As reported on Tuesday, Disneyland Paris does indeed plan to cancel the long-running Disney character meet ‘n’ greet locations at its Disney Hotels, in favour of having these characters appear during Extra Magic Hours instead.
Mouetto, admin of the top French forum Disney Central Plaza, has been able to confirm the rumours as a genuine “project” with Disneyland Paris, providing the following points of confirmation:
- Disney characters will indeed disappear from the Disney Hotels in late November 2014 and will be reinstated in Disneyland Park during Extra Magic Hours, with several opportunities to meet and take photos while they prepare the opening of the park.
- Characters will remain at the Inventions buffet restaurant in Disneyland Hotel and at Café Mickey.
- There will be a new experience with Disney characters during breakfast at the Castle Club in Disneyland Hotel.
- Guest satisfaction surveys have indicated the desire to meet and interact with more and more characters, but not necessarily in hotels. The presence of characters only came eighth in the main expectations of a Disney Hotel.
Currently there is no word of any changes to the character appearances at the Empire State Club of Disney’s Hotel New York and Golden Forest Club of Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, where the Disney stars appear during breakfast.
Besides the easier logistics of characters not having to travel to each hotel, the logic can make sense too. Whereas currently guests have the chance to meet just one or two characters in their hotel lobby, if all these characters are pooled together into the park it means much greater variety — and much better photo backdrops, too.
Offering them instead during Extra Magic Hours might not be favourable with late risers, but it’s a good way to ensure the extra characters remain a genuine benefit of Disney Hotel guests (and Annual Passport Dream holders). What will be missed we’re sure, though, are those fun character costumes, unique to each hotel.