by Disney Magic Diva
Epcot offers so many options for guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort. You can enjoy the thrill of Test Track or Soarin’; learn about the seas, the earth, energy, or history; or immerse yourself in the culture of different countries in World Showcase. But you may not realize it is also a wonderful place to meet characters! So grab that autograph book, and let’s go!
Before you even pass Spaceship Earth, you can catch up with everyone’s favorite pooch – Pluto! Look for him to the right of Spaceship Earth just after you enter the gate. Pluto appears daily from park opening until about 4:00 each afternoon, with a hour lunch break around noon.
Continue along the walkway to the right and you’ll come to Innoventions West. If you are a Disney Visa Chase Cardmember, you have access to an exclusive character meet and greet! Just show your Disney Visa to enter. It’s always a surprise as to which character you’ll meet here. Recently, the cast member monitoring the line wouldn’t even give us a hint, but my sneaky husband peeked around a corner and spied Minnie. As an added bonus, you receive a free photo of your character greeting.
TIP: If you are entering the park early in the day, you’ll want to pass this by and come back later, because this event is only available from 1:00pm-7:00pm each day.
Just around the corner from the Disney Visa Chase meet and greet, but still in Innovations West, is a new Character Spot for Baymax! Be sure to stop by if you are experiencing any pain. Your personal healthcare companion will take very good care of you!
The next stop on your character tour is close by, at the Epcot Character Spot. It’s next to Innoventions West, directly across from the fountain, and thankfully close to Starbucks! (What better way to get energized for a day of meeting characters?!) Here you can visit Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Photopass photographers are with all three characters, and you can grab a Fastpass for it if you want. Characters are available continuously from park opening to closing. If you have little ones who want to meet some big name characters but don’t like long lines, this is a fantastic option!
As you leave the Character Spot, you can turn left, toward The Land and Soarin’, and possibly catch up with those rascals Chip ‘n’ Dale. Watch for them to your left as you walk toward The Land. There’s also a restroom nearby, so it’s a great place for a little break! Chip ‘n’ Dale appear continuously 9:30am-4:45pm, with an hour break around 1:15pm.
As you make your way to the World Showcase, you’ll want to turn left and make a stop at the Showcase Plaza to meet Daisy. This is the gazebo area where Duffy formerly held his meet and greet. Daisy is available 11:30am-2:00pm and 3:40pm-6:30pm.
Continue along toward Mexico, and say “¡Hola!” to Donald! He’ll be just past the Aztec pyramid, on the left side of the walkway, from noon-3:00pm and about 4:00pm-6:30pm. Be sure to compliment him on his stylish sombrero!
Ready to meet some princesses? World Showcase is a great place to meet them!
TIP: Disney has worked some of it’s magic, and arranged for the princesses to appear at times staggered just about perfectly to meet one, then move on to the next country just in time to meet the next. If you plan your day well, and naturally depending on crowd levels, you’ll be able to meet several princesses in one afternoon!
The next princess is Snow White. You’ll find her in Germany, next to a wishing well. One of the all-time classic photo backdrops! Snow White is available on the half-hour from 12:30pm-3:30pm, 5:20pm, and 6:20pm.
Now it’s time to move all the way over to Morocco to find Jasmine and Aladdin. You’ll need to venture into the pavilion-almost to the very back. It’s a cozy little inside spot, so you may want to leave strollers outside. You’ll find them at 11:45am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm, 4:35pm, and 5:35pm.
In France, you can also find Aurora. She, too, has a beautiful backdrop for photos with gorgeous flowers surrounding her. She’s on the right side of the pavilion as you enter France, and appears on the half-hour from 12:30pm-2:30pm, 4:20pm, 5:20pm, and 6:20pm.
Your final stop on the Character Tour around the World Showcase is the United Kingdom. You can spend quite a bit of time here, because there are plenty of characters to see. Alice in Wonderland can be found on the walkway on the half-hours from 11:30am-2:30pm, 4:20pm, and 5:20pm. Mary Poppins appears on the hour from 11:00am-2:00pm. Make your way into the beautiful garden area toward the back of the pavilion to see Winnie the Pooh and Friends from 1:00pm-3:45pm and 4:40pm-8:15pm.
If you’d prefer, Epcot also has two character meals. The most popular one is in Norway at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Princesses will be in attendance here, and visit with you at your table. Breakfast features American favorites, while lunch and dinner offer more traditional Norwegian cuisine. The princesses in attendance vary each day, but you may dine with Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Ariel or even Mary Poppins! To read more about this wonderful character experience, click here for Pixie Dusted Diva’s review.
The other character meal option at Epcot is at Garden Grill in The Land. This dining experience is unique in that the restaurant rotates giving you an ever-changing view. Mickey (in his farmer attire), Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale are your hosts. Recently, Garden Grill began serving breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. Our family enjoyed dinner there, and absolutely loved it! Everything is served family style and was so fresh and delicious. The characters also spend quite a bit of time with your family, making the interactions even more enjoyable. You can read Minnie Diva’s review here.
So if you’re not into thrill rides, or if you’re not interested in an educational vacation, why not stop by to say hello to Princesses, Pluto, or Pooh? With so many characters at Epcot, your autograph book will surely be filled in no time. Who will you meet?
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