In addition to the heart-pounding rides, family attractions, Broadway-style stage shows and fabulous nighttime spectaculars, Walt Disney World offers every Guest the opportunity to experience the Magic in his own way—and with his favorite characters. Kids and kids at heart can shake hands and share hugs with Disney princesses, princes, characters from their favorite Disney movies and of course, a very special mouse! But some of those beloved characters are more elusive than others. Here are eight character encounters you might not have known were available at the parks.
While you can’t get his autograph, you can at least say hello and pose for a picture with the master of the castle at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. He only greets Guests after dinner in the evening, so if you want a chance to meet him, you’ll also have to score one of the most elusive dining reservations at Disney World.
If you’ve ever wanted to paint with all the colors of the wind, you can do just that when you meet Pocahontas at Animal Kingdom. She’s hidden at Discovery Island Trails West on Discovery Island. Be sure to check the My Disney Experience for appearance times on the day of your visit.
6. Snow White and a couple of the Dwarfs
In an all-new dining experience, Guests can dine at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and enjoy a prix-fixe dinner as they step into the Enchanted Forest for an evening like no other. During the experience, Guests will also meet Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy. There’s even a photo op with the Evil Queen herself! This new experience is wildly popular, so you’ll want to be sure to make your reservation in advance—up to 180 days in advance of your trip if possible. Call (407) WDW-DINE to check availability.
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5. The Country Bear Jamboree bears
You won’t be able to score an autograph with them, but you’ll still have a great time dancing with the bears from the Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom. They appear in the thoroughfare in front of the Country Bear Jamboree theater and dance and interact with Guests. Just before they leave the area, it is possible to pose for pics with the bears—one at a time usually—but there is no PhotoPass photographer and no formal queue. Short lines form and you’ll just need to wait a few moments until it’s your turn.
You may already know about the opportunity to meet Merida at Fairytale Garden near the base of Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. But what you may not realize is that PIXAR’s only princess is quite popular among Guests, and if you don’t get to the queue first thing in the morning when the park opens, you may either forfeit your opportunity to meet her or find yourself spending a lot of your park time in the queue waiting for your fate to change so you can meet this red-headed beauty. Check her appearance times by accessing the My Disney Experience app.
3. Lady Tremaine/Fairy Godmother
You won’t find Cinderella’s evil stepmother in the parks at Disney World, but you can often see her during the Happily Ever After dinner at 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Book this experience in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE. You’ll meet Cinderella and her beau, her stepsisters and either Fairy Godmother or Lady Tremaine. The experience is fun for the whole family, and Guests get to meet some hard-to-find characters!
2. Mike Wazowski & Sully
We’ve waited for this character encounter for a while! And finally, Guests can say hello to the one-eyed lovable monster and his best friend, the huggable blue monster, from Monsters, Inc. at Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Access the My Disney Experience for appearance times, and don’t miss out! They are only here through September!
1. Anastasia and Drizella
Not only can you meet Cinderella’s snobby stepsisters during the Happily Ever After dinner at 1900 Park Fare inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, but you even have a chance of seeing them up close and personal near the gateway to the newest part of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. Their appearance times vary, and they aren’t available every day, so your best bet is to check the Magic Kingdom Times Guide or access the My Disney Experience app for up-to-date information on the duo’s appearance times.