Character Caravan

 

The Character Caravan lasted one year and was ended on September 30, 2002.

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In late October, 2001, Walt Disney World began a new program for guests staying at a Disney Resort, called the Character Caravan. This character interaction is "in place of" Surprise Mornings which now cancelled.

The Caravan visits each Disney hotel (according to the schedule) to see guests off as they begin their day. Characters will not be at every resort every day, the schedule alternates, so be sure and check at your resort.

Folks are reporting between 2 and 4 characters and they are not always the same. The characters do two 30 minute sets. (See Guest Comments below)

The schedule (with approximate times) was as follows:

Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday

All-Star Movies - Main Lobby Area
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 - 9:30 a.m

All-Star Music - Main Lobby Area
7:50 - 8:20 a.m. & 8:50 - 9:20 a.m.

All Star Sports - Main Lobby Area
7:40 – 8:10 a.m. & 8:40 – 9:10 a.m.

Animal Kingdom Lodge - Main Lobby Area
8:10 – 8:40 a.m. & 9:10 – 9:40 a.m.

Contemporary Resort - Main Lobby Area
7:40 – 8:10 a.m. & 8:40 – 9:10 a.m.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - Center of Main Lobby
8:10 – 8:40 a.m. & 9:10 – 9:40 a.m.

Disney's Polynesian Resort - First Floor Lobby
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge - Main Lobby
7:50 – 8:20 a.m. & 8:50 – 9:20 a.m.

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Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Beach Club - Lobby
7:50 – 8:20 a.m. & 8:50 – 9:20 a.m.

BoardWalk Resort - Main Lobby
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Food Court Verandah (If raining - Captain’s Tavern)
8:10 – 8:40 a.m. & 9:10 – 9:40 a.m.

Coronado Springs Resort - By Bus Stop 1
8:10 – 8:40 a.m. & 9:10 – 9:40 a.m.

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground - Outside in Front of Trails End
7:45 – 8:15 a.m. & 8:45 – 9:15 a.m.

Old Key West Resort - Outside area between Lobby Entrance and Olivia’s
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Port Orleans Resort - Lobby
7:55 – 8:25 a.m. & 8:55 – 9:25 a.m.

Yacht Club - Lobby
7:40 – 8:10 a.m. & 8:40 – 9:10 a.m.

Character Caravan @ WDW Swan & Dolphin - Hours from 7:30 am to 10:00 am. Swan - Friday and Sunday; Dolphin - Saturday and Monday

 

GUEST COMMENTS

We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside (8/4-8/10). I had read about the caravan on your website and received the schedule from the front desk when we arrived (times the characters would appear). On that monday we were able to meet Captain Hook,Smee,Pluto and Minnie Mouse. We were unable to make it on that Wed. because of prior reservations. We did go back on friday and we got to meet Gideon,Goofy,Pinocchio and the Genie. If u have a youngster this is a great way to start out your day. Waits were minimal so the characters had more time to interact with the children. (Mike, August 2002)

The character caravan is a poor substitute for the early entry. The characters arrive at 8.05 and parks open at 9.00. So it is tough to get a photo, then get to the bus, then to the park in time for the initial opening (and easy touring). (Dom, August 2002)

We were very pleasantly surprised by the Character Caravan. It turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. We stayed at the All-Star Movies Resort and we got to take part in the experience on three mornings. During that time, we had four different characters each day. They included Minnie, Pluto, Pinocchio, Gepetto, Jiminy Cricket (had never seen him before!), Chip and Dale, Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, and several others. Our kids easily got a place in line and were photographed with all four and got autographs within a ten-fifteen minute time frame. I would highly recommend making time for this! They do stick to the half hour - they leave exactly at that time and then come back for another half hour. We got to the lobby about five-ten minutes ahead of time. Thanks for the tip about this experience. As someone else stated, they do not tell you about it unless you ask! (Chris Murphy, 4/2002)

We just returned from the Wilderness Lodge 1/11/02-1/19/02. Although I knew about it from your site, we received a schedule upon check in. There were two half-hour periods on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings, with three or four characters each day. Sunday we had Honest John and Gideon from Pinocchio and Minnie Mouse. Tuesday Tweedledee and Tweedledum and the White Rabbit were there, as well as Goofy. Thursday we saw Capt Hook, Mr. Smee, and Pluto. They signed autographs and posed for pictures, and it was a great way for the kids to meet the characters because there were never more than a couple people waiting. (Tracy Potts, 1/02)

On Monday January 7th, Old Key West had Pluto, Minnie, Captain Hook, and Mr. Smee. They were down by the pool as well as in the lobby! (Linda, 1/02)

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I thought I would send in my thoughts on the Character Caravan at the Wilderness Lodge on 11/27/2001. When we checked in we weren't told about the caravan. Fortunately, I knew about it from this website. So out of the 3 days we had Character Caravans, we only made one. The Characters to appear were The Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee, and Goofy. It was fun for our 4 year old daughter but she had already seen everyone but Goofy at MGM. They were out constantly there. It would have been nice to have some of the "harder to find" characters. -Debbie from Wisconsin

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We were at the Boardwalk November 2 through November 10. We saw The White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts and Tweedle Dee/Dum on Monday. Wednesday we were visited by Minnie, Chip and Dale and Pluto. Friday Tweedle dee/dum were back with Chip and Dale. It would be nice to see some 'different' characters that you don't see a lot. The favorite of my kids was Minnie and Chip & Dale. They had just put up the Christmas tree in the lobby we got a few cute pics of my girls with Chip & Dale by the tree on Friday.

The kids seemed to like it. My girls (ages 7 & 10) are Disney veterans and they thought it was kind of neat to have the characters in the lobby (something new) ...but by the 3rd day when it was all repeat characters they were not as excited about it. If you are staying at one of the resorts and it fits into your plans take advantage of the opportunity to get some great pics with no lines (and your kids will get lots of quality time too) but it can't replace Surprise mornings. Cheryl

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We stayed at Carribean Beach in November 2001. We knew about it from the web sight, but we were also told at the gift shop the night before. They couldn't say who would be there. The time we were told was incorrect. We waited an hour & saw only Minnie because the crowds were terrible. Pinocchio, Honest John, & I believe Raffiki were also there. I'd much rather have had an early entry day. (even if it was just some characters walking around & gift shops that were open) (Fay Dewitt)

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The character caravan was fun on the first day (we were there for 4 visits of the caravan) but on each of the subsequent mornings the same characters got off the bus. There was always Rafiki, King Louie, Baloo and Timon. All the CM’s I asked said it was a surprise and they had no clue who would be there. But after reading your story it seems like the same characters were everywhere - since the same characters showed up at your hotel (we stayed at Coronado Springs). Needless to say after the 2nd visit the kids were no longer impressed. (Eileen McDonough 10/29/01)

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I was underwhelmed by the new resort Character Caravan. I was not told at check in about the new program (at either hotel I stayed at). There was so little information (read "none") that I completely forgot about it at Caribbean Beach. But I made sure to attend the one Sunday morning at Animal Kingdom Lodge. A bus pulled up about 8:10am with a loudspeaker and music. An announcement was made (to the 4 or 5 of us that were standing outside), that the characters had come to say hello as you start your day! Out of the bus, one at a time, came Baloo, Timon and Rafiki. They headed into the lobby, posed for photos and autographs, to very short waits. They were there from 8:10 to 8:40 and were supposed to come out again from 9:10 to 9:40. (Deb, 10/28/2001)

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We were there when the Character Caravan started. We were staying at All Star Sports and the characters appeared in the passage between Check in and the shop. This cause considerable congestion and some people who were attempting to get buses were annoyed. This is no replacement for the suprise mornings. (Lesannbill, 10/01)

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On Sunday Morning 10/21 the Character Caravan included: Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee, Tweedledum and the White Rabbit (Clare)