It was sometime back in the 1980s, but I have a clear memory of spotting Snow White out of the corner of my eye and racing over to her (along with a bunch of other kids) – hoping that I’d be able to get her autograph. We hadn’t been looking for her – we were just walking down a path in the Magic Kingdom – and when she signed my book it was like magic!
These days you aren’t likely to just run into a character walking down a path – there are schedules and meeting spots and fastpasses to think about – but I will tell you – it’s still magical!
There are many places you can meet characters in Walt Disney World – and if you check your My Disney Experience App, you will find a list of every character who will be out and about that day – what times – and where to find them. For some characters in the Magic Kingdom, like Gaston or Woody and Jessie, you go to their meeting spot and wait in line, for others, like the princesses who meet in Princess Fairytale Hall and Talking Mickey in the Town Square Theater, you can either wait in line, or select meeting them as one of your Fastpass+ choices for the day.
If spending time waiting for a character meet is not something you want to spend your time doing, another option is to book a character meal! My family loves to do this – that way we can meet 4 or 5 characters while we’re enjoying some delicious food. You are seated at your table, and the characters rotate and come to you! Some character meals we have enjoyed in the past are Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet at the Contemporary hotel, Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at The Grand Floridian, and both the Disney Junior Play and Dine and Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
But are your kids ready to meet characters up close and personal?… I thought for sure that mine would be dying to meet their favorite Disney friends – they BEGGED for me to list meet after meet in our touring plan. Then when we got face to face (or face to mask in some instances) – they freaked. Now we prepare by watching youtube videos of character meets to prepare – and we also usually stay more calm around “face characters” (characters where you see their actual human face). On our last trip though – my older children did give a few characters hugs and high fives, so I think we may add a few meet and greets back into our rotation.
I’ve found that having a plan for meeting the characters helps. If you have autograph books you can practice with your child what they will say to ask for the autograph. Sometimes we purposely wear clothes that have that character’s image on it so we can point it out them. My kids have started coming up with fun questions to ask the characters. Even the ones who don’t talk back have found ways to answer! My son asked Sorcerer Mickey at Hollywood Studios if he could turn him into a frog. After thinking about it for a moment – he led my son over to his spell book and “searched” for a spell – we LOVED it!
Let’s say your children aren’t ready to get too close to their favorite characters – don’t worry – there are SO many shows and parades happening all day long where you get close, but not too close to your favorite Disney friends.
What characters are you hoping to meet? Do you have any great character stories to share? We’d love to hear about it all – leave a comment here or on Sprinkling Pixie Dust’s Facebook page! And…be on the look out every Friday, when I’ll post some of my favorite “Disney Friend” pictures!