• On Jun 4, 2019
    Jessica from PA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    This is my first time to WDW as a parent, I am trying to make sure we make the best use of our time and am wondering whether all the characters are still out during extra magic hours?

    Hi Jessica,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I love hearing that you’re planning your child’s first visit to Walt Disney World Resort, which also happens to be your first visit together. There is nothing quite like magical together time, and I love nothing more than being with my family in my happy place. I’m so excited for you to make so many amazing memories together.

    Extra Magic Hours are a fantastic benefit of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. I especially love morning Extra Magic Hours, because the weather is often a little cooler, and you can feel the excitement of having a whole Disney day ahead of you. I’m smiling just thinking about it!

    Jessica, in my experience, character availability during Extra Magic Hours is quite limited. I think it’s because it’s really a better use of your time to head to attractions that may have significant wait times as the day goes on. For example, the iconic Peter Pan’s Flight often has waits over 60 minutes long throughout the day; if you head straight there, you’ll likely experience a shorter wait during Extra Magic Hours. Pay close attention to the list of attractions available during Extra Magic Hours as you plan your park days so you can really maximize that time.

    My favorite way to locate characters and their meeting times is by using the My Disney Experience mobile app. When you open the app, tap the map. You’ll see a drop-down menu at the top; select “Characters.” From there, you can navigate to any park and tap the Mickey head icon to see which Character is where and see their times. For example, as I’m writing this, there were Extra Magic Hours at 7:00 a.m. this morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The earliest characters I see on the map are Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Adventurers Outpost, who began meeting at 8:00 a.m. 

    You can also check each character’s web page, and pick up a Times Guide as you enter each park for the most up-to-date information about character experiences.

    Have so much fun with your little one, Jessica! I highly recommend purchasing Memory Maker, which will give you unlimited digital downloads of your photos with characters, ride photos, and any photo you take with a PhotoPass photographer. I absolutely cherish my family photos from our Walt Disney World vacations, and there are so many fun spots to have your family’s photo taken. Say cheese, and please say hi to my friend Mickey for me!

    Wishing you a magical vacation,
thumbnail image for Robyn

Meet the Panelist: Robyn, Virginia

Hi there! I'm Robyn, and I am so excited to share my love of all things Disney with you! My proud military family loves going on Disney adventures that include enchanting moments, laughter and happy tears, and all the pineapple and Mickey-shaped snacks we can find. It's my pleasure to help you plan the most magical and unforgettable vacation in the Disney Parks. Learn More About Robyn

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