One of the most magical parts of a Disney vacation is interacting with the many characters on property. Whether you know them from an animated television show, a blockbuster live action film, or pages from a beloved book, nothing compares to meeting, talking, and hugging the characters in person. There are many opportunities to see and meet characters in Walt Disney World. Guests can reserve character dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, find them popping up at your resort hotel for meet-and-greets, and, of course, see them in parades and designated meeting spots at all four Walt Disney World Parks.
If you or a member of your travel party have a favorite character or one that you absolutely must meet during your vacation, it’s helpful to do a little research beforehand. By using the My Disney Experience app, it’s easy to find out who, when, and where characters meet. While this is subject to unexpected changes, it is useful to know before your visit to a park who you will be able to find. If you are like my family and enjoy collecting autographs from as many characters as possible, you may be wondering which is the best park for character meet-and-greets. The answer may surprise you!
While guests may find the most character meet-and-greets at Walt Disney Word’s Magic Kingdom, the best place to meet classic Disney characters is EPCOT. Between the variety of characters and the short wait times, it is easy to fill the pages of your autograph book without having to sacrifice time in the park that you would otherwise spend enjoying attractions, shows, and snacks!
The World Showcase at EPCOT is the perfect place to meet Disney princesses and other favorite friends. Guests can find Alice, Winnie The Pooh, and Mary Poppins in the U.K. Pavilion, Aurora and Belle in France, Jasmine in Morocco, Snow White in Germany, Mulan in China, Anna and Elsa in Norway, and Donald Duck from The Three Caballeros in Mexico. Plan to meet these characters towards the beginning of the day as some stop meeting as early as 2:30PM.
While Goofy can be found by Spaceship Earth in the front of the park, Daisy Duck greets her admirers near the International Gateway entrance where guests from the Skyliner and BoardWalk Resorts enter the park.
You won’t want to miss Pluto in the gazebo across from Disney Traders on your way to or from Mexico in World Celebration and be sure to drop by the Imagination Pavilion to say hello to a few special guests. Figment has recently joined Joy from Inside Out and currently guests will find Mickey and Minnie Mouse greeting inside as well in their Disney 100 outfits!
Finally, guests will want to explore the newly opened Journey of Water and meet Moana herself in World Nature. This meet-and-greet began its soft opening to the public on Friday, October 6, 2023.
Meeting characters at EPCOT is a breeze. The locations of the meet-and-greets easily fit into your daily itinerary as you explore each portion of the park. With the exception of meeting Anna and Elsa, even during a busy day, the wait times for most characters listed above are usually under 15 minutes. This allows guests to meet many characters in one day as well as experience all of the other things on their EPCOT must-do list. Those utilizing lightning lanes through the purchase of Genie+ at EPCOT can focus on reserving attractions with predictably long wait times unlike at Magic Kingdom where guests may opt to reserve a lightning lane for characters like the princesses who appear at the Princess Fairytale Hall or Mickey Mouse since they often have posted wait times longer than 30 minutes.
Do you agree that the best place to meet characters in Walt Disney World is EPCOT? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!