The Etiquette You Need to Know Before Meeting Characters at Disney Parks

Mickey and Minnie outside Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

For many Guests, meeting characters is a must-do experience during any Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Did you know there are some unspoken rules you should follow when seeing your favorite characters, though? It’s okay- We’re here to help by rounding up all of the etiquette you need to know when it comes to meeting characters at Disney Parks.

Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Credit: Disney

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Basics of Walt Disney World Character Meet and Greets

You can find character meet and greets all over the Walt Disney World Resort. In addition to permanent meet and greet locations in the theme parks, Guests can see characters in parades and cavalcades (or flotillas in the case of Disney’s Animal Kingdom) as well as in character dining experiences.

All pandemic-era restrictions have long been lifted at Walt Disney World, so Guests are welcome to hug their favorite characters, pose for selfies and photos, and bring autograph books for the characters to sign.

Some character meet and greet locations in the Parks can have quite long waits, particularly the Disney Princesses found in Princess Fairytale Hall and Mickey at Town Square Theater in the Magic Kingdom. If any of these meet and greets are must-dos for you, you may want to consider a character dining experience like Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Park or Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort to save time seeing characters while you dine.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics let’s get into the etiquette Guests should follow when meeting characters…

Donald Duck at Pete's Silly Sideshow

Credit: Disney

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Tips for meeting Disney characters

The most important “rule” when it comes to meeting characters is to be respectful of Cast Members (both character attendants and anyone who is a close friend of the characters themselves) and other Guests. Cast Members are always working hard to create the most magical experience possible for Guests, and other Guests in the Park are hoping to have incredible experiences, too.

As such, remember all of the basic courtesies that come with interacting with other Guests (not cutting in line, for instance) but also consider these points for character meet and greets specifically.

The most important recommendation we can give is to do your part to avoid ruining the magic. This means respecting character integrity (the fact that these characters are real, and there is only one of them, ie: the one you are currently meeting.) Guests around you in line and Cast Members with strict rules to follow do not care if you are an adult and you “know better,” they just want the best experience possible for everyone. As such, if you are tempted to make comments about performers in costumes or “how hot it must be in there,” remember that it’s okay to keep some thoughts in your own head.


Credit: Disney

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On a similar note, do not try to get characters to break character. Whether it is done maliciously or simply by talking about something a character would not be familiar with because it isn’t a part of their storyline, it’s best to keep your interactions on subjects the characters can speak on.

Interacting with characters tends to be easier with fur characters. Still, whoever you meet, you can always think about things from their movies to ask them about to have a magical interaction they can participate in. Maybe ask about their pets or sidekicks, how they like royal life (if they became a princess in their story), etc. Very vague questions that would work across all times and stories are great, too, like what their favorite hobby has been lately or their favorite food.

Once you have the etiquette down, grab your camera (or purchase Memory Maker in advance), and have a magical trip!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."