4. Roaming characters appear at Disney After Hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Now that Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party has officially ended, Disney After Hours is back for the new year, and as in years past, character interactions are a big part of the experience. Instead of queuing to take a photo with a character, guests will instead meet many characters just roaming around the park. At the most recent Disney After Hours Event at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the following characters made an appearance
- Chip and Dale
- Green Army Men Drum Corps
- Woody and Bo Peep
Bo Peep is of special note here, as this character has not appeared during park hours in several years, making her (as of right now) an exclusive character for the Disney After Hours event.
At Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney After Hours takes place select Wednesdays and one Sunday between now and April 19. Ticket prices range between $129-$149, $99-$115 with discount. There are no child-priced tickets for this event, so even if you have children in your party, their price will be the same as an adult.
Roaming characters will also be available at the Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours event, which will take place select Mondays and Thursdays from January 9 through March 27. Tickets for the event at this park will be slightly more expensive and cost between $135-$159.
5. Minnie's Silver Screen Dine has returned to Disney's Hollywood Studios
Hollywood & Vine at Disney's Hollywood Studios is continuing to host Minnie's Seasonal Dining for lunch and dinner, and now that the holidays have concluded, Minnie's Silver Screen Dine character experience has returned. This fan favorite experience features character appearances by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto, all dressed in outfits that recall the golden age of Hollywood. Reservations are required for this experience and lunch and dinner pricing starts at $55 per adult and $36 per child. More information, including menu items and a link to make reservations is available on the Hollywood & Vine website here.
6. New patent could bring better visibility to character performers
Disney has filed a patent for a new system that could help provide better visibility for character performers in the future. According to the recently-filed patent, a special digital head-mounted display is mounted inside a character costume, which would provide a synthesized view of the surrounding area by using data from omnidirectional cameras mounted around the exterior of the character costume.
This high-tech system could not only let performers see more of what's around them but also allow Disney to make more elaborate costumes, as they wouldn't need to worry about having a mesh area for the performer to see through anymore, as the heads-up display would be mounted in the same place inside the performer's costume, no matter what the outside looks like. Of course, the cameras on the outside would still need to be cleverly disguised, but it is still exciting to think about the possibilities technology like this could open up.
Though this is just an idea for now, it will be interesting to see if Disney pursues this visibility technology in the future to deliver better character interactions and potentially eliminate the need for holes in costumes for performer viewing.