Disneyland Paris fans awoke this morning to the sight of a debut of a meet and greet with Judy and Nick from Zootropolis. I like many got very excited at the prospect to meet my new favourite characters, but alas, it was not to be.
This was actually a private event, where someone paid probably thousands of pounds to meet their favourite characters, whilst making other Disneyland Paris fans upset and disheartened that they will never be able to meet their favourite characters. This is not the first time this has happened, as Big Hero 6 characters were available for a meet and greet during a special event, where many of the public were unable to attend. They have never since been out in Disneyland Paris. Even though money is what makes the company and the park afloat, it is starting to get a bit ridiculous.
Ever since I first visited the parks in 1995, I have grown up knowing that Disneyland Paris is always ‘worse off’ than its American counter parts. There has always been a lack of new characters, or any characters for that matter in the parks and hotels. I have also noticed that over the years there has be an abundance of the same characters, mainly Pinocchio and the mice from Cinderella. However, characters that used to be available to meet on many occasions, such as Max and Friar Tuck are nowhere to be seen anymore. I realise that different characters are available during the parades and in shows, but this is not the same as being able to interact with them and get a photo with them. With the popularity of meet and greets ever increasing something needs to be done about this problem.
Recently, Disneyland Paris has tried to tackle this and brought in more meet and greet points, with different characters. My only issue with this is once the refurbishments are completed, I have a feeling that these will not stay around for long.
Disneyland Paris also introduced Anna and Elsa into the parks for a meet and greet, but this was only for one season. The highly popular sisters currently do not have their own meet and greet throughout the year (they are not even in the Princess Pavilion), despite being immensely popular, and the great success it brought during Frozen Summer Fun. This in my opinion needs to be changed. The introduction of the lucrative Frozen Sisters throughout the year would increase visitor numbers and give regular visitors a reason to go back.
Disneyland Paris are also missing opportunities. With the newest attraction, Ratatouille: The adventure still being highly popular, a meet and greet would be perfect there. It would be very easily done, with characters such as Remy, Emile and Linguini already readily available I do not understand why they are not bringing them out on a greater occasion. There are also missed opportunities as there is a readily available ‘Monsters Inc. Scream Academy’ photo location. In all my years of visiting the Walt Disney Studios, I have never once had the opportunity to meet Sulley. Recently, he has been appearing on more occasions, but once again I wonder if that will end once the refurbishments are completed.
The emergence of characters such as Merida and Tiana have been very much welcomed. Even though these films are the relatively recent with Brave being released in 2012, and Princess and the Frog being released in 2009! These are still not up to Disneyland Paris’ previous standard. As both Chicken Little (2005) and Lilo and Stitch (2002) both had characters that you could meet, as soon as, if not before the films were released. However, I have not been able to see and meet these characters on a regular basis since – which is such a huge disappointment. It does make me wonder what actually happens to all of these characters from the past, and why have them in ‘retirement’ when guests are eager to meet their favourite characters.
Even though there have been specific places built to be meet and greet locations (Princess Pavilion and Meet Mickey Mouse), I do find them restrictive. Yes everyone will love to have a photo with the mouse himself, but not everyone will want to queue up for a long time in the hope to get their favourite princess. These are both brilliant ideas, but changes needed to be carried out to ensure that all guests can meet at least one of their favourite characters. As the average guest will always be unable to pay the extortionate amount to meet “NEW” and sometimes old ‘rare’ characters, we are relying on Disneyland Paris to bring them to us!
Overall, today I am sad to say it but I am really disappointed with Disneyland Paris. I really hope that they realise that the average guests wants to meet newer characters, and will provide us with the opportunity to do so.
What do you think about the meet and greet / character situation at Disneyland Paris. Let me know! Leave a comment below or send us a message on Twitter at @ejh92x
SEE YA LATER ALLIGATORS!
(Images are not my own and have been found from Google – Credit goes to original source).