The Walt Disney World Resort is known for the magic moments and memories created for Guests. These moments include riding attractions, dining in Disney restaurants, interactions with Cast Members, and more. Another experience that helps to provide Guests with the Disney experience is character meet and greets.
Disney Characters in Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World character interactions come in many forms. Favorite Disney pals meet Guests in particular locations in each Disney theme park. Guests can interact with Disney characters from a distance, such as Winnie the Pooh in the Imagination Gardens in EPCOT, and Chip and Dale at the top of Hollywood Boulevard, near Animation Courtyard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Festival of Fantasy Parade makes its way through Magic Kingdom Park daily, offering Guests a chance to see some characters that aren’t available to meet otherwise. Additionally, the Character Caravan continues to visit the Disney Resort hotels throughout the week, surprising hotel Guests in the morning.
Guests can also enjoy character dining with Disney characters in several Disney Parks and Resort restaurants. Locations that offer Disney character dining include:
- Chef Mickey’s
- Tusker House
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (inside Cinderella Castle)
- Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
- Garden Grill
- Cape May Cafe
- Hollywood & Vine, featuring Disney Junior characters and Minnie Mouse and friends
- The Crystal Palace
- Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera
- ‘Ohana, including Lilo, Stitch and Mickey in a Hawaiian shirt as though he’s just arrived from Disney Aulani Resort
The current Walt Disney World characters that meet regularly are:
- Mickey Mouse, who also has memorable Guest interactions in the Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom Park
- Minnie Mouse, who meets in her red polka dot dress around the Disney Parks, and in a beautiful ballgown in Red Carpet Dreams, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Donald Duck, who meets in his blue outfit, as well as a special dino-inspired outfit in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Daisy Duck
- Chip and Dale, as themselves in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and as the cutest dinosaurs you ever did see in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Princesses in Disney Princess Fairytale Hall, Magic Kingdom (Elena, Merida, Princess Tiana, Rapunzel, and Cinderella) and EPCOT World Showcase (Mulan, Anna, Elsa)
- Mary Poppins
- Vanellope von Schweetz
- Star Wars characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Animation Courtyard, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney Junior characters
- Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story Land
- Kevin in Discovery Island, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Recently, more Disney character interactions have returned to Disney Parks. Winnie the Pooh and friends have returned to The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom to greet Guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Today, Pete’s Silly Sideshow has also returned to the Disney Park in Storybook Circus. Although Mickey Mouse doesn’t meet here, Minnie Mouse as Minnie Magnifique, Daisy Duck as Daisy Fortuna, Donald Duck as Astounding Donaldo, and Goofy as the Great Goofini have resumed meeting Guests after a period of absence following the Covid pandemic.
Furthermore, The Walt Disney Company is currently recruiting new Cast Members. The Disney College Program has opened applications once again, and this time, they are recruiting for the role of Character Performer, in addition to other positions within the Disney Parks. The hope of more Character Performers returning to the Disney Parks and Resorts has got us thinking about the Walt Disney World characters we’d love to see.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Two locations in Walt Disney World would make perfect spots for characters from this Disney movie to meet Guests. The transformation of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure would provide the ideal location for Louis, Princess Tiana, and Prince Naveen to meet. We’d also love to see these characters make surprise appearances at Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts. Remember that Dr. Facilier would also be a fun and exciting character to meet in Disney’s Port Orleans.
The Three Caballeros (1944)
Donald Duck meets Guests outside the Mexico Pavilion in EPCOT World Showcase, but how fun would it be for Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistoles to join him now and then? Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort would also be ideal for seeing these characters together during the Character Caravan.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Alice, the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, and the Queen of Hearts have been known to meet Guests in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom previously. Unfortunately, they are yet to return, except during seasonal Magic Kingdom parties. Alice and the Mad Hatter also used to join Guests for breakfast in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at 1900 Park Fare. We’d love to see these characters resume interaction with Guests sometime soon in either location. Adding the March Hare and the Cheshire Cat would make these character interactions even more special.
Goofy and his son, Max, are known to currently wave to Guests from the Hollywood Tower Hotel balcony at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That being said, we’d love to see Goofy don his bellhop outfit when meeting Guests at this location. Bellhop Goofy is a character that Disneyland Paris Guests can occasionally see, exploring the outskirts of the attraction in the Walt Disney Studios Park. Let’s hope he makes his way to the Walt Disney World Resort sometime.
The Incredibles (2004)
Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and Frozone have been known to meet Guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Additionally, Edna Mode makes an appearance in the daily character cavalcade in the Disney Park. But will these characters ever have their own meet and greet again? The recent debut of Mrs. Incredible and Edna Mode as face characters on the Disney Fantasy has us hoping that this experience will come to the Walt Disney World Resort sometime. Disney’s Contemporary Resort would be a fun location to surprise Guests, given their movie inspires the Guest rooms at the Disney Resort hotel.
The Emporer’s New Groove (2000)
This is a Disney movie that isn’t often recognized in the Disney Parks, although just last October, Yzma made her debut in a Disney theme park. Guests of Disneyland Park in Disneyland Paris saw Yzma make an appearance at the Disney Halloween Party. Disney Villains aren’t generally celebrated in the Walt Disney World Resort, except at Halloween or during special events. However, the Disney Villains After Hours event is still listed on the Walt Disney World website. Maybe this event is to return to Magic Kingdom Park, but will we see Yzma and other Disney villains, such as Maleficent, mingle with Guests?
This Disney movie was a hit amongst Disney fans. While the soundtrack may have had something to do with that, fans also fell in love with the characters, including Mirabel and Bruno. The infamous Bruno was someone nobody talked about until he debuted at Disneyland California Adventure Park last year. The casitas in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort may be the only suitable location to meet Bruno, but we’d love to see him come to the Walt Disney World Resort at some point.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Mary Poppins meets Guests in the United Kingdom Pavilion in EPCOT World Showcase in her Jolly Holiday outfit. But we’d love to see Bert meet Guests with her. With the renovations that are taking place at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, we also feel that this would provide the perfect location for Mary Poppins to meet in her nanny outfit, featuring her carpet bag and umbrella.
Which Disney character would you like to see meet and greet around the Disney Parks and Resorts in Lake Buena Vista? Are there other character dining experiences you’d like to see too? Let’s keep hoping that our wishes will be granted soon!