by Eugene’s Diva
Disneyland(n.): The Happiest Place on Earth
Disneyland Roamers: Characters that wander through the Happiest Place on Earth!
Disneyland is unique because Mickey and so many of his friends meet on Main Street USA, Buena Vista Street, or just random places throughout the Disneyland Resort. While there are of course some characters with set locations and times available for meet and greets, there are many more that don’t have a scheduled meet and greet position or time that is written down for guests to see. They just pop up out of nowhere and may head off to somewhere completely random.
While seeing Mickey Mouse walking down Buena Vista unexpectedly is a magical experience in itself, if he is the one character you want to meet, it can be quite tricky figuring out the perfect time to get in line to meet them. That is why I am here! To give you some tricks of the trade and some secret tips I have picked up over many times of trying to figure out the perfect way to meet these Disneyland roamers!
As soon as you make your way through Disneyland’s gates, you can often find some royal friends coming to welcome guests into Disneyland in front of the Main Street Train Station. Many times, these princesses will be coming out in the morning, starting about an hour after park opens. These princesses are usually accompanied by a Cast Member who makes sure to keep aware on when the princesses may have to meet their prince, or check on a furry friend. When it gets close to the time where the princess (or other character) needs to depart, the Cast Member will cut off the line, and not let anyone else join. This may be disappointing, because you never know when they will be coming back out (or if they even will be), but you can ask the Character Attendant if they know anything about where they’ll be meeting later on in the day, and they’ll be glad to help you or give you other great tips.
One of my absolute favorite things in Disneyland is when Mary Poppins and Bert would lead the Disneyland Band. Sometimes they would also have magical guests who came out from Wonderland, such as Alice and the Mad Hatter. This was not a place you can meet them, but they would dance around with the kids and have some great candid pictures! Unfortunately, the Disneyland Band will be retiring in July 2015, but hopefully, something like this will happen again very soon.
One other tip is on Buena Vista Street. Most of the time, you will have Goofy and Pluto on one side of the street, and Chip, Dale and Donald on the other side of the street. They do not come out together, but they come out “back-to-back”. What this means is if Pluto is out for 30 minutes, Goofy will come out after the 30 minutes is up,. And now you are probably thinking “How do I plan this?” Let me write it out for you!
Let’s say you are walking down the street at 11:23 and you see Pluto. You run over to see him, but the Cast Member says his line is closed. Well at 11:30, Goofy will be coming out, but you are set on seeing Pluto. The solution is to go back to where Goofy is at 11:50, because the Cast Member will say “Goofy’s line is closed”. That’s fine with you, because you’re waiting to see Pluto anyway. You’ll want to stay close to the character attendant, because at noon, Pluto will be coming back out and you will be first in line! You get to meet Pluto and have a magical rest of your day.
Again, “back-to-back” characters will look like this:
11:00- Pluto, 11:30- Goofy, 12:00-Pluto, 12:30- Goofy
Disney Diva Tip: Of course this depends on who will be meeting today and how long they will actually be out before needing to take a break or dash off for a parade. As mentioned earlier, it is always best to speak with the Character Attendant, because they will know all about the characters’ schedules for the day and what times they will be available.
So while certain characters may not have an official meeting spot or times announcing their arrival, don’t be turned off by it! It can be quite fun running into characters unexpectedly or being on the hunt to find them!
Also, don’t be afraid to ask the Character Attendants or Guest Relations if you have any questions about characters. They understand that it may be your dream to meet Donald Duck, and you trip wouldn’t be made without meeting Donald. (That’s how I am with Rapunzel.) Cast Members are more than happy to help you in whatever way they can.
Good luck and Happy Character Hunting!