Today at Disney California Adventure, Imagineers are play-testing talking Donald Duck, plus Minnie and Mickey Mouse. In this post, we’ll share photos and video of Disneyland Resort’s talking trio, plus thoughts on the meet and greet experience.
For starters, this meet and greet is currently in test mode, meaning that there’s no published schedule of when talking Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey will meet. In August, talking Mickey Mouse met, and it was very sporadic. If you weren’t there when his meet started, you would’ve missed it.
Today, talking Mickey, Minnie, and Donald were meeting in the Ahwahnee Camp Circle in Grizzly Peak’s Redwood Creek. This is the same spot where other characters meet. We’ve gotta say, though, this is about the coolest Disney character meet & greet ever (or, at least since Dreamfinder and Figment disappeared)…
Walt Disney World fans are likely familiar with talking Mickey Mouse, as he has been meeting “backstage” at the Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom for several years now.
We’ve done the talking Mickey Mouse meet and greet at WDW several times, and while it has become smoother over the course of the last few years, Mickey can still be a bit slow on the responses, and some interactions can feel a bit disjointed and awkward.
With three characters, we felt none of that. There were times all three interacted with us nearly simultaneously, and other times, they engaged with one another.
This type of multi-character setup seems perfect. It gives the chance for the characters to use their rapport with one another to build into a guest interaction, drawing the guest into a group interaction. If the conversation were to, for some reason, become delayed between character and guest, there’s still a lot going on.
Basically, this group dynamic is much more conducive to a fun, naturally-flowing experience. Even the aspects that are totally scripted (like teaching us lion roars!) can seem spontaneous because of the way they’re weaved together with interactions that are more on the fly.
It should come as a surprise to no one that Donald Duck stole the show in our interaction (and literally all interactions we observed), as he has a particular way of hamming it up that just works.
Here are a couple of videos of our experience with talking Donald Duck, plus Minnie and Mickey Mouse…
All in all, it was a really fun experience, and we hope that they roll this out for regular meet and greets in the near future. Based on the tests we witnessed, the ‘show’ is excellent. Of course, there’s the possibility more Cast Member training or back of house work needs to be done before this is ready for prime time, but we’re optimistic Disney California Adventure and Disneyland guests should finally have their own permanent talking character experience soon!
Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing 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!