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Meeting Characters at Walt Disney World

Meeting characters s at Walt Disney World can be the most magical part of any vacation.  For a few short moments, your child is face to face with their favorite character, and you want to make the most out of those special times.  Meeting their favorite characters up close and in “real life” is the highlight of most trips to Walt Disney World for so many children and their parents.  I have some tips for you to get the most out of  meeting characters at Walt Disney World!.

Tips for Character Meet and Greets at Walt Disney World

Have realistic expectations of your child.  Just because they love seeing Woody in cartoon form in the Toy Story movie, does not mean they are going to fun up and give him a big hug. Maybe, and if so, AWESOME!  Disney can be overstimulating in many ways.  Many little ones love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and have no problem interacting with Mickey and Minnie, but when they see Goofy at Chef Mickey’s…..and his long nose sticking out from his face into theirs….they may get scared! Keep in mind, the little ones may be unsure of those characters, at first. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the fun character interaction.  Just take it slow!

Don’t push your child to interact with the characters. The wonderful thing about Disney is the Cast Members posing as characters totally get it. They are so wonderful about interacting with shy children and making them feel at ease. My favorite example is how Belle interacted with our daughter, who was two at the first time they met. Belle knelt down, folded her hands in her lap, and talked to my daughter like she had known her all her life. Before we knew it, she was in Belle’s lap and Belle was reading her “storybook” {her autograph book} to her. Let your child interact on their own terms. Be sure to be ready to capture those moments on camera!


Utilize FastPass Plus for some character meet and greets if you don’t have character dining scheduled. With several characters to enjoy at once in areas such as Epcot’s Character Spot, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and Princess Fairytale Hall, I think these can be worth the FastPass, if you have younger children. In the afternoon, these spots tend to get busy. So, if you have been touring the parks since the first thing in the morning, using these in the afternoon can give you a nice break. Also, another nice time to visit the Princesses in Fairytale Hall is while waiting for a fireworks show or parade to start. Claim a spot on Main Street USA, and send one parent with the little prince or princess to see the characters in Fairytale Hall or Town Square.

Always be courteous of others, including the characters. Have your autograph book and pen ready. The wider the pen, the easier it is for the character to hold. Also, have your camera ready. You don’t want to rush your child, but you also want to capture as much of the moment as possible. If you have MemoryMaker on your Magic Your Way Package, you can look forward to downloading all those great photos when you arrive home.

Plan ahead which characters you would like to see. There are various websites out there that give you very detailed plans as to where you can find the characters. Many of the characters appear at multiple parks, and even in different costumes. You can see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at all 4 parks. The princesses are best found at Magic Kingdom, or in their home country in Epcot. However, if you want to see Tiana, she is only found at Magic Kingdom….or Mulan, only in China Pavilion at Epcot. Pick up a Times Guide or check your My Disney Experience app. These will give you a good idea of who you can find and where.


Make the character interaction personal. The photos turn out SO cute when your kids match their favorite characters. Wear a Disney themed shirt with your child’s name on it, or something like “Birthday Girl”, etc. as another fun idea. It gives the characters something to start the interaction and make your child comfortable.  The princesses may even call your child by name, if their name is on their button or shirt. How fun!

Seeing the characters in the parade can be sufficient. While the Festival of Fantasy parade is passing down Main Street USA, be on the watch for your favorites. Sometimes, they will stop and give your children a high five, or wave to them directly from the floats. Use this time, particularly at the beginning of your trip, to allow your children to warm up to the idea of the characters. 


Planning character meet and greets into your Disney itinerary is a great idea. Mickey at Town Square Theater, Tinkerbell in Pixie Hollow, Cinderella and friends at Princess Fairytale Hall….they are all must dos on any any Disney vacation! It truly is a magical part of every vacation, and you’ll be glad you took advantage of it. Following these tips and preparing your children ahead of time will make those meet and greets much more magical!  

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