By Dopey Diva
One of the best character surprises is often referred to as Character Palooza, or the Fantasmic! meet. This is a tip I have actually debated writing about because some times it is kind of nice when not everyone knows about all of the special, unpublished events there are at Disney World but I have decided to share my secret with our wonderful readers! Character Palooza is a fabulous place where you are able to meet characters who appear in the Fantasmic show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Because it is an unpublished meet, there is usually a short wait for some great and often rare characters.
The first time I actually was able to find Character Palooza was in July of 2014 when the characters appeared on the Streets of America. This particular time the only characters who came out for a meet and greet were Rafiki, Jafar, and Pocahontas and Meeko. The lines got long very fast so my husband and I were only able to meet Jafar and Rafiki before the characters left the area. When we returned in January of 2015 we were anxiously waiting around Streets of America in hopes of meeting more characters. When none showed up, my brother-in-law did a Google search from his phone and found out Character Palooza had been switched to a new area. As far as I know, for the remainder of 2015 Character Palooza will now be at the Tower of Terror exit area, through the gates to the left when you come out of the gift shop. I happened to be sitting at the bench right beside the gate with a fellow Diva and my youngest son when the gates opened. Luckily there was no crowd whatsoever waiting to enter the gates so we were able to walk in and meet every character who showed up on that particular day. We were very excited when we saw not just 2 or 3 characters but 10! Pocahontas was with Meeko, Genie was with Jasmine and Chip and Dale were together. The individual characters there were Pinocchio, Tiana, The Evil Queen, and Rafiki. You are able to get in line for whatever character you really want to see. I like to get in line to the characters we don’t normally get to meet and then if there is time left we will meet the rest of the characters. There is not a Photo Pass photographer at these meet and greets but there are Cast Members who will gladly take a picture with your camera or phone.
The characters make a few appearances a day and their times all vary depending on what time Fantasmic is that evening. Each set typically lasts from 15-20 minutes, but characters aren’t guaranteed to stay out any certain length and the cast varies from day-to-day. Since this meet takes place out doors it can be canceled with the threat of inclement weather. Remember this is an unpublished event so you will not find this on your times guide. The best way to find out what time the characters will make an appearance on the day you are there is to search from your computer or smart device. Also, it’s all right if you don’t want to share this information…it can be our little secret!