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Disney Parks gain queues for characters; Disney Hotels to lose them altogether?

Tuesday, 18th February 2014 at 18:54

Disneyland Paris Disney Hotels characters - Minnie Mouse © PhotosMagiques

Here’s a double Disney Character update with both good and possibly not-so-good news, depending on your view. First, the unconfirmed rumour that from November 2014 character meet ‘n’ greet locations will be removed from Disney Hotels.

This information seems to have first appeared in a tweet by @DisneyCharPhot on 10th November, then reiterated without a date by @DisneyMoi the next day, followed by a more precise date of 3rd November by @DLRPWonders just a minute later.

Rumour has it that as from early November characters will no longer visit the hotellobbies at DLP pic.twitter.com/MPDOQBE37i
— Disneycharacter Phot (@DisneyCharPhot) February 10, 2014

Starting sometime this year, characters will no longer be appearing at the Disney Hotels at #DisneylandParis!
— Disney-Me (@DisneyMoi) February 11, 2014

Starting November 3th 2014, characters will no longer be appearing at the Disney Hotels at Disneyland Paris!
— DLRP Wonders (@DLRPWonders) February 11, 2014

Obviously we must still treat this as a rumour, since Disneyland Paris has made no comment, but given the number of supporting claims and the fact that the Entertainment department is usually about as watertight as a pair of Captain Hook’s tights when it comes to revealing information, it’s quite hard to dismiss.

Note that the rumours state character dining such as the popular Inventions buffet at Disneyland Hotel would continue, and that it is only the character locations in the open lobby areas of each Disney Hotel which would not longer be used.

Why would Disneyland Paris do such a thing? Isn’t being able to meet Mickey in your hotel lobby a real benefit of staying in those hotels? First, it might not be common knowledge that Disneyland Paris is something of an anomaly with having Disney characters in its hotels. Other Disney resorts around the world are more reserved: characters only appear at their hotels, if at all, in restaurants and dining events, with the only similar exception we can find being California’s Disneyland Hotel, which advertises occasional characters in the lobby.

Goofy - Disneyland Paris - Disney's Hotel New York © PhotosMagiquesMinnie Mouse - Disneyland Paris - Disney's Sequoia Lodge © PhotosMagiques

There’s another side to the story that’s more surprising, though, as apparently it has become a genuine issue that some non-paying visitors and locals walk through the resort and around its hotels, meeting the characters without paying a cent. With that in mind, it’s probably a good decision to reserve the characters to places where only paying guests can meet them.

The story might have a silver lining, too, as Poppy the Monkey on magicforum suggests character numbers will simply be displaced from the hotels to Disneyland Park Extra Magic Hours:

“Hotel Guests are not going to lose out too much, ALL the Characters you could of met in your hotel will now be ready to welcome you exclusively in the Disneyland Park during the Extra Magic Hours.  So instead of just having 2 or 3 Characters to meet in your lobby in the morning, you will most likely be able to meet alot more throughout the park – imagine all the Characters usually hanging out at the 6 hotels (Disneyland Hotel will not be affected) will now converge on the park to prepare for the day, before all the regular Guests even arrive.”
Poppy the Monkey, magicforum

And it’s in the parks that we find our really good news.

Since the start of this year, the Entertainment department has been trialling organised queues for characters. No more pushing, shoving or mobbing: guests are simply organised into a proper line and asked to wait their turn. And it appears to be working.

Disneyland Paris queue for characters © InsideDLParis

Just this morning, @DisneylandPfans captured a queue of visitors waiting patiently to meet Goofy on Main Street, PixieDust.be reported it working well in their latest update, while InsideDLParis has shared snaps (above) of numerous working queues since this initiative began in early January.

It’s fair to say that if you skimmed any number of Disneyland Paris reviews, especially those comparing with other resorts, the disorderly character appearances would always be consistently mentioned. Could it finally be a thing of the past?

This is without doubt one of the most welcome recent developments for the parks. And such a minor change: an extra character minder here, a polite “please join the queue!” there. If only park managers could continue through the whole experience of being in the parks with the same fine tooth comb and fix a few other similar niggles for us…

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  • Im a bit confused. Are characters being removed from The Disneyland Hotel or just the other 6 hotels?

    • “it is only the character locations in the open lobby areas of each Disney Hotel which would not longer be used”

      All characters except for the Inventions buffet and Castle Club at Disneyland Hotel, apparently. Not sure about breakfast appearances, Golden Forest Club etc just yet.

  • It’s a bit unfair removing them from everywhere but the Disney Hotel as not all of us are millionaires and can afford to stay there lol. But I AM pleased about the queuing to meet the Characters in the park as when we last went in March 2013 it was a mess; mainly with me getting rather vocal due to ADULTS pushing in front of my CHILD (seriously guys, the character meets are for children!!). So the queuing idea is a very welcome one. I think the best way to do it is the way you meet Pooh Bear. You join the queue and it’s roped off so you have to stay in line and wait your turn. Yes you have to wait longer than you do than a ride queue but it’s calm and the look on your child’s face is worth it.

    • @Dannii: I resent the comment that character meets are just for children, if that was the case why go to Disney at all, I might as well go up the road to Thorpe Park. I pay for my ticket and as an adult have every right to meet characters too :(

      I’m also a dedicated DLP fan, annual passport holder and regular visitor who spends a lot of money on those trips and I know I’m not the only adult who travels without children!

      As for the change to hotels, it’s a shame but I also think it’s wrong that people do the rounds and freeload so I can see the sense. I just hope the characters are still included for the golden forest rooms, it’s a real draw!

  • @Dannii I highly disagree with your opinion that the character meets are just for children because that is incorrect.
    Walt made Disneyland for the child within everyone and everyone should have the opportunity to meet characters adult and child alike. We all pay for a ticket to get the Disneyland experience and meeting our favourite characters is part of that.

    Sorry for the rant but I get really annoyed that people think meeting characters is just for children because it isn’t. It’s one of my favourite things to do in the park and I’m an adult.

  • Character Meets are certainly not just for children. I like to get clear photos of Characters, and this was impossible for me as an adult on my own without a proper queue line, unless I asked the CM with the Character to help. The new queue system for all is so much better.

    I asked in Sequoia Lodge and the New York about Characters no longer being there for M&G from November, when I was there last week. They confirmed this is true. I was also told they would no longer be in Empire State breakfast either, so possibly not in Golden Forest Club. Sequoia Lodge were not sure about that yet.

    In the early years we had plenty of Characters in the hotels during the day, and also in the park all day, wearing themed outfits according to their location. Such a pity this changed.

  • Wow seems like I touched a nerve there. Did you not read the bit before that, the bit where I said ADULTS were PUSHING children out of the way to meet a person in a costume! I too am a life long Disney fan, but not everyone can afford an annual tickets or numerous visits. Some people (and I’m not just speaking personally here) save for months or years to take their children to a magical place

  • (Sorry on a phone and pressed send doh)
    As I was saying, some people save for months or years to be able to take their children to a magical place like Disney Land (some people like myself have also been whilst childless, but didn’t feel the need to push in front of children just to get a photo that is readily available online should it be needed!). I was just making my point that a queuing system was a great idea as who wants their child pushed around by adults who should know BETTER. A child’s first visit to Disney should be tear free and a holiday to remember. NOT memories like my child has of “remember that man pushed me out of the way of Minnie Mouse so I didn’t get her autograph” and “that womans bag hit my head as she reached her book over me and you told her off mummy”. THOSE are NOT magical memories!!! As long as the queues be managed properly I think it’s a brilliant idea. We queued to meet Pooh Bear and although we seemed to wait forever, it was hassle (and tear) free and had a lovely amount of time to take numerous pictures and for my child to get that all important signature. The Mickey Cafe was also a great place to spend some time with the characters where their minders were brilliant at telling others to wait their turn.
    Anyway I’ve rambled on enough about how I think a queue is a good idea ;-)

  • These changes are the best news in years. Seeing charactors in the parks is always on the top of our list for the day but always ends in disappointment when you get an elbow in the face. Plus possible extra charactor meet and greets in EMH sounds amazing. The queues during the day are a nightmare with young children. The only down side is, we go in October, before all the changes are put in place. We are staying in the DLH, and no you dont need to be a millionare. Just lots of overtime and determination is all you need! :)

  • It’s true that queuing for characters is much more civilised… but not when children are expected to wait in a THREE HOUR queue to meet one character! We have just returned from DLP and our autograph books are almost empty. My girls were so excited to meet Rapunzel until they were told they would have to queue for a third of their day to do so. Disneyland should be a magical experience for children and I just don’t feel that they have the kids’ best interests at heart. Half an hour queue is acceptable – three hours? Taking the mickey (excuse the pun!). What would it take to dot a lot more characters around the park – with queues of course – to relieve the frustrating congestion. Come on Disneyland – you take our money readily but don’t offer much in return. Keep our kids happy – it’s the reason we are there in the first place!

  • Yesterday we were in the Magic Kingdom and my grandchildren were in a line for over an hour for photos with Baymax and Hero. They got to the front of the line and then the characters went off to lunch for an hour. My son was told that he could either wait there in the line with his young children and be first in line when the characters came back or go away and rejoin a new line for whatever time .how fair is that?.
    They should have stopped the line an hour before if the characters were going away. Not very well organised in the respect. Why couldn’t they hand out numbered tickets to those waiting so they also could go away and have lunch and come back and not have to re wait another long length of time.

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