Reopening Tips & Tricks

Where To Find Characters At Walt Disney World

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Last Updated on November 17, 2020 by Allyson

Due to the ongoing pandemic, character meet and greets have changed at the most magical place on earth. So, let’s discuss where to find characters at Walt Disney World (WDW) right now.

First things first, technically, there aren’t character meet and greets anymore. Currently, they are more like socially-distanced character interactions in which you can take a selfie. And, sadly, no more autographs. Secondly, there also aren’t any full-fledged parades.

Alice socially-distanced photo opportunity at Epcot

But! None of this is permanent and simply a way for Disney to still include the beloved characters into the guest experience, all while maintaining the necessary health and safety measures.

In This Article (click for table of contents) show

With that, below is where to find characters at Walt Disney World. Trust me when I say, despite the limitations, seeing and interacting with characters is still so much fun and magical (and even better in some cases).

Seasonal

That’s right, you can find characters at Walt Disney World for the holidays!

There are several themed-cavalcades and character interactions across all four theme parks that run Nov. 6 through Dec. 30, 2020. (Epcot’s modified Festival of the Holidays begins Nov. 27 and same with the cavalcades.)

Cavalcades 

Magic Kingdom

  • Main Street Philharmonic (runs every day of the week): Toy Soldiers march down the parade route with the Main Street Philharmonic as they play holiday music.
  • Santa’s Christmas Cavalcade (runs every day of the week): Reindeer lead the way as Santa Claus glides down the parade route in his sleigh.
  • A Royal Christmas Processional: Cinderella and fellow Disney princesses wave from a crystal float decorated for the season.
  • Mickey’s Holiday Cavalcade (runs every day of the week): Mickey and Minnie (and friends) greet guests from their Christmas tree float.
  • Goofy’s Scrumptious Cavalcade (runs Thursday through Monday; off Tuesday and Wednesday): Goofy and his friends cook up holiday fun from festive floats.
  • Holiday Trolley (runs every day of the week): The Dapper Dans in their holiday attire sing to guests as they ride the horse-drawn trolley up and down Main Street, U.S.A. You can also catch the Winnie the Pooh characters on the trolley wearing seasonal scarves.

Epcot

  • Mickey and Friends World Tour: Mickey and friends travel around the World Showcase “in their holiday finest.”
  • Frozen Promenade: Catch Queen Anna and Elsa as they go around the World Showcase.
  • Santa Claus Promenade: Say hello to Santa during his grand horse-drawn carriage tour around the World Showcase (only runs through Dec. 24).

Hollywood Studios

  • Santa Claus Merry Motorcade: Santa will be led by elves and ride in a red convertible packed with presents.

Animal Kingdom

  • Donald’s Dino Bash Festive Flotilla: Donald and friends get in the holiday spirit.
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Festive Flotilla: Float by in their dinosaur costumes, but with some holiday additions. Goofy also joins them.
  • Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla: play holiday beats
  • Santa Claus Festive Flotilla

Character Interactions

There are several different seasonal character interactions, including:

Catch characters in holiday attire at the Walt Disney World Railroad in Magic Kingdom waving to guests. This is a great photo op.

You can usually see Chip ‘n’ Dale in their holiday best hanging in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland along the Country Bear Jamboree balcony.

— Find Santa Stitch and Santa Buzz Lightyear on the stage in Tomorrowland.

The Muppets have also returned to Magic Kingdom for the holiday season and can be found in their usual spot in Liberty Square near Hall of Presidents.

You can even catch Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf (he doesn’t usually appear) at Hollywood Studios’ For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. There is also a festive finale and seasonal songs.

Read can read more about seasonal character dining below.


The following are the standard character interactions and cavalcades that take place across each theme park. 

Character Interactions

There are several character spots across each park, where guests can interact with different characters — and take a photo.

You can’t hug them, pose right next to them, or get an autograph. But, the character interactions are still fun and super cute, like when you get to see Winnie the Pooh hunt for butterflies or the Country Bears in Frontierland waving to park-goers.

Country Bears in Frontierland

Are there specific times when these character come out? No. When it comes to characters, it’s more go with the flow. There isn’t a schedule so guests don’t crowd. Just try to keep in mind where characters have been spotted and you might see one — or a few!

There aren’t PhotoPass photographers, either. You can take a selfie or have someone in your party take a photo for you. Or, you don’t even have to take a picture at all. You can just wave and say hi!

Here’s where to find some characters.

Magic Kingdom

Main Street, U.S.A.

Walt Disney World Railroad Balcony

  • Mickey and Friends
  • Disney Princesses
  • Goofy & Fantasyland Friends

Main Street Trolley

  • Piglet, Eeyore, and Rabbit

The Crystal Palace

  • Piglet, Eeyore, and Rabbit (they are sometimes hanging outside)

Disney princess at the Walt Disney World Railroad

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland Stage

  • Buzz Lightyear and Stitch (alternate)

Frontierland

Rivers of America

  • Western Chip ‘n’ Dale (float by on a raft)

The Country Bear Jamboree Balcony

  • Country Bears

Fantasyland

 Cinderella Castle

  • Anastasia and Drizella (sometimes on the castle’s back balcony)

Pinocchio Village Haus

  • Pinocchio (front balcony of the restaurant)

Enchanted Tales With Belle

  • Belle (has been spotted a few times hanging outside of the temporarily closed attraction)

Princess Fairytale Hall

  • Anastasia and Drizella (they are sometimes in front of the character meet and greet)
  • Cinderella
  • Rapunzel

Adventureland

Adventureland Stage

  • Captain Jack Sparrow (on stage across from Pirates of the Caribbean)

EPCOT

Future World

Journey Into Imagination With Figment 

  • Pooh and Joy (alternate in the grassy area outside of the attraction)

Winnie the Pooh at Epcot

Joy from Inside Out at Epcot

World Showcase

United Kingdom Pavilion

  • Alice and Mary (alternate in the gazebo or they’ve been spotted in the pavilion’s garden areas)

Alice in Wonderland at Epcot

Norway Pavilion

  • Queen Anna and Elsa (they’ve been spotted in the pavilion outside their character meet and greet)

Hollywood Studios

Galaxy’s Edge

  • Chewie, Rey, Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, Vi Moradi (stages near Millennium Falcon and First Order Cargo and the fenced-in area across from Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop)

Chewie in Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios

Character Cavalcades

Cavalcades are like parades, but shorter and much faster. They don’t run on a specific schedule to prevent guests from lining up and forming crowds. It’s all about maintaining a safe distance from each other.

If you check the My Disney Experience app, you can see what time the cavalcades begin and end. But, a definitive time isn’t given for any of the cavalcades across each park. They run randomly throughout the day.

Character cavalcade schedule at Walt Disney World

I love a good parade, but the cavalcades are really nice. You don’t have to line up hours beforehand to get a good seat and it’s a quick way to see some Disney favorites.

Magic Kingdom

All of the cavalcades in Magic Kingdom take the standard parade route: start in Frontierland by Splash Mountain and end on Main Street, exiting by the Fire Station.

Main Street Philharmonic

The WDW band plays Disney favorites and classics.

The Main Street Philharmonic at Magic Kingdom

The Royal Princess Processional

You can see Merida, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine, Princess Elena, Aurora, The Fairy Godmother, Rapunzel, and Tiana.

Merida at Magic Kingdom

Snow White and Cinderella at Magic Kingdom

Tiana and Rapunzel at Magic Kingdom

Tinker Bell & the Lost Treasure

Tinker Bell sits on a large treasure chest as she glides along the street.

Mickey & Friends Cavalcade

This cavalcade stars Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and the dancers from Move It! Shake It! Mouskedance It!

Pluto, Mickey, and Minnie at Magic Kingdom

Dancers at Magic Kingdom

Donald Duck at Magic Kingdom

Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade

Watch as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and Peter Pan float by, along with Gaston on horseback.

Pooh, Peter Pan, and Tigger at Magic Kingdom

Gaston at Magic Kingdom

Aladdin and Mary Poppins at Magic Kingdom

A Goofy Cavalcade

Accompanied with the Move It! Shake It! Mouskedance It! dancers, you can see Goofy, Max, Clarabelle Cow, Panchito, and José Carioca.

Goofy at Magic Kingdom

Jose Carioca at Magic Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Each of Animal Kingdom’s character cruises glide around the Discovery River.

Discovery River Character Cruise

You’ll be able to see Pocahontas and Meeko (sometimes Meeko is missing) or Timon and Pumba.

Meeko and Pocahontas at Animal Kingdom

Discovery Island Drummers

This boat just includes the drummers without characters and they are very good.

Donald’s Dino Boat Bash!

This float is all about the ducks, including Donald, Daisy, and Launchpad McQuack.

Mickey & Friends Flotilla

Safari Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto float on by in their flotilla.

Goofy & Pals Set Sail

Goofy and friends from Donald’s Dino Bash sail together. You can usually expect Chip ‘n’ Dale dressed in their dinosaur costumes.

Good Spots To See The Cruises

Flame Tree Barbecue (Discovery Island): The Quick Service spot has a ton of seating with stunning views of the river and Expedition Everest. (You need to place a Mobile Order in order to access the seating area, due to the new health and safety precautions.)

Expedition Everest views from Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light Stadium (Asia): The arena where you usually sit to watch the now defunct Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular is open for all guests during the day. It makes a great spot to chill and watch the cruises. Keep in mind that there is hardly any shade and it gets very hot.

Nomad Lounge (Discovery Island): The Nomad Lounge is a Table Service spot (it’s casual and not a full TS experience) attached to the signature dining location Tiffins. It’s on your right going into Pandora. If you’re able to grab a table outside, you’ll have views of the river and sometimes the characters will go by.

The Bridges (across the park): Any of the bridges across the park usually offer a view of the boats.

Relaxation Station (between Africa and Asia; near the bird show theater): This Relaxation Station (a designated spot to remove your mask for a select amount of time) is a great place to sit and offers views of the cruises.

EPCOT

There are three processionals for guests to catch and they all take place around the World Showcase.

Frozen Promenade

Watch as Anna rides in her carriage and Elsa walks in front of her sister.

Anna from Frozen at Epcot

Anna from Frozen at Epcot

Elsa from Frozen at Epcot

Princess Promenade

Jasmine, Aurora, Belle, and Snow White ride in a car together and wave.

Mickey & Friends World Tour

Mickey and Minnie ride in their car, as Pluto and Goofy walk.

Minnie at Epcot

Goofy at Epcot

Hollywood Studios

Each of the three motorcades begin at the front of the park and make their way down Hollywood Boulevard. They even feature themed-cars.

Disney Junior Stars Motorcade

Features Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, and Doc McStuffins. Also, this motorcade song is a bop and will be stuck in your head all day.

Mickey & Friends Motorcade

This motorcade stars some of the original Disney characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Pixar Motorcade

The Pixar Motorcade features Mr. & Mrs. Incredible, Edna Mode, Sulley, Woody, Jessie, Green Army Men, and Buzz Lightyear.

Woody at Hollywood Studios

Buzz Lightyear at Hollywood Studios

Sulley at Hollywood Studios

Character Dining

You can also find characters at Walt Disney World thanks to character dining. But, there are only a few modified character dining experiences available at WDW.

Before booking, know that you will not be able to hug or pose right next to characters for photos. Also, characters don’t do autographs, but some will give you a themed-card with signatures as a souvenir.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood & Vine — Minnie’s Seasonal Dining (Echo Lake)

  • Who: Mickey, Minnie, and Friends
  • Price: $35 to $59.99 per adult
  • Cuisine: American
  • Meal: Lunch and Dinner
  • Link for menu and reservation

Minnie’s Halloween Dine begins Sept. 25 through Nov. 5 and features Minnie as a happy witch, Mickey as a funny vampire, Goofy as a spooky cowboy, and Pluto in a Halloween collar. You can make reservations beginning Sept. 11 online or via My Disney Experience. Minnie’s Holiday Dine begins Nov. 6 through Jan. 4, 2021 and will feature Minnie, Santa Goofy, and others. Silver Screen Dine begins on Jan. 5, 2021 and runs through an undisclosed date in March. 

Minnie's Halloween Dine at Hollywood Studios

EPCOT

Garden Grill (The Land Pavilion)

  • Who: Mickey, Pluto, Chip ‘n’ Dale
  • Price: $35 to $59.99 per adult
  • Cuisine: American
  • Meal: Lunch and Dinner
  • Link for menu and reservation

Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest (New Fantasyland)

  • Who: The Beast
  • Price: Over $60 per adult
  • Cuisine: American, French
  • Meal: Lunch and Dinner
  • Link for menu and reservation

Cinderella’s Royal Table (Fantasyland)

  • Who: Cinderella (she only makes a brief appearance and waves; doesn’t walk around)
  • Price: Over $60 per adult
  • Cuisine: American
  • Meal: Lunch and Dinner
  • Link for menu and reservation

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Topolino’s Terrace — Flavor of the Riviera

  • Who: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy
  • Price: $35 to $59.99 per adult
  • Cuisine: French, Italian
  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Link for menu and reservation

Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Good Morning Breakfast With Goofy & His Pals (Ravello)

  • Who: Goofy, Minnie, and Mickey
  • Price: $28 per child, $48 per adult
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Link for menu and reservation

Important: Only available on Saturdays.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Chef Mickey’s 

  • Who: Mickey and Friends
  • Price: $42 per adult, $27 per child
  • Cuisine: American
  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Link for menu and reservation

Chef Mickey’s officially becomes character dining starting Dec. 16 with reservations opening on Oct. 17. There isn’t a buffet, but rather an all-you-care to eat family style meal with new menu items and traditional breakfast favorites.

In-Park Shows

Currently, there are only a few shows in Hollywood Studios that feature characters! FYI: you can’t meet the characters, but they are only part of the shows.

The following entertainment has set showtimes, so be sure to check the My Disney Experience app for that day’s schedule. There are many showings throughout the day.

Disney Junior Play and Dance! — Animation Academy

Along with music and dancing, you can see Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, Timon, and Mickey.

Disney Society Orchestra and Friends — Sunset Boulevard (ends Oct. 3, 2020)

The orchestra plays Disney favorites in the live Beauty and the Beast stage show theater. Spoiler: Characters from the movie show up at the end, including Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Cogsworth, the Beast, and Belle!

The Disney Society Orchestra & Friends at Hollywood Studios

For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration — Echo Lake

The sing-along featuring Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Arendelle’s comedic royal historians returns to Hollywood Studios on Oct. 5, 2020.

Muppet*Vision 3D — Grand Avenue

The 3D show that runs daily features a few Muppets, including Statler and Waldorf and Sweetums.

Tips For Seeing Characters

Here are just a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to seeing characters right now.

>Listen for a change in music in the park, because that’s the signal when a cavalcade is coming. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to hear it.

>It’s easy to get excited when you spot characters or a cavalcade begins, but remember to follow social distancing rules. Don’t gather or crowd next to someone. Take a moment to scope out a spot to make sure you’re keeping at least a six-foot distance.

And that’s where to find characters at Walt Disney World!  Even though seeing characters at the most magical place on earth right now is a little bit different, it’s still magical. Yes, hugging characters is wonderful, but you actually get to see more characters throughout the day compared to normal, which, to me, is a major bonus.

For more on Walt Disney World’s reopening, be sure to check out my complete guide detailing everything from dining, to hotels, to transportation, and much more.

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