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 their character lineup. While not all of these changes have been popular with guests, Disney is constantly making adjustments to try and make their character offerings as diverse as possible while still keeping things as efficient as possible.
This month brings even more big changes to Walt Disney World's character lineup as two royal family members are kicked out of the Magic Kingdom, we get our first good look at the Olaf meet and greet headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios and a rare character makes a weeklong appearance at Disney's Animal Kingdom. However, we start this month's update on a sad note for fans of the "streetmosphere" characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios...
1. Several Citizens of Hollywood have their last day
Though we saw the biggest closure ever at Disney’s Hollywood Studios just last week, only a few days later another big cut happened, but this one had nothing to do with making way for new attractions. April 9, 2016 was the last day for several of the Citizens of Hollywood Streetmosphere crew, including the entirety of the Hollywood Public Works group (seen above).
Though there are still some of these “characters” hanging around Hollywood & Sunset Boulevard, at least ten were let go as part of this latest round of cuts, and more could be on their way out in the near future, especially as the park continues to focus more on new Star Wars character experiences like the Captain Phasma First Order march and the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Far Away show (both of which take place on Hollywood Boulevard's center stage area and aren't exactly reminicent of the "old Hollywood" feel these characters were originally designed to evoke). Though the Citizens of Hollywood aren't totally gone yet, we lost some good ones last week, and it seems increasingly possible that this entire concept could be gone for good soon.
2. Jiminy Cricket to meet guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom next week
Jiminy Cricket is one of the rarest characters to see out for meet and greet opportunities at Walt Disney World, but every spring this Pinocchio favorite is made avaliable for just a few days to help guests celebrate Earth Day. And true to tradition, it has been confirmed that this character will be back in just a few days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to kick off this park’s weeklong celebration. Beginning April 17th, guests can board the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and meet Jiminy Cricket inside the Conservation Station during regular park hours. However, if you want to take advantage of this meet and greet opportunity you’ll have to move fast as Jiminy Cricket is hopping away again (presumably for another year) on April 23rd.