Character meets can be a truly magical experience for everyone involved!
Make your memories more magical with these top tips:
1. Go to character meals
A great way to meet loads of characters without having to queue or fight through crowds is to book character meals. These are available in restaurants all over the parks and some deluxe resorts, from princess meals to Mickey and friends to the Winnie the Pooh gang. They’re also great for children who tend to be a little more shy as you’re not being taken out of your comfort zone.
2. Do your research, find out who you can meet and where.
You’ll be amazed how many characters you can meet throughout the parks, sometimes its just a case of going slightly out of your way to find them. Who are your favourites? Park maps and schedules tell you who you can meet, where they are and what time they’ll be there, from Russell and Doug in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Mary Poppins in the UK Pavilion at Epcot.
3. Make your meetings special.
While preparing for your Disney trip, why not have your kids make gifts for their favourite characters? Characters aren’t allowed to accept tips, but you can make their day with drawings or small handmade items; you might even get an extra minute out of it! Alternatively, why not do something different during your character meet? Ask princesses to dance with you, show Mr Incredibles your crime fighting skills!
4. Prepare a few excuses.
This sounds bad, I promise its not! Kids are curious, and everyone knows how much they love to ask questions, so prepare a couple of white lies for why certain characters don’t speak (‘Goofy’s got a big show later, he needs to save his voice’), or why they take so many breaks (‘I think Pluto’s had a bit too much to drink, toilet time!’).
5. Get autographs
Get yourself an autograph book, or some kind of alternative (I’ve seen people have characters sign t-shirts, pillowcases etc). You’ll be able to look back at all the characters you’ve met during your trip. Be sure to have a large pen, like a sharpie, as they’re easier for characters with larger hands.
6. Book Fastpasses
Some characters, especially Elsa and Anna in the Princess Fairytale hall, will have a long queue time if you don’t Fastpass them (Elsa and Anna Fastpasses book out up to 60 days in advance, plan ahead!). You don’t want to take away from the magical experience of meeting your favourite characters with an hour long queue for a 5 minute meet.
7. Decide if meeting characters is something you really want to do
Character meeting can be time consuming, so if you’re on a tight schedule and you’re not that fussed, don’t waste your time, or a place in a queue that someone else would appreciate more. For younger kids who can’t do as many rides though, characters are the true magic of Disney World.
8. Amaze yourself
You will truly be amazed by how well characters play their part, so play along with their conversations, or test them by introducing a new topic and see how brilliantly they can cope. On my last trip, Princess Aurora offered to set me up with one of Prince Phillip’s handsome single friends!
9. Appreciate the cast members
Characters need to take breaks, so sometimes your queue time will be lengthened as they do so. Remember that characters are real people too, so be patient with them.
10. If you only see one character, make it Magician Mickey!
In the Town Square Theater, you can meet Mickey at his most magical. Take a trip to backstage of Mickey’s magic show, and meet the main man himself in a way you’ve never seen him before, or heard! That’s right, Mickey speaks to you! It is the only opportunity in Disney World to meet him where he can speak to you, answer questions and even show you his latest magic trick!