Walt Disney World Guide to Characters: How to Find Them at Disney World

Meeting your favorite characters is just one perk of visiting Walt Disney World. You can see your favorite princess, mouse, and live action film stars from beloved movies such as Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy.  Here are some tips on Walt Disney World character meet and greets for each park, including Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Epcot.

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More Characters Returning Soon!

Traditional character meet and greets have returned to Walt Disney World! Which means you can now hug your favorite character and get autographs again!

More characters are returning along with NEW characters in the park including:

  • “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” featuring Mirabel from “Encanto,” Miguel from “Coco,” Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Max, Goof, Moana and more is now running multiple times a day at Magic Kingdom.
  • Minnie Mouse will join Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom. Both Mickey and Minnie will be dressed in their EARidescent fashions designed specifically for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration!
  • Chip ‘N Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long returns to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
  • Peter Pan and Snow White begin greeting guests at Magic Kingdom again.
  • July 17th: Star Wars Launch Bay returns with Chewbacca, Darth Vader and BB-8 greeting guests again. Though the characters were officially set for July 17th, some guests have already gotten to experience their return!

Also returning soon in the ‘coming months'…

  • Meet Aladdin, Jasmine, Merida, Pooh, Tigger and Storybook Circus pals like The Great Goofini in Pete’s Silly Sideshow.
  • Your favorite toys will be ready for playtime in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Donald Duck and friends will rejoin their prehistoric party at “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Magic KingdomMickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse link arms and pose for a picture

Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Mickey Mouse– Town Square Theater
    • Genie+ offered. 

Fantasyland 

  • Chip ‘n Dale at Storybook Circus
  • Peter Pan
  • Princess Fairytale Hall featuring Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, and Elena of Avalor. Sometimes you can also see Snow White, Ariel and Jasmine here as well as the Princesses are rotated throughout the day.

Cinderella strikes a pose at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park

Tomorrowland 

  • Buzz Lightyear & Stitch- distant appearances in Tomorrowland

Adventureland

Jasmine posing with a smile

  • Aladdin and Jasmine- Agrabah Bazaar in Adventureland.

Returning at a Later Date

  • Peter Pan and Wendy– Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A.- returning July 10th!
  • Tinkerbelle– Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Pete's Silly Sideshow-Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Goofy are a part of this show at Storybook Circus.
  • Gaston- Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland.
  • Ariel- meet the Little Mermaid at Ariel's Grotto.
  • Alice and Mad Hatter- Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland.
  • Merida- Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland.
  • Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore- near the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Random Character Appearances

You can also find characters spontaneously throughout the park either wandering or waving from locations connected to their stories! For instance, you might just find the County Bears waving from above the County Bear Jamboree attraction or Chip n Dale.

Guests can find Captain Jack Sparrow, in Adventureland near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Junior pirates can also be “recruited” to begin training to sail the seven seas.

You can also spot Mary Poppins in Liberty Square along with the Fairy Godmother or the infamous ugly stepsisters (Anastasia and Drizella) near Cinderella's Castle.

Download the My Experience App to check for what characters you may encounter while in the park!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Animation Courtyard

  • Disney Junior– Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, etc.
  • Pluto
  • Sulley- Walt Disney Presents

Commissary Lane

  • Olaf- Celebrity Spotlight
    • Genie+ Offered
  • Mickey & Minnie Mouse- Red Carpet Dreams

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

  • Rey
  • Chewbacca
  • Kylo Ren
  • Stormtroopers

Returning at a Later Date

  • BB-8 -Star Wars Launch Bay (Returning July 17th)
  • Chewbacca- Star Wars Launch Bay (Returning July 17th)
  • Darth Vader– Star Wars Launch Bay (Returning July 17th)
  • Buzz Lightyear– Toy Story Land
  • Woody– Toy Story Land
  • Jessie- Toy Story Land
  • The Incredibles– Pixar Place

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme ParkMeet Launchpad McQuack during Donald’s Dino-Bash! Celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Discovery Island

  • Mickey & Minnie Mouse- Adventurers Outpost
    • Genie+ offered

Also keep your eyes peeled for Kevin from UP! who makes unscheduled appearances on Discovery Island throughout the day.

Returning at a Later Date

  • Donald's Dino Bash- DinoLand, U.S.A.
    • Donald Duck
    • Chip ‘n’ Dale
    • Goofy
    • Daisy Duck
    • Scrooge McDuck
    • Launchpad McQuack
  • Russel & Dug– near entrance for It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Timon & Rafiki – Discovery Island
  • Pocahontas– Discovery Island Trails

Epcot

World Showcase

  • Donald Duck- Mexico
  • Anna and Elsa- Royal Sommerhusn in Norway
  • Mulan- China
  • Snow White- Germany
  • Jasmine- Morocco
  • Belle- France
  • Aurora- France
  • Alice- English Gardens in United Kingdom
  • Mary Poppins- English Gardens in United Kingdom

World Celebration 

  • Pluto and Goofy- near EPCOT’s Main Entrance
  • Joy-ImageWorks
  • Vanellope von Schweetz –ImageWorks

World Nature 

  • Mickey- Disney and Pixar Film Festival

Walt Disney World Character Dining in Theme Parks

One great way to spend time with characters is to opt for a Walt Disney World character dining experience! These experiences are a favorite of all ages and are definite must for your Walt Disney World vacation! Here are the Walt Disney World character dining experiences available in the theme parks:

  • Cinderella's Royal Table
    • Meet Cinderella and other class princesses in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom.
  • Be Our Guest
    • Dine in the Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast in Magic Kingdom.
  • Chip ‘n ‘Dale's Harvest Feast
    • Enjoy a family feast with Chip ‘n' Dale and other favorite Disney characters at the Garden Grill in Epcot.
  • Hollywood & Vine
    • Choose from a breakfast or lunch buffet to enjoy a meal with Minnie Mouse and friends in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • Tusker House Restaurant
    • This wild buffet themed experience features Safari Donald Duck and friends in Animal Kingdom.

Returning at a Later Date

  • The Crystal Palace- returning Sept. 20th!
    • Visit with your favorite Winnie the Pooh characters in Magic Kingdom.
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
    • Enjoy a royal meal inside a castle with your favorite Disney princesses at the World Showcase in Epcot.
  • Tiana's Riverboat Party-Ice Cream Social & Viewing Party
    • Princess Tiana and Princess Naveen oversee this desert and riverboat cruise. This experience also comes with a special viewing location of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Walt Disney World Character Dining at Resort Hotels

There are plenty of Walt Disney World character dining options to take advantage of at the Walt Disney World theme park hotels! You don't have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy these character dining experiences.

  • Chef Mickey's
    • Have a blast with an all you can eat buffet with Mickey and friends at Disney's Contemporary Resort
  • Breakfast à la Art with Mickey & Friends
    • Enjoy an artistic breakfast at the Riveria Resort with an assortment of Mickey and his friends.
  • Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
    • Enjoy a fairytale inspired meal with Snow White, the seven dwarfs and the Evil Queen at the Wilderness Lodge.
  • Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals Character Dining
    • Enjoy breakfast with Goofy and his friends at the Four Season Orlando Resort.

Returning at a Later Date

  • Cape May Cafe- Returning Oct. 4th!
    • Enjoy a cruise themed breakfast with Minnie Mouse and friends at Disney's Beach Club Resort
  • ‘Ohana- Returning Sept. 27th!
    • Say aloha to Stitch and friends during a Hawaiian breakfast at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
  • Mickey's Backyard BBQ
    • Meet Mickey, Minnie and friends at this open air BBQ spread at Magic Kingdom Resort Area
  • Garden Grove
    • This New York City themed experience takes you to Central Park as a surprise duo of Disney characters pops in for a visit at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • 1900 Park Fare
    • Meet Disney princesses and other characters at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney's Perfectly Princess Tea
    • If you're a Princess fan, this is the meal for you! Enjoy music, tea, and dancing with the princesses at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Trattoria al Forno
    • Enjoy an unique assortment of characters such as Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapunzel, and Flynn Rider at Disney's Boardwalk

Reservations for Character Dining are recommended when planning your Walt Disney World character experience. Book in advance by calling (714) 781-3463. You can read more about Walt Disney World character dining in our guide plus see our full list of restaurant reviews!

Walt Disney World Character Tips

  • Download the My Experience App- the app will help you find characters that are in the park at each given moment.
  • Character Cavalcades– Keep your eyes peeled for smaller interactions with characters in the parks. We saw the Country Bears and Chip n Dale waving from above Country Bear Jamboree in Magic Kingdom. In Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge there was a constant presence of characters like Rey, Chewy, Kylo Ren, and Stormtroopers near their prospective ride vehicles. In Tomorrowland, the stage by Space Mountain had rotating characters like Stich and Buzz Lightyear. In Epcot, we saw Joy and Winnie the Pooh fishing and catching butterflies by the Living with the Land attraction.
  • Autograph book- Bring an autograph book and pen (a clickable Sharpie works best for character costumes!)
  • Camera ready- Be camera ready so you get the best picture.

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Character Cavalcades

Cavalcades are like a mini parade that utilize cars, parade floats, boats, horses, and more that will spontaneously appear in all four theme parks for guests to view the characters. People love these cavalcades! Since they happen randomly throughout the parks, there's no need to wait around and this way you always have characters appearing during your visit.

When a character cavalcade appears, music will start playing on the speakers to clue you in that characters are on the way. Just stand off to the side and wait for them to roll on by. They go past quickly which is great for getting that quick view of characters as you make your way to the attractions. The good news is that the My Experience App tells you which character cavalcades will appear in the park on your visit, where they will be, and gives a rough time of when to watch for them.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the character cavalcades you can expect at each park:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • “Disney Adventure Friends” Cavalcade” featuring nearly 30 of Disney and Pixar characters such as Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” José Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and more – including the Magic Kingdom debut of Miguel from “Coco” in his mariachi best.
    • Fantasyland Friends features Alice, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, and Mary Poppins on a large float. You will also see Gaston horseback and Tigger.
    • A Goofy Cavalcade features Goofy, Max, Clarabelle Cow, Panchito, José Carioca on a parade float with a dance crew following behind.
    • Mickey & Friends features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Pluto on a float with a parade of dancers.
    • The Royal Princess Processional features all your favorite princesses in a large royal procession.
    • Tinkerbelle & The Lost Treasure features Tinkerbelle and a big treasure chest parade float.
    • This is where you will find the seasonal cavalcades with Disney villains for the Halloween season heading down Main Street throughout the day. During the holidays, you will see Mickey and friends in their holiday attire along with characters you usually see in the Christmas parade like the Toy Soldiers.
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Mickey and Friends Motorcade features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale, accompanied by a bouncy musical score inspired by Disney cartoon shorts.
    • The Pixar Pals Motorcade features the Incredibles, Woody, Buzz Lightyear waving to the beat of the Green Army Drum Corps.
    • Disney Junior Stars Motorcade brings favorite TV friends Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins and Vampirina to Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Since Animal Kingdom doesn't have the same large pathways as the other theme parks they rely on using the Discovery River to show off their characters by boat.
    • Discover River character cruise features Pocahontas and Meeko or Rafiki and Timon.
    • Goof and Pals Set Sail features Goofy and characters from Dino Bash (usually Chip n Dale).
    • Mickey & Friends Flotilla features Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto.
    • Discover Island Drummers will pass by playing music.
    • Donald's Dino Boat Bash features Donald, Daisy, and Launchpad McQuack.

Goofy at Blizzard Beach

Tips for Seeing Character Cavalcades 

  • If you decide to take a rest break and sit for awhile with a snack, pick a place on one of the routes like the fire station in Magic Kingdom, the Discovery River in Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood Studios.
  • Encourage your kids to wave! The characters were very attentive to kids waving in the crowd and made an extra effort to notice everyone they could.
  • Have your camera ready, I was surprised at how frequent the cavalcades were, especially in Magic Kingdom, so I never put my camera away while we snacked.

Magic Kingdom Cavalcades 

Princess cavalcade in Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom- Main Street

Magic Kingdom- Main Street

Magic Kingdom- Main Street

Magic Kingdom- near Cinderella Castle

Magic Kingdom- near Cinderella Castle

Magic Kingdom- Main Street USA

Magic Kingdom- Main Street

Magic Kingdom- Main Street

Hollywood Studios Cavalcades 

Hollywood Studios- Hollywood Blvdac

Hollywood Studios- Echo Lake

Hollywood Studios- Hollywood Blvd

Animal Kingdom Boat Cavalcades

Animal Kingdom-Discovery River

Animal Kingdom-Discovery River

Animal Kingdom-Discovery River

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the editor of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and writing Disney culture pieces on DisneyDose.com- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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