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Disney Characters Discuss Roaming Charges: Disney Denies Plan to Clamp Down on Characters in the Miscellaneous Disney forums; This is from MousePlanet. In the beginning of the article is a link to the previous story when rumors were surfacing. Roaming Charges: Disney Denies Plan to Clamp Down on ...
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    Roaming Charges: Disney Denies Plan to Clamp Down on Characters

    This is from MousePlanet. In the beginning of the article is a link to the previous story when rumors were surfacing.

    Roaming Charges: Disney Denies Plan to Clamp Down on Characters

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011
    David Koenig, staff writer, (Send an email)


    My report last week (link) that Disneyland, in an effort to increase PhotoPass sales, was considering a ban on "atmosphere characters" has outraged theme park watchers—including the executives at Team Disney Anaheim.





    Park management claims that it has no plans to prevent certain characters from roaming in their general areas, and that a recent move to tying more and more of them into scheduled meet-and-greets has been in response to feedback from guests who want to find characters more reliably.
    My sources—multiple cast members working in and with the character department—stand by their contention that management has presented a plan to eliminate roaming in the coming months.
    So, my thanks to everyone who contacted Disney over the past week. Evidently, the message has gone viral, and the park has been swamped with complaints. Even famed blogger Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News (link) has joined in.
    With Disney's statement, we can consider mission accomplished, at least for now. The company has officially gone on record as vowing that roaming characters will remain. We will hold them to their word.
    Here's some of the reaction from MousePlanet readers. Disney can expect a far heavier onslaught should they fully implement this ridiculous plan:


    Ken copied us on his e-mail to Disney:
    Subject: Character Lockdown/PhotoPass Grinches
    To whom it may concern,
    Please reconsider the policy of locking down characters to PhotoPass locations in order to simply maximize profit. The loss of more spontaneous experiences, like riding an attraction with a character, is detrimental to magic in the parks. Admittedly, these experiences are like winning the lottery—not many get to experience them, and luck plays a chief role on whether or not they happen to us.
    But it must be pointed out that park marketing materials (videos, photographs) still trade heavily on the idea of children being surprised and hugged by their favorite characters. If this "PhotoPass locations only" policy persists, these clips and photos will be a flat lie.
    Disney has always flirted with the edge, balancing delightful, surprising, no-extra-charge magic for guests and gate-keeping/stage-managing/extra-costing everything to death for maximum profit-per-square-millimeter in the parks. This policy crosses the line, and please don't insult us by giving us some scripted line about the fact that PhotoPass photographers are able to use my camera to "make magical moments for free." This isn't a misunderstanding over what costs and what doesn't; it's about an erosion of show quality. Spontaneous character interactions, while rare, are especially memorable and irreplaceable with stage-managed "celebrity appearances" at designated locations where we line up like cattle for meaningless, magic-lite moments with characters. The idea that my little girls will never get to ride the Carrousel with Mary Poppins or the Teacups with Alice makes me very sad indeed, particularly in light of the fact that Disney promotional materials will surely continue to "promise" this as a possibility.
    My wife and I were in California Adventure a couple of years ago, and I was clowning around with a door graphic on a construction wall in front of the Monsters, Inc. attraction, pretending to try and open the "door" for my wife's camera. Nearby, Frozone was out walking the park. Apparently he spotted us from a couple dozen yards away, and ran over to us, even leaving his "assistant" behind for a moment. We had a completely spontaneous, unscripted, un-stage-managed interaction with this excellent cast member. We snapped a photo, of course, but it wasn't about the photo. I'll go to my grave remembering that Frozone (who isn't even among my most favorite characters) spotted us and came to make a moment with us. I'm a rational adult who is fully aware that the person inside the Frozone costume was just a very fit teen/20-something individual working for a few dollars an hour, but he threw himself into that low-paying position with alacrity that would have pleased Walt Disney. That's the kind of magic only Disney has ever bothered to try and create. Don't destroy it by confining characters to designated meet-and-greet locations where the quality of interaction moves from truly magical to mundane.
    On the other hand, if you were to invest in and implement "interactive Mickey" on a permanent basis and expand that technology to all the other furry characters at designated locations, you'd have improved the experience of meeting the "rubberhead" characters immensely. Here's the only instance where a locked-down interaction would actually be a major bonus rather than a bummer. That technology more than lives up to the high standard of magic for which Disney is justifiably renowned. Adults and children alike are completely drawn in and awestruck by that excellent idea. (And then let the face characters continue to roam and interact freely.)

    Comments:

    http://www.mouseplanet.com/9518/Roam..._on_Characters
    Last edited by HauntedGabe; 01-25-2011 at 08:10 PM.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

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    Re: Roaming Charges: Disney Denies Plan to Clamp Down on Characters

    Well this explains the Disney Blog this morning.

    Next Family Fun Weekend: Character Fan Days, Jan. 28-30
    Posted: 24 Jan 2011 10:00 AM PST
    Like so many of us, I grew up with the lore of Disney characters. Their stories are magic in our memories. The very sight of them can make us grin or giggle or hum a happy tune (think “Heigh-ho” and marching dwarfs).

    We’re so excited to present some rarely seen Disney characters at Disneyland park this weekend! The lineup – selected by our fans – includes the Seven Dwarfs.
    For the first time ever, we asked our fans which rarely seen Disney characters they would most like to see at Disneyland park. We received more than 49,000 votes in a poll on the Disneyland Facebook page, and those votes inspired our entertainment team to create a wonderful, family event called Character Fan Days.
    You can join in the fun this weekend. Character Fan Days will run this Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Festival Arena, near Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue restaurant.
    Think of it like a Disney character reunion, with Disney characters making splashy arrivals on stage at half-hour intervals throughout the day. You will enjoy music, dancing, and a chance to meet and pose with the characters at five photo locations. All of the characters who were selected will appear each day, rotating in and out. Along with the Seven Dwarfs, here are the characters scheduled to appear:
    • Captain Hook, Wendy and Mr. Smee from “Peter Pan
    • Donald Duck and Daisy Duck
    • Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar
    • Esmeralda and Clopin from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • King Louie and Baloo from “Jungle Book

    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Roaming Charges: Disney Denies Plan to Clamp Down on Characters

    I still saw characters roaming thier respective areas at DCA last year. It seemed that when the park was more crowded, they headed straight to their phot op areas, but when hte area was not as crowded, they came right up to us as they roamed around.

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