We’ve been visiting Walt Disney World regularly as a family since 2004. During that time we’ve met well over 200 characters, but never had the opportunity to meet Gideon. I thought Gideon might be part of the Long-lost Friends week, but it was just Pinocchio, Gepetto and Jiminy Cricket from that movie. I was visiting Epcot on the Sunday before Long-lost Friends began to meet the Winter Wonderland characters when I happened upon a training meet at the World Showplace. The first character I saw was Gideon. I dashed over to meet him and I was the last person to meet him for that set.
I chose to only meet the Pinocchio group once during my time at Long Lost Friends. While I’ve met each of these characters many times, it was the first time I’ve met all three together. I wish they had brought out Foulfellow and Gideon. If they offered Stromboli, it would have been over the top.
Photos taken with Sony DSC-RX100
You may recall that I recently posted that Pinocchio is strongly rumored to return to the Magic Kingdom very soon. Well, I was poking around the new Disney World website and found the page that had this information. Why the website builder continues to use such random photos with descriptions is strange to me, but the info is clearly there that Pinocchio will soon return to Fantasyland. Some may say that this is left over info from last year, but this is a totally new website and Pinocchio was retired from Main Street and the map clearly points to his meeting at Pinocchio Village Haus. The description also describes it as “A charming village NEAR THE WALLS of Cinderella Castle is home to a LITTLE WOODEN BOY.” The walls didn’t exist when Pinocchio was retired and there’s only one little wooden boy. Looks like we’ll be seeing Pinocchio soon.
There is a strong rumor, that seems to have real merit, that Pinocchio is returning to the Magic Kingdom soon. It is said that he will offer regular meet and greets near the Pinocchio’s Village Haus Restaurant. It’s ironic that he stopped meeting regularly when Rapunzel moved into the Fairytale Garden and there is a rumor still circulating that Merida will be retired soon. Perhaps Pinocchio regains his spot in the Magic Kingdom rotation with Merida’s departure that is rumored to be around the beginning of next year? I’d say the Pinocchio rumor has a 90-100% probability.
Pinocchio currently only appears for random meets at Epcot and at Character Palooza in the Magic Kingdom. He can be seen in both Magic Kingdom parades.
According to a post on wdwmagic, it appears that Pinocchio is no longer meeting guests at Walt Disney World.