Fed up of waiting in long lines to meet your childrens favourite Walt Disney characters? Well don’t panic, there are other ways to meet them and get that all important photo, interaction or autograph! We are all very excited at the thought of meeting Mickey, or giving Goofy a high five and for those of us that have booked up a holiday and are traveling with kids we all have the pleasure of telling them that they are going to meet Minnie, or see their favourite Princess right?
Well, depending on what time of year you travel, the queues for the various character meet & greets can be quite long, so we find that the best way to avoid some of those and get the best experience for yourself, or your little ones is to either try to make a fastpass reservation for the various meet & greets or make a character dining reservation.
Firstly, you can use a fastpass reservation for certain character meet & greets, I highly suggest giving up a ride or 2 if there is a certain character high on your agenda. Fastpasses are available 60 days in advance for those staying on Disney property and 30 days in advance for everyone else.
Princess Fairytale Hall, inside the Magic Kingdom Park is one of the best places to meet the Princesses, and you will find that the lines for Anna & Elsa are without a doubt the longest and you can wait a good hour or more, so a fastpass is highly recommended or you can wait until the end of the evening when the lines are a lot less. You can meet the following Princesses: Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Elena, and other various others and different times.
You can meet Ariel with a fastpass at her grotto in the new Fantasyland. She is always pleased to make new friends, especially Human ones.
If the real classics are at the top of your ‘must meet list’, then one of the best places to meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in 3 separate photos is at the Character Spot which is located in Future World in Epcot. I have seen the lines for this at 90 minutes and more, Disney are also making this a Tier 1 for the fastpass, so I can only imagine the queue for this getting longer.
Mickey and Minnie are also at the Adventurers Outpost at Animal Kingdom dressed in fun safari attire, a fastpass is available, and you can pose for that picture perfect postcard shot and see all of the fun souvenirs the couple have collected on their various travels around the globe.
One of the greatest character experiences for me was meeting the main man himself….Mickey Mouse, in the Town Square Theatre along main street, he was extremely interactive and spared a lot of time for each individual.
Also available on fastpass at the Town Square Theatre is the chance to meet Tinker Bell, she is very funny and a great interaction character to meet, as always, she is a little mischievous and can often be caught pulling some funny faces in your photos!
Secondly, the other way to experience a truly wonderful character interaction and experience is to book one of the character dining meals, they have wonderful breakfast and dinner buffets. Some of these reservations can be made as far as 180 days in advance. Depending on which restaurant you book, will depend on what characters you will get to meet. All characters are subject to change but you can rely on appearances such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto at Chef Mickeys located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
These classic favouries can also be found in their beach clothes over at Cape May Cafe, located in Disney’s Beach Club Resort, which makes a different and fun way to see them all.
Many of the Resort restaurants and park restaurants have character breakfasts, dinner or both and host a wide variety of characters from Winnie the Pooh and friends, to Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Chip & Dale, Lilo and Stitch and many others. Each has an array of food varieties, from good old American style buffet breakfasts to Seafood feasts and carved meats galore, you truly will be spolit for choice.
The Be Our Guest restaurant is amazing inside and is an experience everyone should make time for. The food is fantastic, the decor is exquisite and on top of all of that you get to see Belle and the Beast himself.
For the ultimate Princess experience and to meet many of the favourites all in one go then I highly recommend Cinderella’s Royal Table, this is located in the Cinderella’s Castle and truly is a wonderful experience for children of all ages and adults. When you queue up to go in you get to meet Cinderella and pose for a wonderful photo which is presented to you at dinner.
Once inside and seated, various Princesses circle the room giving everyone the chance for photos and autograph signing, this does not feel rushed and each one will be sure to visit your table, this really does make for a once in a lifetime experience, not only for the decor and being inside the castle itself, but also for the amount of Princesses you meet at once, and the food is of a very high quality.
These are of course suggestions, I would highly recommend downloading the ‘My Disney Experience’ app to your mobile device, if you carry your phone with you around the parks this is extremely useful to log on to and find out exactly which character is in which location at what time, arriving slightly early is recommended to get nearer to the front of the queue as characters are only out for a certain while and lines get cut off.
The other thing I highly recommend is pre-purchasing ‘Memory Maker’ this allows you to have many photos with your entire family in, we had this on our first trip to Disney with our Son and we got many fabulous photos taken of the 3 of us which were priceless and of a high quality.
Who’s your favorite character?