Planning Your Disney Itinerary: Meeting Characters

Whenever we visit Walt Disney World, we love planning to visit a few of our favorite Disney characters. There are so many characters to meet in the various parks, and many character meets function differently. Here are some tips to plan meeting characters into your itinerary.

When planning to meet characters, be aware that there are different types of character meets. I usually divide them into two categories for the sake of planning. The first category, which I sometimes call “attraction” meets to myself, usually have permanent locations that are often indoors, with a set queue that often has added theming. Some of these meet-and-greets, though not all, also offer FastPass+. Examples of these include Princess Fairytale Hall, Ariel at her Grotto, Tinker Bell and Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater, Mickey and Minnie at Adventurer’s Outpost, the Epcot Character Spot, and more. Most of these characters meet from park open to park close.

These “attraction” meets have permanent locations and sometimes FastPass+ because they are quite popular. Princess Fairytale Hall’s princesses can see multi-hour waits on busier days, and others will usually have waits of over 30 minutes at peak times of day. If any of these meets are on your “must” list, visit early or check if the meet offers FastPass+.

Remember that all “attraction” meets are not the same. For instance, Merida meets at Fairytale Gardens, but her meet does not offer FastPass and she usually stops meeting in early evening. The best time to meet her is first thing in the morning, because she will have longer waits later in the day.

In the second category are character meets that are typically outdoors, though the meeting place or queue may be covered, and have more limited meeting times. These meets do not have FastPass availability and may or may not have a dedicated queue area. Times for these meets may be subject to change or vary by day, so check a Times Guide when you arrive. These characters will typically meet in a series of time sets (say, 1:50 to 2:30, then 2:40 to 3:20, etc.) anywhere from mid-morning to mid-evening. These characters usually do not meet late at night. Examples of these meets include meeting Alice and the White Rabbit next to Mad Tea Party, meeting Tiana and Naveen in Liberty Square, meeting Mulan in the China Pavilion, or meeting Sorcerer Mickey near the Magic of Disney Animation.

To meet these characters, find out the time and location of the meet. Some meets have signs near their locations, though others do not. Try to arrive before a new time set starts for the meet, in order to minimize waiting.

Meeting a favorite character is a great memory to make on your trip, so be sure to find out where you can find your favorite characters!

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. She enjoys long walks, happy thoughts, and Disney magic! Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for a successful vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she dedicates her planning skills to helping others with their own magical vacations as a Disney travel specialist. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news.

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