This article is your complete guide to Disney World characters for 2023. Walt Disney World characters have always been a staple component of traveling to the parks, making them a top priority for planning. Meeting characters can be one of the most magical parts of a Disney vacation for adults and children alike. With new films and shows being released, there are even new Disney characters released yearly, which we think is pretty cool.
That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about meeting Disney characters inside of the parks. If you’re looking for a Disney World character for a princess lover, Disney classic or even forest friends like Pooh Bear or Meeko, we’ve met them all! So, if you want to learn more, keep reading!
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Whether you’re walking down Main Street, U.S.A. or dining at one of the signature restaurants, Disney park characters truly enhance the magic of your vacation. We’ve all grown up seeing these iconic characters in our favorite Disney films that have stood the test of time. That’s why we truly love characters at Walt Disney World who bring the magic to life from our childhoods.
You really can’t a more authentic experience than meeting characters at Disney World, as even when you see them in the parks, it truly feels like they’re real! That’s what makes Disney so special, and why we can’t wait to help you plan out your perfect Disney character meet and greet list with this article.
If you’ve never been before, you might be delighted that there are a lot more Disney characters roaming around in the parks than you think. Characters at Disney World add the extra magic as you can see those incredible characters from screen in the flesh! Guests also can take pictures, give a quick hug or even an autograph from all of your favorite Disney characters at Disney World. On a regular day in any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks, you can expect to find the following characters:
Meeting characters at Disney is all about your preference, because there are a few different ways you can do it! If you are very shy and don’t like interacting with characters, you’ll be in luck because there are ways you can meet characters and not have to directly speak with them. There are also Disney character meet and greets where you can spend a lot of face-to-face time with characters and snap a Disney Photo Pass picture if that’s what you prefer.
Each Disney World park has their own set of designated space to meet the Disney World characters. You can find all of the Disney character meet and greet locations for the day in the My Disney Experience app, which has the most up to date information. You will find all of the updated times for the character sighting in your My Disney Experience app, so make sure that you update it before you leave for your trip.
In the next section, we are going to cover all of the character meet and greets and where you can find them to help plan your vacation.
Since the Fab 5 characters cross over a lot in the parks, we are going to share all of the spots you can meet our favorite iconic pals. The Fab 5 are Donald, Daisy, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, which tend to be some of the most popular and recognizable characters that Disney guests would want to meet.
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Magic Kingdom is really the main hub for Disney Characters at Disney World, with more than 25 characters daily appearing throughout the park. You can see the main Disney cast like Mickey and Minnie, but also almost every single princess or animal sidekick from many of the films. So, if you’re planning on making a dent in meeting the characters in Magic Kingdom, we highly recommend prioritizing and planning ahead.
Buzz Lightyear doesn’t have your typical meet and greet in Magic Kingdom, it is more of a character sighting. If you’re a person that likes to wave hi and snap a picture, make sure to head over to the Tomorrowland Plaza Stage.
One of our favorite characters to meet at Disney World is the iconic Tigger and Winnie the Pooh character spot that is perfect! Right next to the queue of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is an adorable storybook backdrop where you can meet these two characters. The line is typically long due to how popular it is.
You can find Peter Pan in his usual home in front of the Never Land map near Peter Pan Flight’s attraction. If you want to look for the various times that Peter Pan is meeting throughout the day, make sure to check the My Disney Experience app for details.
The Country Bears are one of the more interesting meet and greets in Magic Kingdom, as you can find them in Frontierland roaming, or even sometimes on the balcony near the attraction. You typically will not find this meet and greet in the app, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled when heading through Frontierland.
Captain Jack Sparrow does have a usual meet and greet spot on the Adventureland Stage, which is across from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. What makes him one of the more interesting Disney characters at Magic Kingdom is that he does wander around Adventureland for random interactions with guests. You never know when you might run into Captain Jack Sparrow and we think that’s extra magical.
Probably the most iconic Disney World character meet and greet is the Mickey and Minnie character spot in the Main Street Theater. Right now, since the 50th Anniversary Celebration is underway, you can meet the duo in their special 50th Anniversary outfits.
If you’re in Adventureland near Aloha Aisle, you will find a colorful and bright meet and greet spot to say hi or snap a picture with Princess Jasmine and Aladdin. Since Aladdin and Jasmine are some of the more rare Disney characters, this tends to be a very popular meet spot. Make sure to check your My Disney Experience app to make sure you catch a scheduled time.
There are many different spots you can meet the Disney princesses at Disney World in Magic Kingdom.
The Festival of the Fantasy Parade is the daily parade that happens in Magic Kingdom with an incredible lineup of Disney favorites. This parade happens twice daily, allowing for guests to have plenty of time to see their favorite Disney World characters waving along in the parade.
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The Hollywood Studios Disney characters are probably the most unique out of all four parks, with favorites from Star Wars, Pixar and of course, Disney. Everything about Hollywood Studios is about the big screen, glitz, glamour and Hollywood, so even our classic favorites like Mickey and Minnie are decked out for the occasion. Since Hollywood Studios is typically a packed day of attractions, we wouldn’t leave out the characters either!
We tend to think that the more rare characters at Disney World show up at Hollywood Studios, which is fun for kiddos and the family. There are a ton of Disney World characters to get an autograph from or take a selfie with, so make sure to plan accordingly.
If you’re looking for Disney Junior characters at Disney World, the Animation Courtyard is going to be the best place to get a themed photo. Guests can find Vampirina, Fancy Nancy and Doc McStuffins all in this area with very intricate backdrops from their shows. You can find them out here usually between 10 AM and 5 PM for photos and autographs since they are all non-speaking characters.
For the Fancy Nancy meet and greet, her backdrop resembles her playhouse and she wears a fun and vibrant dress. Vampirina has her adorable bat wing pigtails and meets guests in what looks like her bedroom from the show. Doc McStuffins is in her usual outfit meeting guests in a playful doctor’s office.
While the Disney World character meet and greets in the Animation Courtyard is mainly for Disney Junior, you can also find Pluto for photos and autographs. This Disney World character does have his own little meet and greet area which is adorable and perfect for kiddos.
A character sighting is a unique Disney World meet and greet, where you can’t really get up and close with the characters, but you can snap pictures or wave. Donald and Daisy can be seen for their character sighting spot right at the entrance of Hollywood Studios, on a small balcony by the rest rooms.
The Red Carpet Dreams Mickey Minnie meet and greet is super unique and we definitely would not pass it up if we had the opportunity. Mickey Mouse is in his Fantasmic Sorcerers outfit, and Minnie Mouse is dressed up for the red carpet in a pink gown and matching bow. You can meet them both separately, meeting Minnie first for photos and autographs and then heading down another hallway to get to Mickey.
Walt Disney Presents Theater is a self-guided gallery of some of Walt Disney’s history, with an indoor meeting location for Sully. You can find this Monsters Inc themed backdrop all the way in the back of the theater for this iconic Sully meet and greet in Hollywood Studios.
Another cute character sighting is Chip and Dale, who sometimes bring their picnic supplies to the Brown Derby Lawn for cute photos and videos. They often will pose with baskets, props and play around with each other throughout the day on the lawn.
Olaf has a traditional meet and greet for Disney characters in Disney World, where guests can hop in a queue to spend some quality time with out favorite snowman. You will find Olaf at Echo Lake inside of the Celebrity Spotlight building for his meet and greet.
If you’re looking for an interesting spot to meet Goofy at Disney World, you can find him with Max on the Tower of Terror balcony. Whether you’re waiting in line for the iconic ride, or passing by on the outside, make sure to check for this father/son duo for the best photos and interactions.
There are a few different places you can meet Star Wars characters at Disney, and that is both in Star Wars Launch Bay and in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
The Toy Story Character meet and greets are slated to return very soon to Toy Story Land, especially with the opening of Roundup Rodeo BBQ later this year. Now, you can see them in the Pixar Pals Motorcade, which runs down Hollywood Boulevard with Jessie, Woody, Buzzy, the Green Army Men, Edna Mode, Sully, and The Incredibles.
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Whether you’re looking for classic princesses or a unique wandering robot on wheels, EPCOT delivers for character sightings and meet and greets. The EPCOT characters are some of the best in all four parks because of how many there are and how easy it is to meet them. The way that Disney integrates character meet and greets at EPCOT also helps with the overall theme of global connection, as you can find many of the Disney characters inside the World Showcase.
After riding Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion, you can meet Anna and Elsa in the Royal Sommerhus. Or, if you’re craving a bratwurst from Germany, you can meet Snow White at the beautiful wishing well within that pavilion. We really love that about EPCOT Disney characters and how unique the interactions are. Meeting characters around EPCOT is a great opportunity to spend time in the park with kids!
Pooh Bear is one of our favorite Disney characters in EPCOT, in that his sighting is super adorable and special. Out in front of the Figment ride, you will find a beautiful sectioned off, cleared lawn where Pooh Bear can be seen trying to catch butterflies with a net. He will occasionally come up to the fence to take photos with guests, but you’ll mostly see him in action catching insects on the lawn.
A really fun Disney World character is Joy, and you can meet her in a special spot inside of EPCOT. After you exit the Figment ride, you enter the “What If” Labs, which are a great place to have some fun! There are two characters spots, interactive activities and a small gift shop. Here is where you will find the EPCOT character meet and greet for Joy, where she has an adorable backdrop.
As we mentioned with the Joy EPCOT meet and greet, The What If Labs can be found at the exit of the Figment ride. The Journey into Imagination Pavilion is more than just an attraction, but home to interactive activities and character meet and greets. Vanellope has a spot with a backdrop that seems to be themed after Wreck it Ralph 2, with a PhotoPass Cast Member.
If you don’t want to ride the Figment attraction to meet those Walt Disney World characters, you can just enter the front of the store around the left side of the ride.
This character spot tends to rotate out characters for traditional pictures and meet and greets. Right when you enter EPCOT, to the right of Spaceship Earth, there is a small spot that will usually have either Goofy or Pluto ready to take pictures with guests. We have occasionally seen Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse meeting there from time to time, so make sure to check when you’re there! These Disney park characters can switch out from time to time, so make sure to keep checking back to see who you can meet!
If you’re looking for a unique meet and greet at EPCOT, you can look for Mary Poppins at the gazebo in the back of the UK pavilion. She can also be found wandering around in the UK pavilion in other places, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. Typically, the My Disney Experience app will have all of her times listed and where you can expect to meet her that day.
You will find classic Mickey Mouse in his red pants and black suit jackets at the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival in EPCOT. It is a little hard to find this Mickey Mouse meet and greet, so make sure you’re in the right place, which is right next to Journey into Imagination if you want to meet Mickey!
Minnie Mouse has been seen in a few places, but is typically seen at the World Showcase Plaza, at the green gazebo across from the Disney Traders shop. The Minnie Mouse meet and greet here features Minnie in her red and white polka dot dress, and a big red and white polka dot bow on top of her head. You can’t miss Minnie Mouse here, as her meet and greets start nice and early on the World Showcase.
If you’re coming in on the backside of EPCOT, on the International Gateway, you’ll be able to find the Daisy Duck EPCOT meet and greet, which is one you won’t want to miss. Daisy is in her typical everyday outfit, but she is a very fun and expressive character that is worth the short wait to snap a picture or give her a hug! So, if you’re heading to the Disney Skyliner or to one of the EPCOT resorts, make sure to check and see if there is a queue to meet Daisy.
EPCOT is a great place to meet princesses at Disney World seeing as that it celebrates everything about the globe, and our Disney princesses are from all over! You will get the most luck meeting princess Disney World characters when making your way around the World Showcase, which happens to be home to almost every single one of them.
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In Animal Kingdom, you will find Disney World characters more on the wild side, with many animals like Timon, Rafiki, Meeko, Kevin, The Fab 5 and more. While there aren’t a ton of characters at Animal Kingdom, we really appreciate the exciting encounters and even some of the rarest Disney characters making appearances.
Animal Kingdom is not the place t0 go if you’re looking to meet princess Disney World characters, so keep that in mind when planning. The only princess you can see is Pocahontas, and she is not available for up close meet and greets since she’s on a flotilla.
This Donald Duck meet and greet in Animal Kingdom happens to be one of the most unique, as Donald is wearing his special Dino Bash outfit! There is even a special Dino-Bash background with bright greens and yellows that looks incredible for photos. So join Donald and his friends for a prehistoric party for a super special character moment.
Donald’s Dino-Bash also extends to Daisy Duck and Chip and Dale, as they have their own unique meet and greet spots, where they are in their prehistoric outfits.
Mickey and Minnie are in their safari best for this Disney character meet and greet, which can be found in the Adventurers Outpost. This is a special character meet and greet that typically has a longer line since it has a dedicated, indoor meeting spot. With that being said, we absolutely love Mickey and Minnie’s special outfits and would highly recommend going to see our two favorite mice in this spot!
Our favorite Animal Kingdom meet and greet is the giant bird Kevin from up, which is a roaming and impressive character sighting. Kevin is larger than life and roams around Discovery Island every 15 minutes through the crowds of guests waiting to meet everyone! There isn’t a line or a designated queue area, so make sure you look out for her when making your way around the park. She is nearly impossible to miss, as you can see and hear her from far away.
Flotillas are the small floating parades that make their way around the rivers in Animal Kingdom, and have some of the coolest characters sightings in the park. Currently, there are three flotillas, which have different themes and can be seen in almost every single land in Animal Kingdom that has access to the river that flows through it. Flotillas are the only place you can see Pocahontas at Disney World, and she is usually floating around with Meeko looking for an adventure.
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Meeting rare Disney characters can be tricky and even cost you more seeing as that most of them are at special events. Rare characters are the Disney World characters that you can’t meet every day in the parks, many of them are villains, side characters or characters in special costumes that aren’t year round.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party is a great place to meet rare Disney characters, seeing as that it is an extra paid ticketed event. One of the main reasons guests buy tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party is to meet rare characters, like Jack Skellington. Which the line can run as long as 4 hours sometimes!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a lot like Mickey’s Not So Scary Party in that it is super popular for those who like rare Disney character meet and greets. You can find many of the Disney princess characters with their counterparts, as well as other characters that aren’t in the parks and event exclusive.
Some of the rarest Disney characters we have ever seen have been at runDisney events, which is probably surprising to most. runDisney events are park hosted running events where guests can run 5ks, half marathons and marathons. Along your route, you can stop for some pretty incredible character meet and greets for a quick photo or chat.
Not all of these characters are always at every race, but these are some of the rarest Disney World characters we’ve seen at the races!
While Disney+ day is relatively new, it has been a great way to meet rare characters inside of the theme parks. Disney+ is the streaming service offered by Disney and to celebrate the new stories and films being released on the platform, they throw Disney+ day in all four parks. Guests can meet rare characters in Hollywood Studios, which can change out from year to year, so keep that in mind. We have seen Darth Vader, Chip and Dale, Up Characters, Moana, Max, Tiana and more.
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Character dining is another fun way to meet characters while at Disney World and unique in that you also get to eat a meal! We aren’t going to go into a lot of detail because we have an entire article dedicated to character dining at Disney World. Instead, here is a brief overview of the characters you can meet if you choose to do a character dining experience while in the parks.
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A: Moana can be seen in a few places in Magic Kingdom, can only be met during one of the special Disney events with rare characters. Guests can see Moana from afar in the Adventure Friends Cavalcade or can typically meet her during specialty races, After Hours events or celebrations.
A: Yes, guests traveling to Walt Disney World will have chances to meet characters in all four theme parks. Each park has a unique set of Disney World characters for either photos, autographs, high high fives or even a brief chat.
A: Yes, almost all dining experiences and characters breakfasts are back to normal and ready for guests. One of the last remaining character breakfasts to return is Cinderella’s Royal Table, which will return February 2023.
A: No, there are no Marvel characters on Walt Disney World property, but you can meet Marvel characters over at Disneyland in California.
A: Yes, guests are allowed to take pictures with Disney World characters. Whether you’d like one of the Disney Cast Members to take your photo or if you want to take a selfie, it is allowed with character interactions of all sorts!
A: Yes, COVID restrictions have relaxed and character interactions are back to normal at Walt Disney World. Guests may ask characters for hugs, photos or just generally have a chat as long as you remain respectful!
A: As of the beginning of 2023, the only Encanto character you can see is Mirabel. You cannot meet her up and close, but you can see her in the Adventure Pals Cavalcade that runs through Magic Kingdom park daily.
Our Disney World Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.
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