Scoring a FastPass to meet and greet characters at Disney World is always a good idea, but sometimes it’s just not happening. So, when you don’t have a reservation to meet them, or don’t want to wait in the standby queue, how can you still have fun character interactions? Happily, there are several Disney characters that wander around the parks. Here are the best characters that walk around Magic Kingdom at Disney World and tips for finding them.
- Check the Times Guide
- Arrive a Few Minutes Early
- Have Your Camera Ready
I’m all about planning my family’s Walt Disney World (WDW) vacation, but there have been last-minute trips where we’re just happy to be in the parks. Honestly, there have been days where we don’t make FastPass+ (FP+) reservations and are satisfied simply walking around.
And, if I had to choose my favorite park to wander around, it’s Magic Kingdom. The ambiance, the music, and the food make it worthwhile. And it’s these days that we entertain ourselves by looking for Disney characters that wander around the parks. Here are my best tips for locating them and how to have a fun encounter.
Want the scoop on why rope drop at Walt Disney World is my favorite time of day? Here are four things to do before rope drop at Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom Characters that Walk Around: How it Works
To compare a character meet and greet to characters that walk around is pretty easy. Here’s the scoop:
Disney Characters with FP+ or Standby Queues: You have a dedicated encounter them. You’re able to chat, take photos, and grab autographs. Also, you can take as much time as you need to get the experience you want.
Disney Characters that Walk Around the Park: It’s more of a breezy encounter. Each will stop and interact with guests, but you’ll have much less time to talk or grab a photo. The Disney castmember “handlers” do make it a point to keep them moving. But, I’ve chatted with walking characters and grabbed photos.
1. Check the Times Guide
The Times Guide at Magic Kingdom is your best friend when it comes to characters that walk around the park. Characters may change daily (especially when this post was written), but there are several that are fixtures. you can also check the My Disney Experience app for places and times.
Just in case you need to get your bearings, here’s the link to the full Magic Kingdom map.
2. Arrive a Few Minutes Early
Once you’ve locked down the character location, arrive a few minutes early for the best chance for an encounter. There’s bound to be a group of people, so politely ask if you may have a photo for your best chance.
3. Have Your Camera Ready
Again, the characters are all about moving around, so have your camera or cell phone ready for photos. It’s going to be a quick one!
Not all parades allow you to take photos with the characters, but there is one in Magic Kingdom where the Disney characters get off the floats and dance with the guests. The Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party & parade is exactly the one.
It travels up Main Street U.S.A. and will strop in the hub area in front of Cinderella Castle for several minutes. It’s here where the Disney characters will interact and dance with guests. They don’t pose for photos, but if you have kiddos that love to dance, you can definitely score some cute photos.
For 2019, the street party is officially called Move it! Shake it! MousekeDance it! Street Party in honor of Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday.
Want the scoop on the best shows and parades at Walt Disney World? Here’s a list of my favorites.
The Best Characters that Walk Around Magic Kingdom
Okay, okay. I’ve got the hows and wheres out of the way. Here are my favorites:
- Peter Pan – You’ll find him skipping around Fantasyland near Peter Pan’s Flight and Prince Charming Regal Carousel.
- Anastasia and Drizella – Lately, they have been in a dedicated area behind Cinderella Castle for photos and autographs, but they do walk around Fantasyland. We’ve even had the pleasure of riding the carousel with them!
- Big Al and characters from Country Bear Jamboree – You’ll find Big Al and his pals in Frontierland around the attraction.
- Clarabell Cow – Did you know she’s the girlfriend of Horace Horsecollar? You’ll find her in Frontierland.
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