Meeting characters at Walt Disney World is a huge highlight of any Disney vacation. I will confess that even as an adult, seeing my favorite, like Mary Poppins, makes my whole trip! Then we have those sweet moments when my daughter sees her princess friends up close and personal, dances with them, and they even have pulled her into their lap for a “story” as they looked through her autograph book with her. No matter your age, visiting Walt Disney World will probably involve a character meal and/or a character meet and greet. So today, I have some tips for you to make those character meet and greets moments as magical and as memorable as possible!
How do I know when and where to find characters? When you arrive at your Walt Disney World park in the morning, grab a Times Guide as you go through the entrance. This is the best up to date information regarding character meet and greets. My personal favorite resource is the My Disney Experience App on my iPhone. I love this app for a lot of reasons, one being it helps me easily find characters. You can sort it by park, and then it will show you where characters are located and the times you can see them.
We don’t have any character meals booked. Where is the best place to meet characters? I think it depends who you are looking for. Personally, I find Epcot to be the best place to see them. Epcot has a variety of characters in the park. First, you can see the “Fab Five” at the Epcot Character Spot in Future World.. Here you’ll see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald Duck. Chip and Dale are also in Future World. Then in World Showcase, there are princesses all over the countries. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan, and Jasmine are there on a consistent basis. Often, Beast will be with Belle and sometimes Aladdin with Jasmine. If you want more specific characters, such as Louie and Baloo, or Pocahontas, Tiana, etc., they can only be found at certain parks.
Do you have recommendations for something to have the characters sign? Well, you can always purchase a Disney autograph book either before you travel or while you’re in the parks. Or, perhaps you’d like to get a little creative. One of my favorite ideas is Little Golden Books based on characters. My daughter has all her Little Golden Book princess books signed from one of our princess meals. So cute! Take a picture matte with you, and have the characters sign that, then when you get home you can put your favorite Disney picture in it. Another fun idea is a t-shirt or a canvas bag. If you take something of fabric, be sure to take fabric markers as well as a hard surface to lay it on. This makes it easier to sign.
What is the best time to meet characters? Meeting characters typically involves waiting in line. But, if you want to plan your day while also including characters, plan to meet them during “off times”. An example of this is during any parade taking place at the Magic Kingdom or during Happily Ever After. These are times when most of the people in the park are enjoying the parade or the show, so the lines for characters are lower. Another great time is late at night. Those Extra Magic Hours can really come in handy when trying to meet characters! Magic Kingdom tends to be less crowded during those times, allowing the lines to be shorter.
How can I make the most out of my meet and greet? First, prepare your children. Be sure they know the character will talk to them, and possibly hold their hand, etc. Second, dress you or your children to compliment the character they are meeting. Nothing is cuter than a whole family in black and red to see Mickey and Minnie, or your little girl in her princess costume standing next to her favorite princess. Third, be prepared. Have your autograph book open to a clean page and your pen ready. This saves time, and is courteous to those behind you. Finally, invest in MemoryMaker before your trip. All your character meet and greet photos are on your Memorymaker, and you will come home with SO many photos!
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