One of the many magical experiences about Disney World, especially for little ones, is getting to meet their favorite Disney Characters. For us, it was all our little Mia talked about for days – meeting Mickey and Minnie! And while it really is such a wonderful part of your Disney vacation, it can also take a toll on parents. So, instead of worrying about how you’re going to fulfill your childrens’ character expectations, take a look at how we managed to meet all our daughter’s favorites, and more – without waiting in lines and chasing them around the parks.
Get ready to start our your Disney World character adventure with some fantastic memories!
Downloading Disney’s FREE ‘My Disney Experience’ App is the first thing you should do after buying your tickets. It’s seriously the best tool you can have with you on your trip to the parks. Not only does it show you every feature of every park, but it gives you wait times and locations of where Disney Characters will be.
Using the ‘My Disney Experience’ App is how we actually found Mickey the first night we were at the Magic Kingdom. I was sporatically checking the app (like I did throughout the trip), when all of a sudden it popped up near us. We dashed over and had NO wait! Win/Win!
Where to find Mickey & Tinker Bell: Right when you enter the Magic Kingdom, on your right, is the Town Square Theatre, where you’ll find Mickey. (#5 on the map)
If you’re lucky enough to experience a special event at Disney World, such as Mickey’s Christmas Party or Halloween Party, it’s the best time to catch your favorite Holiday Characters. They’re out in full holiday attire! We happened to catch Holiday Goofy, right before the rain pour began, but it was such a memorable experience! And again, hardly any wait at all!
At the back of Cinderall’s castle is the entrance for the Princess Meet and Greet at Princess Fairytale Hall (#58 on the map above). This is probably every little girl’s dream – to meet their favorite Princess! And the best part is, you can schedule a time to go on your ‘My Disney Experience App’ or you can just wing it and hope for no lines. There were hardly any lines the afternoon and evening we were at the Magic Kingdom. Next time, I foresee us spending much more time in that area!
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some great opportunities to meet Disney characters, including Safari Mickey and Minnie!
Adventure Outposts are a fantastic way to meet characters, with little to no lines at all! And you can even use your Fast Passes with most of them, giving you an extra advantage of seeing your favorites quickly. We caught Minnie and Mickey at the Adventure Outpost in the Animal Kingdom with less than a 5-minute line. The great thing about the outposts is that they are always there. If there’s a line now, check back later and they might not be. It’s a really easy way to keep tabs on the characters.
Where to find Safari Minnie and Mickey: Located on Discovery Island, right before the entrance to Asia. (#8 on the map)
Inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is Dinosaur Land, and inside that is where Donald’s DinoWorld can be found. Aside from finding Donald Duck, you can find lots of other characters, such as Daisy, Uncle Scrooge, Goofy and more. We hit up Donald and Daisy since we had already met Goofy. The lines for both Daisy and Donald were super small. Again, a great find!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some kid favorites, when it comes to Disney Characters.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, like this girl is, this is the place for you! You can meet favorite droids, like BB8 and R2D2, or get lucky and see characters like Chewbacca, Rey, Kylo Ren and Storm Troopers walking around the galaxy.
We had one of the best encounters ever, when Chewbacca appeared from the Millennium Falcon, came over to my daughter, picked her up, gave her a hug and then disappeared back inside. It was all she talked about for days!
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Toy Story Land is deeming with characters, like Buzz, Woody, Jessie and more. Most of them are just hanging outside and require standing in lines. Since our daughter still hasn’t seen the movies, she didn’t know any of the characters. But, there were tons of kids who were super excited to see them!
One of Hollywood Studios biggest stars is Olaf, himself! Many people miss him because he’s hidden back inside a studio, but if you know where to look, you can find him quickly. We found him with absolutely NO LINE, so we went in and were able to spend extra time with him, which made Mia soooo happy! Don’t forget to add Olaf to your Disney Character list!
Where to find Olaf: Take a left after Echo Lake and you’ll find a Celebrity Spotlight where Olaf is inside. (#10 on the map)
The Wilderness Campground is a famous stomping ground for Chip and Dale, as well as a fun-filled campground night. Even though we didn’t camp at the campground, we spent an evening over there and met the two most famous chimpmunks in the world at Chip n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long! You can take either a bus or a ferry to the campground and enjoy smores, some good ol’ camping songs & dancing and an outdoor Disney movie on the big screen. Mia absolutely loved it there!
Although we didn’t attend any character meals during our Disney trip, they are still one of the best ways to meet characters. Forget waiting in lines or finding them in the parks, at the character meals, the characters come to YOU! The meals are a bit more expensive, but the company makes up for it.
I have to admit, seeing Disney World through the eyes of my 3 year old transformed me from a Mediterranean Mommy into a Disney Mommy. And even more so when she met her favorite Disney Characters! The pure love and admiration she had for each one was so precious. I melted with each hug! That’s what Disney does to you!