7. Check a times guide
Your first step to great character interactions is to make sure you’ll be able to plan a time to meet them. When you grab your map at the beginning of the day, be sure to grab a times guide as well. The times guide will have a list of every character in the park and the times they will be out to meet for the day. Bear in mind that many characters will only be available to meet at certain times of day, so if you have your heart set on meeting a certain character be sure to check the guide! Most characters come out to visit in sets that do not always last for the entire day, so making sure you’re there for the times that they’re out is very important. Don’t want to carry around a Times Guide? Download the My Disney Experience App.
6. Be courteous to cast members
The Character Attendants who work with the characters are some of the most hardworking cast members in Walt Disney World. They are responsible for keeping the characters and guests safe. Part of their job is opening and closing the lines for the characters, which can be difficult when guests give them a hard time if they miss the time slot to meet the characters. While it can be difficult to cut off a line when guests continually come up and ask to meet the character, it is part of their jobs and they do not deserve the insults and abuses that they often receive. The best way to avoid the heartbreaking moment of just missing a character is to stay up to date with the times guide or the My Disney Experience app. And if a Character Attendant does need to cut off a line, please be polite and understand that they are simply doing a very difficult part of their job.
5. Do not break character integrity!
Character integrity means that each character is real, and therefore he or she can only be in one place at one time. Breaking character integrity is one of the worst ways to ruin the magic of meeting these characters for yourself and other guests. While you may be well aware a character has multiple “friends” it’s best to allow yourself to enjoy the magic of the parks without thinking of these things. Saying things like “This is the best Ariel I’ve met yet!” or “Isn’t it hot inside that suit?” is a surefire way to spoil the magic for other guests and make the interaction awkward and uncomfortable.
4. Strike up a conversation
A character meet and greet doesn’t have to just be a photo opportunity. When you meet these characters, remember that they actually are in character. You could ask Aladdin and Jasmine how Abu is doing, or maybe ask Rapunzel what her favorite food is, or ask Elsa and Anna how Arendelle is this time of year. You can even do this with fur characters as well! One last thing to mention about talking to the characters is that while you may be an adult visiting a character without any children with you, you should under no circumstances make any inappropriate comments to them. Disney is a family park, a good rule of thumb is don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a member of your family.
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3. Disneybound or wear themed clothing
Sort of in the same vein as the above tip, it is always fun to see the reactions of your favorite characters when you wear clothes with them on it or wear an outfit inspired by them. This could also be a great conversation starter if you do not know what to say to some characters.
2. Meet characters while dining
You can kill two birds with one stone by going to character dining. Restaurants like Chef Mickey’s or Crystal Palace are a great way to efficiently meet many characters while taking time to eat. You can see more characters this way in a short amount of time without waiting in long lines. While these restaurants are often all you can eat, they do cost more than your average table service meal, it can be worth it if you really want to meet many characters.
1. Get Fastpasses for popular characters
Some characters have very long waits to meet them, sometimes even hours. By getting a Fastpass for meet and greets like Princess Fairytale Hall and Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater, you can bypass most of the line and spend less time waiting and more time enjoying your visit. I would usually recommend getting a Fastpass for a character meet and greet over a Fastpass for a show, parade or fireworks because you get much more use out of meeting characters than those Fastpasses.