It doesn’t matter how old you are, meeting a Disney Character in the parks will always give you a thrill. You could be five and meet your idol Anna, or 50 and meet your boyfriend Prince Charming. To you, it is never a college kid in a costume. They are your best friend from the movies, your snuggle buddy at night and your inspiration to “let it go.” They are important and you want to meet them on your vacation.
Here’s the ultimate guide to meeting your Disney friends in Walt Disney World‘s Magic Kingdom. It might be hard to meet them all in one vacation, but it just gives you an excuse to come back…like you ever needed one.
For the purpose of this article, we will just concentrate on the characters you might see on an average day in the Magic Kingdom. We will cover the other parks, park specific characters, character meals, and events in future articles. It’s just too much for one blog post.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that Adventureland is not just home of the Dole Whip. I have a slight obsession with it and its cousin the Citrus Swirl. Adventureland is the home of some of the most iconic attractions like Jungle Cruise and The Enchanted Tiki Room. It’s also the home of two of our favorite characters; Aladdin and Jasmine. There you can encounter a whole new world and they would love to hear your adventure stories.
The best way to find them is when you are getting your Dole Whip; turn around and they will be right there. Try not to get them too sticky though because they could transfer it to Abu’s hairs later on.
When we say the castle wall, we actually mean the stretch of fake wall across from Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. There you can meet Anastasia, Drizella, and Lady Tremaine. Don’t forget to remind them to be nicer to Cinderella.
This place is hit and miss with the lines. Sometimes you go by and there is a crazy line up and other times the characters are standing around searching for people to say hi. In this blog post, we aren’t covering the characters specific to the parks, but this is a good place to meet the town folk of the Magic Kingdom too.
Princess Fairytale Hall
I don’t think I need to explain to any parents who hang out at this location because it’s one of the top meet-and-greet spots in the park. Disney has split this viewing area into two sections. In the first, you will meet Rapunzel and Tiana, and in the second, Cinderella and Elena.
It’s fantastic that you can wait in one line to meet two princesses, but it’s not so fantastic that you will be waiting a long time depending on crowds. These two meet-and-greets have Fast Pass + and I advise you to get them.
You can find Ariel hiding in her own little grotto behind The Seven Drawfs Mine Train. This one is super cute because it’s not just some character on the side of the path. It’s an entirely themed area just for her. Once you enter the area, you are surrounded by The Little Mermaid.
This character seems to spend more time with the children. Also, she is usually there, so you don’t have to worry about catching her during specific meeting hours.
There is a FastPass+ for this attraction. If Ariel tops your list of must-see princesses than I would get a FastPass+. With that being said, I normally recommend taking the chance. There USUALLY isn’t that long of a lineup, and you can free up that FastPass+ for something else.
Buzz Lightyear Exit Courtyard
A lot of guests miss this character meet-and-greet because it’s hidden a little bit. There you will find Buzz Lightyear, and the lines aren’t usually very long.
The easiest way to find him is to look for his ride across from the PeopleMover. He will be located a few feet away from the exit of the ride. He is a great character interaction because he is huge and very animated. Plus it’s neat because you can’t find him everywhere like some of the Characters. I feel like everywhere I turn Donald Duck is meeting guests these days.
Rivers of America Crossing
If you are a fan of slightly older Disney cartoons than you have to stop over at the Rivers of America Crossing. There you will meet Chip and Dale. Plus it’s always fantastic when you can meet two characters with only one wait.
Their location is close to the Churro stand and near The Diamond Horseshoe. They aren’t always there, but here is a little tip. If you see a PhotoPass Photographer standing in this general area alone, you know the twins are coming soon. Just wait a few moments and you might be able to meet them with no line.
West Plaza Garden
In the garden area across from Casey’s Corner, you can occasionally meet Mary Poppins. A personal favorite of mine and many. It’s rare, but sometimes you will get to meet her buddy Bert too.
Pete’s Silly Sideshow
This character location gets skipped a lot, and it’s a shame. I think it’s because it’s hidden back in the Circus area. If you don’t have small children, you might have walked into the section and turned around to leave. If you did, you missed the location that holds four out of the Fab Five characters. We are talking the old school cool characters.
Here you will find Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Minnie Mouse. They are separated on two sides of the tent. One line to meet the ladies and one line to meet the gentlemen. Numerous times I have seen this place with little to no wait. You can’t come to Walt Disney World and miss these guys. If you are a true Disney fan, these four are like family to you.
Belle’s Village Courtyard
If it’s been a few years since you have visited Walt Disney World, there is a good chance you haven’t met Gaston. Oh my, you need to meet Mr. Self-Confidence. He is the funniest and most unique character interaction. If you are female, he will probably make fun of you, but it’s true to his character. He is the Disney character you love to hate. Just look for the crowds of people laughing and you will find him.
Enchanted Tales of Belle
Continuing on with another Beauty and the Beast character, here we have Belle. This meet-and-greet is a full attraction. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I’ll say this. The lines can be long and this attraction has a FastPass+ option; use it.
Splash Mountain Exit Courtyard
Located right at the exit of Splash Mountain, you will find Jessie and Woody from Toy Story.
Another great two for one meet-and-greet. Since it’s tucked in a corner out of the way, they usually have a tiny line. Depending on the time of year, I have seen numerous families just walk up and get their photos taken. Who doesn’t love Toy Story?
When you first enter the Magic Kingdom, you will walk under the train station. It’s that big exciting moment when you really breathe in Walt Disney World and breathe out the real world. You have finally arrived home.
At the center of the Town Square is a flagpole. Under the flag, guests will be able to find numerous characters. The most common character these days is Pluto. Since these are the first characters most guests will see, the lines can be long. Don’t fear because the lines move pretty quickly.
During the holidays, special characters can be found there like Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny.
Town Square Theater
Town Square Theater holds two permanent character locations. Tinker Bell and Mickey Mouse are there all day long. The meet-and-greets may be in the same location but don’t make the mistake and think it’s another one-line-two-characters meet-and-greet. They are separate and the wait times are posted outside the building for both.
Even though both offer FastPass+ options, I would only recommend one for Mickey Mouse. Tinker Bell is fantastic, but her wait is never super crazy. Mickey, on the other hand, can get pretty long. The neat factor is Mickey Mouse talks to the guests in this location.
Right outside the exit of the Mickey and Tinker Bell meet-and-greets, you will find another iconic character on the porch; Snow White. She is not there all day so make sure to check the Times Guide. That goes for all the characters. We don’t list the appearance times here because they are constantly changing.
Town Square Courtyard
Across the street from Mickey Mouse, you can sometimes find Aurora nestled in beside City Hall; again this can change.
During Christmas time, you can find Santa Claus and Santa Goofy there too.
Wonderland Mad Tea Party
Across from Cosmic Ray’s quick-service restaurant in Tomorrowland and next to the Mad Tea Party attraction, you can meet Alice and either The White Rabbit or The Mad Hatter. If you want to meet them, it’s best to head there right when the park opens because the lines can get long. There are a lot of unbirthdays going on.
Off to the side of Peter Pan’s Flight ride, you can meet the boy himself; Peter Pan. Wendy is sometimes there with him too. The lines can get a little long, but it’s worth the wait to meet this quirky fella. You already probably wait forever to get on his ride, what’s another few moments to meet the boy who never grew up?
Area Behind the Castle
Right behind the castle, you can find The Fairy Godmother. She walks around a bit, but it’s still nice to meet her. Maybe she can make your dreams come true too.
This is where you will also find a lot of random characters walking around that don’t really have a home, but wanted to come out and say hi.
In a beautiful garden area in Liberty Square, you will find the lovely Princess Tiana. If you are lucky, you will get to meet her Prince Naveen too. All the princesses are wonderful, but she has always struck me as one of the sweetest.
Lots of people walk right by this character and don’t even realize there is a character hiding there.
There is a shady area across from Sunshine Tree Terrace where you will find Rafiki. I don’t know why Disney doesn’t bring more attention to this spot. He barely has a wait. Most guests find him by accident when they stop to have a rest in the area.
As a side note: if you are looking for a shady place to sit down this is a great area.
Merida has her own entire section in the Magic Kingdom. The lines are hard to predict. Sometimes they are super long and sometimes they just don’t exist. I love this meet-and-greet because it’s really interactive. Not only does your family get to meet Merida, but they also get to learn a little archery. When I say a little, I mean just that, but it’s still a nice little added touch. Plus, it makes the wait in line go by so much quicker if your children can step out for a moment and participate in an activity.
The Thotful Spot
Here you can meet Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Do you really need any more explanation than that? Two awesome characters in one place. I can bounce to that.
Again, we haven’t covered the character meals, random walking around characters, or the park-specific town folk in this article because the post would just be too long. Always remember to check Disney’s Times Guide for the characters’ meet-and-greet times. It’s best to pick and choose a few that you really love and make them top priority. After all, you are going to Walt Disney World to visit your best friends, right?