While Disneyland continues to entertain crowds with the Golden Horseshoe Revue salute for a few more days, the most popular Limited Time Magic offering so far at Walt Disney World has by far been Long Lost Friends week, offering fans a chance to meet and greet with groups of “rare” characters.
Each day, January 21-27, 2013, the Magic Kingdom filled Town Square with 15 characters, all emerging at once in a grand introduction, taking positions near the front of the park for 30-minute sets. Guests wanting to meet them all happily waited hours in lines filling normally uncrowded park areas to snap a quick photo with each group.
Video: Long Lost Friends introduction, song, and summary
We already shared a few photos from the special week’s first day, including the pre-printed autograph cars that were handed out, but now that this Limited Time Magic has concluded, let’s take a closer look back at each of the Long Lost Friends…
Robin Hood and gang
By far the most popular of the five groups of Long Lost Friends was the one featuring characters from Disney’s 1973 animated movie “Robin Hood.” These characters were among the rarest of the bunch, made even rarer by Disney offering a chance to get a photo with four at once: Friar Tuck, Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Robin Hood himself. Though Maid Marion was nowhere to be found, fans of the film were extremely excited to see them.
Video: Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Prince John, and the Sheriff of Nottingham
A pair of Disney’s famous ducks also took center stage during Long Lost Friends week, but only one was a rare character. Straight out of Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck can be seen annually during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the Christmas time parade. But seeing Ludwig Von Drake of “Wonderful World of Color” fame around the parks is extremely rare - and a bit odd that Disney categorized him as being from the TV show “DuckTales” when he only appeared in a single episode. But there was definitely no one complaining about him being there.
Video: Ludwig Von Drake and Scrooge McDuck
Three Little Pigs
Tucked away in a corner of Town Square near Tony’s were four characters that used to frequent Disney’s parks decades ago but have rarely been seen since. Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical - better known as the Three Little Pigs - were joined by the Big Bad Wolf in this photo opportunity. It’s the most attention this group has gotten since Disney California Adventure named a cafe after them.
Video: The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf
The Band Concert
Dating all the way back to 1935, Disney’s short film “The Band Concert” produced two characters that only the biggest fans recognize at the parks. Though Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar often appear in the Christmas time parade, meeting them for a photo is indeed a rare opportunity, provided during Long Lost Friends week.
Video: Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar
The least rare of the “long lost” characters was the gang from “Pinocchio.” Both Geppetto and Pinocchio himself can be seen daily at the Magic Kingdom during the 3 o’clock parade, which even took place between Limited Time Magic character sets. The pair is also occasionally seen around Epcot. And last year, Jiminy Cricket was taking pictures with guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But long lines still formed to see this trio together.
Video: Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Jiminy Cricket
Though Long Lost Friends week has ended, there are still 11 months of Limited Time Magic remaining and it’s highly likely that another Long Lost Friends week will take place. Fans may also have a chance to vote online for which characters they’d like to see. Among favorites fans are hoping will appear are Darkwing Duck, Launchpad McQuack, and others from the the old Disney Afternoon.
More photos from Long Lost Friends week for Limited Time Magic: