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, rare characters hit the Magic Kingdom for this week only, Disney's Animal Kingdom introduces two new character experiences, plus a fan favorite character makes its debut at the Magic Kingdom in just a few months. But first, there's some potentially bad news for Mickey fans on the horizon...
1. Talking Mickey rumored to be leaving the Magic Kingdom in a few months
According to several posters on the WDWMagic forums, it looks like the talking Mickey Mouse character who meets guests daily on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom may be going away in the near future. The technology that allows guests to “talk” to Mickey impressed when it first debuted in 2013, and this version of Mickey Mouse subsequently has become a guest favorite, especially among younger guests who enjoy the interactivity with the world’s most famous mouse.
However, according to the aforementioned reports Disney is looking at cost-cutting measures across the resort, and in the next few months talking Mickey Mouse will be replaced once again by regular Mickey Mouse at this location. This seems like a strange choice for cost-cutting as the savings for swapping one Mickey for another will be minimal but the guest impact could be considerable, as Mickey at the Magic Kingdom often has a wait time of an hour or more as guests wait longer to "talk" to Mickey in this location. Though unconfirmed by Disney, reports indicate that entertainment Cast Members have already been informed about the change, which could be coming as soon as May.
2. Disney's Animal Kingdom debuts two new character experiences
Disney's Animal Kingdom is getting a character infusion this summer thanks to two new experiences that involve the three Caballeros. First up, beginning this week, two of the three Caballeros, José and Panchito, will join in the Discovery Island Carnivale at Disney's Animal Kingdom beginning this week. This dance party features music from the Viva Gaia Street Band and takes place nightly near the front of the park.
And in a few weeks on April 22, 2018, this park will debut a new “dino-tastic” celebration where Donald Duck will take over DinoLand U.S.A. with prehistoric elements in a new and exciting character celebration.