by Character Diva
I don’t know about you, but I love Disney characters. (I am Character Diva after all.) It’s always my goal on each vacation to interact with at least three new characters. So how do you know which characters will be available, especially if you have your heart set on seeing a particular character? Below is a list of characters I have compiled who currently meet at California Adventure. Disney Diva Disclaimer: While we always try and provide the most current and up-to-date information, all characters listed below in the article are subject to change at any time.
Disney Visa Cardmembers Photo Opp
Do you have a Disney Visa credit card? If so, there is a special photo opp just for you! Currently, the character you might pose with is either Daisy Duck, Minnie Mouse, or Stitch. This is a great opportunity for your toddlers to meet characters, especially since the line is usually short (or non-existent). Unfortunately, this photo opp is only available for a few hours each day, so make sure to head over as soon as possible. Disney Diva Tip: Trying to meet a specific character? Your best bet is to talk to the cast member on hand. While nothing is guaranteed, they can give you the best estimate on when each character will be greeting fans to maximize your chances of meeting a rare character (i.e. Stitch, and in some cases, even Daisy) or avoiding meeting Minnie for the third time that trip.
Oldies But Goodies
If you don’t have a Disney Visa Card, fear not! You can still meet Minnie and Daisy in California Adventure. Disney Diva Tip: While Minnie and Daisy are dressed in their usual outfits for the Disney Visa Photo Opp, if you find them in the main section of the park, they are dressed up to look like they stepped out of Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1920’s as a couple of flappers. In addition to meeting Minnie and Daisy, you can find Mickey and Goofy looking rather dapper in their dated attire as well. Feeling lucky? Oswald the Lucky Rabbit can be found near the entrance of the park on Buena Vista Street.
While the hype over Frozen has calmed down quite a bit since Anna & Elsa’s initial debut, they are still popular enough to have their own meet and greets. You can meet Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf near the Monsters Inc. “Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!” attraction in Hollywood Land. Disney Diva Tip: While there is a Photopass photographer at this location, I would recommend bringing your own camera or phone and take pictures as well. If for some reason the Photopass photographer has to step out and is not there or if some of your photographs are missing (and I’ve experienced both scenarios before), having your own photos will guarantee that you get pictures or you can use the timestamp on your photos to help track down missing ones!
Calling All Princesses!
Want to meet more Disney royalty? Disneyland properties do not boast the same number of character meals as Disney World. And while it doesn’t have the unique cuisine of Akershus, there is one place to find some of your favorite princesses- Ariel’s Grotto. Ariel and some of her princess friends such as Belle, Cinderella, Snow White and Aurora can be found if you come in for breakfast or lunch. (Ariel and her royal friends are not available for dinner.) The number of princesses and which ones appear can vary throughout the year and like any character meal, how busy the restaurant is and how long you stay there dining can affect how many princesses you interact with and how many times you do so, however, it is safe to say that whichever character hosts the meal (in this case Ariel), they will always be there during your meal. This is an extremely popular dining location, so reservations are highly recommended, especially if you are traveling during the peak season. You may check availability and make your reservations online, through Disneyland’s app, or call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 up to 60 days prior to your visit. Disney Diva Tip: If you’re planning on seeing World of Color, Ariel’s Grotto has a special dinner package to get special reserved seating passes, but unfortunately, the princesses do not appear during this time.
Disney Junior Stars
Wondering about Princess Elena? Not to worry! You can find her in California Adventure too. Princess Elena likes to hang out near Goofy’s Sky School and Paradise Garden Grill along Paradise Pier. Looking for more Disney Junior favorites? Princess Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins can be found back in the Hollywood Backlot area near the Art of Animation Building.
Disney Diva Tip: This is also where they have the brand-new Disney Junior Dance Party, so if you have children who love Disney Junior, be sure to stop in and check that out too!
Everyone’s Favorite Superheroes
And speaking of the Hollywood Backlot, you can also find some of your favorite superheroes hanging around. Spiderman, Black Widow, and Captain America are just a few of Marvel’s classic heroes who can be found hanging around the Hollywood Backlot during the Summer of Heroes. And if you’re a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, you can find Star Lord, Gamora, and Groot around for a special dance party. Disney Diva Tip: For more information on the Summer of Heroes and all of the great tips on the new events, characters, and merchandise make sure to read Pin Trading Diva’s article here.
While Chip and Dale used to appear in their Dapper Newsboys outfits, they have returned to a more traditional look and can be found along the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail or in the Grand Californian’s Character Meal at Storyteller’s Cafe, “Chip N Dale’s Critter Breakfast“. Disney Diva Tip: Looking for some of the “rarer” characters? While there is no guarantee on who you will see, Kenai and Koda from Brother Bear and Meeko from Pocahontas have been known to make appearances at the character meal.
Some of your favorite Pixar characters can be found around California Adventure. While Flik and Atta don’t usually meet in Bug’s Land anymore, and sadly, Dug and Russell can no longer be found along the Redwood Creek Trail (or hosting the Wilderness Explorers Ceremony), you still can find some of your favorite Toy Story characters in Paradise Pier. Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and on occasion , Jessie, can all be found around the Toy Story section of Paradise Pier, slightly past Toy Story Mania and Mickey’s Fun Wheel.
While not quite the same as your typical character meet and greet (since you can’t get autographs), Carsland does offer a unique opportunity to meet some of your favorite vehicles from Radiator Springs. In addition to Cruz Ramirez making her debut in honor of Cars 3, Red the Fire Truck, Lightening McQueen and Mater are just some of the fun vehicles you can pose with while cruising on through, and again, there is a Photopass photographer at this location.
One Last Tip to Remember
Part of the magic of a Disney theme park or event is the opportunity to meet Disney characters. You want to capture that magic moment when your child runs up and embraces Mickey for the first time or gives him a fist bump. While you definitely want to have your phones or camera ready to record any videos or snap any pictures, at the same time, you need to take into consideration that not every child is thrilled to see a five foot tall mouse heading in their direction. Face characters (such as Anna or Elsa) usually receive the warmest reception from toddlers and small children, while fully costumed characters like Buzz Lightyear or Goofy may need a little time to warm up to. Fortunately, Disney characters are great at gauging how well they are being received and work really hard to get down on their level and making kids feel comfortable. Need more ideas on prepping your children to meet characters? Check out all of my great tips here!
So ready to book your vacation and want FREE HELP? Whether it’s booking airfare, hotel or dining reservations, we have an authorized Disney Vacation Planner to help you with all of your travel needs! Just contact our FREE Diva Travel Agent Patricia, from All for Dreams Travel.