Walt Disney World Character Greeting Primer

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Walt Disney World Character Greeting Primer 1

How to make the most of your encounters with Disney superstars.

Walt Disney World makes magic real for Guests every day. A large part of that escape to fantasy comes by brining beloved characters to life in the form of character greetings. Here are some pointers on where to find a few of your favorites, as well as tips on what to keep in mind once you find them.

Find Out Ahead of Time Where Your Favorite Character Will Be

Do some research before your trip to make sure you’ll be able to locate your top- priority character. A simple inquiry on any WDW forum should suffice. Each park’s Guest Relations is also helpul in locating specific characters, as is any character handler Cast Member you see with another character within the parks. It saves time in the long run to know where to
find your favorite before you arrive, but if you don’t the Cast Members are still ample help.

Know Where the “Bargains” Are

A bargain means several characters greeting in one convenient location. Often it saves time to know where this is implemented.

For instance, you could spend a fair amount of time tracking down Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald all individually at Magic Kingdom . . . or, you could head to Epcot and wait in one line to meet all five of them at the Epcot Character Spot (though you’ll still meet each of them separately). That’s more like it! Granted, the line gets a bit lengthy for the Epcot Character Spot given the popularity and convenience of the entire Fab Five in the same place, but overall the wait is worth it (and, if you go first thing in the morning, there’s hardly be a wait at all).

Other locations also benefit from this “one spot, many characters” convenience. At Magic Kingdom, Town Square Theater allows the the option of wait in one line to meet Mickey and Minnie together, or entering a separate line that leads to Cinderella, Aurora, and Belle (though you’ll meet each princess individually). Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Sorcerer Mickey’s Hat hosts some of Mickey’s friends in the mornings; they have especially short lines right at park opening. Also at DHS, be sure to stop by The Magic of Disney Animation during the 5:00 hour. In addition to the characters that are present in this building all day long (which currently includes Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and the Incredibles), the 5:00 hour also sees an explosion of random characters, many of them with rather short lines. You can literally jump from line to line, and before you know it, you’ve met a dozen or so characters. At Animal Kingdom, Mickey and friends are all to be found at Camp Minnie-Mickey. You’ll have to wait in separate lines for each of them, but there’s no searching around trying to find all of them.

Typically, individual characters have shorter lines than group greetings. You simply have to consider whether you’d like to wait in many, shorter individual lines or fewer, longer group lines.

Consider a Character Meal

There are many character meals to choose from. A full list of Walt Disney World character dining locations can be found on the resort’s official website (on the left sidebar, click “Dining Experience” and then select “Character Dining”).

Character dining is a great way to have a relaxed meeting with some of your favorites. Characters make their way around the restaurant and come to you; no flagging down necessary.

If you’re dining during a less-crowded time of day (like a very late morning breakfast), you’re likely to have even better character interaction, having a good chance of seeing each of them more than once. This creates some humorous running gags, if you will, and establishes a fun relationship between your family and the characters.

Respect the Character

It’s important to keep in mind the boundaries of the character and to respect some of the limitedness the character may have. It helps to have autograph books open and pens ready while you’re waiting in line; not only does it speed up the wait for everyone else, but it also excuses the characters from having to flip the thin autograph book pages with their big furry paws. For the latter reason, characters also prefer large pens or sharpies so that they can have a better grip on what they’re writing with. This also ensures a more quality signature for you, the Guest!

It’s also respectful to keep in mind the characters’ sight lines and hearing. Make sure you speak to them clearly and loudly so that you’re able to say what you mean with as little confusion as possible, remembering that most of them can only respond to you in pantomime.

Have Fun

Keeping within the characters’ safety boundaries doesn’t mean that you can’t have little fun. Characters love to interact with Guests, and always like when you mention something specific to their movie or personality. Asking Mary Poppins where Bert is can serve as an excellent conversation starter, while telling Donald that Mickey is #1 can spiral into a hilarious fit from the jealous duck. Some characters naturally start the interaction themselves; Stitch is always mischievous and Goofy is always extra clumsy. Thinking about what you’re going to tell the character or coming up with a unique question to ask the character is an excellent idea for helping pass the time in line.

Many of the characters that inhabit Walt Disney World are nothing short of childhood heroes, and meeting them in person is a huge deal. All of these suggestions can help you as a Guest and as a family have better-quality character greetings during your Disney vacation.

Say hi to Mickey for me!

-Blake
Blake is the newest member of the Chip Panel. For details on how you can join the Chip Panel just click here.
Walt Disney World Character Greeting Primer 2

Walt Disney World Character Greeting Primer 3

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60 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Character Greeting Primer

  1. Excellent tips all the way around. I would also add that the new Town Hall set up in the MK is great late at night, no lines, no waiting! It was midnight and M&M were still there!

  2. Great article and information on “Making the most”. I do love the character breakfast experience.

  3. My oldest daughter loves Tink. I hope seeing the Fairies will not be TOO different now that Toontown is changing…

  4. At Animal Kingdom, Stitch wears a lei… Stitch pulled one of the (foam) flowers from his lei and gave it to my daughter when she told him she loved him. 🙂

  5. @ CoreyA- I have only seen Jessie in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland… Sometimes between Pecos Bills and Splash Mtn, other times near the train depot. We tend to “stalk” her as my daughter is a big fan as well. 🙂 Hope you see her on your next trip!

  6. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  7. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  8. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  9. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  10. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  11. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  12. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  13. My daughter really wanted to see Jessie and we thought she was going to be in Hollywood Studios, but when we got there, it was only Woody and Buzz. If we had checked ahead of time, we would’ve known she was only in MK, and gone to see her when we were there. Instead, the closest we got to her was in the Block Party parade.

  14. They invite kids to dance and play instruments in a conga-line w/ several characters around the room. So cute!

  15. One of our favorite character dining experiences has been at Tusker House in AK. Donald’s Safari Breakfast is awesome!

  16. Our past visit the characters were having my daughter hold up her pig tails like ears. Loved those pics!

  17. Can’t wait to meet Phineas and Ferb. Our Sept trip is a suprise for my 3 kids and they LOVE Phineas and Ferb. They will be so excited to see them, especially my 3 yr old little girl(Hopefully she won’t be scared of characters LOL)

  18. Also the UK pavilion often has Mary Poppins or Alice (in Wonderland), outside or inside. A nice change of pace for the background in photos.

  19. Also the UK pavilion often has Mary Poppins or Alice (in Wonderland), outside or inside. A nice change of pace for the background in photos.

  20. Also the UK pavilion often has Mary Poppins or Alice (in Wonderland), outside or inside. A nice change of pace for the background in photos.

  21. I love the character spot in AK, near the entrance to Dinoland, usually Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. I have never found it to be crowded and get to spend a bit more time with each. I love walking up to Tigger and saying “give me four”.

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