Meet and greets with Disney World Characters can be fun moments full of amazing memories. They also can be a huge time suck of your vacation. To help I’m going to share some Disney World vacation planning tips that will help you see the Disney World characters without wasting all of your vacation time.
Disney World Characters: Saving Time on Meet & Greets
1. Know What Walt Disney World Characters You Want to See
Knowing what Disney World characters you want to see can help you plan out the best way to see them. Characters are often grouped together at locations around the parks. For example, you may find several princesses together or Mickey and the gang. Seeing multiple characters at a time can be good or bad depending on what characters you child wants to see.
Knocking out several characters at one meet and greet location can be great, but the lines at those locations can get quite long. If your little one wants to see only one of the characters at those locations than it’s not worth waiting in line. In those situations you’re better off seeing if that specific character is out for meet and greets in any other locations at the parks by themselves. Single character lines are much shorter. If you cannot find them anywhere else you’ll have to decide if it is worth the wait in line or not.
2. My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience is a free, must have, app for your Walt Disney World vacation. It can be used to help plan just about every part of your trip. One thing you can use it for is finding character meet and greet locations in the parks. It will list all of the times that the characters will be out as well as exactly where you can find them.This is great for making sure you don’t miss seeing a character you really want. On the last day of one our trips we still hadn’t seen Chip and Dale (two of Nick’s favorites), so I used the app to find out where and when we could see them. That made it very easy to plan our meeting with them around our schedule for the day.
3. Location, Location, Location
It’s always about location isn’t it? When people think about Walt Disney World Characters they often think about seeing them at the Magic Kingdom, but there are so many places to meet your favorite characters at Walt Disney World! Plus, you’ll often find that the wait times are a lot shorter in the other parks. Check your My Disney Experience app to see what characters you can find in locations other than the Magic Kingdom.
4. Use FastPass+
If you have little kids in your party that want to see a lot of characters than you may want to use some of your FastPass+ reservations for certain character meeting locations such as Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom. Using up a Fast Pass time to meet characters is not the best FastPass+ choice for everyone, but if seeing certain characters is an important part of your vacation than this is a great option to help you save time on a long wait. Not all character meet and greets offer FastPass+ times though. Check your My Disney Experience app for times and locations.
5. Watch the Parade
Kids love seeing their favorite characters at Walt Disney World, but they don’t always feel the need to get up close for pictures and autographs. Sometimes just seeing them is enough. In those cases I suggest spending some park time by watching the daily parade. You’ll hit a ton of characters that way. Now this won’t work for all kids, but for some kids this is enough of a character fix.
6. Character Dining
Booking a character meal is my favorite way to save time on meeting the characters at Walt Disney World. These meals will save you a ton on time if not on money. Truthfully the cost of these meals has gotten quite high, but I still think they’re worth every penny. You’re going to have to stop and eat anyways, so why not get some character meet and greet time in while you’re at it? Best of all each character at the meal comes to your table, so you get some really good quality time with each of them.
There are a lot of different character meals to choose from. You can see everyone from the princesses, to Pooh and friends, to your child’s Disney Junior pals, and of course Mickey and the gang! The majority of the character meals are a buffet, which is really great for the picky eaters in your group. The cost of character meals can really add up, so if you’re planning to book a lot of them I highly suggest looking into purchasing the Disney Dining Plan.
7. Disney Visa Photo Place
Do you have a Chase Disney Visa or a Chase Disney Debit Card? If you do you’ll find that you get a lot of perks from them at Walt Disney World. One of those perks is a special meet and greet location in Epcot (open during select hours) where you can meet Mickey and his friends! It is the best meet and greet I have ever had. When we went last April there wasn’t anyone there and Nick had lots of time to interact with the characters. As an added bonus there are Photo Pass photographers on hand and you’ll get to keep all of the pictures they take for FREE!
Interested in getting a Chase Disney Visa? Send me an email at rockabyeparents(at)gmail(dot)com and I can send you an email with a special link that will help you earn a bonus $200 Disney gift card that you can use for your vacation when you apply for a new card! The deal does have certain charging requirements that need to be met. Email me for the special link and the specifics.
Meeting Disney World characters can be a lot of fun, but those meet and greets can eat up a lot of your park time. With these tips though you’ll be able to see the characters you want without wasting all of you vacation time standing in line to do it.
Resources for your Walt Disney World Vacation:
- Birnbaum’s Guide to Walt Disney World
- Birbaum’s Guide to Walt Disney World for Kids by Kids
- The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (Kindle Edition)
- Walt Disney World Characters 101: Your Complete Guide to Perfect Meet and Greets (Kindle Edition)
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Looking for more information for planning your Disney vacation? Check these posts out!
- 5 Tips for Preparing for Your Walt Disney World Vacation
- 10 Way to Save on Walt Disney World Dining Costs
- How to do Disney while Potty Training
- Top Character Meet and Greets at the Animal Kingdom
Want some more help planning your Walt Disney World vacation? Click on the image below to get your FREE Disney vacation planning videos!