Ariel in the parade at Magic Kingdom
  • On Mar 21, 2023
    Mary beth from PA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    When do princesses and characters begin walking around the parks? Trying to balance our ride plans with meet n greets for our toddlers.

    Hi there, Mary Beth! 

    Welcome back to planDisney! Nothing compares to seeing your little ones' faces light up when they finally meet their favorite characters face-to-face. Your littlest Mouseketeers will feel like they've walked into the pages of a storybook, and you will treasure those encounters for years to come. I am more than happy to help you craft a game plan for balancing attractions and meet-and-greets.

    Although there isn't a set time when characters begin roaming around the theme parks, I can share a few ideas to help you find them. First, when visiting Magic Kingdom Park, at the start of the day, I recommend that you wave hello to Mickey and his pals and some princess friends at the short-and-sweet Let the Magic Begin show. It’s a great way to energize little ones before running off to your first set of attractions. 

    Many characters have set meet-and-greet locations, so it's easy to plan ahead by either waiting in the standby queue or opting to use the Lightning Lane (via Disney Genie+). For example, after riding Under the Sea--Journey of the Little Mermaid, you can visit Princess Ariel in her grotto. Or see princesses like Tiana, Rapunzel, and Cinderella at the Princess Fairytale Hall. These locations usually begin meet-and-greets as early as park open or late morning. 

    My favorite way to track down characters who roam or who don't have a nonstop schedule is to use the My Disney Experience app. In the app, click on the map pinpoint icon, and it will take you to the Resort map. Filter by "Characters," and you'll see little Mickey icons indicating where you can meet characters. So, if you're exploring the World Showcase at EPCOT, you may notice that you can meet Mulan at the China Pavilion. Click on her meet-and-greet to see the times that she will appear. I love this feature so much!   

    Finally, a fun (and time-efficient) idea to meet characters is to enjoy a meal with them! From Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at EPCOT, these dining opportunities give your littles a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, giving them a beautiful setting to meet characters and a chance to recharge before exploring nearby attractions afterward.

    AN EXTRA GEM: While the two theme parks that I mentioned above are my go-to places to meet princesses and other beloved characters, you can find so many hanging out in Andy's Backyard (Toy Story Land) at Disney's Hollywood Studios, floating down the river on flotillas at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, or even dine with them outside of the parks at restaurants like Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White.  

    And Mary Beth, Disney Parks Blog recently announced that Mirabel from Encanto and Moana will have their own dedicated meet-and-greet spots starting later this year. This mama is just as excited as her little ones! If you have any further questions as you plan your Disney vacation, please revisit us here at planDisney.  

    Magic always, 
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Meet the Panelist: LeAndra, Florida

Hey, Mouseketeer! I'm LeAndra, a wife, mom of two, and content creator from beautiful Central Florida. I've lived near The Most Magical Place on Earth for my entire life; so, I like to say that I'm a Guardian of this galaxy! My love of all-things-Disney has also taken me on multiple cross-country road trips to Disneyland Resort and on a few flights over to Disneyland Paris. I am oh-so-grateful to be a part of your world by helping you plan your magical vacations.  Learn More About LeAndra

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