Meeting Disney characters is part of the Disney experience. We love to meet at least one Disney character during a Disney vacation. Within the Walt Disney World Resort, there are many opportunities for Guests to meet their favorite Disney characters, including inside the Disney Parks and in Walt Disney World character dining locations. Meeting characters allows you to share hugs, collect autographs, have photos taken, and make memories.
But which Walt Disney World character experiences shouldn’t you miss? We will never miss the following Disney character experiences when visiting Lake Buena Vista.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has several magical Disney character meet and greets. One of those is found on Discovery Island. Just a short walk from the Tree of Life, towards Asia and DinoLand U.S.A., you will discover Adventurers Outpost. Open from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. daily; you can meet with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It’s not just any meet and greet with our favorite pals. Mickey and Minnie are dressed in their travel outfits. You will want to take advantage of the perfect photo opportunity as they meet in front of a beautiful travel-inspired mural.
Adventurers Outpost can have a long line. We recommend visiting during the early morning when other Guests are heading towards popular attractions in the Disney Park. You will also be able to use Disney Genie+ for the attraction. It is listed as Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost. Guests using Disney Genie+ can use the Lightning Lane turnstile to the left of the main entrance.
Another of our favorite places to meet Disney characters is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Donald’s Dino-Bash! takes place around DinoLand U.S.A. Join the prehistoric fun, and search for your favorite Disney pals dressed in brightly colored outfits. Character costumes are unique to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, with memorable characters to see. Look out for Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Launchpad McQuack. Our favorite meet and greet can also be found at Donald’s Dino-Bash! Chip and Dale dress as the most adorable dinosaurs. You will want to meet them!
You will find character meeting places around DinoLand U.S.A. As you see a character, join the line and wait until it’s your turn to meet with them.
Disney character dining is an excellent way to meet characters without waiting in a long line. However, the Walt Disney World Resort has many different character dining experiences. Chef Mickey’s, Tusker House, and Cinderella’s Royal Table are popular Disney character dining options. But Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort is one we never miss. While it is a popular restaurant to get an advance dining reservation for, it’s one for your list. The breakfast menu at Topolino’s Terrace allows you to enjoy your choice of two entrees and freshly baked pastries for the table. While you enjoy your breakfast, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck will join you at your table. They will be dressed in unique costumes for the Disney restaurant.
Securing an advance dining reservation for Topolino’s Terrace can be difficult. However, we recommend you keep looking before arriving in Lake Buena Vista. Securing last-minute advanced dining reservations is possible.
You may have noticed that Donald Duck is our favorite Disney character to meet? So, the Mexico Pavilion in EPCOT World Showcase is another place that we always visit. You won’t find Donald Duck in his usual costume, though. Instead, you’ll see him donning a sombrero and poncho. He carries it off immensely well. Meet him to the right of the Mexico Pavilion in the shade of the trees in front of the Mayan wall. Donald meets with Guests at the Mexico Pavilion throughout the day, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The last time he appears each day, is at 4:20 p.m.
In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Echo Lake is home to Celebrity Spotlight. At Celebrity Spotlight, you can meet with everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. Guests can visit the spot from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. daily. Prepare to have fun with Olaf before posing for a photo with the perfect summer backdrop. You’ll find the entrance to the attraction alongside the Vacation Fun building. If you plan on watching For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration, Celebrity Spotlight is an ideal attraction to visit afterward.
If you plan on using Disney Genie+ in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight is available. Olaf’s line can vary throughout the day. However, use of the Lightning Lane should keep your wait time to a minimum.
The Thotful Spot
Magic Kingdom Park is the place to meet with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. We love to stop by their spot before or after riding The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Pooh Bear and Tigger meet with Guests throughout the day. While we also recommend dining with them at The Crystal Palace, you may have other dining plans when spending time in Magic Kingdom. The Thotful Spot also has a beautiful backdrop of an illustration of the 100 Acre Wood, which will add to the magic of your photo.
Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort without a Disney Park ticket doesn’t mean you will miss out on meeting Disney characters. When staying in a Disney Resort hotel, you’ll want to spend some time near your Resort lobby in the morning. The Disney Character Caravan visits each Disney Resort hotel throughout the week. Surprise Disney characters arrive with the Character Caravan and spend the morning socializing with Guests. You’ll never know who you’ll get to meet when the Character Caravan is at your Disney hotel. We recommend visiting the Front Desk when checking into your Disney Resort to find out when the Character Caravan is set to visit your hotel.
If you don’t wish to meet with Disney characters but instead see them from a distance, we recommend the following experiences:
- Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom Park
- Discovery River Flotillas in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Winnie the Pooh on the lawn in EPCOT, near the Imagination Pavilion
- Chip and Dale on the lawn at the top of Hollywood Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Other places to see Disney characters are:
- Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom
- Town Square Theatre in Magic Kingdom
- a Disney character meal at Garden Grill, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Story Book Dining at Artist Point, Cape May Cafe
- meet Disney Junior characters at Hollywood & Vine, Animation Courtyard, or Disney Junior Play and Dance! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios