Just like attractions at Walt Disney World, character meet & greets aren’t all made with the same attention to detail to creating magical experiences.
This article is about explaining why certain interactions with characters are great, while others may be flawed. From lines to the privacy, there’s so much that can make an experience awesome (or awkward).
Best and Worst Disney Character Meet and Greets
We’re going to start with the Best Character Meet & Greets
Star Wars Launch Bay
Each of the character interactions are done as an individual story. When you’re summoned into the presence of Chewbacca, BB-8 or Kylo Ren, it’s like you’re the only one in the room.
Granted the conversation is one-sided, but it’s a memory that you’ll never forget!
EPCOT Character Spot
Meeting Mickey, Goofy and Minnie all under one roof with the same FastPass+ reservation is awesome!
The best part about this location is that the standby line is separate from the meet & greet location, which as we’ll get into later, is a huge factor. You don’t want to be feeling rushed to get from character to character, because although there are people before and after you…you’re able to really take your time in the area.
Downfall is that because there isn’t a constantly moving line, you see the “Family Photo” thing…where the photopass photographer takes a photo of the group, and then the kids by themselves, then singles, then the parents. Yea, this happens so often that it’s become a reality for everyone involved.
Be Our Guest with The Beast
Part of the magic that happens during a dinner at Be Our Guest is your opportunity to meet The Beast as you’re leaving. Simply awesome!
You’re able to see the line from your table, so before you get up and leave…make sure that you’re not going to be standing for too long. There are limited tables and so you should be able to get a great interaction.
I’m not going to overhype this because a dinner reservation is very difficult to get and the Beast doesn’t meet for breakfast or lunch.
- Little Mermaid in New Fantasyland (Fastpass OR early in the day = no lines)
- Tinkerbell at Town Square Theatre (Good theming, lines are short, great conversation)
The Worst Disney Character Meet & Greets
From 1900 Park Fare to Crystal Palace to everything in between…Character meals are so difficult to get a memorable interaction. This isn’t about the actual characters themselves, because the system set up where they have to touch each table in the section for autographs and photos is utterly impossible.
We’ve had great conversations with Lady Tremaine and the sisters from Cinderella AND absolutely hilarious greetings at The Garden Grill when Pluto snuck up on me while Jill distracted me with bacon…but those are the minority.
Most character meals are stressing about not missing a character because you’re at the buffet OR that you don’t have someone to help with photos (Photopass photographers don’t follow the characters at a regular Character meal)
Characters Around World Showcase
Meeting Mulan, Belle, Snow White and any of the other amazing characters that are only available at EPCOT bring true joy to everyone who has the opportunity to say hi.
The reason why it’s on my “worst” list is because the areas in which they are meeting guests involve lightly shaded areas in the hot Florida sun. I have a full album of pics that I can’t/won’t share because of the sweat stains! haha
This is simple: she doesn’t have a photopass photographer due to the limited rights for the character in the parks. She’s portraying Julie Andrews, which is why you’ll never Giselle from Enchanted.
Meeting Mickey at Town Square Theatre
I’m holding out hope for this one, but currently it’s on my list due to the fact that he no longer talks to guests. Here’s hoping that it’s just a temporary situation.
Pete’s Silly Sideshow
Classic Fab 5 meet and greet in sideshow themed outfits on paper seems like a great idea. Why is it a bad experience? Well there isn’t a barrier between the line and the photo backdrops. This means that while you’re smiling at the photographer, you’re also smiling at everyone else who’s stuck in line waiting their turn. #Awkward
This is always a frustration, but waiting three hours for the Seven Dwarfs or Jack & Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas is not why you spend $100+ for an extra ticketed event.
This was a ton of fun to write, so I hope that this will help with your Disney vacation planning! If you wanted to click through to a few other articles about Character experiences, feel free:)