Mixing the music and movement of a normal parade with dedicated, up-close character meet ‘n’ greets, Disney Characters’ Express presents quite a unique event. Taking place several times in the morning and early afternoon, the event seems to be most inspired by the popular Walt Disney Studios Park mini-parade Good Morning Walt Disney Studios, which sees characters “arrive on set for filming” aboard luxurious Hollywood cadillacs. As this mini-parade reaches Place des Stars stage, the characters climb out and mingle with the guests. For Disney Characters’ Express, the concept has been taken further, with dedicated spots around Central Plaza for the characters to meet guests.
After the opening announcement, the redesigned Casey Jr enters the park from next to Discovery Arcade at Town Square, “steams” all the way up Main Street USA, “En route au coeur du magie!” (On-route for the heart of the magic), and comes to a halt directly in front of the castle…
The dancers/minders help their characters to climb down from the wagons, before they escort them through the frantic crowds to their specific locations around the hub, which help to give guests a better chance to meet the stars. Four è locations have been added at each corner, featuring the inescapable French candlestick host from Beauty and the Beast against a giant “15” backdrop featuring the Disneyland Resort Paris logo – perhaps to remind guests where their holiday photos were taken?
Characters usually head to the corner of the resort which most suits their theme, for example Pinocchio will head to the left of the Castle, Buzz Lightyear to the Discoveryland entrance and Chip ‘n’ Dale to the Frontierland corner. This just leaves Casey Jr, and his engine driver, to take a well-deserved rest…
Featuring footage from two separate performances, our full video of Disney Characters’ Express therefore features two different train-loads of Disney passengers – can you spot the difference?
The characters usually change with each journey of “le petit train”, though some of the key characters (such as Chip ‘n’ Dale) are almost always present. This not only encourages guests to catch the event more than once in their day, but also opens up the possibility for some rarer characters to be featured throughout the year.