So just a few days ago the news broke that from November of this year there would be no more character meet and greets in hotels in Disneyland Paris. Much speculation and discussion ensued, and I even theorised that maybe this would mean the characters could be used in a new show. We now know, and thanks to DLRPToday and Salon Mickey for picking up on this, that the characters will be relocated to Disneyland Park during Extra Magic Hours. That means people who stay in on site hotels or those have Annual Passports will be able to meet the characters before the general public are let into the Parks.
This will not apparently affect the character meals in Inventions, and there will be a new character experience for guests who stay in Disneyland Hotel’s Castle Club. None of the official sources have mentioned The Descent of the Stairs in Disneyland Hotel, though rumours are circulating that this will end too, but they are just rumours at this point.
This means someone who turns up to the resort before Park opening will not now be able to wonder into hotels and benefit from the meet and greet experiences. It will now be a privileged experience for those staying on site and who have Annual Passports, which seems reasonable – you don’t pay you don’t play! From a purely selfish viewpoint, it will hopefully mean people will rush to Disneyland Park leaving breakfast in the likes of Hotel Cheyenne and Hotel Santa Fe a more civilised affair. It will also mean less people going on the rides during Extra Magic Hours, and as few are open at that time, that’s another huge bonus for non-character hunters. Seems like it’s a win win for those who like and those who are not bothered by meeting characters.
I honestly don’t see a downside to this. Yes, it’s nice to see characters in hotels, but this way fewer people will be queuing to meet them and the breakfast experience should be improved. I’d actually prefer a photo with a character with the amazing Sleeping Beauty’s Castle as the backdrop, rather than a painted wooden scene in a hotel with low lighting. What I do think is that Disneyland Paris could have communicated this to the public in a positive manner, before the news leaked out bit by bit, causing the initial negative backlash. Maybe that was their plan, in which case the succession of leaked news that seems to be coming from Disneyland Paris needs to be clamped down on, as the flow of part or misinformation is very confusing.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone who doesn’t see this as a positive step forward, as I can’t find anything in this other than a better situation for everyone involved.