Disney Park and Resort Photo Updates

Meeting Rare Disney Characters at EPCOT IPW Private Event (Early June 2022 Photos, Video)

Hi everyone!

During the 4-day IPW travel trade show we covered two weeks ago, the opening night was hosted by Walt Disney World and held at EPCOT. This was a private event in World Showcase and at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The event included a variety of characters – many rare to meet, along with special food and beverage, and some rides open. The event was only 3 hours so we didn’t meet all the characters, but we did find quite a few during the evening, including Duffy and Miguel.

Here are photos and video from that night (more videos will be added soon)!

We received lanyards with the slogan for the evening. The lanyard features the beautiful lights on Spaceship Earth.

In our Mousesteps Weekly show #439, we talk about the event as well as more at Walt Disney World.

The first character we met was Duffy. On this evening, there weren’t long lines for characters – maybe a few guests each at most locations. Duffy used to be a regular character at EPCOT but that ended in 2015 (I can’t believe it is 7 years now!)

The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is still going on, so behind Duffy is the Japan dragon.

Here is our video with Duffy.

Aladdin and Abu were in Morocco with a nice background. Many of the locations had more than one character/set of characters, and Jasmine and Genie arrived later (I have photos further down in the article).

Jessie and Bullseye posed with a setup of blocks around them.

Banners also offered the slogan “A Celebration of Culture and Possibilities”.

Jiminy Cricket was located on the way to Germany.

Germany can be seen behind him.

Miguel was in Mexico. He isn’t usually a meet and greet character, although he had a distanced meet in Disneyland. He debuted originally in the “Magic Happens” parade at Disneyland.

Jose and Panchito swapped off with him.

We didn’t ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind because we can at anytime. But we stopped by to see Star-Lord and Gamora. They had the longest character line we waited in (maybe 5-7 minutes). We did see them during the last IPW event in 2015 at the Magic Kingdom and also at the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off at the Disneyland Resort and at Disneyland Paris.

Mulan (Ping) and Mushu were out in China.

Woody and Bo were out in the American Adventure location where Jessie and Bullseye had been.

Here is our video with the “Toy Story” characters.

Jasmine and Genie were out, and Abu and Aladdin were about to make their entrance again.

Abu put Aladdin’s coat over his head.

The last characters we met were Belle with Beast in the France pavilion.

We went to France actually for some dinner and drinks, and it started pouring. The rain was forecast for earlier, but it hit just as we left. The UK was closed off so we walked the long way from France to the front of the park.

The rain mostly stopped by the time we neared Spaceship Earth. It made for a beautiful reflection.

Spaceship Earth with Spaceship Earth.

Spaceship Earth’s light package is my #1 favorite thing about the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World (and now Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind).

An IPW projection was on the monorail station.

This was a fun evening! Walt Disney World did such a nice job with the atmosphere, characters, and food. The band Simple Plan also played a couple of sets as part of the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Garden Rocks concert series. This was a small part of the IPW 4-day travel trade show, we spent much of our time at press conferences and in meetings, followed by an evening event at Universal Orlando on day 4.