How to Find Character Meets at Disney

How to Find Characters at Disney

Chances are if you’ve ever visited a Disney destination, then meeting your favorite Disney characters is a must. Today I’m going to discuss how to find character meets at Disney. Since Disney is always switching things up, this post won’t simply be a list of who and where to find them. This is a how to find character meets at Disney. That’s right, I’m going to share with you how to find the current meets for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani and more! Let’s get going then!

How to Find Characters at Disney

Walt Disney World

Let’s start with the biggest Disney destination, Walt Disney World. With four major theme parks, two water parks, resorts, and a giant shopping center, Walt Disney World is huge! That means there’s no shortage of character meets there.

Walt Disney World Website

When looking to find Disney character meets at Walt Disney World, the first thing you need to do is check out their website before you travel. Did you know you can even schedule fastpasses for some character meet and greets?That means if you plan to stay as an on-site guest, you’ll want to check out these options before your 60 day FastPass booking date. If you are staying off-site, make sure to book your FastPasses 30 days prior to travel.

How to Find Characters at Disney

To find character experiences available, you can simply head over to Walt Disney World’s website. To start, hover over the Things To Do tab and click on Character Experiences. This will take you to a large list of all the character-based experiences available for that day.

How to Find Characters at Disney

You’ll then need to filter the experiences to only show character experiences for which you can meet and interact with them. You’ll need to update the calendar date so that you’re looking at character experiences available for your travel dates. Once you’ve done that, you can scroll through and explore which characters are available to meet.

If you click on a specific meet experience, you can also view what times they’re available and if they are eligible to be booked as a fastpass experience. You can even click on Show In My Plans located below the available times so that you can add them directly to your itinerary! I do this for all of my clients and it’s a great way to ensure character meets won’t be forgotten once at the theme parks. But what about if you’re already at the park you ask?

My Disney Experience App

If you’re already in a park and want to see what’s available, you can use the My Disney Experience app to find them! Simply open your app and click on the map at the top. You’ll then want to click on the top filter (usually loads with wait times first). Select Characters. This will load character experiences available, but you’re not quite done. Next, you’ll want to click the filter and select the specific park you’re in so that it will load everything near you.

How to Find Characters at Disney

As you can see in my screenshot, my app is currently showing Characters experiences and has 1 filter for the Magic Kingdom. There are so many characters to meet at Magic Kingdom! But what about character dining?

Let’s talk about character dining next!

Character Dining

If you’re looking to dine with characters, then this is how it’s done! Under the Things to Do tab, select All Restaurants under Dining. This will load a list of Walt Disney World restaurants for you. Once this list is loaded, you’ll need to once again use the filter option to select Character Dining and be sure to update the calendar for your travel date. That’s it! So easy and there’s so many options to choose from! The Garden Grill, 1900 Park Fare, Ohana, and Cinderella’s Royal Table are some of our very favorite character dining locations. What’s your favorite character dining location?

How to Find Characters at Disney

But what about Disneyland for our west coast fans? Next, let’s head to Disneyland so I can tell you how to find characters at Disney land too!

Disneyland

Exciting news, as finding character experiences at Disneyland is exactly the same as Walt Disney World! Simply head over to the website, click on Things To Do, and filter by Character Experiences and your travel date. It really is that easy! What’s more, the app works the same too!! But what about international Disney parks you ask?

How to Find Characters at Disneyland

International Parks

This same search and filter method works for all the Disney parks destinations! Simply direct your browser to the Disney park website of your choice and follow the steps I’ve provided above for Walt Disney World to find characters within all the Disney parks around the world! You can find the website for all of the Disney parks here. This search method even works for guests visiting Disney’s Aulani, a resort and spa in Hawaii! Just load the Aulani page and hover over Activities to click on Character Experiences.

How to Find Characters at Disney Parks

But Meredith, you’re forgetting the Disney Cruise Line, you say. Let’s set sail next and discover how to find character meets at Disney aboard the Disney cruise ships!

Disney Cruise Line

Although this same search gameplan works mostly the same for Disney Cruise Line, there are some differences. The first and major difference is once you’re on the Disney Cruise Line website and loaded the Character Experiences page under the Our Ships tab, you’ll want to go ahead and filter the list by the specific ship you’ll be sailing on since some characters are available only on certain ships.

Disney Cruise Line Characters

The second difference is that DCL features several character meets that require tickets to be requested ahead of time. This includes meeting the Princesses, the Frozen sisters, the Star Wars and Marvel characters (for those sailing on these select themed sailings), and the Disney Junior characters. You can secure tickets for these meets once your booking window opens. It’s good to know that you must be paid in full to be able to login and book onboard activities. It’s also good to know that these experiences book fully super fast and you’ll want to be ready to book them as soon as your window opens. If you’re unable to secure tickets for a meet you’d like to experience, don’t worry! You can always head over to guest services once onboard and request tickets and in most cases, they have more available for guests at that time.

How to Find Characters at Disney

Character Dining Onboard

Disney Cruise Line features a very special meet and greet onboard called the Royal Court, Royal Tea. This exclusive tea party is an additional charge and functions more like character dining does at Disney parks. We’ve been fortunate enough to experience this (thanks Mom & Dad!) and enjoyed it very much! Not only do the princesses come out and sing, dance, and interact with guests, but they bring each child a special gift!

Disney Cruise Line also offers a Disney Junior Character Breakfast for sailing of 6 or more nights. Tickets can be obtained for free by clicking on book onboard activities once you’re logged into your account, paid in full, and your booking window is open. This is a special character breakfast that has special breakfast foods located at Animator’s Palette and features favorite Disney Junior Characters. They’ve just recently added Vampirina and Fancy Nancy to the lineup!

Moana

Additionally, you can meet exclusive characters during special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Each event has its own exclusive characters and you can find information about these character meets once you’re at the event via the printed times guide available when you enter. In some cases Disney will list exclusive characters on their website, but that’s not always the case. Checking your times guide is the best way to ensure you find all these exclusive characters. We were able to meet Moana this year at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party because she isn’t available during regular operating hours at Walt Disney World.

Now that you know how to find characters at Disney, be sure to check out these other great posts to help you prepare for your trip! You won’t want to miss our Ultimate Disney Packing List! Be sure browse our posts about Walt Disney World and Disneyland too!

S2E3: Specialty Cruises-Marvel & Star Wars Days at Sea

 

podcast


Season 2: Episode 3

Tuesday : Specialty Cruises – Marvel and Star Wars Days at Sea

Today’s topic is all about Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars specialty cruises! From themed food and fun character experiences, there’s a million reasons to book on of these fantastic sailings. Which Disney specialty cruise would you love to book?

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

Kid Friendly Fun in Epcot

Kid Friendly Fun in Epcot

Far too often, Epcot is the least popular park for parents that are planning with kids in mind. It is often overlooked due to the opinion that it is not a kid friendly park. Guests miss out on so much when they skip this park. There are many fun opportunities and learning experiences at Epcot. Here are some tips about Epcot that could change your mind about this amazing park.Kid friendly fun in Epcot can happen! Find out why everyone's least favorite Disney World park might just be your child's favorite. From character meets to activities to learning experiences, there is something at Epcot for everyone.

Kid Friendly Rides

Rides are, often, important to most kids and Epcot does not disappoint. The park offers many unique ride experiences. I could talk about the rides all day, but here are just a few that are on the top of our list.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a bright, colorful ride followed by an aquarium populated with lots of sea life. Even very little ones will get caught up in all there is to see. Older ones can learn about the animals on display, as well.Soarin’ makes a lot of “top 10 Disney rides” lists. We didn’t get to ride it yet, but it’s definitely on the list for our next trip!

Test Track is a favorite for older children. Design your test car and get feedback on how it performs while you ride. Don’t miss the chance to create a free downloadable commercial featuring your own custom vehicle.

Do you have a Frozen fan? Then Frozen Ever After is definitely a must. I have a little Frozen fan that can not stop talking about this ride.

Kid Friendly Activities

I love that Epcot offers so many hands on opportunities for the kids. They are learning but they are having way too much fun to realize it.

Colortopia, located in Innoventions East, is a multifaceted exhibit that is all about color! There is a short movie, various color-themed activities, and a room sized coloring page!

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is an interactive activity for kids old enough to read or that have a little help from someone older. The adventure takes your little agent throughout the World Showcase where they will help solve cases (and learn a little about the world, too).

Turtle Talk with Crush is an amazing interactive audience participation show, akin to the laugh floor at Magic Kingdom. He even takes you through the many uses of the word “dude.”

Make sure to pick up a cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear. The kids had a blast decorating their Duffy and visiting each Kidcot Fun Stop for stamps, signatures, and information about each country.

Unique Character Meet and Greets

Remember that scene in Big Hero 6 where everybody hugs Baymax? Here’s your chance. The huggable, non-armored Baymax is ready and waiting for a fist bump.Belle is in her classic blue dress in the World Showcase. She is located next to the water in France. The water provides such a pretty backdrop for photos.

Joy and Sadness are ready to bring a little cheer (or tears) into your life. Unfortunately, Fear was too scared to show, Anger was too mad to meet with anybody, and Disgust heard that there might be broccoli pizza.

There are plenty of opportunities to meet Donald Duck throughout the parks but the only place you can see him in his caballero costume is in the World Showcase.
We enjoy Epcot so much that we are doing two park days there for our next trip. What is your favorite kid friendly fun at Epcot?

Thanks to our contributor Beth for this post and photos!

Why We Choose a Disney Vacation

I’ve been coming across various articles and blogs lately from people who choose NOT to visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Usually these posts contain trite statements claiming not to judge other families who do choose to visit Disney, but then the whole post is full of judgement anyway. In our personal life, when some people find out we are planning a trip back to Walt Disney World, I hear, “Again?” Yes, again.

My love affair with Walt Disney World, and Disney in general, started as a child. A few trips to Walt Disney World, and a slightly unhealthy obsession with The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, grew my love tenfold. It grew even more when we traveled for the first time to Walt Disney World with our oldest son, Tigger, for his 6th birthday back in 2012. My husband had never been to Walt Disney World. Since that trip, our family has been hooked on “the Mouse.” We’ve had several trips to Walt Disney World (with and without children), and have our next trip planned for May 2017 to coincide with our second Disney cruise.

Why We Choose a Disney Vacation

I love Disney so much that I jumped at the opportunity to help create The Mouse & the Monorail. I even became a Disney travel planner two years ago. Our family has absolutely fallen in love with the Disney experience, and here are a few reasons why.

The Magic

From the moment that we begin planning to the moment we are packing our bags to come home, Disney makes everything magic. I like to say, “If you are celebrating at Disney, then Disney is celebrating with you!” Disneyland and Walt Disney World give out celebration buttons for free, and they love to celebrate with you. Whether you are there for a birthday, anniversary, graduation or even something small like your child losing their first tooth, Disney loves to make you feel special. We’ve been given stickers, cupcakes and even extra fast passes from cast members that go above and beyond to make the experience magical.

Speaking of magic, does it get any more magical than watching your child meet Mickey Mouse for the first time? Or watching fireworks after a long day in the parks? For us, the answer is no. Disney allows guests to get away from it all and remain blissfully happy as long as possible.

The Experience

Our family has been fortunate to visit the parks several times and cruise with Disney once. During those trips, my boys have met to countless cast members from all over the world. They have taken an art class with a Disney animator, learned about different cultures and countries in Epcot, and tested the boundaries of science and mathematics while designing a car to race in Test Track. We’ve tried foods that were way out of our comfort zones and loved them! We’ve been on a safari in Animal Kingdom and learned about colonial America in Liberty Square. Disney’s Imagineers leave no stone unturned in making each attraction as accurate as possible.

The parks and resorts are full of educational opportunities, and many of them are even free! For example, anyone can visit Animal Kingdom Lodge and participate in their activities that promote African culture and wildlife. After the activity is over, participants are given a bead to signify what the class was about. Those beads can be added to a bracelet for a fun keepsake.  There are many in-park games that encourage you to explore the parks to the fullest, and don’t cost anything! You can even participate in Kidcot Fun Stop activities at Epcot that allow kids do crafts or activities from each country. Does your child want to be a pirate? Look no further than The Pirates League at Magic Kingdom. Have a princess in your house? She might love to visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! The opportunities truly are endless!

The Fun

Simply put, Disney is fun for the whole family. It’s nice being able to disconnect from the real world of work, bills and stress to spend a few days with Mickey and friends. There is nothing more fun than seeing the smile on my kids face as they goof off with Goofy or enjoy one of the many rides and attractions around the parks. Disney celebrates exploring the ends of your imagination and having fun while doing so. Have you ever seen an elephant fly? It doesn’t stop us from having a blast on Dumbo!

Whether we are riding Space Mountain, laughing at Mickey’s PhilharMagic or enjoying fireworks while dressed up like pirates on a Disney cruise, Disney puts a smile on our face and a skip in our step. My boys are having a blast, and we are making amazing memories as a family. They won’t always be little, but I want them to have as much fun as they can while they are!

So Why Do We Do Disney?

We do Disney because it makes us happy. If you don’t get that, maybe you need a little more happy in your life!

Tuesday’s Trivia Answers

Good evening everyone! We’re here with today’s trivia answers. Did you get them all? Check below to find out! 

Question #1: This playful pooch isn’t quite as well known as his canine pals, Goofy and Pluto, but he’s loveable beyond belief. What’s his name, and which royal couple does he call his own? ~A ºoº

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(photo credit)

Answer #1: Max from The Little Mermaid, and Prince Eric and Princess Ariel.

 

Question #2: Question #2: The Disney Animated Classic “The Lion King” was voiced by cast of popular, well known actors. Name the actors who gave “Young Simba” and “Adult Simba” a voice. ~S °o°

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(top photo; bottom photo)

Answer #2: Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the voice of “Young Simba” and Matthew Broderick was the voice of “Adult Simba.”

 

Question #3: Many of the Disney animators through the years have drawn inspiration for the characters they were working on from real life people they knew. So, my question is this:

Who was the inspiration for Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and what was her relation to the animator? ~M ºoº

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(screenshots from the DME app)

 Answer #3: Disney Layout Artist and Art Director Ken O’Connor’s wife Mary Alice is the inspiration. And now you can watch a behind-the-scenes video clip called “the Real Fairy Godmother” right from your Disney Movies Everywhere app. Just click discover and scroll down. 🙂 So glad they’re adding in little bits of interesting and inspiring Disney history within their newest technogical entertainment experience. If you haven’t already downloaded the app, then check out my post on why you should. It’s so worth it’s FREE price tag! And this is SO worth the watch ~M °o°

The Secret of The Crystal Palace

Ssssshhhhh…..Can y’all keep a secret? I’m going to let you in on my number 1 tip for Magic Kingdom. Are you ready? Get early morning breakfast reservations at The Crystal Palace. If you aren’t familiar with this charming little Victorian themed restaurant, pull up a seat and read on!

 

The Crystal Palace is found right next to the castle on Main Street Disney, and is home to the character dining events for Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. They offer an all-you-care-to-to-eat buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and prices range from $30-$60 for adults,. Dining plans are accepted. Breakfast dishes are pretty traditional, including eggs, grits, potatoes, bacon, pastries and fruit (plus lots more!), but they also offer some pretty cool items like Mickey waffles (how much fun!) an omelet station, and a kids bar with lots of kid friendly options like pancakes. The food is really yummy, and the service was outstanding.

mickeywaffle_edited

As you dine, the characters make their rounds through the restaurant, so by the time you have stuffed yourself and can barely think of waddling out to start your day in the park, you have met all 4 characters. Its actually timed really well, and the handlers for the characters give you plenty of heads up so you don’t miss them if you happen to be up at the buffet as they pass your table.  I picked this as a dining reservation on our trip 2 years ago, and loved it enough to book again this past September. Tigger has always been a favorite of mine, so I just had to interact with my favorite friends from the 100 acre woods.

poohbear_edited

 

So not only is the food wonderful, prices reasonable, and the staff great, there is one more thing you should know about this restaurant….If you are lucky enough to score breakfast reservations between 8:05 and 9 in the morning, you can actually enter Magic Kingdom through a special entrance BEFORE THE PARK EVEN OPENS!!!!! You read that right! We had 8:15 breakfast reservations and were allowed to enter the park from a side entrance, and one of the Main Street Transportation drivers offered us a ride all the way to the castle. Y’all, I’m not kidding when I say that we were the only people in the park! We were able to get tons of pictures of the castle, Walt and Mickey, and Main Street with no one around.

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After we got our pictures, we headed into the restaurant with time to spare for our reservations. We met the characters, ate a great and very filling breakfast (which gives you lots of energy for making the rounds at the park), and finished up before the park officially opened. We were able to follow Cast Members into Adventureland during rope drop. Definitely, one of my favorite experiences at Walt Disney World, and memories I will never forget. I definitely recommend the Crystal Palace for your next Disney vacation! ~A ºoº