s new robotic rabbit). Encanto got here out at Christmas 2021. It’s at the moment Spring 2023. This meet & greet debuts in Fall 2023. (How lengthy does it take to vary some backdrops?!)

Suffice to say, Encanto has been a smash hit for properly over a 12 months, and it’s nonetheless not potential to fulfill Mirabel or some other character from the film in Magic Kingdom. This can be a large misstep and, like Bruno, we don’t speak about it sufficient. It’s nice that this meet & greet is lastly taking place, nevertheless it coming in a number of months–relatively than a number of months in the past or in just a few weeks–demonstrates an befuddling lack of urgency.

Turning Crimson can be now simply over one 12 months outdated, and the primary character meet & greet from this movie simply debuted at Shanghai Disneyland. Whereas the Crimson Panda Mei is now showing in China, she nonetheless has not proven up at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

In case you haven’t seen Turning Crimson (not that anybody cares, nevertheless it’s my favourite Disney or Pixar film since Coco–I prefer it much more than Encanto), there’s actually a meet and greet with Crimson Panda Mei within the film. It’s such an apparent concept that it’s embarrassing it has taken Disney so lengthy to roll out the character. A Crimson Panda Mei meet & greet would pay for itself within the merchandise and plush gross sales it might assist push. I’m not even kidding.

Earlier this month, the Mandalorian and Child Yoda lastly debuted in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World. This was met with a whole lot of reward locally, particularly because it’s virtually an open secret that bringing the duo to Florida was a herculean activity. I suppose the pondering is thus that constructive reinforcement is suitable–maybe Disney will see it and be extra inclined to carry characters to the parks ~3 years after their tales debut.

I can perceive that to an extent, and would possibly share that perspective if the circumstances have been distinctive. However for the entire speak about synergy, Disney has gotten actually dangerous about selling standard characters from its streaming exhibits and films at Walt Disney World on tight turnaround instances. They used to develop and debut entire parades sooner than they handle to stay a single character right into a cavalcade.

It’s too dangerous there isn’t a small and nimble group devoted to those synergy efforts with the flexibility to maneuver shortly and authority to carry these characters to the parks in significant methods, even when which means overruling park administration. That is much more necessary now as viewership has turn out to be fragmented and IP wants a bit extra assist to enter the cultural zeitgeist. Disney ought to place a renewed emphasis on a day-and-date mannequin, however for its exhibits/films and promotional pushes within the parks.

In the end, extra characters is sweet information–even when it’s taking longer than I’d like. This has been a continued push over the past 12 months because the return of conventional meet & greets, and has undoubtedly gained momentum because the begin of 2023. Identical to with every thing, a part of the obstacle has been staffing shortages, and people are lastly enhancing with leisure.

My hope is that this development continues, and that extra meet & greets and different character sightings proceed to pop up all through the parks. It’d be good to see Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Occasion and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion again to regular on the character entrance (and never having to drag performers from daytime schedules) at minimal–and ideally add just a few of the brand new characters that’ve debuted at Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line for these seasons. It’d even be nice if lacking meal providers may very well be restored at character eating experiences round Walt Disney World!

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study motels on our Walt Disney World Lodges Critiques web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Critiques. To economize on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel have a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Experience Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every thing that you must know!


What do you consider Mirabel coming to Magic Kingdom? What about Moana in Animal Kingdom? Ideas on Figment and Mickey Mouse & Mates in EPCOT? What about Disney’s gradual rollout of character meet & greets from current Disney+ exhibits and films? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we might help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even once you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!

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