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!

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Packing for a trip to Disney can be overwhelming. It’s so easy to forget things that you need and over pack with things you won’t end up using. We have compiled a list of the basics to get you started packing for your next Disney vacation. This list is going to cover the broad categories, and we will assume that you are going to pack basic things like underwear, socks and deodorant. Please don’t forget the deodorant!

First of all, if you are anything like me you will WAY over pack. Live and learn that if you forget it, it’s okay! Chances are your Disney resort gift shop will have it. The gift shops are stocked with essentials. If the resort gift shop doesn’t have what you need, you can always drive to one of the convenient Walmart stores in the area, or even have items delivered. If you are missing some baby essentials, hit the parks. The baby care stations in the Disney theme parks have diapers, wipes, baby food and even children’s medication for sale.

If you are flying to Disney, you will need to make sure you keep your MagicBands in your carry on luggage. You will need them if utilizing Disney’s Magical Express.

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Let’s get started packing! Here is our Disney packing list:

Packing List

Clothing
Seasonally appropriate clothing
Raincoat/Poncho
Light Jacket
At least 2 pairs of shoes
Flip flops/sandals for pool
Swimsuit
Socks

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Park Bag
Snacks
Gum
Water bottles
Water flavoring drops
Sunscreen
Sunglasses and/or hat
Small first aid kit
Moleskin/blister blockers
Medication (as needed)
Wet wipes/baby wipes
Hand sanitizer
Feminine products
Personal fan mister
Glow sticks

ultimate disney packing guide

Other Items for the Park
Stroller and rain cover
Camera bag
Backpack/Purse
Ziploc or dry bags for electronics, in case of rain or wet rides

Electronics
Camera and/or video camera
Smartphone with My Disney Experience app downloaded
Portable chargers and cords
Batteries and SD card for camera

ultimate disney packing guide

Personal Items
Travel documents (hotel confirmation, rental car confirmation, etc).
Driver’s License/ID Card
Membership card (DVC, Visa, etc.)
MagicBands/Park Tickets
Wallet/Purse
Spending Money

We have our packing list available as a free download for you!

ultimate disney packing guide

As you pack, please remember our ultimate Disney packing guide is not all inclusive. If you are taking several electronic devices, check out Meredith’s tips on keeping your devices charged on the go. As always, please review the park rules for Walt Disney World to make sure you aren’t packing a restricted item! Have we left off anything from our list that you think is essential? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy ºoº

S2E17: Star Wars Day at Sea

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Season 2: Episode 17

Star Wars Day at Sea

Sarah, Meredith, and Amy are back to discuss Disney Cruise Line’s specialty sailing that includes Star Wars Day at Sea. Now that you’ve caught up on specialty sailings (if not go back and check out S2E3), we’re ready to talk details!! From Imperial Food to Pool Patrol, we’re talking about it all! Would you/have you ever book(ed) a sailing like this?

Wanna read about the book we discuss? Check this out! We’ve got loads of fun Star Wars stuff here too!

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.

S2E15: Short vs Long Cruises

Season 2: Episode 15

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

Tuesday : Short vs Long Cruises

Shorter vs Longer Cruises Shorter vs Longer Cruises

Today’s topic is all about the pros and cons of shorter versus long cruises! From 3 nights to the 14+ nights, Disney Cruise Line has sailings for every budget! So if you’ve ever wondered whether or not a longer sailing is right for you, don’t miss this episode!

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

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!

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

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

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

S2E13- Sarah’s Experience with Disney’s Social Media Moms Event

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Season 2: Episode 13

Tuesday : Sarah’s Experience with Disney Social Media Moms

Today’s topic is all about Sarah’s recent trip and her experience with the Disney Social Media Moms! From Walt Disney World to the Disney Cruise line, she was able to experience all sorts of amazing things! So if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be invited to Disney’s special event, don’t miss this episode!

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 dont’s… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

S2E7: Disney Travel Apps

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Season 2: Episode 7

Tuesday : Disney Travel Apps

Today’s topic is all about the apps that correspond to different Disney Destinations. From the Disneyland and Walt Disney World to the ever-popular Disney Cruise Line, we’ve got you covered. This episode is perfect for everyone, so whether you’re always at Disney or going for your first time, don’t miss this episode!

Episode Links

My Disney Experience: Desktop iOS Playstore

Disneyland: Desktop iOS Playstore

Disney Cruise Line: Desktop iOS Playstore

 

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 dont’s… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

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

 

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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.

S2E1: 2018 Disney Travel Info

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Season 2: Episode 1

Travel Tuesday 2018 Disney Travel Info

We’re back and so excited to begin the new year with a new format!! We’re happy to share that we’ll now be sharing two episodes per week! Be sure to listen to this episode to find out the details of our new format. Today’s topic is all about what’s coming in 2018 in terms of Disney travel! From Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney, we’re going to be talking about it all! Which Disney travel destination do you want to travel to this year?

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! 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.

Episode 98: Sick at Disney

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Sick at Disney

We’re back and today and unfortunately it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes we have to be serious because life is serious sometimes, even on vacation. So we’re back today to talk about what to do if you or a member of your travel party gets Sick at Disney. We’ll be talking about the parks as well as Disney’s cruise line, so whether you’re traveling by land or sea, we’ve got you covered. Furthermore, we’ll let you know what warrants a trip reschedule and how Disney handles your family’s medical needs.

sick at disney

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Have you ever gotten sick at Disney? 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.

Episode 89: 20 Questions Disney Cruise Line Style

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20 Questions Disney Cruise Line Style

What better way for Sarah and Meredith to talk with Amy about her most recent cruise than to play 20 Questions Disney Cruise Line Style?! That’s exactly what we’re here to do today. So sit back and have a listen as we answer questions ranging from kids clubs to rainforest shower rooms and beyond! As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion!


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.

Seashell Picture Frame

DIY Seashell Picture Frame

Seashell Picture Frame

It’s finally summer and family vacations, including beach trips, are in full swing. And I’m so excited to be back today to show you all how to make this fabulous little Seashell Picture Frame. This frame will be perfect to help commemorate your favorite beach memories! I used a photo from our cruise aboard the Disney Dream and just love it! So let’s quit stalling and get started!

What You’ll Need:

  • Old picture frame
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Brown and tan acrylic craft paints
  • Paint brush (sponge or brush)
  • Shells (please purchase from a craft store rather than taking directly from the beach)

Shell Picture Frame DIY

Decide where you want your shells to go BEFORE you glue them. Move them around until you have the best fit and the majority of the old frame is covered. You may also want to paint the entire frame your brown color before you glue if your picture frame is a bright or dark color. I didn’t with mine since it was so similar in color to my shells.

Once you’ve finished gluing your shells, give the inside and entire outer edge a coat of brown paint. Let dry.

You can use your paint drying time to warm up your glue gun. Once it’s dry and using your glue gun, squirt on glue to create a textured surface to the frame edges. This will eventually have a coral-like look! There’s no right or wrong way to do this. I just did little squiggles all around and made sure to not let it glob up too much in any one section.

Go ahead and give it a second coat of brown paint at this point to cover all the plastic-looking glue texture onto your Seashell Picture Frame.

Once it’s dry again, use your tan to lightly brush or sponge-paint the raised areas of the frame’s edges. (The texture you created with the glue gun). Once that’s dry, you’re done!

Seashell Picture Frame

And that’s it! Super simple and quick project that has a BIG impact. Please share with us if you make one too!! ~Meredith ºoº

 

Episode 74: What To Do Once You’ve Booked Your Disney Cruise

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What To Do Once You’ve Booked Your Disney Cruise

After hearing how awesome Disney Cruise Line is from our previous podcast episodes, you decided to book a Disney cruise. And did! Now what?! Today we discuss what what to do once you’ve booked your Disney cruise vacation. What’s the first thing you did or plan to do once your sailing is booked?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know! And as always, 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: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

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!