"Have you seen the Penguins?" Mary Poppins asked us. Why, no I haven't, but it was charming and seemed so natural of her to ask.
Meeting the characters can be a little intimidating for me, a naturally quiet person, to approach someone who is pretending to be a character from a Disney story. I'm also very practical in real life, so to suspend disbelief in order to meet a fictional character who may or may not talk is a challenge.
But I have to say, every time I do it, it's a blast. It's so fun to see my kids interact with their favorites and for them to find new favorites after their interactions with the characters.
Here are my top 5 characters meet and greets. Who are your favorites?
5. Anastasia, Drisella and the Wicked Step Mother from Cinderella
This was one of my all-time favorite character interactions for my oldest son. I was a little nervous about taking him to a Princess-themed dinner and wasn't sure how that would work for him.
The sister walked out, and we watched them approach our table. "Oh, are you married?" Anastasia asked.
My son looked confused and said, "No, I'm not married."
So Anastasia proceeded to yell across the room to her sister, "Eligible bachelor!" and it was so awesome and then I got this priceless photo.
4. Mary Poppins in Magic Kingdom
Oh, it's a jolly holiday with Mary!
I grew up with Mary Poppins and I adore her. During this particular meet I was moved to tears while we were waiting in line, watching the sweetest little girl hug Mary and not release her for a minute. She just kept staring at Mary Poppins and saying, "You're so beautiful!' It was the most magical thing, and to that little girl Mary WAS REAL.
3. Pluto in the Polynesian
This one can be a little tricky to time correctly, but if you have a dining reservation or hop over to the Polynesian during the day you will usually find Pluto upstairs near the entrance to 'Ohana.
It's a low-key way to meet a somewhat rare character. This one was a lifesaver for us because we had forgotten to meet Pluto during one of our trips and I heard about it for a year. So when we saw him here and with little to no line we were ecstatic.
2. Anna and Elsa
I am a huge fan of the new setup for meeting the sister duo, Anna and Elsa of Arendelle. I like the Royal Summerhus and the wait times are generally manageable for meeting them right around a dining reservation at Akershus or before you ride Frozen Ever After at Epcot.
I like the details of the decorations in the Norwegian inspired decor. We lived with a dear lady from that region once upon a time, and when I see the painted furniture and the doo dads around the Summhus it reminds me of her.
I also like to grab a snack at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe while we are over there. (My favorite is School Bread - very much like a Twinkie but better!)
1. Seven Dwarfs
Staying in character the whole time was the fun of this character meeting. All seven walked in like they were grumpy, sleepy, bashful, etc. and we loved it. My youngest daughter kept laughing because grumpy kept pointing at her and gesturing.
Currently, meeting all 7 Dwarfs is only an option at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party. This meet and greet is very popular and I recommend attending at the beginning of the party or during fireworks.
Honorable mention: Mickey and Minnie
An all-time favorite, nostalgic and fun. Meeting any of the Fabulous Five (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Daisy, and Donald) is always on our list of favorites for each trip. This was a special meet at an invited travel agent dinner I attended in the spring. Love their celebration outfits!
Who are your favorites?
If you're planning a trip, I'd be delighted to help you meet your favorite characters and ride the most amazing rides in the shortest lines possible! Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org for a time to chat.