Character meet-and-greets are some of the most important experiences of any Disney World trip. In fact, these meetings are so important to some that they will wait in line for hours just to meet their favorite animated friend. Others make dining reservations to eat with these friends months in advance, and most visitors carry autograph books to collect the signatures of the characters they have the opportunity to meet. That said, when you have a limited amount of time in the parks, picking and choosing who you meet can be difficult. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten meet-and-greet options so you can choose wisely and make the most of your time.
1. Princesses, Peter Pan, and Tinkerbell
In our opinion, face characters (those without masks) are always the best ones to meet. This is because these characters can actually talk with you. Of these, the very best are as follows:
- Merida in Magic Kingdom
- Ariel in Magic Kingdom
- Peter Pan in Magic Kingdom
- Tinkerbell in Magic Kingdom
- Anna and Elsa in Epcot
Villains are also super fun to meet. Unfortunately, outside of the Halloween party, they can be hard to find. The villains you can meet with during normal park hours include Anastasia, Drizella, and Lady Tremaine in Magic Kingdom, as well as Gaston in Magic Kingdom.
3. Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars fans will be happy to learn that there is an entire building in Hollywood Studios dedicated to meeting Star Wars friends (and enemies). In Star Wars Launch Bay you will be surrounded by Star Wars theming and awesome props from the movies. You’ll also have the chance to meet Chewbacca, BB-8, and Kylo Ren.
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4. Character Palooza
Occasionally in Hollywood Studios, you’ll come across a gathering of characters that are rarely seen. These events are known as “Character Paloozas” and are never on the schedule. Therefore, you simply have to be in the right place at the right time to catch one. If you’re lucky enough to run into a Character Palooza event, be sure to stop and get some autographs—it may be your only chance to do so!
5. Donald’s Dino-Bash!
One of the newest events on Disney property, Donald’s Dino-Bash is a super fun nightly celebration that happens in DinoLand U.S.A. in Animal Kingdom. Here you’ll have the opportunity to meet some rarely seen characters. Because we don’t know how long this party will stick around, you’ll want to get photos with these guys sooner rather than later. Currently, the lineup is as follows:
- Costumed Donald Duck, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto
- Costumed Chip and Dale
- Scrooge McDuck
- Launchpad McQuack
6. Holiday Parties
If you’re looking to meet some rare characters, holiday parties are almost always your best bet. During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you’ll likely stumble across Jack Skellington, several Disney villains, and many more uncommon meet-and-greets. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party also features some unusual meet-and-greets with friends such as Zootopia characters, Moana, various princes, and more!
7. Epcot Character Spot
If you’re looking to save time, the Epcot Character Spot is a great place to go. The lines for this spot are usually pretty short, but if you want to be safe, grab a FastPass beforehand. The benefit to this character greeting location is that you’ll meet three of the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy) in one go without needing to wait in separate lines. This is a huge time saver and ensures you see some of the classic characters.
8. Disney Visa Meet-and-Greets
For those who have Disney Visa cards, another great time saver is available in Epcot: the Visa meet-and-greet. This character spot is for cardholders only, meaning the line is always fairly short. When you visit, you’ll be given the opportunity to meet two surprise characters with one short wait. There is another Visa meet-and-greet located in Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios. This one features a surprise Star Wars character.
9. World Showcase
A walk around the World Showcase in Epcot will reveal a number of meet-and-greets. Look out for princesses, Alice, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, and many others. These are great for keeping kids entertained during a walk around the world, and they also offer a good opportunity to gather many autographs and photos in one park visit.
10. Character Meals
Lastly, we must mention the option of character meals. While these do cost money, they are an amazing time saver as they allow you to meet numerous characters without waiting in a single line. On top of that, you get to enjoy a delicious meal during the process! These are a great option if you have young children or even if you just don’t like long waits in line.