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 its character line-up. While not all of these changes have been popular with guests, Disney is constantly making adjustments to try and make its 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 a new (possibly limited-time) character experience at Disney Springs, plus we get confirmation of two new characters who are moving into the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios later this fall!
1. Elena of Avalor finally moves into the Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom
Beginning next month on November 24, Princess Elena of Avalor of the Disney Channel TV show of the same name will finally begin meeting guests at the Magic Kingdom's Princess Fairytale Hall. Elena will be moving in with Cinderella (replacing Aurora, who is currently the "visiting princess" on this side of the attraction), while Rapunzel and Tiana continue to meet on the other side of this attraction. FastPass+ reservations for dates that include Elena of Avalor are available for resort guests to make now, and we'd imagine wait times will probably be pretty intense for this popular new character at first (at least judging by the reaction to the Princess Elena Royal Welcome Show), so you'll definitely want to make a FastPass+ reservation if at all possible.
And speaking of the Princess Elena Royal Welcome show, it looks like this popular show has been extended yet again, with Disney confirming that this pre-show for Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire will be sticking around through the duration of the fall. Though its unlikely that the show will stick around beyond that date (the busy holiday season is just on the horizon, after all), this show has had an impressive run, especially considering it was originally supposed to only be sticking around for a few weeks this past summer.
2. Santa will be appearing at Disney's Hollywood Studios for the first time ever this holiday season
In addition to being able to check out a brand new Christmas-themed nighttime spectacular this holiday season, it has been announced that guests who stop by Disney's Hollywood Studios in November and December will also be able to meet Santa Claus for the first time in the park's history (previously Santa Goofy only met guests at his park). Interestingly, Santa will be setting up a temporary meet and greet space in the Once Upon A Time retail shop in the Sunset Boulevard area of the park. Santa will be flying in to begin meeting guests during regular park hours on November 14 and will then be sticking around all the way until Christmas Eve on December 24, after which he will have to return to the North Pole for important Christmas duties.
However, if you are planning a late holiday visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios, fret not, as Santa Goofy will be taking over for Santa Claus from December 25 to December 31 to meet guests in the same Once Upon a Time meet and greet spot.