Disney Parks and Resorts have been sharing lots of exciting character updates recently, and the latest news announces the first time ever that a new character will host meet and greets at a Disney theme park.
Recently, Disney has shared updates on the return of character dining to Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom, while new characters have begun to appear at Disney’s Hollywood Studios including Powerline Max from A Goofy Movie (1995) and characters from The Incredibles (2004).
In the latest character update, we learned that for the first time ever Mei from Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red (2022) will soon make appearances at a Disney Park.
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While the Walt Disney World Resort does occasionally host rare character meet and greets, particularly during special events like Halloween and Christmas parties or a runDisney race, some of the most exciting character experiences can be found outside the Orlando Resort.
The next new character meet and greet to debut will arrive at Shanghai Disneyland this spring, where Guests will be able to meet Mei as the red panda from Turning Red. Theme park journalist Scott Gustin shared the news along with a first look at the new character:
Red Panda Mei from Pixar’s Turning Red will make her first-ever appearance in a Disney park this spring at Shanghai Disney Resort. pic.twitter.com/ZYKflAz2RX
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) February 27, 2023
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Disney has not yet shared when Mei will start greeting Guests at the Park or where the character meet and greet will be located at the Resort, but fans of the film will be thrilled to see more of Turning Red have a place in the Parks.
Shortly after the film’s release, Disney launched some limited time promotions at the Disneyland Resort, along with merchandise from the film at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but otherwise inclusion of Turning Red in the theme parks has been limited.
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Along with the upcoming Turning Red character meet and greet, the Shanghai Disney Resort is currently in the midst of a large-scale expansion to add an entire land themed to Zootopia (2016) to the Park. While both Mei’s character meet and greet and the Zootopia land are not confirmed for any other Disney Parks at this time, it is possible they could make their way over to the states.
During last year’s D23 Expo, Disney briefly shared “Blue Sky” plans for how Zootopia and Moana (2016) could be possible replacements for DinoLand U.S.A. in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The newest attraction to come to the Magic Kingdom, TRON Lightcycle / Run also originally debuted in Shanghai as well. As such, it would not be surprising to see more of Turning Red (or even Zootopia) make its way to Walt Disney World if it proves to be a success in Shanghai.
As always, we will keep you updated on future announcements from Disney regarding the presence of these films in the theme parks here on Disney Tips.