Rides and attractions may be a lot of fun but they fall short when it comes to delivering that special, personal experience. But watching your little ones meet their favourite DIsney characters offers the kind of memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Meeting the Disney characters all around the park is one of the unmissable experiences on offer, for adults and children alike. It offers that truly magical sense of immersion that is famous in the Disney parks, when you come face to face with characters from movies you have always adored. But where do you go to find the characters? How do you meet them?
There are a few main ways where you might be lucky enough to come across the characters; including finding them out around the parks, heading to character meet-and-greets, or booking in to one of the very special restaurants that offers character dining.
Read on to learn more about finding characters at Disney World with tips and advice on how to avoid the queues, where to go to find your favourites, taking the best photos and even finding rare characters. It might be hard to meet all your favorite Disney characters in one trip, but with this handy guide, you’re sure to tick off a few on your must-meet list! First up – where to find some of the most popular characters in the park.
Where to find the most popular Disney World characters
Where to meet Mickey at Disney World
Mickey Mouse is probably the most popular and well-loved Disney character since the parks’ conception. With that said, the queues to meet him can be quite long, so it is essential to know where he is in good time, so you can get there early and guarantee a meeting and photo opportunity.
The best place to find Mickey Mouse is at the Town Square theatre on Main Street, USA, where he regularly holds meet-and-greets. You can also find him in the meet-and-greet spot at the Epcot Character spot in Future World. Mickey Mouse also makes appearances at Adventurers’ Outpost in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at the Magic of Disney Animation building in Hollywood Studios. Remember to check your My Disney Experience app on the day you are looking for Mickey Mouse for the most up to date information about where he is located.
When it comes to dining with Mickey Mouse, he is known to frequent the Garden Grill restaurant at Epcot, Chef Mickey’s at Contemporary Resort, or Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness Resort, so head to any of these if you are hoping he will pop up during your meal!
Where to meet Minnie at Disney World
Minnie Mouse can often be found in spots around the park with her counterpart; Mickey Mouse. She accompanies him at Adventurers’ Post and the character spot in Epcot, where she will be available for photographs. You can also try Pete’s Silly Slideshow at Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, where she performs in a hilarious show the whole family is sure to love.
If you are hoping to catch Minnie Mouse whilst you are dining, then tray Cape May Cafe at Disney Beach Club Resort, Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness,
Where to meet Goofy
Goofy is a very popular character to meet thanks to his charismatic personality and animated meeting style. He is known to make sure everybody is having a great time as they meet him. For meet-and-greets, look out for Goofy at Pete’s SIlly Slideshow, where he will accompany Minnie in a laugh-out-loud comedy show in Magic Kingdom. You may also find him at DinoLand USA at Donald’s Dino-Bash, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and if you are lucky, the character spot in Epcot.
He also frequents several character dining spots, such as Chef Mickey’s, Cape May Cafe, the Garden Grove Cafe, Hollywood and Vine, and Tusker House Restaurant.
Where to find Snow White at Walt Disney World
Snow White is a very popular princess who frequents various areas in the park. For meet-and-greets, you can find her most easily at the Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom, although you will need to check ahead to make sure is one of the Princess characters who is there the day of your visit. Also in Magic Kingdom, it is highly likely she will be part of the daily parade, so keep your eyes peeled! She also makes an appearance in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot, where she takes plenty of time with each guest.
If you would like to dine with Snow White, you might be able to find her at Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Princess Storybook Dining at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot.
Where to find Tinkerbell at Disney World
If you are hoping to meet Tinkerbell, she runs a meet-and-greet at the Town Square Theater in Main Street USA, in the Magic Kingdom park, where you can get photographs and an autograph from her. She may also be available to spot in the Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade, or the Main Street Electrical Parade that occurs most evenings through Magic Kingdom.
Where to meet Pocahontas at Disney World
If you are on the lookout for Pocahontas, you can find her in one location in the Disney World parks; DIscovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Island Trails is a meet-and-greet spot where you can say hello to your heroine, take some photographs, and leave with Pocahontas’ signature in your autograph book.
Where to meet Stitch at Disney World
Stitch is often located in two meet-and-greet spots – in his very own spot at Stitch’s Alien Encounter Character greeting located in Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom, and at the character spot in Epcot. Of course, you will always need to keep an eye on your My Disney Experience app so you know when he will pop up, so you can grab your photographs.
He is also sometimes available at a character dining experience at Best Friends Breakfast O’Hana, in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, where he can even appear with Lilo at his side.
Where to meet Anna and Elsa at Disney World
There is one location where you can meet these magical sisters for a meet-and-greet; in the Royal Sommerhus at the Norway pavilion in Epcot. Here you can meet them both in separate rooms for some quality time with each sister.Otherwise, you can spot Anna and Elsa at various parades around the park, including the Festival of Fantasy at Magic Kingdom.
Where to find Baloo at Disney World
To meet Baloo, head to the Upcountry Landing in the Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Here, he is available for a meet-and-greet, along with King Louie.You can also spot him in Magic Kingdom as part of the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party.
Where to find Jasmine at Disney World
Princess Jasmine is available to meet in the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot, on the stage at the front of the Pavilion on a daily basis. If you want to meet both Jasmine and Aladdin, however, you can find them together in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom, where they interact with the guests.
Where to meet Olaf at Disney World
If Olaf is the character you are looking forward to meeting the most, then you will be pleased to know he is available at the Hollywood Studios, in the Celebrity Spotlight in the Echo Lake District, for a meet-and-greet. Just make sure you put on a coat before you get too close to this icy-cold snowman!
If you are looking for a specific character that is not on this list, then make sure you ask at Guest Relations in the parks at Disney for up-to-the-minute information of your favourite characters.
Disney World Character Dining
One of the best and easiest ways to see Disney characters is to make a reservation at a restaurant with character dining. While you will pay a premium for these dining experiences, they’re a better alternative to waiting in long character meet-and-greet lines (many of which are not shaded).
During your meal, different characters (depending on the restaurant you book) will wander through the restaurant, and often stop to take photos and meet the guests. Your little ones can get up-close and personal with their absolute favourite characters.Character dining is a really memorable experience especially for younger guests. It’s a bit more relaxed than the standard meet-and-greet option, plus little ones will have more time with their favorite Disney characters for photos. They will also be occupied for the whole meal, keeping their eyes peeled for the next character to make their way round!
Here are a list of some of our favourite dining experiences;
- Breakfast at Topolinos at Riviera Resort
- Chef Mickey’s at Contemporary Resort
- Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom
- Garden Grill at Epcot
- Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios
- Tusker House at Animal Kingdom
- And Storybook Dining at Artist Point
You can use the My Disney Experience app to make advance dining reservations and even pre-order your meal at select restaurants in the park. All your plans are stored on special Magic Bands which are automatically linked to your Disney account and can be worn conveniently around your wrist.
Disney World character meet-and-greets
Another option is to head to one of the many character greeting locations. Some of these are location specific. For example, the Disney princesses are generally found in one spot, Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom, while Mickey Mouse has a number of regularly scheduled meeting locations across all 4 parks, as detailed above.
When you enter the parks simply grab a free guide and map for specific meet-and-greet times or check the My Disney app or website. ,
One of the most popular character-greeting locations at Disney World is the Magic Kingdom park. It’s where you’ll find the highest concentration of meet-and-greets, and it’s the only park where you can meet the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. It’s also home to the hugely popular Princess Fairytale Hall attraction where guests can meet Cinderella and her princess friends Elena of Avalor, Rapunzel, and Tiana in an enchanting royal setting. You might also spot Anastasia and Drizella hanging around the castle too, and Micky Mouse at Town Square Theater!
In Fantasyland you can meet Belle. You can also re-enact scenes from Beauty and the Beast at the interactive experience, Enchanted Tales with Belle.
You have a good chance of spotting characters wandering around the Magic Kingdom, particularly at the Town Square in Main Street USA. You might bump into the likes of Buzz Lightyear in TomorrowLand, Jack Sparrow in Adventureland, and the Country Bears in Frontierland – to name just a few. You can also spot characters at the top of Mainstreet train station, and also on the cavalcades.
There are currently no meet-and-greets being held in Epcot, but plenty of characters will offer random appearances at set times throughout the day. Look out for Mickey, Goofy, Pluto or Minnie near Spaceship Earth, Anna and Elsa at the Norway Pavilion, and even Belle at the France Pavilion.
At Animal Kingdom, keep an eye out for characters roaming the park on flotillas, including Goofy, Meeko, Chip and Dale, Rafiki, and Timon.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Enjoy a meet-and-greet with Minnie Mouse at Red Carpet Dreams, and look out for your favourite Beauty and the Beast characters live on the stage during the Beauty and the Beast Show. If you are on the lookout for characters from Frozen, head to “A Frozen Sing-a-long celebration”.
Pixar characters will also be roaming during the car cavalcades, and at Galaxy’s Edge, try and spot Chewbacca, First Order Stormtrooper, and Kylo Ren!
Keep an eye out for the new Toy Story Land set to open at Hollywood Studios this summer.
The 11-acre attraction will ‘shrink’ guests down to toy size in a larger-than-life reconstruction of Andy’s backyard. It will be decked out with amazing rides, giant game board pieces and plenty of Toy Story characters.
Other ways of finding Disney World characters
Walk around the Disney Parks
Another way of meeting characters at Disney World is to simply walk around the parks and just see who you see. It doesn’t involve any planning or waiting around, and you’re bound to find some characters this way. Plan what attractions you want to visit and look out for your favorite Disney characters along the way.
If you’re looking for rare characters this free-roaming strategy is your best bet. Rare characters never appear at scheduled meet-and-greets or character dining. They will not sign autographs, nor will they stop and pose for pictures like you would find in a traditional meet-and-greet, however they may dance or mingle with you for a few moments for a highly sought-after photo opportunity.
The Disney princes, Captain Hook, Brer Rabbit and Mr Smee are just a few rare characters to keep an eye out for.
Disney characters at parades and parties
You’ll see famous faces marching by during the park’s daily parades and parties.
The Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom features state-of-the-art floats loaded with colorfully-costumed characters. You may not be able to say hi, but you can wave from the sidewalk as the parade winds its way through the streets of Magic Kingdom each afternoon.
Also at Magic Kingdom is the lively Move It Shake It Street Party (temporarily unavailable) where you can dance with all your favorite Disney and Pixar characters. Expect to spot Genie from Aladdin, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the stars of Zootopia, the cast from Toy Story and many more. You can take photos as you bust a move in the middle of the action and use the hashtag #MoveitShakeitPics on your social posts to keep the digital party going.
Disney World Characters FAQs
Can I take my own photos?
Yes, you can take your own photos using your camera or smartphone at all character dining and meet-and-greet locations. Alternatively, Disney’s Photopass photographers are available at some character greetings to capture your photos for you.
If you use the Photopass Service, you can view your pictures online or on the My Disney Experience app, then purchase Memory Maker to download and share them. Photopass also makes it easy to customize gifts, accessories and more with your photos, transforming them into souvenirs or keepsakes for you and your loved ones.
If you are wearing your Magic Band, it automatically links attraction photos to your Disney account.
What are the queues like?
The size of the queues for character meets depends on who you are meeting and when. If it’s a popular character during a peak time then queues are likely to form. The best way around this is to arrive as early as possible so you get a head start. Another way to bypass the queues is to book a character dining experience (see above).
How should I pose?
It’s up to you how you pose. You can opt for a standard shot standing next to the character or get a little more creative. One easy option is to mimic that character’s signature pose. Have fun with your poses to get the most out of your experience.
What do I need to bring?
Take a camera or a smartphone for photos. But otherwise, you simply need to bring yourself, and your autograph book if you would like to collect their signature!
What if there’s no photographer?
If you want to have a full family photo and there’s no Photopass photographer at the ready, feel free to ask a Disney cast member to take a photo with your camera. They are very used to doing this and are more than happy to help.
Can I take a video with my phone?
Yes, but try to be as efficient as possible. A few seconds of filming is fine.
Are there any other people I can meet?
There are loads of ‘characters’ in the parks who aren’t officially characters. The park’s performers, entertainers and cast members are always happy to stop for a chat and a photo. For some visitors, these people symbolize Disney, and its magical spirit, as much as many of the traditional characters.
Are there age limits for meeting characters?
Guests of all ages are welcome at character meet-and-greets.
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