One of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is to meet different characters. To me, it just makes the movie more meaningful and magical. I have had so many fun Disney Character interactions over the years and have learned a lot about how to maximize the fun when meeting with characters. Here are my 10 Best Disney Character Meet & Greet Tips!
Disney Character Meet & Greet Tips
1. Schedule at Least One Character Dining Experience
To really get the most amount of characters seen in a shorter time period, schedule a character dining experience. To see several of the princesses dine at Akershus. To see the Fab Five dine at either Tusker House or Chef Mickey’s. Hollywood and Vine has many of the Disney Junior characters. You can dine with Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace. 1900 Park Fair has Cinderella and friends. See my Ultimate Disney Character Dining Guide for all the Character meals that are available.
2. Collect Character Autographs
Many of the characters sign autographs. You could do the typical autograph book, but I have seen and done several other cool options. One of my favorites is using a book like Disney’s Who’s Who which lists all the characters in the movies. Use permanent markers or acid-free pens. I am working on an autographed Christmas tree skirt. I will be embroidering over the names to make it last. Think outside of the autograph book! I have a list of 20+ Character Autograph Ideas to inspire you.
3. Take Your Time
Don’t feel rushed when interacting with the characters. When you are with them, you are with them. Only during special events are character interactions a little rushed.
4. Use Fastpass+
The following characters have fastpass+ reservations available.
- Magician Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom Theater, during peak times this is helpful. Not totally needed during slow times of the year.
- Tinker Bell at Magic Kingdom Theater, during peak times this is helpful. Not totally needed during slow times of the year.
- Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall. If you go during the Fireworks or late at night the wait is usually small. During peak times this would be a must do Fastpass.
- Cinderella and Elena of Avalor at Princess Fairytale Hall.
- Mickey and Minnie Mouse together at Animal Kingdom. Usually not that much of a wait, have used as an additional Fastpass after my first 3 were used to have a very short wait time.
- Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy at Epcot Character Spot. Fastpass only needed during peak seasons.
5. Participate in the Dance Parties
At the Magic Kingdom you can interact with several characters at the Move It, Shake It, Mousekedance It Street Party! At Hollywood Studios, you can dance with the Incredibles. It is always fun to dance with your favorite character and snap a selfie.
6. Attend Special Events
Some characters you can only see at special events like the Halloween or Christmas party. You can also meet them during #runDisney events, special holidays like Valentine’s Day, and special dining events like Club Villain (set only to run through March 2016). This past Valentine’s Day, Atta was out with Flik, John Smith was out with Pocahontas, and Jane was out with Tarzan. I had a blast meeting these rare characters. I have also heard from a cast member that a week or so before special events like #runDisney that they have character training at Epcot and sometimes you can catch a rarely seen character there.
7. Mention the Character’s Story
Some ideas are to ask Rapunzel how she takes care of her hair, ask Merida about her brothers, give Ariel a dinglehopper, and give Cinderella some shoelaces so she doesn’t lose her shoes again. One time I was visiting Cinderella and the park was opened past midnight and I asked Cinderella if she was going to have to go before midnight and she said that the Fairy Godmother granted her a special wish that day and she was allowed out past midnight.
8. Be a kid again!
Forget your age and fully immerse yourself into the experience. Don’t care what others around you are thinking. I had such a fun time bouncing with Tigger, but probably looked silly doing it.
9. Get Pictures
Use Photopass/Memory Maker and your own camera. The Disney photographers catch every moment and many times those photos come out so precious. I especially like seeing photos of little children meeting their hero for the first time. It usually isn’t a posed photo and you can see the pure joy in their eyes!
10. Make a Character Must-Do List
Seeing every character during one trip is impossible. Make a list of ones you want to see on your trip and plan out times to see them. Right now I have Jesse and Woody on my must-do list. It seems like their line is always too long.
What has been your most favorite character interaction? Let me know in the comments!
11. Disney Bound
Disney Bounding is when you dress similar to a character. Children are allowed to wear costumes and since adults cannot, Disney Bounding is a way to show our love for our favorite character.
Bonus Tip: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like A2M Travel. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice, and their services are totally FREE!
Post originally published: Feb. 25, 2016