What is going on with Character Palooza?

Character Palooza 2016 Schedule

 

214 thoughts on “What is going on with Character Palooza?”

  1. Visiting the parks December 16-23… does character palooza still happen at all? Wondering if I should try to go on one of our park days or if i should just forget about it

      1. Hello! I’ll be taking a trip end of February/beginning of march of this year (2016) Does Characterpalooza still go on?

  2. Has anything changed since you wrote the article? Do we still need to scout out and about Hollywood studios to find the location (your tips where to stand) Thanks! I also wanted to thank you for all of your help and tips Oct. 2014. You made our trip MAGICAL. You rock Kenny!
    My sister is taking my 10 yr old daughter this year Oct 6-Oct 12. I can’t go due to $ reasons and I’d love for my Sissy to experience Character Palooza with her Niece.

  3. We are heading to WDW in 2 weeks from the Toronto area. (I want to get CP so badly. I our couple of trips in the last 5 years, i have never been able to catch it.) I made our own autograph book for the kids (my husband teases that it is really for me) and included a page for each of the characters that we might get at CP. Do you know if it has moved back to ToT area?

  4. If we get the character locator app, does it alert you when a surprise meet and greet pops up at Hollywood studios? Or Epcot training?

  5. I think character palooza is a great idea and i wish the scheduled times were advertised. The magic is in having a successfully planned trip – that’s why it is planned 180 days out. The magic is not in the unknown and the disapoint.

  6. hello! We were lucky enough to catch Characterpallooza thanks to you on our trip in November!
    It was great, my kids were thrilled to see some rare characters. Going Friday (Aug. 7-14) for an impromptu trip, driving from PA. Just wondering if anyone has any recent advice/observations, has it been happening still, and where?

  7. Hi has there been any updates of character palooza? i got to Disney in 4 days looking forward to meeting the characters xx

  8. Have been going to WDW & DL 1-2 times per year since 1982 – anywhere from 2 to 15 people per trip. Love everything about Disney. On the downside, in the last few years, I do find it a lot busier, more scheduled, and overcrowded with people who have a sense of entitlement, bad manners, rude behavior & less patience. We do travel from Canada so is an expensive trip for us & this year with the foreign exchange so disparate, the cost will be prohibitive….but Disney is still our happy place & well worth the monetary investment. Thought I all of the Disney secrets by now but apparently not – had recently found out about the talking trash can which is no longer available & now discovering characterpalooza!!! Hard to believe haver never run across either of these attractions/events before. Am handicapped so difficult to get from point A to B in a hurry but give it a whirl on our next trip – we are normally near TOT a few times during the day as is a fave ride so will try to plan for a character viewing – hopefully we’ll be lucky – if meant to be it will happen, & if it doesn’t then that’s life – am sure there’ll be many other exciting & new things happening throughout the day that will bring smiles & happy memories. Stop grumbling people – take each moment as it comes & go with the flow – make the best of every moment – it’s a privilege to be able to even go to Disney – many millions of people never have the ability to accomplish it – count your blessings!

  9. I think because so many people were finding out about a once sort of secret thing with just a few people knowing, now it will become lots of people with long lines.

  10. My Family is going to Hollywood Studios on 9/14/15. This will mark our third trip as a family. At first, we were excited to learn about Character Palooza, my daughter has an autograph book that she brings with her to every visit to Disneyworld. We are really hoping that the magic makers at Disney come up with a great way to notify their audience as to the location of Character Palooza.

    This change is counter-intuitive to Disney’s current system which requires/ rewards families for planning the bulk of their vacation in advance (180 days for dining and 60 days for fast passes).

    A big part of the Disney magic for our family is seeing the characters in the park.

    Why not make more character opportunities and have them be part of the Fastpass Plus system?

  11. Hello, my trip to Orlando will be in August and on 21/08 will be visiting the Hollywood Studios, will be able to find characterpalooza?

  12. So bummed that characterpalooza has no predictable times or locations anymore. We have planned our characterpalooza time for the past probably 5 years choosing park visit days / meal times around characterpalooza. Last trip was our 1st to preorder fast passes. On our HS day, we made sure to schedule our FP+ times around characterpalooza. Disney – if any of you are reading this, please consider making time/location predictable again. My family loves it. We have never in our 8 visits seen anyone not establishing lines and waiting their turn at characters. I have never seen it be ‘Dangerous’ to guests or characters. People in general are polite, considerate and know how to take turns without a formal character greeting buildings (but we do like planning our spontaneous meet and greets )

  13. My next visit will be only in March, and i know that a lot can (probably will) happen till there. But I really hope that by the time, the character palooza will still exist and will be easy to know where.

  14. Thanks for your updates Kenny. Disappointed to hear that disney entertainment has made it harder not easier to find characters. We were there over Thanksgiving and the lines were less than 3 deep during one of the busiest times of the year, wouldn’t have called that dangerous. As others have posted I understand that the crowds might have grown but that shows the need to have more diverse characters in the parks. Add meets to the story book circus MK area or a regular meet of a mystery character on Streets or by ToT lots of space at EPCOT. The reason for the crowds was that there is a huge demand for characters that are not out all the time.

    Hoping they figure out a way to get more different characters in the park!

  15. Incredibly disappointing and will reduce my further Disney trips after my next planned one. I’ve become disabled and it’s not possible to run back and forth to all possible locations because I’m sick of seeing “the same old” and want to relive being six years old (and possibly forget about the fact I have one of the most highly painful rated conditions on earth).

    There was something incredibly uplifting about seeing Pinocchio and Gepetto and being hugged like I never got taller while they cheered over my Jiminy Cricket shirt. There was something amazing about being teased over my Snow White fascination by the EQ.

    It’s incredibly uplifting.

    This ISN’T scheduled. It’s show up and lucky dip of your characters. It already is pretty magical when it’s suddenly Mary Poppins AND Bert skipping out. It’s very much pixie dust when Max Goof has blasted in from your past and you have no choice but to react with hugs. It’s most certainly magic when you’re not expecting a plethora of villains THAT YOU NO LONGER GET AT MNSSHP.

    I’m not showing up to schedule a fastpass for the lackluster vanilla Frozen sisters. I’m here for magic. I came for magic and I did my research for some magic because I was in love with the idea of these surprise characters making my day.

    You’re really not doing anything here but hurting people like me. At least tell guest relations so that every day we can plan around it. At least tell some cast members so that it really is an unpublished secret and “you have to ask”.

    But Disney does not want to do that. “MAYBE IF YOU SHOW UP HERE AT THE RIGHT TIME BUT IF NOT YOU’LL BE TOO LATE TO GET TO THE RIGHT PLACE IN TIME!” That’s crap. That’s gonna make a lot of unhappy people. This was something sweet and special.

    I understand safety issues. But you HANDLE IT. You don’t ruin it. You solve the problem instead. Disney, you used to be really good at that.

  16. I’m super bummed – going August 27th and I’ve been planning character palooka bc the last two trips were in the winter and we missed it!!

  17. I have to say that my husband and I have only attended one event and it was AMAZING!!!! We so enjoyed it and we’re planning on doing it every trip. I’m not sure how anyone thought it was dangerous but it is anything but. So very sad!!

  18. So what you’re saying is that if the palooza is ‘always 4.5 hours before the first fantasmic’ what if they added a second fantasmic show? I remember a couple of months ago I was seeing Beauty and the Beast on a surprisingly busy day and they made an announcement thatt they added a second show of fantasmic. Does that mean the palooza times change on the spot or does that mean we might lose character time?

  19. My husband and I were able to hit Character Palooza and meet Genie and the evil queen from Snow White last November and it was wonderful! I have MS and, as my mobility gets worse and worse, there are fewer rides that I can make happen so Character meet and greets become more and more important to me. Knowing when and where some rarer characters might show up is such a fabulous thing! I just hope this possibility will still be there in the future.

  20. We are going Dec.2 thru Dec 7th.for our daughter’s 7th birthday…Feeling disappointed..our daughter has autism and waiting in charter lines does not work for her…wondering can you FP. Woody and Buzz. And Mike and Sully?

  21. I was there on May 7 too. Right up front. The cast member was a cleaning guy who I honestly think had no clue what anyone was talking about. He was clearly getting asked questions about things he didn’t know about and thought we were waiting for BatB or Fantasmic.

    We had just been to palooza earlier in the week and it was definitely crowded. Sad that it won’t be happening this way for now, but I’m sure they’ll find ways to do it again.

  22. I am heart broken! I have been planning our Disney vacation (the first for my husband and 2 year old) since January and character palooza has been on my very detailed plan since day 1! I’ve never experienced it, but have done countless web searches for videos and pictures. We were ALL looking forward to it! I actually logged on to give someone else the info when I saw Kenny’s post. The chances of finding a random location in a giant park within it’s short 20/30 minute time span are slim to none!

    So disappointed! We can only plan for what Disney WANTS us to plan for!

  23. We are going from September 21 – October 2nd. However, we only have a single afternoon at HS (September 25th – all day at HS, plus hotel check-in) planned in all that time (2 more mornings, 1 evening.) My wife was hoping to catch character palooza in that time, but now I don’t know if it’s worth the aggravation now, for something that is so easy to miss. Has there been any thought to tracking the times and locations that these show up to give people a better idea what to expect?

  24. We were able to do Characterpalooza on May 1 and it was wonderful. I love the idea of surprise visits from characters. I completely understand that Disney wants to hold on to some of the magic of meeting characters and having surprises throughout your visit, but feel the Tower of Terror location is not the best place to create this magic. While guests of all ages love meeting characters, you are cutting off a large portion of your demographic (parents with young children) by placing it there. We only ventured over there (with a 5 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old) because we read about the chance here. I love the idea of having the characters out and about in different places, but they should increase the number of them throughout the day and throughout the parks so more people have a chance to meet them. If you are trying to create magic and surprises (which I firmly believe the Disney Company is) then make the extra effort to do these surprise meet ups more.

  25. I’d just like to ask you Kenny, where did you get the schedule for the Characterpalooza that you used to post? Since it is never made available to us guests, no matter how many times we may go to Guest Services and ask, how were you able to get the information?

  26. The popularity of CP shows that guests want to see and meet characters, especially rarer ones. I absolutely love Character Palooza, and it was one of my favourite things to do at DHS. I did prefer it at Streets of America as it was more spread out and I found there were more characters out at once. I did find they usually didn’t have enough attendants for how many characters there were, but they more than made up for this when they moved it to ToT gates. I found the rarity of the characters decreased when they moved it to ToT. I used to find a rare character every time I attended at SoA, but at ToT there were multiple times I would turn away because every character there I could meet somewhere else in the parks (ex. Tiana, Fab 5, Aladdin and Jasmine, Pocahontas etc.) However, for first time guests CP is a fantastic way to meet multiple characters in a short amount of time, so by attending character palooza you can save time in the other parks because you’ve already met that character. However, I credit CP for having met MANY rare characters (Jafar, Max, Queen of Hearts, Evil Queen, Dopey, Mushu, Bert, Genie, Meeko, Pinocchio, Gepetto), that were on my bucket list, and the excitement that I felt when I saw them, was indeed magical for me, so I hope we don’t lose that through these changes.

    I would love to see them move CP back to SoA, maybe have longer sets, or just more sets in general. Maybe change the times each day to keep it magical, but keep it in that SoA area since there isn’t a lot there to draw guests to that area of the park.

    The only thing I like about changing up the times and location, is that it reminds me of Disneyland and how the characters roam, and no one knows where they would be, but I also know that WDW is not Disneyland and they moved away from having roaming characters for a good reason. I am coming back for a visit in August, and hope to find CP, but I guess we will have to see if I’m lucky enough to find it! :D

  27. I thank you for your article. We were there on May 7 and no one ever appeared. I know this isn’t a scheduled meet and greet, but I believe the cast member that popped out at 4:30ish and was standing in front of the guests mislead people to think something was about to happen. It would not have been a big deal for him to inform us that nothing was happening and ask everyone to move on. The crowd was backed up to the smoothie vendor. Honestly it wouldn’t have hurt Disney a bit to speak up.

  28. Kenny, I know that this is important to you, but would it be possible to allow opposing viewpoints without attacking them? I’m interested in seeing the other side of the story, but you only seem to respond to those who don’t agree with you. Would be nice to hear what they have to say…

    1. Lol can you show me where I “attacked” anyone? I should have left the rude comments posted toward me. I’m not terribly interested in fights or rude Internet behavior. I respond to hundreds of questions a month here btw.

  29. This was top priority for our next visit to DHS- we missed out last time as we simply ran out of time. I’d love to see something more organised and predictable again, even if the characters remain a complete surprise. Sad to hear it might not be possible- as just a couple, we’re unlikely to spend time hanging around without each other in the hope of spotting the meet and greets!

  30. It seems that ever since the Disney brothers passed away, their vision of magic has not been the priority it had been: immersing guests in a special experience seamlessly! With all the scheduling required, and long waits for rides you had prior to FP+ walked onto, it is really sad to think that you may have to forego something planned 30-60 days prior, if you are lucky enough to stumble onto meeting characters you have never had the chance to before! Not very dreamy!
    …kind of like when they closed Pleasure Island, and stated that it was guests who wanted more shopping and restaurants, when it was hardly the case.

  31. I personally am disappointed by this news. Disney has SO many characters, I wish they’d bring more surprises out. The Long Lost Friends weeks were fun, and I attended the Villains event last year in hopes of meeting more rare characters, and it’s my opinion that Disney should utilize more pop-up surprises in all of their parks, that it’d add to the magic. Last F&W was the first time I’ve seen random characters in Epcot by America, and it was the most fun thing I’d experienced at Disney World in years. Give us more random characters, Disney!

  32. I am heartbroken over losing this opportunity. Some of our best characters meets have been through Characterpalooza, what other kid can say they did push ups with Aladdin, held hands with Minnie walking down the street or had the Evil Queen tell their mother she had an Evil laugh? Mine can because of this wonderful chance to meet some great characters. I don’t understand why I have to know where I am going to eat 6 months from now and yet we can’t create or know a schedule of some randoms characters meeting in a specified location. I have done characterpalooza on our last 4 trips – over 2 years – and never have I found it to be out of control or scary in anyway. I enjoyed the streets of america location better than ToT as streets allowed for more room to spread out. Clearly consumers of Disney are looking for more character interaction. This is one of 3 or 4 reasons we enjoy Hollywood Studios so much. If Disney continues to make these kinds of decisions it may be time to look at other parks to spend time at, including Universal. I have never taken time away from a Disney vacation to go to another Orlando amusement park but I think we will change from 2 days at HS to 1 and find somewhere else to go and look for a new adventure.

  33. Their response to these very popular characters is to make them harder to find. That’s the polar opposite of what they should be doing……. making them easier to find. Very disappointing.

  34. Wow if you are a CM then I am greatly disappointed with Disney! Your final comments are rude and very disrespectful of guests who are spending thousands of dollars to visit Disney parks and providing money to pay your salary!

    While we have never been able to attend characterpalooza we were planning our park schedule to include it in August. Meeting the characters is my daughter’s favorite part of a Disney visit and we were excited to get an opportunity to see many characters at once. Making this opportunity “spontaneous” around the park really does not fit well with the way Disney is now pushing guests to schedule ride times ahead of time with fp+.

    The popularity of this event is evidence that character meets are a very popular part of a Disney visit with guests and Disney needs to seriously consider adding more of them around the parks and organizing them in a safe manner for guests.

  35. Sounds to me like you, sir, may need to find another company to work for. I spend an entire YEAR planning my family’s vacation. Because as much as I love Disney, it’s impossible to just show up and have a good time there. Disney has made that a necessity due to their policies. Don’t talk down to me because I do all that I can to make the trip as wonderful as possible for my kids. By the way, I’m sure your supervisors would love to know about your commenting on boards such as this….

  36. Character Palooza Tuesday May 19th.

    4:40 PM
    Tower of Terror gates

    Evil queen
    Aladdin and jasmine
    Mulan
    Tiana.

  37. Is it just the location or time and location that are now random? Because I booked my fast passes around this happening at a certain time the day I am at the park. Thanks you.

  38. We just returned a few weeks ago where we experienced Character Palooza for the first time. We have been visiting Disney for almost 20 years and we can’t believe we didn’t know about it! However, as I watched the huge crowd grow behind us on line, I just knew it wouldn’t last. I had always seen pictures on this website of a rather small group just hanging around waiting and this time there was a huge crowd. “Secrets” like this one become too good to be true and there is no doubt that the internet has changed the Disney experience. For example, rope drop used to be a great time to tour, but now that everyone knows that, we saw huge crowds in the parks that first hour. Same with “best weeks to visit”!
    I truly hope Disney is able to work something out that meets the needs of its guests and their strong desire to meet characters and have those wonderful interactions. My niece received a wishing wand at Cinderella’s Royal Table and put it under her pillow the night before we visited HS. She said she wished that the Genie would be at CP that day. She wanted to meet him and add to her signature collection so badly! I was hoping and hoping he would be and voila! We were first on line and when the gates opened…the Genie was right there! The look on her face was priceless! Those magical moments are what makes Disney special. Thanks Kenny for giving us ideas on how to let our opinions known and for your part in making happy memories!

  39. I have mixed feelings about this. Years ago I happened across a Character Palooza without knowing what it was and it was so magical to see so many Characters out at once. And on that trip I got to meet Meeko and Mushu which was the coolest thing for me since they don’t have regular meets. I have also used your schedule to find CP, the last time was fall 2013, and we were able to have some great Character interactions at two of the times since there wasn’t much of a crowd, my favorites being Mulan, Pocahontas, and the Evil Queen.

    I can see why Disney wants it to be more of a surprise to keep crowds down and make it a more spontaneous event. However, it would be at least helpful if either the time or the place could be consistent to keep people from running all over the park. I think the Streets of America is the best place, it’s away from other ride/show traffic and if they had one consistent spot but random times then at least you would have a shot of getting to meet some Characters. Kind of like the training meets at Epcot, you know where it might be but not really when.

    I really hope this is going to be a summer only thing since the crowds are higher. And it really sucks that the Cast Members aren’t more helpful about it, I understand they don’t want to tell you where or when it is happening, but if they see people waiting and they know for sure it’s not happening, they should really let people know so they don’t waste valuable park time!

  40. I think it’s unfair that Disney is creating something that hardly any people will experience. I feel that if Disney would make rare characters more readily available to the public, than people would not be so upset by the change. There are thousands of people who love to meet characters, and if they can meet that one rare character, their entire trip can be made! If Disney is really looking to create magical moments for people, they need to give them the information in order to create those moments. It just seems silly to me.

  41. That area is a high traffic area for all sorts of operations cast members who have nothing to do with entertainment and who nothing about those meet and greets.

  42. PS … Our whole day at HS was pretty disapointing (5/11/15). In addition to there not being a Character Palooza that day … we were also hoping to see Doc McStuffins at her clinic. It was supposed to open on 5/11/15, but when we got there the construction walls were still up. CMs said it would start on 5/18/15. We still saw her at Hollywood and Vine … but two of the things I was looking forward to the most (Doc at the clinic and Character Palooza) did not happen. I almost feel like Disney was trying to slap KtP the face a little since he’s the one who announced the dates for Doc and Character Palooza.

  43. So I’m just curious … on Monday 5/11/15 was it cancelled or were they over at the Streets of America???

    I was one of those disapointed famiies sitting outside Tower of Terror on Monday 5/1/15. We got there about 15 minutes early, got a decent spot in line, and waited for a total of 45 minutes. Although my 2.5 year old did great while waiting, it was super frustrating and disapointing. It was hot and crowded. And the longer we waited, the more frustrated people around us got.

    I understand that this one of those “undocumented” things … but I think what I am upset about after the fact is that on two occasions, CMs came out near the gates (I’m guessing there’s a door next to the gate?), and on neither occasion did they tell people that the event was not happening. Folks cheered when CMs came out, thinking it was the start of the event. But the CMs just smiled and laughed saying “oh they are cheering for us”. In hindsight, they were probably laughing at us knowing that we were waiting for nothing. If Disney was concerned about crowding and safetly, you would have thought they would have told people that were there that the event was not happening, so that we’d stop crowding that gate, and dispurse.

    Again, I totlaly understand this this is an “undocumented” event, but that does not make it less disapointing. Honestly, there is very little for a 2.5 year old to do at HS. There is ONE ride (Toy Story Mania), and she barely sat through Frozen Sing Along, so I can’t expect her to sit thorugh lots of shows! We did Mickey and Minnie (again … we also saw them at Chef Mickey’s the day before). And we did Hollywood and Vine so we could meet Doc McStuffins. Basicially we saw everythng age appropriate by lunch time, and then went back to the hotel for a nap. Character Paloza was the only reason we came back to park after her nap. It was not the lure of “rare” characters … but the fact that it was the only thing left that was age appropriate!

    We had no intention of staying for Fantasmic. We had dinner and went back to the hotel. It was a waste of a trip. If I would have know that it was not happening, I would have either stayed at the hotel that afternoon and had some pool time OR taken my daughter over to “Honey I shrunk the kids”.

    As far as characters wandering the parks versus having specific locations/times … I don’t think these are mutually exclusive. There is nothing saying that they can’t have characters wandering around and stil have a Character Paloza. Honestly, the more characters they have out at one time at differnt locations, the more disbursed the crowds will be. Wasn’t that the whole idea behind the advanced FPs linked to your Magic Bands? So Disney could know where the crowds would be ahead of time!

    I think they need to find a happy medium.

  44. We are regular out-of-state WDW visitors – coming about once per year (going 3 times in 2015), and this really feels like a punishment to those who are diligent planners and want to meet specific characters. Hopefully Disney will think this through more…

  45. So…….on one hand Disney wants us to plan every second of every day up to 6 months in advance or else risk not experiencing what the guest may want, but doesn’t like when we plan for something they don’t want us to plan for. So which is it? You can’t have it both ways. If Disney can’t see what is right in front of their noses that there is a HUGE demand for characters (just see Characterpaloooza, Unleash the Villains, Star Wars Weekends, etc), then they have poor marketing research advisors or they are blind.

  46. You couldn’t have put it more beautifully Kenny! I’m sadden that it seems so many cast members have adopted a distain for their guests. I certainly understand it must get so frustrating sometimes, I too work in the customer service industry and there are times you just want to scream, however for me my escape IS visiting WDW because its l
    escaping real life and going back to being a kid when times were simpler. Characters are a huge part of this. They are so magical. I certainly understand the concern for safety and I don’t think anyone would disagree that we want eveyone to have a safe and happy experience and that tge frantic pushing and shoving ruins the experience, but there are certainly other locations in the park this could easily and Safely be held. No one cares about the where, its the when that matters. Life will not end if we don’t get to see them but think about how much better you make it by getting to. That’s the difference. Sure we could all go to the parks, partake in the few listed character meets on the times guide,ride rides, watch fireworks and be content but its in the extra mile you go by giving us those rare character opportunities and extra magic moments that make it Disney and keep us coming back instead of going to cheaper theme parks. I think Walt would be disappointed to see what has happened over the years.

  47. Well, this is a bummer. We are planning to go in July and this would be our FIRST EVER visit to WDW and will be celebrating many different celebrations. Planning for WDW is a feat in itself. I can’t tell you how many DAYS, let alone HOURS I put in, just to make this first trip as awesome as possible. My husband and I grew up watching Disney and now we’re sharing it with our DS, since he didn’t get to watch all those amazing Disney movies. He watched shows, not the movies. Meeting characters would definitely make it so much more magical, especially meeting the rare ones.

    I understand that with people rushing in and characters surrounded by huge crowds, especially pushy people, can be dangerous and scary, but maybe Disney can find a way to regulate this crowd. Why not announce it and have it at a set place at several times a day.. but with each meet and greet with different characters? It’s still random and a big surprise for the guests. Or like what the person had suggested… have a couple of unannounced random characters at the end of already schedule CM. It’ll still be fun.

    I’m just disappointed. I don’t have the time running around and searching for random characters, not with a limited amount of time, money, and energy. Come on Disney… you can figure this out and do better.

  48. I understand that but it had been taking place daily until that point and it was quite clear what everyone was there waiting for. Just a “there won’t be any characters appearing here today” would have been nice to save people waiting in the heat for nothing.

  49. Nobody told you because it isn’t a published meet and greet. Disney is under no obligation to tell you it moved, since they never told you there would be a meet and greet in the first place.

  50. I think this is sad but I understand. I think it would be great if the had rare character out on at scheduled times..that way you can best plan your Disney vacation…..or have a character meal that is just rare characters that would be fun….once more Kenny thanks for all you do

    1. When you say test meets for Flynn Rider what doses that mean….like test if he should be brought back to the park?

  51. The popularity of Character Palooza shows that guest want more character meets and interaction. My kids love meeting the character but a majority of the time we see the same characters over and over. There are so many character meet opportunities that Disney can create. Over the last 8 years we have seen many beloved characters no longer doing meet and greets. Character Palooza gave us the chance to see some of those characters again. The character interactions are some of our vacations most memorable times. Knowing where the characters are located is much needed. I hope Disney hears it’s customers and gives us these great memories with our kids.We return to WDW in August and hope to see many characters. We need more permanent unique character meets throughout all the parks. It use to great meeting Mulan with Mushu,Snow White with Dopey,Aladdin & Jasmine with Genie, and Flik and Princess Atta along with many other meets.

  52. Ok so this explains why twice I went in the last week to the TOT location and palooza didn’t happen. It annoys me more now to read it was taking place on streets of America. There were a lot of people waiting in the heat with young kids for up to an hour and nobody at Disney thought to come out and tell us it had been moved?

    I’m a solo adult but also wasted 2 hours of my (very expensive) vacation waiting. Yes it was a bit chaotic the only day I managed to see it but nothing like a Disneyland Paris meet and once the gates closed and everyone was in it was fine. Disney creates this by making characters that are not the norm so difficult to meet. I’m just mad they were happy to let families with young kids wait for such a long time (and it was super hot!) when they were well aware the meet was happening across the park. Not very magical Disney!!

    So many times I’ve asked about a certain character at City Hall/to cast members and been given the wrong information. Half of the regular meets don’t even appear on the app, Disney needs to take lessons from Kenny the Pirate!!!

  53. Kenny, you are completely right!!!!! It is very upsetting that Disney is always making it harder for fans to enjoy such a simple thing as meeting the loving characters, and making it more difficult to manage that time we have inside the parks! The Palooza was and it is still a fantastic way to find the great and rare characters we love, and I actually think that with a place and schedule is way more organized and in control, than throwing them around unexpectadly as a “SURPRISE” when actually the fans are there for that, and now with no hopes of even seeing them somewhere/somehow, its just a waste of time! Sad, and not fair at all!!!!
    I’m with you KennyThePirate

  54. Having just been at character-palooza on May 10 (Tiana, Jasmine, Pocahontas BTW) I am of two minds about this. One one hand, I love that concept behind it was supposed to be that it was a random event that you might just happen to stumble across and I wondered why, if they were concerned about it becoming too much of a mob, they didn’t just make the schedule more random and maybe at different locations – i.e. just set up more surprise meet and greets in addition to the scheduled ones daily. On the other hand, it was kind of nice to know that if I stood in a certain spot at a certain time I had a chance of meeting some of the rarer characters (even if none of them happened to be there the day I was). From my experience on Sunday, it didn’t seem to be any different than any other meet and greet, except for not knowing who was going to be there.

  55. Dear Kenny,
    Guests are readily given detailed times and locations of planned meet and greets throughout all 4 of the disney world parks. These meet and greets are controlled and safe due to the length and number of sets, and by the trained character attendants who oversee them. The issue that has arisen with “characterpalooza” is not of foolery or deception, but of safety and that is the Walt disney company’s top priority. These handful of characters are out for 20 minutes, usually only once a day. In the last week the crowd waiting outside the tower of terror gate had grown so large it was preventing guests from exiting the ride, and merchandise cast members from reaching their locations. When the gates opened, the mob would run, push, and swarm these characters. The set is not announced to the public because the small number of characters, the short time they are out, and the minimal number of sets do not allow a large group of people to be seen safely. There are many controlled and announced settings in which an excited child or an enthusiastic adult can experience a magical moment with a character, many of whom have appeared in the past at “characterpalooza.” And as for the “rare” characters? If your visit to the hollywood studios will really be ruined by missing out on a picture and autograph from the snow queen or Robin Hood, maybe the 20 minutes at 6:05 would be better put to use putting your life’s blessings in to perspective.

    1. I respect safety issues and placed that quote in there to demonstrate that.
      You were doing very well with your statement until you reached this level. “And as for the “rare” characters? If your visit to the hollywood studios will really be ruined by missing out on a picture and autograph from the snow queen or Robin Hood, maybe the 20 minutes at 6:05 would be better put to use putting your life’s blessings in to perspective.”

      No one said their life would crash and burn. Guests wish to meet rare characters and children love them. I can’t see where a Cast Member should ever demonstrate this attitude toward paying guests. It’s not the Disney way IMO. I visited this meet maybe twice a quarter at the most. My life won’t end or ruin my visit, but people should have a voice in saying they desire more, what are now, rare characters.

  56. We went to Characterpalooza during spring break. It was so much fun! There were more people there than I thought (your blog is peopleular), but it was still less than a normal meet and greet. Robin Hood and Burt were the characters we saw that day. but the best part was the amount of time each character spent with us. My favorite part: The characterpalooza was wrapping up. We were the last ones left and we were waiting for some college girls to finish up their meet with Tiana. While we were waiting Dopey runs up behind my 12 year old son and pats him on the back and runs off. My son starts looking around. He finally realized it was Dopey and then got him back! It was so cute and soo funny. It’s something we’ll always remember. And though we love all the character meets, this one was really special.

  57. Meeting characters has been a huge favorite of mine as well as my children and this is a big disappointment. I like having an idea of when characters will be there so we can plan our day accordingly… this throws that completely off.

  58. So disappointed about this. I love character palooza. In march I got to meet genie, jasmine, pinocchio, donald, pocahontas. I am an adult who loves meeting characters. Meeting on that path was nice and shaded and everyone lined up in an orderly fashion. It was a nice time and the characters were SO enthusiastic! Please disney keep character palooza back by TT on that nice path. I am heading to WDW again in 5 days.

  59. I think what you and all the others are forgetting is that this is a SURPRISE meet and greet. It was never intended to be advertised in any way, by Disney or by a blogger. It was never promised and while disappointment is understandable, how can anyone be truly angry about something that isn’t even scheduled? Even when sets were still at Tower, there are several days when characters didn’t come out due to other circumstances. Were you al mad at them then? If so, tough luck because the only one who told you they would be out is Kenny and he even puts a disclaimer that entertainment is always subject to change. Everyone just needs to take a step back and realize that this isn’t a big deal. It’s not a published meet so go in thinking that, if you happen to find pop up characters be grateful for the magic.

    1. Please avoid using statemens like “tough luck.” That certainly comes off as uncaring and to some it would seem rude. I hope you’re not a CM demonstrating that attitude. I respect the fact that it was a “surprise,” supposedly anyway. We visited this surprise for many years and I posted schedules for over 2 years. Also, not one person every requested that I remove the schedules for safety issues.

  60. It may not have been the intention for it to be an opportunity to see rare characters, but having characters that are not otherwise commonly found in the parks be included in the sets (Evil Queen, Genie, Pinocchio, Geppetto, Robin Hood, Meeko, Bert, etc.) certainly contributed to the allure and the popularity of “Characterpalooza”)

  61. This is such sad news! Our 2 year old son, LOVES this meet and greet. Not only because there are usually no lines but also because the characters have so much time to talk with him! He loves Snow White and last time she actually took time to look at the leaves and ground behind her with him. It sounds silly but I know it had a huge impact. When there were two meet ups we would actually wait for the second too because everyone remembered him! Cast Members called him by name. It was like our own private character party!

    I remember Studios having characters at the front of the park, honestly they should do that. At that time of day the front area is quiet and it’s a great surprise for folks coming in. Plus it’s near the character rest spot backstage :) Former CM here and proud of it.

    They moved it to animation which was cool. The hat was a bit too much cause it was dead center and lines piled up quickly.

    I’m in complete agreement. This should be magical and fun, but safe. It’s such a shame that a few people have cost others such a great experience.

    Please don’t take it away Disney!

  62. Our little girl loves meeting the characters more than anything else in park, so getting to watch her meet these characters at character polooza was my favorite part of the trip. I’ll be incredibly disappointed if it’s no longer and option for her.

  63. I too am disappointed in this, though I can understand why, and I absolutely do not blame management. The actions of a few bad apple guests are most likely what prompted this change. I like the formal meet & greets, but there was something to be said about this as well. Mainly the rare characters, but also just the atmosphere (thought the Cast member attendant to character ratio was sorely disproportionate and lead to unorganized mobs).

    As far as “well that’s how they do it in *park X*”, bear in mind that WDW serves a very different clientele in general than, say, Disneyland.

    Thinking about it, there doesn’t seem to be one solution that wouldn’t ruffle somebody’s feathers, and that’s unfortunate.

  64. Only characters that can be seen during Fantasmic come out. It is not meant to be a chance to see rare characters

  65. Very sad, Kenny. I sort of like the idea of just randomly finding the characters in the park, but they let THAT genie out a long long time ago. I had it planned for both my days at DS in June. Is anyone plambing a special tweet for when someone locates it at the park that day?

  66. We are so disappointed to hear this! I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestions especially in putting more characters around the parks! I say that as someone who has been going since the WDW first opened and has fond childhood memories of spontaneously meeting a character JUST around the next turn. At least I was able to capture almost that same magic with our child the last two years at characterpalooza! The gates open and there’s this WOW! moment for sure.

    Our kiddo is now 4, and this was one of her (& our) most favorite and looked forward to things to go to. We’ve changed our entire day’s plans from Universal to an extra Disney day just to hit HS one more time excited to see who might be there. Where else could she meet, have these great little moments, plus get pics and autographs with Tiana, Mulan, the Evil Queen, Jasmine and Aladdin, Minnie, Gepetto, Brier Fox, and the Genie in just a few minutes all on one afternoon? Taking that away isn’t the way to handle it. Giving less and charging more isn’t the way to go to keep people returning.

    Honestly, we stay at the parks, do the deluxe dining for character meals, and visit a couple of times a year so it’s not like as someone said we feel entitled but rather this is just yet another major frustration/disappointment on a growing list. Another special thing taken away. We’ll pay to play, but we are just starting to read Harry Potter. Please, Disney, do not keep take away too much magic — or take away any more customer service!

    I’m now really rethinking our summer plans. (We just received a pin code this week too and I was about to book!)

  67. Boom! Absolutely, Kenny. Every time we’ve gone it’s been magical. Not one guest has acted out of line or entitled.

    “You people” …..seriously?

  68. Nooooo!!! My husband and I were so looking forward to doing this with our toddler! We are huge Disney fans and were really hoping to see some rare characters. :( We can’t really spread out because it is just the two of us- is there any other way to get a clue where they are? Would cast members have any idea? I’m just sick about it!!! Thank you Kenny, for all you put into your site! We love it!

  69. Ditto to disappointment :( delux. The time and place for CP should be readily available….planning is such an intricate part of a Disney vacation. Even if/when you have chuncks of time for random magic to happen…locating Characters is a priority for many of us APs and the chance to meet and greet rare ones are especially magical. My husband and I have been to CPs last year and this year (thanks to you, KtP-I’m forever grateful) and were blessed to have meet/greeted the following special characters: Mulan, Genie, Jasmine, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Minnie, Mary Poppins and Bert, Geppetto and Pinocchio, Pluto, Stitch, Evil Queen, Snow White and Dopey, Tiana, and Chip and Dale!!!!! Hoping Character Palooza doesn’t disappear :)

  70. We just learned about Characterpalloza and were so disappointed to have not known about it sooner! We’ve been to HS many times. I was so looking forward to this “secret” meet and greet for our November trip. I even scheduled our first park day around it. Now wondering if I should change my plans. Maybe a day at Sea World or Harry Potter world instead? I can’t imagine trying to send family members all over the park just in case the characters pop and then having to rush 3 little kids around to find them. So sad.

  71. I am deeply disappointed with this news/rumor. I would love to see characters like Flynn out but I would rather have something as special as character palooza. I am 18 years old and have gone to Disney around 20+ times. I first heard of CP during this past summer. So when the October trip appeared, CP was the #1 thing I wanted to do. My whole day at HS was planned around it. Making sure that I wouldn’t miss it. That day I met Tiana, Pluto, Minnie, Mulan, Goofy, Genie, Snow White, Pocahontas, and Pinnochhio. It was by far the most magical time I have ever had a Disney. The character greets were not rushed and so personal. Later in the trip we left MK early so we could do a 2nd CP. That time we met Gappetto, Evil Queen, Mary Poppins, Bert, Pluto, Tiana, Chip, Dale, Minnie, Mulan, Jasmine,and Snow White. What amazed me the most was how much the characters cared. They were not exhausted from meeting hundreds of children/adults before me. They were refreshed and excited. When I came back the 2nd time both Mulan and Tiana remembered me by my first name and asked if my birthday was magical (met them on the day of my birthday the first time) and why I took my button off. I was impressed they remembered so much and truly made me feel like a little kid inside smiling ear to ear. I took fun and unique poses with each character that will last a lifetime of memories. I will be really said if it dissappears.

  72. We went to Disneyworld last October and had the most amazing experience at character palooza my 7 year old daughter had some beautiful and magical moments with the special and surprise characters, one of my favourite photos from our trip is her turning towards the gates near Tower of Terror and them opening and the characters motioning for her to head down the path. Her smile is infectious and sums up the magic that disney creates. For my daughter she truly believes that was a secret meeting just for her, I hope everyone has one of those moments on there families trips a once in a lifetime moment.

  73. We’ve caught characterpalooza on both of our disney vacations. It was a highlight both years. The first one we caught was in the Streets of America area on October 17, 2013. We were able to meet Pinnochio and Gepetto, Jasmine and Genie, Stitch (drumming all over the newspaper boxes), Max (Goofy’s son), Mulan, Pocahontas and Meeko, Chip and Dale, and Minnie in her classic red dress. The second one we caught was in the TOT area on October 1, 2014. We saw Minnie in her red dress, Snow White, Genie and Jasmine, Gepetto, Mulan, Meeko and Donald in his blue outfit (which was super cool)! I was always hoping to see villains (especially the evil queen), and I was jealous to learn that the day before we were there in 2014 Mary Poppins was there meeting with Bert. With our 2 little kids it would be nearly impossible to happen upon characterpalooza without Kenny’s help. I hope it stays in a regular place at a pretty regular time. It’s the main reason that I love Hollywood Studios!

  74. If you’re a photographer, mostly likely you’re going to post your photo somewhere. People are going to ask where you took it or figure out the location that way. I love finding unique shots, but I also admire other photographer’s eye from the same vantage point.

  75. We’ve been to Hollywood Studio’s numerous times in out trips the last 4 years, and have never seen this character-palooza. It would be great if they could have a specific time and place…and still surprise us with the characters!

  76. While I am disppointed in this change, I understand why it was made. While I always found “Characterpalooza” a wonderful experience during slower times of the year when having two or three sets a day could even the crowd out a bit, busier times when there was only one set could be a bit chaotic. It sounds like it had only become more chaotic recently, and, perhaps, just wasn’t working.

    What disappoints me the most about this change (along with the cancellation of the Dinoland Dance-a-Palooza) is that there are no longer any locations to visit and have the chance to meet some harder-to-find characters. I do see the value in the way the Hollywood PM sets are being done now since it is, in its own way, magical to randomly stumble upon some more unusual characters (the Training sets at EPCOT is a good example of this). However, it was nice to know that there was somewhere in Walt Disney World where I knew there was a daily opportunity to meet some characters you aren’t likely to see anywhere else. After all, for guests who visit annually or multiple times a year, getting to meet a character that either you’ve never met before or a character you don’t see in the parks as often as the Fab 5 or the Princesses can be a highlight of the visit. It was nice to know that there was some likely locations where you could find these characters and not just stumbling across someone it you’re lucky.

    There is obviously a demand for these lesser-seen characters. On top of what’s going on at Characterpalooza, the craziness at the Villains Unleashed event and the ridiculous lines for characters at the Holiday parties show that people want to see some different characters. If they want to keep the Hollywood Studios PM sets random Magical Moments, I think I could be ok with that as long as there was some other location where guests could go to visit some random characters. Perhaps something along the lines of Princess Fairytale Hall or Storybook Circus where at the end of the line were two random characters you likely wouldn’t see anywhere else in the park. It would still have the fun and random surprise we love about Characterpalooza but be much more organized and be available to more guests than a random 15 minute pop-up set.

  77. Saying stumbling upon them is magical is all well & good for people that can visit more than once- but for people that live far away & save for years to go- not so much magic. Disappointed that you didn’t get to meet. I don’t mind waiting & waiting as long as I get to meet the characters.

  78. Very disappointed to read this. Really enjoyed the Palooza last year and was looking forward to it this year. With all the ride closures at hollywood studios, I am surprised that they would remove this too. I really hope they change their minds.

  79. Forgot to note that on May 9 there was Genie, Jasmine, Mary Poppins & Bert, Mulan, Pocahontas, and the Evil Queen. We only had time to see three of the characters. People were taking a very long time with multiple photographs and it was very crowded.

  80. We love having a time & location for Charaterpalooza! Hollywood Studios isn’t necessarily a full day park for us, we sleep in on that day as long as we have the FP+’s & reservations we want. I have young elementary aged kids, and Tower of Terror and Rock & Rollecoaster scare them, so it was SO NICE to have the time & location known. There’s no way I would drag my young kids all over the parks looking for rare characters (and character experiences are their favorite!). We would probably just head home & make Hollywood Studios a last day park because there is seemingly so little going on there for younger kids. :(

    TL;DR – super disappointed in the Charaterpalooza changes

  81. If WDW Live Shows is so concerned about making a character experience ‘surprising and ‘magical’, then they need to seriously re-evaluate the idea of ‘surprise’ visits from a very large number of characters in 20 minute sets as previously mentioned. Standing in a queue line within a building is in no way, shape or form ‘magical’ or ‘surprising’. It’s best when it’s UNEXPECTED! Varying the locations from great outside backdrops like Echo Lake or directly in front of the Chinese Theater would be perfection. I, do, however, agree 100% that there HAS to be a set time frame at the very least. There has to be a time guideline to better assist with time management. My suggestion would be early evening (5 or 6pm?) ‘or’ 1 set at 4pm and 1 set at 6pm to disperse crowds easier. Also- there *still* have been numerous characters either retired or rare that we have failed to see. Why not bring them out of mothballs this June? Disneyland Paris has the definitive set of character variety. Why haven’t we seen Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Colonel Hathi, Mowgli, Panchito, Jose Carioca, Scat Cat, Orville the Albatross and the Rescuers, Bacchus from “Fantasia”, Roger, Jessica, Eddie & the Weasels from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, etc.

  82. We went on Sat., May 9th and it was very crowded and the cast members were not nearly as friendly as they were when we were there in June. I went back on May 11th and there was nothing. Many people stuck around for 45 minutes, and were very disappointed. Lots of children were teary that their promised surprise wasn’t going to happen. It was really sad.

  83. When I heard about characterpalooza I thought it was too good to be true! When I visited in March my family got to meet every character (so not too crowded). We saw Mary Poppins, genie (so cool), Aladdin and Jasmine, Pinocchio (awesome), snow white and princess Tiana! It was such a memorable experience! I told my sisters about it and they are so excited to bring their families next November! I’d be so sad to see Disney stop this special treat!-Especially since Disney is such a family vacation. Splitting up would defeat the purpose:(. Please Keep Characterpalooza alive and well!!!!! It was such a truly awesome part of our trip!!!! Thank you!

  84. We were heading over to HS next week specifically for Characterpalooza. That was the only reason I was going to brave the SWW crowds that day. Rethinking my plans to save my money and go somewhere else that day. Very disappointing that they would remove this from being in one location to some haphazard chance meeting. Whatever happened to planning things ahead of time? 6 months for dining and 60 days for FP+…to have people scouting around the park, possibly running to find characters, doesn’t seem very safe to me.

    I hope they reconsider and find a way to safely have this in one location.

  85. We visited April 15th! There was jasmine and Aladdin, Mulan, Mary, Pluto, Pocahontas, And tiana. We were supposed to go earlier in the week but due to a dinning conflict we couldn’t. I was devastated, I cried because I was so upset luckily we were able to do it. It was our first time at Disney and I didn’t know when we would be back this was one of the things we were looking most forward too and one of the best parts of our vacation. I’d like to thank Kenny for all the info you helped us with on our vacation wish we could do it again.. I hope it will happen again. If we went all the time if try and find it everyday but for people like my family who don’t have that kind of time it’s frustrating trying to find it and when it will be! Thanks again for everything Kenny :)

  86. Knowing the schedule does not make it any less special or magical. On the contrary…even when I scheduled it into my very thorough plans we had not been able to manage it due to circumstances like weather, transportation, cranky children and Fast Pass conflicts! LOL! When I finally managed to make my first Characterpalooza in February during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I felt like I had just gotten into an exclusive club-we were so excited! As promised, the location, the time and the characters lined up, and we were there to experience it with a select, small group of people also “in the know”. My friend told me it was the highlight of her trip, and it made us both feel like VIPs! Keep it exactly as is! Even if a wider audience is exposed to it, only a small number of devoted people will ever go to those lengths for such a great experience! Thanks Kenny!

  87. This is so sad. Hollywood Studios is my favorite park, but on my next trip I now can’t see our family spending more than a few hours leading up to Fantasmic! there. We never had the chance to hit Characterpalooza and as my son’s current obsession is Pinocchio, we had planned on going a few times this trip to try to get this meet and greet. Now I can’t see why we’d go more than once.

  88. Count me as another disappointed Disney Fan. I was looking forward to checking out Characterpalooza for the first time in Sept/Oct. We usually don’t like to tie up precious park time waiting around for characters & the reviews of Characterpalooza sounded a lot easier to participate in without losing too much of the day. We definitely would never waste the day trying to find out where characters “might” be. Hopefully the move to SoA will be more permanent & offer more space for interaction. I’ll be waiting to hear how Disney works this all out.

  89. This is so disappointing! We did palooza two years ago on Streets of America and it was tons if fun! Last year we did it
    Behind TOT and I liked if even more because if seemed more organized and easier to get to a lot of characters (even saw a certain pirate!) please please don’t take it away! I love that it’s a little “secret” that we get to enjoy together!

  90. We have never gotten to go to Characterpalooza (visiting when Fantasmic was too early, and then on our one chance going right when they moved to ToT and we missed the memo and were at the Streets of America). So I was looking forward to seeing it when we go down in June. Hopefully things straighten out by then.

  91. I think the part that worries Disney is that while you can say “If you get them, great. If you don’t, tough luck. ” Disney is learning that the changing attitude of “guests” is that “tough luck” is only ok if it’s that other family, not “mine”. The attitude of entitlement is becoming the norm at Disney lately, from people complaining because they chose to sit behind a child wearing the light up ears and then when F! starts they complain loudly throughout the show about how the kid’s ears are ruining their view of the show (all the while ruining it for all in earshot with her loud whining)…..to the family that pushes their way through a crowd moments before the parade starts only to shove their kid in front of those who have been waiting patiently for an hour for the parade. If the Character area was getting “dangerous”…it’s probably because the guests have decided that their family should be able to see all the characters with little to no wait and to heck with those other people waiting.

    Perhaps the least “dangerous” and most productive would be to give up on the spontaneous nature of magic and set these characters up in a room with FP access like they’ve done for all their other characters (think EPCOT Character building). I have such wonderful memories (and photos/videos) of meeting various characters just out strolling…..probably the most magical one was when we were in the old Photopass building in MK and ouy from the back strolls Mary and Bert, stopping to greet my girls on their way outside. I finally got smart and pulled out my video camera after a few minutes and recorded almost 11 minutes….so my girls got the magic of probably 15 minutes of private time with these beloved characters. I have great photos of them with so many other characters with park backdrops….something you can only rarely do today.

    But, it’s a new generation of guests so Disney has to adapt. Sadly, I’m not sure the new guests are a positive since it does take away so much of the magic.

  92. I am so disappointed about this. It is one of our most favorite things to do while in the park. This makes me very sad. I feel like we might not ever get to see it again. I have a special needs child and it would be hard to run all over the park just to get a chance to see the palooza! I know that asking a CM will not help either. Most of them can’t give you information on it even before it was in a certain place. This is so sad Disney!!! Come on step it up!!!

  93. We are going to Disney in July and were really excited about this. It is disappointing that Disney is moving this event without announcing the place or time. We have young children, we can not run around to find the right spot at the right time.

  94. This news makes me sad. We are huge fans of Characterpalooza, especially since it’s been by the Tower of Terror exit. I’m not sure why it has been labeled as dangerous, as we thought it was the calmest experience yet, and we were easily able to see every character. I’m hoping that “the powers that be” will come to realize that pop up surprises will cause nothing but angst, and pushing and shoving as people who were unprepared will vie to be first in line. And those who try to be polite will lose out on the experience, which is what often happens to my children with the chaos surrounding the lack of formal lines for Green Army Men. Bring back Characterpalooza! :-)

  95. We are going to be at Hollywood Studios June 4 and were really looking forward to Character Palooza. We are very sad to hear we may miss it or have to spend a lot of time looking for it. Will they possibly post the location and time somewhere on that day?

  96. We got to experience Character Palooza (twice) during our visit in April. It was amazing! After standing in (sometimes very long) lines to meet some of the more popular characters, it was very refreshing to participate in an organized/timed meet & greet with several characters. My girls are 5yo and 7yo and they loved that it felt “special” and they definitely got more quality, one-on-one time at Palooza than anywhere else. It really is too bad that Disney has decided to make this so sporadic. As you mentioned, we have to plan everything else we do at Disney so, why can’t Character Palooza stay scheduled also? I can assure you that, while I will wait in line for characters that we “happen upon” during our next visit, I will not be hunting them down by running all over the park to find them where they may/may not be at all hours of the day. Huge bummer! Thank you for all that you do! I am definitely grateful that you share your information with the rest of us. You certainly made our last trip much easier with Character Locator, Crowd Calendars & Touring Plans. You.Are.Awesome!

  97. This is disappointing. We were hoping to catch a Character Palooza for the first time during our trip this fall. Having FP+ and ADRs reserved so far in advance it would be hard to spontaneously change plans even if one was lucky enough to happen upon an unannounced Character Palooza. Maybe folks could line up like they do for other meet and greets and at a certain point the line is cut off to control the crowds. I’d rather be able to plan to meet rare characters and show up early to stand in line than risk not finding them at all. Or perhaps they could lengthen the duration of the Character Palooza meet so there isn’t a mad rush all at once. Rather than have three separate times, meet once for a longer period of time. I hope we’ll still have the chance to experience Character Palooza in some way this year.

  98. I’m sad to think I may never get to experience Character Palooza. We will only be in WDW for 3 days, one DHS day. So we only have 1 chance. I’m not sure when we will be able to return, I’m sure things will be different by then.

  99. We leave in a few weeks, and this would be our first Character Palooza. This news is very disappointing! There has to be some way to keep it! Whether giving out passes to people and limiting entry. And not even a schedule or locator? Yes, some people like spontaneity in a vacation. Even planning out days, there is plenty of room for random magic to happen. But when you have small children who may just be crazy to meet a certain character or characters, not being able to set aside time and where to be? Bad idea.

  100. We leave for WDW in 2 days. This was going to be our first Characterpalooza experience and was going to be one of the highlights of our trip. I am so saddened to hear about these changes and feel very deflated. I really hope Disney rethinks this and realizes that planning out our schedules is 99.9% of what makes these trips successful. No one has the time or energy to run around the park in hopes of finding this “surprise” character experience. Relying on luck and hoping to be in the right place at the right time adds anxiety and stress that a Disney trip shouldn’t have. That’s why we plan – to avoid all that. Please bring the single location and schedule back!

  101. Disney says that they want Character meetings to be surprising and magical, it is that, just to see a child’s face light up when they see the Characters is magical, please don’t take Character Palooza away!

  102. Same here. I had it on my plans. @Kennythepirate Although you had to be the bearer of bad news, THANK YOU for getting the news out promptly! I will keep my eyes peeled for news on plans for this experience.

  103. I’m so sad to hear about this. During our last trip, we missed it because I was just too exhausted to fight the crowds and needed to go rest in the hotel room. (I have a heart condition, so we plan our trips with a rest period every day after lunch and return that night.) My youngest daughter is 9 and absolutely loves meeting the characters. I had promised her that during our next trip, we would schedule our day at Hollywood Studios around CharacterPalooza.
    I agree that Disney expects us to plan ahead: dining, fast passes, scheduling…so the “random” idea goes against everything they expect. Im all for Disney “magic” but we simply don’t do Disney without a schedule. I’m very disappointed in this decision.

  104. Okay, here is what is “so disappointing” is all of you people who don’t understand what that pop-up set is all about. It is the characters randomly appearing in the park before Fantastmic to share some magic to some unsuspecting guests. The stress that the new Tower gate has provided has been overwhelming to the point that we are closing the gate literally minutes after we let the stampede of people in. When we have crowds of that size, people can get in maybe 2 lines to see characters if they aren’t already immediately full. I’ve seen the comments of “we saw all of them and it wasn’t a crowded day”. That’s great! I’m super happy for you but hey, let’s keep in mind we are also coming into PEAK season this summer. The predictability of the location and set has made people feel entitled to this not changing because they have now planned full days in a park around this?!? This is one of the few things at Disney anymore you can’t “fast pass”, “Magic band” or make a reservation for ahead of time. THAT is where the magic lies, in the spontaneity of what the set is. So, YES, that is why we are no longer abiding by this fixed schedule you all have now planned your lives around. Relax. Breathe.

    1. Seems like a pretty rude comment from someone who makes their living from guests. “You people” attitude is destoying the customer service that made Disney world famous. No one is asking for entitlement, they merely wish to meet some great characters. Disney themselves encourages this “lack of spontaneity” due to all the advance planning they require. I also know it’s referred to as “PM sets” or others have called it “Pop up surprise,” so the email address is another attempt to dig at paying guests.

  105. Very upset over this. I guess running all over Hollywood Studios will turn this half day park into a full day Park? I expected this to happen, like the former commenter, however, I do think that this should have been shared and I’m glad so many people got to experience it while it was around. I’m sad to see this go it was such a wonderful addition to HS.

  106. Kenny, Any chance you will find out the locations ahead of time?
    We are going in November and I had planned to do this but I’m not going to chase it down. I’m not fond of HS anyway, I think there is very little to do over there as it is. I think you are right. Disney can’t make you plan every moment of your vacation 60-180 days ahead and then be upset that there is no spontaneous magic. Seems a better solution would be to add more palooza’s in varied locations.

  107. Kenny~ Is it possible to form some type of system where people in the parks can submit their location/time daily when they find the characters? ….like the lines app does with wait times or something along those lines.

  108. As the parent of an autistic child as well as 3 “neuro typical” children who visits Disney at least twice a year, I have to say that character palooza was an integral part of making our trips a success. I travel alone with my children without any other adult, so it is impossible to “divide and conquer”. Character palooza allowed us to meet many characters, both rare and common that we would not otherwise be able to meet. My son is not capable of waiting in those lines, but very much enjoys the interactions with characters. And my other children don’t feel like they are missing out. The DAS card is very helpful, but doesn’t cover everything. Having an autistic child means that EVERYTHING has to be planned…..Disney? If you’re listening….please put some thought into what I’ve said. xoxo

  109. Loved our first one and had it scheduled into both our days on next visit. I am a planner and don’t have time to be running around guessing where they will be. Can’t they build a meet and greet area that randomly hosts all the rare characters through out the day? Why is it linked to Fantasmic? If it is getting too busy maybe just do weekdays!

  110. What many of you don’t seem to be aware of is that there ARE characters all over every park. There is times and locations printed out for anyone and everyone to see. What makes “character palooza” special is that it is unscheduled and with any number of characters. This was never intended to be like regular character meet and greet locations. It was always meant to be a unique and special experience that surpired guest. To many guests at Disney now expect everything. When it is scheduled it stops being special. Just look at how annoyed everyone is with waiting in the regular meet and greet lines. The same thing will happen if this becomes routine.

  111. This really is to too bad. I am planning a trip and was super excited for this chance to meet characters. This is a once in a very long time trip and really wanted to experience this with my first grand daughter and 4 year old niece. Hoping it gets figured out before our adventure! Thanks to you Kenny for keeping us all in the loop!

  112. Why don’t they build a building or use one that is currently shut down to house characterpalooza? Then everyone can meet in a set location and have it organized a bit more and safe for everyone.

  113. We will be there next week and this was on our list to find. I have not seen this since it moved to the ToT area but I liked it on the SoA. On SoA there is plenty of room to spread the characters out and multiple ways in/out of the area, no bottleneck situation. While I like the Pallooza idea, I would actually be in favor of just spreading rare characters throughout all four parks in random meets. It would make the encounters even more magical when you stumbled upon them. Let some spontenaity remain in a visit, planning is good but too much planning just turns the trip into a job.

  114. hiro and baymax are advertised opportunities for guests. ‘Characterpalooza’ is not even a name of an event affiliated with Disney world. The surprise appearances are magical moments that are not guaranteed and do not have a name, set time, or location.

    1. You are incorrect. Hiro and Baymax are not on the Times Guide, not on the app, not even on the Disney website. They don’t exist.

  115. Seems like suspect logic: We have something there is more demand for than our supply allows… So instead of increasing the supply, we’ll just make the supply more difficult to locate. Yikes.

    As numerous people have written, there is a clear longing for more casual meets like Palooza and opportunities to meet undercirculated characters. The popularity of Palooza is a testament to that. Hopefully, Disney will recognize this and determine a way to meet that demand, instead of trying to avoid it.

    It seems they may be confusing the allure of the surprise aspect of which characters will arrive with the unpublished nature of its previous routine. People didn’t love it because it was randomly located or scheduled, because it was neither. Disney wouldn’t have had crowd issues if that were the case. People loved it because you never knew who you were going to see. If crowd control was truly an issue, address that with location or frequency. But surprise does not equal random in this case.

  116. We had the best time at Characterpalooza when my family was there for the Princess Half marathon weekend. My boys loved having the opportunity to meet so many characters so quickly. It was also nice to know when it would be held, so that we could get there a few minutes early and wait for the gates to open. WIth so few activities left at Hollywood studios, the character meet was one of my boys favorite activities there.

  117. No, there is nothing wrong with this. Not everything has to be set and scheduled every day. If this bothers you, don’t go to Disneyland in California. Characters walk around (gasp!) with no set schedule..and ready for this, no handlers to take pictures! I love this system as you never know who you will run into. It just adds to the fun. Sit back and enjoy your trip. You will love the memories you created when you run into characters while at the parks.

    1. Rudeness isn’t appreciated here. “If this bothers you…” Please try to refrain from making comments toward others and restrict it to the topic.

  118. I absolutely understand that WDW doesn’t want chaos in their parcs. I live in the Netherlands and have an anual pass for Disneyland Paris. All the character meetings in Paris are quite the same as Palooza in your country. Extremely chaotic and yes, dangerous. People are screaming, pushing, yelling and swearing to get their kids close enough to the character, which is horrible to see and even more horrible to be part of.
    Palooza is chaotic, but it’s still organized. I’m visiting WDW this summer and I would love to do some planned Paloozas then!

    1. I visited DLP at Halloween and the Stars and Cars meet was ridiculous and the villains at the Soiree was insane, this event was nothing like those.

  119. I was looking forward to experiencing this with my almost 3-year-old twins next month. They love meeting the characters, and finding rare ones would make it even more special. It’s tough to make everything fit into a busy schedule with toddlers when your dining is reserved 6 months in advance, rides 60 days in advance, and then park hours/planned events like this change at the last minute. I appreciate keeping it as safe as possible, but moving into a larger space and keeping it at the scheduled time would help satisfy everyone. I hope it works for us!

  120. I visit WDW 2-3 times per year from the UK and CP is one of only two reasons why I continue to visit HS. As more and more attractions have been removed I believe this is why more and more people attend CP as there is less for them to do.

    For me I will question costing HS which is good in that it will save me money, I typically shop here (buying a watch every trip), do CP and then one of the fantasmic dine packages – so good re the money but very sad.

    I love WDW but I do believe some of the magic has disappeared of just seeing characters, it being a little more informal and CP still fulfilled this need and want of the magic of the surprise and excitement to see what characters are there.

    A very sad annual pass holder

  121. This is so disheartening to hear. Other than Jedi Training Academy the Character Palooza was the highlight of us going to Hollywood Studios. Incorporating character meets are a tremendous part of our planning, and was truly excited about this experience, especially since there was no longer going to be a Dino Dance Party. I truly am second guessing if we should go to this park now.

    The pictures on your Facebook of families experiences with their smiles, and remarks of gratitude at this event should be all the reason why this should stay and how much this is loved. Spreading out the characters randomly would create Disney magic but what kind of magic would it be by not finding them at all?

  122. Absolutely have loved Character Palooza. Loved it in the Animation Building, on the Streets of America and Tower of Terror back gates. We are big character fans and have made trips for character events (Villains at Hollywood Studios, Long Lost Characters Week, D23 First Anniversary at Disneyland with unique characters, SpringTime Roundup at Disneyland with Rabbit from WInnie the Pooh and Roger Rabbit, Halloween and Christmas Parties). I am surprised there aren’t more roaming rare characters to truly make things magical. I suppose the best to do is spread out if possible to locate them (if the time is known), but getting from TOT to Streets of America before the set is over can be difficult… Hope this changes back, or becomes more “predictable” again. I thank Disney World for doing this offering as it is truly magical, and thank you Kenny for helping introduce us to it and making it accessible (with times and location information). Hope they land on a location that can handle crowds and reestablish some predictability.

  123. I applaud Disney for an attempt at spontaneity, but for many it will be a source of anxiety, disappointment and stress. Many folks go to Disney only once or twice with their children. Trying to see attractions and characters is very hard to do on the average 5-6 night trip (even with Kenny’s awesome new TP.) The great thing about Characterpalooza is that it gives you a good dose of character interaction with waiting forever or spending a good chunk of cash at a character meal. Plus, there isn’t a lot for littles to do at HS. This is taking away a big draw for them.

    This is not a good way to increase the magic. It’s the exact opposite and a true loss. I hope it is rethought.

  124. This is disappointing. We tried to get to Characterpalooza in Sept ’12, but in our HS day, Dosney randomly changed the location from Animation Bldg to Echo Lake, which we didn’t find out until later, the first in a series of location changes. Luckily I hadn’t told the kids, so only DH and I were disappointed for what we had hoped to surprise them with.

    We go again in Sept, and I really hope a set location and schedule is in play again by then. Currently, our day and our FPs are scheduled to get us in the right place and right time for Characterpalooza even though our plan for that day involves more free time than I’d normally plan. If it’s in a random, rotating location that we have to split up to determine or we could miss it all together again, we won’t bother looking. I’ll pull Characterpalooza out of our plan for the day, adjust our schedule, which will make for more efficient touring and less downtime anyways, and we will finish our HS day prior to dinner instead of after dinner as planned.

  125. I absolutely love character palooza. It is one of the few reasons i still go to the stuidos. Its exciting not knowing what you will fimd when you get there. I have met many rare characters there. I have seen that its becoming increasing more popular but its still not as bad as some of the waits for characters in other parks. I enjoy being able to find that many characters in one location.

  126. I am so sad about this. We really enjoy meeting a group of characters in one place and knowing when it will occur. My son is under five and loves characters so we have gone to probably five of these. Its great to meet rare characters. We’ve met bolt, max, meeko, pinnochio, mr smee, captain hook, robin hood, bert, genie, and alot of more common characters. We have attended both at tot and at streets of america.

  127. I have only been to one characterpalooza and it was thanks to your posts Kenny. I loved it. We got to meet the evil queen, gepetto, genie, mulan, jasmine,Tiana and Minnie. I was impressed at the little wait time. That being said since the word is getting around, characterpalooza is loosing it’s magic. If too many people are there then it won’t be the same experience. I don’t mind walking about and finding characters. That’s part of the magic. I think it’s ok they are making changes to it. That will keep it as as a special event.

  128. Kinda not surprised by this decision it was very full in april when we visited lines shut off instantly on one occasion,over the 2 week holiday we visited 3 times and all 3 were the same characters would have loved to see mr smee & Pinocchio

  129. We love Characterpalooza! It’s the only chance to meet some of the rare characters. It’s magical showing up at a given location not knowing which characters may appear. Guessing games trying to find Characters on the other hand are NOT fun. My family made several extra trips to WDW in 2013 when they brought out the rare characters – long lost friends, true love, and fairies. I really wish they would make characters more available.

  130. We Were able to do character palooza for the first time on our vacation last week. My 2 year old son was soooo excited to meet surprise characters and even though we only had time to meet 3 of the 6 he had such a great time and can’t imagine if we didn’t get to do it!

  131. My daughter loves Characterpalooza. For those of us who are yearly visitors, finding something new is exciting. If an event becomes too crowded, find another location. Maybe at Epcot where there r so many empty buildings.

  132. This makes me so sad. We’ve been to this park at least 25 times, were passholders for two years and had NO IDEA that character palooza even existed. I just found out about it last week and we were excited to do it when we go this month.

  133. So sorry to hear this! My DD and I planned a second day at DHS to enjoy Characterpalooza and the animation class. I’m not thinking we’ll stay in the park after the animation class if Characterpalooza isn’t there as we’ll have done most everything else our first day there.

    Disappointing news for sure!

  134. I’m a huge Character Palooza fan. In January 2015, we went to DHS on 3 different days. The Palooza crowd then was minimal. In fact, we were able to meet all of the characters before the Palooza ended.

    We’re going back in June 2015. I plan on being in DHS on 4 different days. For 2 of those days, the sole reason we are going to DHS is because of Character Palooza. If the Palooza is less predictable, then I will probably spend those 2 days in a different park. (I’ve already planned FP+ around Character Palooza, so I’d have to redo that.) It’s just my son and I, so we can’t split up. And, I try to plan attractions in conjunction with Palooza so I’m not criss-crossing the park constantly.

    I’m a huge Palooza fan and go out of my way to experience it as often as possible. I hope Disney maintains a Palooza schedule that the guests can rely on.

  135. We love character palooza it’s the highlight of any trip to Hollywood Studios. We enjoyed meeting with the characters on Streets of America. We have seen so many but would still love to find Robin Hood, Chicken Little and Bowler Hat guy. We get jealous of all the characters photos my friends in CA share on their trips to Disneyland.

  136. I was just there in March and did not feel characterpalooza was over crowded or dangerous. In fact my 3 year old still talks about getting to go behind the special gates. I hope it stays there!

  137. I’m sad to hear that Characterpooloza will no longer appear at scheduled times. We finally have a 2 week vacation at WDW scheduled where we can take our time and really enjoy everything that every park has to offer. This was going to be our first time experiencing Characterpooloza with our 4 year old daughter. We had even scheduled an entire evening around it – down to FP’s and dining reservations. I had really hoped to finally be able to do this activity and see my daughter’s face as she met characters that in her 9 other WDW trips she has been unable to meet!

  138. Characterpalooza is one of my favorite interactions at Walt Disney World. Back when it was in the animation building, my kids spent two whole rotations there with the characters, not caring a bit about the park outside. They had so much fun playing with the characters and collecting their autographs that it made their day.

    Seeing the characters out and about is part of the Disney experience. There has to be a better way to continue this experience with the magic it provides without making the characters play hide and seek with guests. It truly is one of the most genuine opportunities for guests to meet characters out in the open and I hope it stays as it has been.

  139. I am so disappointed about this news! We are Annual Passholders this year and I was hoping to take my daughter to see lots of rare characters by doing Characterpalooza several times. She loves characters! And, we’ve never been able to make it to one of these meets. I think they should spread it out more and maybe even do one of these in another park. Future World in EPCOT could use some love!! I am really hoping we can meet Robin Hood, Rabbit, Meeko or some other rare characters! Thank you for keeping us informed, Kenny!!

  140. I’m disappointed that this has changed for the worse. I’ve known about Character Palooza for some time, but have previously visited during the winter season when it’s not been available. I was really looking forward to finally getting to experience this unique experience in October.

  141. Very Disappointing, although I agree slightly that it can become a bit of a ‘push and shove’ with certain people, some adults actually racing to their favourite characters , the whole experience itself is brilliant and would be a massive shame to remove it,
    In fact more opportunities in other parks would perhaps disperse the popularity slightly therefore relieving pressure off Hollywood studios ! Very disappointed and just grateful my nieces and nephews got to experience this even if it is sadly only the one time !

  142. When we visited the last week in April, we went at the different times that you had mentioned, and no such luck :( Hoping the next time we go, they have it back :)

  143. Was really hoping to check this out in November, (it’s one of the few things we have never experienced). If it changes we won’t be seeing it again. It’s not exactly easy to drag an 18 month old and 5 year old on a hunt around the park to find the location of the day :(

  144. So sad to hear this, we are on our next trip from the UK in August & was so looking forward to characterpalooza – we have even arranged our dining reservations around it time-wise. Very disappointed indeed. Please bring it back, even if it is changed to a new location that will take a while for the secret to leak out about!

  145. This is really upsetting to me. We only planned 2 park days for our next trip. Hollywood Studios was a must for our kids as they work to complete a 3 year in progress autograph book. I really don’t want to have to spread out and run around the park.

  146. When you take an event that was never meant to be blasted to everyone and then blast that information to the Internet, it’s going to attract more crowds than it was ever meant to attract. Which means that inevitably, that event will have to change because of the popularity. The over-crowding in that little section is a valid concern- when we were there in March, it wasn’t completely full but there were enough people that it was a little concerning to allow my daughter to not have to hold my hand the whole time just so I didn’t lose her. That’s not a large street section, and once you put a lot of people in there it would be easy to lose your kid for a moment. While I don’t love the change, I also see it as something that was bound to happen since so many people now know about the event. Sometimes, when you discover something great and amazing, it’s best to not tell the whole world because of you tell people, they will come.

    I’m a photographer, and photographers are known to keep our best portrait places around town a secret. Why? Because if you tell other photographers, they’ll start shooting there too and eventually it becomes crowded and over-used, rendering it useless to you again. It’s the same mentality with this.

    1. I’ve told people for over 2 years. And the logic is a bit difficult to me. Don’t tell people when something great is going on? I should remove information on Hiro and Baymax, Tremaines and such too?

  147. What a sad thing to hear that Character Palooza will be changed. We were there two weeks ago and never had to wait for more than one person ahead of us in line for the characters (except for Pocahontas, she had three or four in line). Families with young children will have difficulty spreading out around the park trying to find a needle in a haystack so to speak. We only do WDW every few years and this was an AWESOME way to meet some of the characters we had never met before.

  148. I am so heart broken. Characterpoolza is one of my favorite things about visiting Walt Disney World. I have been going to the parks for 23 years and have seen and done it all but discovering Characterpoolza was the most exciting thingsin a long time. My family had stopped visiting Hollywood Studios because we were bored and felt there wasn’t much to do but since I heard about Characterpoolza we have not missed it. We even plan our whole day around it. Character hunting is a HUGE passion of mine. I have a Tshirt that I’ve been gathering signatures on for 5 years and have over a hundred characters. What was so fantastic about Characterpoolza is that I was able to get rare character signatures they were just not possible ANYWHERE else in the park. I still have characters I am missing in my collection and every palooza I’ve crossed off a few more. Please please please bring back scheduled Characterpoolza. We are not the type of family to run all over the park looking for characters. My parents are not able to do that anymore due to physical limitations. Having a known place and time allows us all to share in this magical experience. Please don’t take it away from us!!!!!!

  149. Wow. Very upsetting. As a Disney World Annual Passholder, I have come to realize that spontaneity is a no no to Disney. Having a pass meant I could go jump on rides, see characters. But everything has to be planned to a T! Dining, rides, its ridiculous at times. So, i am very shocked that they are doing this. They could make life better by just moving it to a bigger location or hey maybe offer more characters more often. People clamor at these types of things because it isn’t offered. The masses want to see more characters. I remember going to Disneyland as a kid. There were characters everywhere. Beast roaming around with Belle, Friar Tuck hanging out by the castle, and The Hatter sitting by the tea cups. Disappointing this is happening. Really disappointing.

  150. Character palooza is one of our favorite things when visiting Disney. We are able to go often as we live a few hours away. Please don’t take this away. My daughter is 4 and she knows when we go to the gate, as we have been for a year or so, that there are mystery characters waiting for us. It is so much fun! We have met one Tiana so many times that she recognizes us. We wouldn’t be able to run all over ever time to find the characters so this change makes me sad. It is also why we have never seen the character trainings at Epcot–we can’t just wait or guess on the times. Maybe change something to accommodate the growing crowds, but don’t change it to where’s Waldo. I think mad dashes will be more crazy than any lines at the current location. Please reconsider.

  151. Kenny, Maybe we just happened upon a slow day, but we hit the second Characterpalooza on our last trip and found the crowd low and manageable (mid December 2014) We weren’t there right when characters came out so we missed one of them, but we found this to be such a great way to see some neat characters with low stress. The guests seemed orderly and I saw the palooza really benefitting guests with younger kids. We have been to Disney every year for four years with our kids (we buy 5 – 9 day tickets!) and only two things have bothered me – and one is how Disney has made many beloved characters elusive or difficult to meet. I like the idea of chance character run ins – we’ve had a few fun ones and boy it is magical – but this is so random and won’t help most guests. And many families aren’t like us returning so often. Many families will get to go to Disney once. Those of us who are true blue Disney geeks love seeing rare characters and look forward to planning that into a day of rides, food and shows. We plan to visit again this fall. It may seem silly but the magic of Disney is so interwoven into my childhood that I get nostalgic meeting a rare character and love sharing the classic films with my kids. I saw that Animal Kingdom is stopping their afternoon dance party. We learned about that From your locater Kenny. While characters didn’t stop and pose, my kids had so much fun dancing with the characters – they even made a friend and rode rides in Dinoland with her! I hope Disney won’t take away character palooza. Please give the people what they want – the opportunity to meet our beloved and rare characters.

  152. My first Character Palooza last week. The first set was a little crowded. The second set only had about 20 guest. Both were behind gates at ToT.

  153. Crowding? My family was just there 4/21 – 4/28 and we attended a 510pm character palooza and felt it was less crowded than when it was on Streets of America. This is such a unique thing and I wish that disney would keep it the way it was.

  154. It’s disappointing that they’ve had to shift the Character Palooza schedule to disperse some of the crowds. I noticed last time we went that there were a LOT of people waiting, and I’m sure it disrupted the exit to ToT.

    I agree with you, I think it should be put on SoA! There’s so much space there to spread the characters out to prevent it from becoming “dangerous” and maybe even stretch the time that the characters are out so more people can see them and it won’t feel so rushed and hectic.

    I have to disagree on your idea to have families spread out to keep their eye out for Character Palooza. I understand that’s definitely what it would come down to, but it’s not very Disney-esque, making a family separate for the chance to take photos with beloved characters. And what happens if the Cast Members block off the meet before the whole family can gather back together?

    If anything, I think the popularity of Character Palooza should show the higher-ups just how popular unique character meets are and convince them to have a variety of characters out regularly! One of the disappointing things about WDW nowadays (as opposed to the 90s and early 00s) is that there are several meet-and-greets, but many of them are the same characters, just at different parks. I just wish things like “Long Lost Friends” week were a more common occurrence, not something Disney pulls out once in a while. I truly thought after the success of those weeks at DL and WDW that the company would see how many people want to meet more characters and changes would be implemented.

    Overall, I think it would be best if Character Palooza were made a permanent fixture on SoA, set between specific times for as many people as possible to enjoy. I know it’s easier said than done, but if anyone can do it, Disney can!

  155. We waited outside TOT last week during our trip. After 30 minutes past the time they would normally come out a Disney guy in slacks & a dress shirt said there would be no characters coming out that day. I know it doesn’t happen everyday, but we were disappointed. The weather was gorgeous, and there was not a large or unsafe crowd. I would say less than 30 people were sitting on the walls, ground, and benches around the gate. Wouldn’t it be more unsafe for a mad rush of people to head to an open area that they show up at random in? I feel like that could get dangerous. The spot outside of TOT was out of the way and had enough space that seemed to work.

  156. Wow! Just wow. What a bummer. We love Character Palooza and distraught over the thought of trying to find rare characters like a really bad 1990’s rave.

  157. Whatever Disney decides I hope they keep the character palooka around because it is special thing like this that keep us coming back or in the park longer even while renovations are ongoing. I just heard of this and was looking forward to taking part in the character chase next May when we arrive.

  158. We were at HS on Sunday, 4/30/15 and missed Character Palooza by minutes. We were on a ride. This was my daughter’s first visit and we just said ok, next time. I think it will be better if they made it a suprise showing(s) each day at various locations. This will keep people coming. I’m sure looking forward to our next visit and scouting for Character Palooza!!

  159. This makes me very sad. Expected does not mean it’s not magical. What’s not magical is running two kids from one end of the park to another TRYING to find new and exciting characters for them to meet and the dealing with the disappointment of missing it. We are passholders so we are blessed to be able to go regularly. We’ve made one character palooza just recently and my kids both said it’s the most fun thing at Disney. Period. They’ve even asked if we can leave whatever park we are at to hop over to Hollywood Studios every time we go so we can try to meet more characters. They are going to be very bummed that it won’t work like that.

  160. This is some of the most disappointing news to come out in a long time. As a huge fan of finding character around the parks, this was a WONDERFUL opportunity to meet a great variety of characters. Some of the most memorable character experiences from our last trip in August was because of Characterpalooza. Meeting characters are and always have been part of the magic. Our last Characterpalooza had the Evil Queen, Lilo, Stitch, Green Army Man, Jasmine, Max, Pinocchio, & Mr. Smee. My kids will be so disappointed to hear this news.

  161. I’m so sad to hear about this! Thanks to you my daughter and I had a wonderful experience, meeting some great characters last October. I will be taking my special needs son on a trip this summer, and was really looking forward to Character Palooza, because we are unable to wait in long lines. This would have been the perfect opportunity for him to be able to still meet characters. I’m so sad!!! :(

  162. Pleashe don’t do this! We missed characterpalooza on our last trip and is what I’m looking forward to the most on our next trip in June. We won’t have the option to split up and scout for it especially since it’s a family vacation and we want to keep our family together. Besides, what isn’t crowded at WDW? Please don’t make this change.

  163. When do you think this will start happening? I was really looking forward to this for our trip next week :(

  164. They recently removed many of the tables around Echo Lake. Could this be a potential area for them to appear?

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