I know that I spend a lot of time focused on sharing my personal design and travel finds, but as a Traveling Mama, there are times when all sense of personal design tastes have to be thrown out the window and truly let the kids direct our travel. And what better place is there than Disney World to indulge their every desire? We discovered that each of our kids were excited by different things from our Disney vacation pretty quickly, but the one thing they all agreed on was meeting the characters. Sometimes the littlest was no that excited about the whole thing (some younger kids find meeting the characters to be scary while some of the older ones think it’s “not cool”) so we thought it would be fun to share our Top 10 Character Meet and Greets and why we think these are the ones you don’t want to miss no matter how old you are!
ONE:: Our family’s number one pick was Gaston. He is AMAZING!! He is just as perfectly obnoxious and self absorbed in person as he is Beauty and the Beast. Waiting in line isn’t a chore at all because it is absolutely hilarious to listen to his interactions with each guest. At one point he put his hand over a cute girl’s face because it was distracting from his own beauty and I was laughing hysterically as he shouted to us as we left, “Remember kids, beauty is on the outside!” (Magic Kingdom)
TWO:: The Princess Breakfast at Akershus really took us by surprise. It was beautifully done, the breakfast buffet was full of fresh fruit and plenty of yummy choices and the princesses were each full of personality and grace. I really expected the experience to be a bit cheesy, but instead, it was sweet and charming. (Epcot)
THREE: Meeting Darth Vader in such close proximity was due to inclement weather and the disappointing cancellation of the Jedi training. The special backstage photo op helped heal the wounds, though if my littlest had stood there facing Darth Vader much longer, I’m pretty sure the big guy was going to get more than a civilized joust. (Hollywood Studios)
FOUR: Chef Mickey’s has always been a staple for Character Meet and Greets and it probably always will be. The food at the buffet is above average, but the close one-on-one time with the classic Disney Characters will keep us coming back over and over again! (Contemporary Resort)
FIVE: Meeting Merida from Brave was super high on my daughter’s list, though she couldn’t really verbalize why. After nearly missing the last call for a visit with her, we found our encounter with Merida to be one of the most heart warming and charming experiences at the park. (Be aware that the line closes for many of the characters prior to the last time posted if there are more guests than can be greeted within the allotted time.) (Magic Kingdom)
SIX: Getting a fast pass for the Frozen cast is nearly a necessity these days. Both Anna and Elsa are absolutely worth the extra effort. It was like visiting them in their castle, each having their own special personalities! (Magic Kingdom)
SEVEN:: Meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy at the Pete’s Silly Side Show if you want some extra time with the Disney Classics or don’t plan to book a table at Chef Mickey’s. (It’s covered and air conditioned at that means a lot if it’s super hot outside and/or raining!) (Magic Kingdom)
EIGHT: Find Mulan in the World Showcase at Epcot. (Just don’t get overly excited seeing her come for her Meet and Greet and forget merchandise on the stroller from the store you were just shopping in. She’s great, just not worth going to jail for!) (Epcot)
NINE:: Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way, of course! She will likely tell your children to stand up straight and clean their rooms- adorable! (Epcot)
TEN: Don’t forget to meet the Pooh and his gang from The Hundred Acre Woods at the Crystal Palace. The buffet is only so-so, but our littlest, who could barely be bothered to look at any other character FLIPPED OUT over Piglet. (Magic Kingdom)
I guess sometimes you don’t know which character will mean the most to your child, but try to find out who matters most to them and don’t forget to jump in and grab a selfie every now and then as well!
Photography: Jack and Tina Fussell