Rare Characters at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Several new character meet & greets and distanced encounters are arriving at Disney’s Hollywood Studios throughout February 2023, some for a limited time and others on a permanent basis. This post takes a look at the regular and rare characters at DHS, plus our commentary about what else this park needs on the entertainment front.
Let’s start at the front of the park, where Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl are now appearing next to Echo Lake across from Hollywood & Vine. This dynamic duo is currently making meet & greet appearances at 10:30 am, 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 12:00 pm, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 5 pm.
Along with them, Edna Mode and Frozone appear as a distanced character sighting in a rotation on the patch of grass at the end of Hollywood Boulevard (near Echo Lake and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in the center of the park). All of the characters from The Incredibles are appearing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a permanent basis.
Over at the main entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on Grand Avenue, you’ll find Goofy and Max Goof meet & greets. Goofy is dressed in his vacation attire previously seen during his Tower of Terror distanced sighting, while Max Goof is cosplaying as Powerline from A Goofy Movie!
Max Goof previously appeared as Powerline during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and made an appearance as the character this month during DVC’s Moonlight Magic event (our photo below is from that). Prior to that, Max Goof appeared as himself in a distanced sighting in Echo Lake.
Goofy and Max will appear on Grand Avenue near the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge entrance at 10:45 am, 11:15 am, 11:45 am, 12:15 pm, 12:45 pm, 2:15 pm, 2:45 pm, 3:15 pm, 3:45 pm, 4:15 pm, and 4:45 pm.
Note that these are two separate meet & greets that are each (especially Max Goof as Powerline) popular, meaning that you’ll have to wait in line twice to meet both. It’s our understanding that these meet & greets for the Goofs is continual and not limited time magic.
Finally, Chip and Dale can be seen wandering the courtyard near The Hollywood Brown Derby as part of distanced character encounters. Clarice Chipmunk can also be seen for Valentine’s Day, on a limited basis.
The big news is that, following Clarice’s departure, the Rescue Rangers will begin appearing as a traditional meet & greet at the Adventure Outpost near Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular on February 15, 2023. This will be an ongoing meet & greet, with no end date currently set (h/t Attractions).
This is huge news for children of the 90s who grew up on the Disney Afternoon, as it’s the first permanent Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers meet and greet in decades. (Disney California Adventure had one to promote the Disney+ movie for about a month last year.)
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. That’s something my grandpa used to tell me a lot, and honestly, it was his one piece of proverbial wisdom that never made sense to me. The most famous horse-gift probably could’ve used a tad more scrutiny. Might’ve helped win a war or something. In that spirit, our commentary will be looking this gift horse in the mouth…for safety’s sake.
I’ll start with the praise. I love to see Disney’s Hollywood Studios getting love–and more ways to fill the day. I also appreciate that some of these characters are being strategically-placed in ‘dead space’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park has a lot of that, and it breathes life into areas that have been neglected or are otherwise uncrowded.
I also appreciate the mix of meet & greets and distanced character sightings (or whatever they’re being called now). The latter was one of the best additions of the phased reopening, and we openly hoped that this type of character encounter–mixed with traditional meet & greets–would become a permanent fixture of Walt Disney World.
Distanced characters are great for livening up the park and offering entertainment value without having to wait in a long and slow-moving line. I’m happy to see there be a healthy balance of both types of character experiences, and wish Walt Disney World would do this with more characters that draw ridiculous meet & greet waits. (Looking at you, Jack Skellington!)
With that said, this really just scratches the surface of what’s needed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These character additions are a step in the right direction, but frankly, the resources might be better used in more substantial ways. As a reminder, here’s what is still missing from Disney’s Hollywood Studios as compared to pre-closure:
- Citizens of Hollywood
- Jedi Training Academy
- Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
As another reminder, we’ve been saying for the last two-plus years that Hollywood Studios is the most frustrating park at Walt Disney World. That article was published pre-closure, when there was actually more to do at DHS. Among other things, this is due to the top-heavy nature of its attraction lineup, and lack of secondary rides. There was a point during the phased reopening when this was particularly problematic, but it has gotten much better with the return of most stage shows and entertainment.
Now, I’ve come to terms with the reality that the Citizens of Hollywood are unlikely to return. It breaks my heart to type that sentence, and each time I walk into Universal Studios Hollywood (which has been often in 2023), I’m reminded of just how much streetmosphere and other atmospheric entertainment adds to the park.
Nevertheless, the Citizens of Hollywood consist of expensive equity entertainers, are humorous, and don’t feature Disney intellectual property. Unless there’s a Disney+ synergy show about the Citizens of Hollywood, it’s hard to imagine them ever returning. It’s sad, but I’ve come to terms with it.
However, the same cannot be said for Jedi Training Academy or Voyage of the Little Mermaid. While the latter was a little long in the tooth, it could still be updated and help absorb crowds and fill out days in DHS.
Then there’s Jedi Training Academy, which I can only assume hasn’t made its return due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I don’t understand why that would be the reason for it ending, but there’s no other plausible explanation for it not having returned. That stage show scored incredibly well with guests and could’ve been used to help sell lightsabers. (Although I wonder whether multiple lightsaber ‘shows’ in the same park could’ve been its undoing. Still a stupid decision.)
Even if those specific shows and experiences don’t return, there are plenty of purpose-built and unused venues around Disney’s Hollywood Studios where more substantial “character stuff” could be created. Heck, exactly that already exists for the Incredibles in Pixar Place, which transformed into Municiberg city block a few years ago to help absorb crowds during the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
In case you missed it or forgot, this city block hosted a dance party in honor of Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, and Frozone to celebrate their Super deeds. In addition to the dance party, a dedicated Edna Mode meet & greet on Pixar Place showcased some of her best designs. Also on Pixar Place, there were clues as to the whereabouts of Jack-Jack.
This Metroville area in Pixar Place was nothing special, but it was something. It gave the Incredibles characters their own venue, and in a relatively high-traffic area by the entrance to Toy Story Land. I’m surprised that Walt Disney World didn’t opt to revive this. (Maybe there’s a reason for that, though? Metroville was a dead end.)
In addition to this, there are a number of under or totally unutilized locations around Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Transforming one of these, even temporarily, into a 90s nostalgia venue with characters from the Disney Afternoon and other cult classics would be awesome.
That’s something the infamous Childless Millennials and parents with small children would absolutely eat up, while introducing these beloved characters to a whole new generation. People my age absolutely adore Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, and DuckTales…and we are now, essentially, the target audience of the parks. Why there haven’t been more efforts to target our childhood nostalgia absolutely baffles me. (Not just in the parks, but with more Disney+ reboots and other synergy plays. There have been some, but not enough.)
Ultimately, that’s what I want to see: more 1990s nostalgia at Walt Disney World. I’m quite transparent about that. As shared previously in our Top 10 Rare Characters We Wish Walt Disney World Would Bring Back, we can’t be the only millennials who would overpay for a 90s nite at Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
While we could argue all day about whether the 90s were a good or bad decade for pop culture more broadly, it’s undeniable that this was a great time for the company. The Disney Renaissance. The Disney Afternoon. The Disney Decade. The heyday of the Eisner-Wells era. It was an undeniably great time to be a young Disney fan. It would be cool to see the company pay homage to this beloved era, and as the “most 90s” theme park at Walt Disney World, it would make sense for DHS to be the epicenter of this event. But I digress. What were we talking about…rare characters at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
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What do you think of these new character meet & greets and distanced sightings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Excited to see Max Goof as Powerline, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, or anyone else on your next visit to DHS? Do you hunt characters when visiting the parks? Which rare characters would you like to see join the meet & greet lineup at Walt DIsney World? Happy that these meet & greets are happening, or do you wish Disney’s Hollywood Studios would bring back more dedicated entertainment and stage shows? Agree or disagree with our commentary? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!
I would trade ANY 3 rides at Hollywood Studios for the Citizens to come back !!!!! I am not sure why they can’t wrap their minds around how important magic moments those types of encounters create. Memories like the one of my then 16 year old daughter bantering with Betty Shambles or being unboxed on her 17th birthday by the green army men (who told me she was under warranty for 1 more year), are what keep me coming back several times a year . . . from Pennsylvania! I now find those treasured memories much fewer and further between 🙁
The Citizens of Hollywood and Department of Public Works were the highlight for me at Hollywood Studios. There was nothing more entertaining to me and I miss them so much.
My grand daughter would love to see Stich and Angel
YES!!! Bring back the 90’s nostalgia! I would love to ride a Quick Car Tunnel ride with Cubbi, Sunni and Princess Calla. They were my faves. I would also love to “fly” with Baloo in the Seaduck to go hang out at Louie’s. Oh…to be in the 90’s again! I agree WDW HS has always been the neglected park for entertainment, I feel. I think people go there for Tower of Terror, hang around a bit then leave back to Epcot or MK. There needs to be more entertainment in general to make it a fun all day park.
Gummy Bears!! That would be so fun to see them there. If you bring that time period of character’s back to the parks there’s obvious merch tie-ins that could also be exploited. This coming from the woman who had to buy the Disney afternoon metal tumbler from ShopDisney when I saw it. So yeah – huge area that is untapped potential to make everyone happy.
Anyone ever stumble over that pre-pandemic character dump HS used to do on the Streets of New York? At least twenty-odd characters from a variety of Disney sources. (Somewhere I have an analog photo of me with Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable.) The character/guest wranglers did an amazing job of keeping that in some sort of order, considering the number of guests who were excited to see that unscheduled (publicly, anyway) character crew.
“Unless there’s a Disney+ synergy show about the Citizens of Hollywood”
Even scripted, that’s cheap content. As long as there’s a portion of HS that is Golden Age of Hollywood, there probably should be something show to get people excited about that period, and there’s no need to make everything as expensive as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Dick Tracy, and the Rocketeer.
I agree with the comments about Bluey and Encanto. Both are incredibly popular. Why are the Disney Junior meet and greets limited to Vampirina, Doc McStuffins and Fancy Nancy? Does anyone still watch those?
If we’re talking HS characters, could we please update the Disney Junior characters at the park/show/meal to some that are more current/relevant? At a minimum, I would love to see some Bluey interaction (or even merch) SOMEWHERE in the park.
I’d love to see an “old Hollywood” section in Hollywood Studios. Removing The Great Movie Ride and audience participation shows like Who Wants to Be A Millionaire took the “Studios” part of Hollywood Studios away. These were also the second tier attractions that helped to balance the crowds out. To me, the name Hollywood Studios just doesn’t fit anymore.
Bring a Darkwing Duck attraction to DHS! Darkwing was awesome in the 90s. Reboot it! The theme song is very catchy too. Heck, how about a TailSpin ride?
What about baby Grogu and the Mando!!! Especially with the new season dropping in a few weeks.
I’d love a Nineties Nostalgia event including photo ops with Buzzy and General Knowledge, back to back performances of Spectromagic, and all you can eat Handwiches!! The parks in the early-mid ‘90’s hooked me for life, and I’ll always be happy to see a throw back to that time.
The Citizens of Hollywood blew my mind as a 16 year old on my first visit to the then-named Disney MGM Studios in the early 90s. There was something so cool and fresh and “alive” about the park in those days.
Speaking of “alive” we just returned from a trip to Disneyland and DCA and I can’t even count the amount of character interactions we had in 2 days there – without even trying. Chip and Dale, Mary Poppins and Bert, Peter Pan (who took a ride on the carousel with other guests), Tiana, Joy, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain Marvel, Lightning McQueen, Kylo Ren, Rey, and dozens more. Most of them were just “around”, mingling with guests. A few had short lines for impromptu meet and greets but that was rare. Captain Marvel was literally standing at the exit to GotG Mission Breakout for several minutes without anybody approaching her (she waved to my daughter as we waited in the queue). The vibrant, magical feelings this created at the DLR parks were something we never experienced in our last few trips to WDW (even pre-COVID) and it’s something that’s sorely missed at WDW.
For some reason DL does characters better than WDW in my opinion. The characters are just wandering around, they go on rides, and they give the park a lived in feel.
the 90s were my days. I loved the rescue rangers, tale spin, ductless, and darkwing duck. When I go ob my trip next time, I will bring back stories of my childhood from the 90s. I would also love the voyage of the little mermaid to return.
I would totally overpay to see all of those 90’s characters. That is my Disney that I remember.
Disney actually did a decent job with 90s characters at Marathon Weekend this year. Fat Cat, Monterrey Jack, Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Pain & Panic. Plenty of rarely seen characters and much better than previous race weekends.
petition to revive “Disney Afternoon Avenue” that was in the area approaching small world in disneyland around 1991. so many great photos of characters from all the shows out at that time, gummi bears, ducktales, rescue rangers, and talespin. make that old incredibles area useful again.
It’s crazy to me that the wildly popular Encanto has no characters at WDW over a year after the movie debut. Plop them in somewhere!