Be honest. When you go to Walt Disney World — or any Disney resort, for that matter — do you absolutely have to get character photos? Do you make Fast Pass+ reservations? Do you seek out where certain characters will be? Do you randomly stop to meet a character as you happen to be walking by and see their line? Do you book characters meals? Do you try to find uncommon characters? Are there any specific characters that you try to see as often as you can?
If you like to take character pictures, then you understand the many possibilities. Are you preparing to go to Walt Disney World for the first time? You are in for a treat because may learn some useful tips after spending a few minutes here today reading.
Do you make Fast Pass+ reservations?
You can use your Fast Pass+ to reserve a time to see certain characters. This may or may not help you save time, depending on the character and the season or time of day. Some people prefer to save their FP+ for rides or shows. However, if you have a child — or are a child at heart — then you might be willing to use your FP+ to hopefully save time and get those character photographs!
You may be wondering for what characters you can use FP+ and where they are in each of the parks. Here is a quick list os what we have found.
At Magic Kingdom, you can look for Fast Passes to meet Ariel at her Grotta, Cinderella and Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall, Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall, and Tinkerbell at Town Square Theater. You can also go to Enchanted Tales with Belle, which tells a story that includes audience interaction. Oh, and do not forget Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater because he always has a thrill meeting people, and he always looks quite dapper.
At Epcot (EPCOT Center for us old school folks), you look for Fast Passes to meet Disney Pals at Epcot Character Spot. You may often find Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. You may find other characters that seem to change with the seasons or with what is popular.
When you travel via World Showcase, you can find even more characters to visit. Watch the app, and keep your eyes open for opportunities. Duffy was a surprise to us one day.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are not Fast Passes currently available to meet specific characters, yet there are characters throughout the park to meet. If you are a Star Wars fan, then you might want to head to Launch Bay for some photo opportunities.
You could also be wandering through the park and find yourself taking selfies with Chewbacca.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can look for Fast Passes to meet some favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost. To top it off, Mickey and Minnie are in their cutest, safari attire.
Do you seek out where certain characters will be?
Walt Disney World makes it very convenient today to find a character that you would like to meet. Oftentimes, characters are in and out of the same spot throughout the day. Sometimes we need to take a break to rest and grab a bite to eat, and they do, too. Of course, there is also the need for characters to have bathroom breaks. That said, if a character is not available when you arrive to their spot, check the Disney app because chances are that they will be back after not too long.
App? What app? Let me back up briefly. If you do not yet have the Disney app, also known as My Disney Experience, then you may want to download it right away — after you finish reading this, of course.
On the Disney app, you can find many, many different characters for which you want to look and so many other characters that you might be surprised to see! To give you an idea of how many possibilities there are to meet characters throughout the Walt Disney World Parks, here is a screen shot of the app. I went to Magic Kingdom and typed characters in the search bar.
Do you randomly stop to meet a character as you happen to be walking by their line?
Sometimes, when walking through any of the parks, you might pass a bunch of people in a line. No restaurant? No street vendor? Oh, look! There is a character that you have not met yet. Sometimes there is a cast member at the end of the line, indicating that the line is closed and that the character will be going on a break or leaving soon. If that cast member is not at the end of the line, then you can scoot right over there and take your place!
Do you book character meals?
One of the easiest ways to meet characters is by scheduling character meals. A character meal is a table service meal where you are able to enjoy good food and meet an assortment of characters. It is convenient because the characters come right to your table to visit and pose for pictures. You could meet the Fab Five, princesses, Disney Jr. pals, Mary Poppins, the Mad Hatter, Cinderella’s stepsisters and Lady Tremaine, Winnie the Pooh and his friends, Lilo and Stitch, and more!
Of course, the characters that you might be able to meet vary from restaurant to restaurant. You can find out this information on the Disney web site or on the Disney app.
Occasionally, yet rarely, you might find yourself looking at a random character who is walking around the park and do a double take. Did you just see who you think you just saw? This does not happen often, so do not expect it. It has happened to us a few times, though, so we know that it does happen from time to time. When it does happen, it is certainly an added treat. Grab your camera, though, because if you are fortunate to see a random character wandering at a park, there will probably not be a PhotoPass photographer with them.
On a recent trip, Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox were trying to figure out why boy had rabbit tails (puff balls) on the ends of his hoodie strings.
Do you try to find uncommon characters?
Sometimes those surprise characters are found wandering around the parks. Sometimes you can find them at Characterpalooza. What is Characterpalooza? There are random times at certain places around Hollywood Studios when an assortment of characters will appear for fifteen to twenty minutes. The places around the park change in order to keep it a mystery. If you see a group of people gathered in a place with no apparent reason, perhaps they have found out where Characterpalooza will be that day.
If you find yourself at Characterpalooza, have your book ready if you want to get autographs because they like to move people through quickly. Find a place to park your stroller if you have one. Strollers are not permitted in the private areas where Characterpalooza is often located. Again, it is said to be random a random event. You either have to get lucky, so to speak, or find out where they might be.
Wherever you see characters, remember to bring a fat pen or marker because some of the characters have big hands and might find it challenging to grip a thin writing implement.
Oh, and if you want an autograph book that is a bit different from plain paged books, we use the Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters and have the characters sign the page where they are shown. For some added chuckles, some of our Disney Pals even get creative with what they write.
Are there any specific characters that you try to see as often as you can?
Maybe you would like to see as many characters as you can on your trip to Walt Disney World. Maybe you will be going for your first time and would like to focus on finding the Fab Five. There are those folks who like to take pictures with certain characters whenever there is an opportunity. Different pictures with the same character can make for added smiles with your photo memories — especially over time.
There are a couple of boys with whom I like to take pictures when I can. Have you figured out who they are?
More Fun for Disney Beginners
Now that you have some information to help you experience of the joys and laughs that come along with meeting your Disney Pals and having pictures taken with them, you might be ready for another kind of fun. Please visit my friend’s post, Beginners Guide to Disney Pins and Disney Pin Trading on her blog at Pixie Dusty Savings. Be warned though, pin trading can be ridiculously addicting — in a fun way!