Character Spotting at the Magic Kingdom
Recently the brilliant Adam Britten took us on a walking tour of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to determine what characters you can see in those parks. About three seconds after the first article was published, I asked if I could steal the idea for our parks! So here we go character spotting at the Magic Kingdom, but before we get started there are a few important things to remember. The characters available in the parks and their greeting locations are subject to change. While things have been pretty steady recently, it’s always a good idea to check your times guide or My Magic Experience App for the most accurate information. However, this will give you an idea of who you can expect to see. Also, if you see a (FP) beside a character, that means that FastPass+ is available for that greeting. With that out of the way, let’s get started!
Peter Pan –
While lately I’ve seen Peter greeting just outside of Adventureland I’m still counting him as part of this land. You can’t miss him if you enter Adventureland from the Hub. Edit: Stopped by 10/5 and hub construction has moved this meet and greet. You can now find Peter just as you cross the bridge into Adventureland on the right. The past few times I’ve also seen him greeting with Wendy Darling, so you might just get lucky and get to see them both! 🙂 You can normally find Peter out in the afternoon. Since he just meets near a planter, his line isn’t normally more than 20 minutes.
Aladdin and Jasmine – Online I’ve noticed that only Aladdin is listed as meeting in this area, but every time that I’ve walked by recently they were both greeting together, so I’m listing it as such. This greeting normally begins a little after park opening and wraps up in the early evening. They can be found near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. The queue area is very small and exposed to the elements, so be sure to plan accordingly. The only upside to the small, outdoor space is that the line is almost never longer than 30 minutes.
Buzz Lightyear – Starting early in the morning until early evening you can normally find Buzz Lightyear near his ride in Tomorrowland. This again is an outdoor meet and greet with a line that doesn’t get over 30 minutes.
Stitch – This character is a little bit more of a wild card. He isn’t listed online, but I’ve seen him poking around Tomorrowland in the mornings. Be sure to keep an eye out since you’ll never know if you might find him! Since his appearances are normally unplanned, he normally doesn’t have a line to meet him!
Incredibles Super Dance Party – This is a great opportunity for candid photos with The Incredibles. The fun begins around 5pm and goes on until 10pm. Unlike the previous party that occupied this space, this party doesn’t seem to be terribly popular. It should be easy to snap photos quickly and move on if you can’t stand the terrible music! 😉
Main Street, U.S.A.:
Marie & Pluto – If you look online this simply says “Meet Disney Friends in Town Square.” However, every time that I’ve been by recently, it was Marie and Pluto greeting. You can expect characters in this location bright and early until the early afternoon. Since this is the first character meet and greet people see when they walk into the park, it is often very busy. It’s also completely exposed to the weather, so I recommend skipping it if you can. I’ve also read reports of Snow White greeting in Town Square but I’ve never seen her personally.
Mickey Mouse (FP) – This is your opportunity to meet the big cheese himself! While this wait can get up to 45 minutes or better the entire queue is indoors and climate controlled. I find that the lines are shorter early in the morning and late in the evening. Mickey starts greeting as soon as the park opens and normally accepts guest until an hour before park closing. This is my favorite location to meet Mickey! Be sure even if you have seen him at another park that you stop by here – he has a magic trick he wants to show you!
Tinker Bell (FP) – This meet and greet is in the same building with Mickey. If you stop by when the lines are shorter it’s easy to meet both of them. Again, the entire queue is indoors and climate controlled. The greeting area for Tinker Bell is beautiful, it’s worth visiting just to see it!
Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party – This isn’t a traditional character meet and greet but it’s worth mentioning since the parade floats stop and characters get down on the street with guests. If you’re quick this can be a great way to meet tons of characters including: Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Baloo, King Louie, and so many more! The parade normally takes place three times a day and there is no need to wait for good seats. Just plan to be in the hub about 10 minutes before parade time and enjoy!
Chip and Dale – Located in Frontierland just near the DVC booth is a greeting location for Chip and Dale. This used to be a fun photo opp with Donald before he moved over to Fantasyland. This is a completely outdoor greeting location that seldom has longer than a 20 minute line. You can find them out starting at park opening and ending just after lunch time.
Woody and Jessie – While this is listed online as “characters from Toy Story”, you can count on seeing Woody and Jessie at this meet and greet. They’re normally tucked into a shady spot back near Splash Mountain. You can find them out a little bit after park opening and ending just before dinner time. I’ve always wished they’d let Jessie greet with Buzz sometimes. The characters could really play that up!
Princess Tiana – Tucked just between Adventureland and Liberty Square is the lovely gazebo where you can meet Princess Tiana. It’s an outdoor meet and greet so be prepared to wait in the weather for as much as 30 minutes. Also in this area, is a smaller secondary location for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
Alice and the White Rabbit – Just in front of The Mad Tea Party you can meet the stars from the film! This is often an early morning only meet and greet, ending just after lunch time. While it’s a popular meet and greet, the wait is often not more than 15 minutes. Of course, since this is an outdoor location it hinges on the weather.
Elsa and Anna (FP) – Maybe the most popular meet and greet in theme park history, you can count on there being a wait to meet these gals! The good news is that the lines are significantly shorter now that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has opened. Still, you can expect to wait an hour or more in the standby line. If at all possible this is a great use of your FastPass+. If unavailable, you can expect quite a bit of your wait to be in an outdoor but covered area at Princess Fairytale Hall. Just before photo time they put you into the air conditioning to wait so you have time to cool off. One tip here: I’ve noticed the line has been longer first thing in the morning but drops by 20 minutes or so about an hour after park opening. It might be best to let the early bird crowd pass before heading this way.
Edit: 10/5 I stopped by to see if Anna and Elsa were meeting with a visiting princess or alone. On this date they were greeting alone. When asked cast members said it “varies” and to stop by and check when visiting. Please note you may or may NOT get to meet a second princess when meeting them.
Cinderella (FP) – Also meeting at Princess Fairytale Hall you will find our favorite castle owner. The line to meet Cinderella will be much shorter than meeting the Frozen Gals. However, Cinderella is no slouch! If you get there in the afternoon you can expect to wait 45 minutes to see her. Make sure that princesses are a priority or that you have Fastpass+ for these greetings. If you’d like to skip the lines, it might be worth investing in a character meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Visiting Princesses (FP) – Whenever you meet one of the above princesses at Fairytale Hall, you’ll also get to see a second princess at the same time. In my experience you can count in seeing Aurora and Rapunzel. Generally, before you enter the queue you’ll be able to see which visiting princess you’ll get to meet.
Ariel (FP) – Just beside the new Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride you can meet Ariel. She’s stationary and still sporting her fins. The area that she greets in allows for only one or two families at a time so the experience is very personal. I’ve found that while the line is technically outdoors it is very shady and not too warm. While her line doesn’t build as quickly as other princesses it will still get pretty long as the day wears on. Be sure to stop by before lunch to meet her with a minimal wait.
Goofy and Donald or Minnie and Daisy – In storybook circus you can find my favorite meet and greet location anywhere! This is for a few reasons: the line is indoors and air conditioned, the theming is amazing, and the line doesn’t get to be too long. This area doesn’t normally open until 45 minutes after park opening but stays open late. While the boards outside often claim lines are up to 40 minutes, I’ve never experienced a wait that long in actuality. If you’re there before lunch it’s often less than 20 minutes. Add to that the fact that you get to meet TWO characters after waiting in line and this is a big winner!
Fairy God Mother – This character is often hanging around on the Fantasyland side of the castle with a fairly short wait. I’d estimate you can normally meet her after only waiting 10 minutes. Seems like more little princesses would want to meet her? She starts pretty early in the morning and normally turns in just before dinner time. Wish granting is hard work!
Lady Tremaine and her daughters – Could this be the most fun meet and greet in the park? These characters prove it’s good to be bad! You can normally find them in the mornings hanging around the castle walls as you enter New Fantasyland. However, the meet and greet is outdoors and at the mercy of mother nature. They can also gather quite a crowd but are worth the 20 minute wait.
Gaston – Another popular addition to New Fantasyland, you can find Gaston flexing his muscles near his tavern. You can expect to wait upwards of 15 minutes to meet him. Of course, he sleeps in, not starting his day until around 10am and quitting for the day before 5pm. Again, he meets out in the elements so be prepared to brave the Florida sun.
Merida – This popular princess is still occupying the Fairytale Garden. While the craziness has passed from when she initially appeared in the parks, you can still expect to wait upwards of 20 minutes to meet her. Still, it’s better than when you had to power walk at rope drop just to assure your place in line!
Pooh and Tigger – Just beside the The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh you can meet Pooh and Tigger. This meet and greet keeps odd hours, often not opening until late in the morning and closing earlier than the rest of the park. The line always seems to be fairly long. The queue and greeting areas are outdoors so it can get warm. If you’re a big Winnie the Pooh fan it might make sense to stop by the Crystal Palace for a character meal.
Belle (FP) – While it isn’t a true “meet and greet”, you’re able to visit Belle at the Enchanted Tales with Belle. In order to take a photo with her you must volunteer to be a part of the show. Average peak waits for this attraction are around 40 minutes so plan to visit at a slower time of day or make sure to book at FastPass+. The outdoor section of the queue is like a sauna so you don’t want to get stuck there! Also, remember if you choose to have dinner at Be Our Guest you’ll get to meet the Beast!
So who are you planning to meet on your next trip? Do you have any questions about meeting characters in the Magic Kingdom? Did you spot a character that I missed? If so please let us know in the comments! As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting!
23 thoughts on “Character Spotting at the Magic Kingdom”
Since last year’s trip (July 2013) was off property, we only spent 2 days in the parks. Our next trip (Dec 2014) is in just 72 days and we will be staying on property for 8 days! This article was exactly what I needed to help plan meet and greets with the characters we won’t be dining with. Luckily, we have ADRs at Chef Mickey’s, Crystal Palace and Garden Grill, so that will knock many off our long list of must meets. Also, we’ll be doing MVMCP for the first time, and I’ve heard that’s a great time to see characters that are never out other times… When it gets closer, I’d love an article like this geared towards MVMCP meet and greets!
Thanks for being awesome!
Hi Krissy! Wow, 8 glorious days! 🙂 Sounds like you have great ADRs lined up. Thanks for the article idea. I’ll look into it! You’ll love MVMCP. I skipped it last year so maybe we’ll go this year.
Oh my gosh, that was the most helpful article I have read since I started planning my family’s Disney vacation! Thanks so much for all of the great information. You not only shared us where we can meet the characters, but about how long the wait should be, and what time of the day might be better. I have been working on a touring plan, and it is exciting to be able to include character meets in my plans. Have you ever considered writing similar articles for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios?
Hi Sue! Thanks so much, I’m really glad it was helpful. I wanted to see how this article did before starting the others. It really takes a ton of research. 🙂 But, yes, I’ll start the others and thanks so much for your kind words!
When I was there the end of July Anna and Elsa did not have a visiting princess, they met separately. Anna then Elsa. Have they changed back to greeting together with a visiting princess in the second meeting area?
Hi Anne! I’ll double check today. I don’t actually visit with them often but I take a photo of the sign almost every time I’m in the park. I have photos from August and September of them greeting together with a mystery princess. I wonder if it was just a fluke the day you went? Like a princess called in sick and they split them to fill the room? I personally visited each character spot at least 2 times before writing so I’m kinda hoping that’s it! 😉 In any case, I really appreciate you leaving a comment and letting me know. I want to be sure my info is accurate and I’ll verify and update if needed.
Update: I stopped by this morning and the Frozen gals were indeed meeting alone without a mystery princess. I asked two cast member about it and they both said it “varies” and you’ll have to check when you’re in the park. Thank you so much – I’m updating now.
Darn! I was hoping it was back to a consistent joint photo.
Just to clarify…Anna and Elsa were separated? As in two different lines? Sorry if I’m confusing things…..
Hi KC – I’ve been there when you wait in line to meet Anna and Elsa together and also get to meet another princess after waiting in that one line.
It seems they are also now making Anna and Elsa greet like two separate princesses. So you meet them both after waiting but don’t meet them at the same time together and you don’t get to meet another “mystery” princess. Does that make sense?
Thanks Daisy! We just finished our first family trip (hooray!) and saw lots of fun characters. I just wanted to add that while it is not a meet and greet, the Main Street Electrical Parade is a great place for kids to see characters, too. That may sound obvious, but it really rounded out our day and I didn’t feel the need to wait on Cinderella, Snow While, Peter Pan, Tink because they all looked right at my kids and waved. Snow White even came over and talked to them. Very magical!
Hi Charlotte! That is a great point, thanks! I guess we could also add the Pirate Tutorial and Festival of Fantasy parade to the list too. I was trying to limit to places where you can take a photo with characters, but it’s amazing to look at ALL the places that character interactions are available in the park. It’s so magical!! 🙂 Thanks again for reading and commenting!
During our trip in October 2013, while eating at Tony’s Town Square, we were happy to see Mary Poppins all dressed up in her fancy white dress! She was meeting and greeting outside the restaurant in the shade. This was mid-afternoon right before the start of the parade. There was very little line up and she was able to spend some time chatting with families… It was pretty special.
Me again… Also wanted to mention the Move it! shake it! Party. One of my best Disney moments happened there when my 16 yo daughter actually yelled out “BALOO” when she saw the lovable bear dancing around during the parade! She instantly reverted back to her 3 year old self, jumping around excitedly with a huge smile on her face! Priceless!
Hey Lori! Thank you so much for your info and fun stories. I love it!!
I LOVE them all! Never can’t get enough to meet all my “Disney” family members! My all time favorites are still Chip & Dale and my big boy Goofy, lol! Thank you Daisy!
Anytime, Vanessa!! 🙂 Good to “see” you!
I did not see lady and the tramp on this list. Can your still get them by stopping at Tony’s??
Hi Denise – I stopped by this morning and the big cutout you could stand in is GONE! 🙁 I was told it’s just the figure of them in the fountain now. I’m so sorry to be the one to break such crummy news.
No I am not looking for Lady and the Tramp per se for pictures. I understand that if you stop in at Tony’s when it is not a busy meal time and ask for lady and the tramps autograph you can get it. No pictures, no interaction, just ask for it, they go in the back and get it done for you.
Oh Denise! I didn’t understand at all. I’m so sorry. What a neat thing that I’ve never heard about! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Denise, don’t forget there are larger than life lady & tramp figures at pop century, if that isn’t too out of your way…