by Pin Trading Diva
California Adventure Park, though small compared to other Disney parks, has a long list of characters that come out and play with guests. There are over 30 different Disney characters located all over the park ready to meet you and your family – you just have to find them! This article tells you where to meet each of the characters in the park so you can plan your vacation around meeting your Disney pals. While reading this gives you a general idea of where the characters come out to play, you can also refer to the free Disneyland App on your smart phone for times and locations specific to the day you are in the park. Using one or both can help you plan ahead for making the most out of California Adventure’s character meet and greets.
Disney Visa Card Members: There is a special meet and greet only open to Disney Visa Card Members in the park. The location and characters change often but are known to have hard to find characters like Stitch out if you are lucky. The unfortunate thing is that the greet is only open for a couple hours a day so try to schedule this ahead of time! Be sure to contact Disney directly for more details.
Buena Vista Street
Oswald: This lucky little rabbit friend comes out near the main entrance of California Adventure Park to meet guests. He flip flops from the Trolley Station near the bathrooms and his named after Gas Station next to the classic car. Oswald likes to be funny with guests so plan for a silly picture where you dance together or shake your bunny tail – you’ll be sure to have a laugh!
Mickey / Minnie / Goofy / Pluto /Chip and Dale / Daisy / Donald: Dressed in their 1920’s attire,
Mickey and Friends parade up and down Buena Vista Street for pictures. Minnie wears the cutest flapper dress and Goofy’s shoes are bigger than his ears! Sometimes they are so popular that the lines, especially for Mickey, get super long (20 or more people) but they make appearances all day so there is always a chance to get your picture if you watch for the times they come out and get there early.
Citizens of Buena Vista Street (Phi Phi the Photographer / Officer Calvin Blue / Molly the Messenger / Donna the Dog Lady / Carolers (Seasonal)): While Mickey and Friends seem to have a crowd that follow them around, the Citizens of Buena Vista Street are a hidden gem for guests to discover. Their job is to socialize with guests up and down Buena Vista Street so most of the time they will approach you, but you can always come up to them (they love that!) Selfies are really popular with the Citizens, especially Officer Calvin Blue and Donna the Dog Lady will be sure to get her pup in the picture as well! Be sure to talk with them as well as snap pictures, they always have interesting stories to tell. Another hidden bit of knowledge is that Molly the Messenger can really mail any letters or postcards you have! While she is known to deliver kids’ wish lists to Santa, she mails things all year round.
Sofia / Doc McStuffins: These 2 Disney Junior characters take turns for photos with guests outside the store Off the Page near the Travel Co. Booth. Little kids are especially excited for these guys so be sure to take the time for an autograph and photo – the look on their faces is more than worth it! Sometimes Doc McStuffins will use her stethoscope to listen to children’s’ hearts and it is adorable. Be sure to watch the Disney Junior – Dance Party show as well – it takes you through the stories of the these characters and involves kid participation.
Anna and Elsa: It is getting increasingly difficult to keep track of line details for Anna and Elsa. Fastpasses are SOMETIMES required for these royal sisters and sometimes not which can be confusing. Be sure to check for a Fastpass distributer outside of the Animation Building to double check. After you figure the Fastpass info out (that’s the hardest part) walk right into the Animation Building to get in line. Wait times can still get pretty long, the average wait time now a days is 30-40 minutes. But while you are waiting in line inside, you can watch clips of Disney songs and movies (especially Frozen) on GIANT screens making a full 360 degree view making the line move way faster. Be aware that the sisters don’t always get seen together, you may only see Anna by herself and vice versa. Ask a Cast Member for specific times of who will be out. Once you see Anna and Elsa be sure to chat with them, they are known to have really creative responses to questions. And try making some Sven Antlers for a funny photo op!
*UPDATE: As of Summer 2017, Anna and Elsa are located in the backlot (near where the old Muppets 3D used to be). Fastpasses are no longer required and lines are short!
Olaf: Across the street from the Off the Page store is a little Frozen inspired hub that includes Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post (no Sauna) and the building where the Frozen Sing Along is held (used to be Muppet Vision 3D). Next to a presently vacant building in the back, it will be Olaf’s Snow Fest during the winter season, is a little corner where Olaf does meet and greets. Right now his line is fairly short, with not many people knowing he’s just around the corner. But once the winter season makes its way around and Olaf’s Snow Fest returns the lines are sure to increase – maybe even to a reservation type line where you get a beeper and kids can play in the snow until the beeper goes off and it’s time to meet Olaf. Either way Olaf is ready to give you warm hugs so stop on by!
Incredibles and Frozone: Down the end of the street in Hollywood Land is where these Incredible characters come out to play. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible as well as Frozone make appearances individually throughout the day (check the free Disneyland App for specific times each character comes out) and usually have a shorter line. It’s really easy to get in and get out with a “super” neat photo.
Sulley: Just across the street from where the Incredibles do their meet and greets is a apartment looking facade fit for a monster – fit for the big ole’ Sulley in fact! Just Sulley, not Mike, comes out to “scare” guests in this meet and greet. He’s really quite a big fella so doing picture with the whole family might be a good shot to try.
*UPDATE: During 2017’s Summer of Heroes, the Incredibles and Sulley are replaced by Marvel heroes Captain America, Spiderman, and Black Widow.
Flik: A rare character from Bugs Land sometimes makes his way out to meet guests. While he has been more popular in the past, Flik does come out every so often. He moves from place to place but check the Disneyland App for specific times to really be on the nose of catching him. Although he is a less frequented Character he still has a big fan base and people do go out looking for him specifically.
Lightning McQueen / Mater: The Cozy Cone serves as a meet and greet location for the 2 most famous Cars in Disney history! Switching off every half hour, Lightning McQueen and Mater take turns parking at the Cozy Cone for pictures with guests. Sometimes a Cast Member will let you “buff” McQueen’s lights which makes him quite ticklish! And Mater is always saying Howdy to folks. While they don’t talk much, these 2 get a really long line most of the time so be prepared to wait around 10 minutes for a photo.
Red: This silly fire truck loves to take pictures with guests out on a little off road past where Luigi’s Flying Tires used to be (take a left at the light). Little kids seem to really like him and sometimes when it’s hot outside, Red will even squirt water out of his hose! While not so popular with teens and adults, Red is a great meet and greet character for your children and is not to be missed!
Ariel and the Princesses: This meet and greet opportunity is only available to guests dining at Ariel’s Grotto ( a wonderful restaurant to book a World of Color Dining Package). Ariel hosts a private dinner party where several of the princesses come to visit and greet guests at their table. This provides for really intimate one on one moments for you and your family as well as a lot more time to take photos. While you have to pay for this experience, you have the added bonus of not having to wait in long lines to meet royalty (like the 30-45 minute lines in Fantasy Faire at Disneyland). A helpful tip for capturing a nice photo with a princess is to make sure there are no objects interfering from the people in the photo. Be sure to move glasses and plates out of the shot and try to pick a spot with less people in the background to take the photo. That way eyes will go directly to your family and the princess and not to background stuff.
Sailor Donald: Don’t get too worried about not seeing Donald down on Buena Vista Street because you can see him in his nautical best over at the end of Paradise Pier! Next to the Cove Bar is a small gazebo where Donald greets guests. He wears a sailor shirt and hat, seeing as how he is by the water, and is always happy to see you! Lines don’t seem to be too long for this duck so you can snap a picture and get an autograph with him in ample time! *Note* As of October 2015 Donald’s photo spot is under construction near the Cove Bar. Try looking for him at the start of the pier across from Ariel’s Grotto for photo ops.
Buzz / Woody / Jessie: Way in the back of Paradise Pier, past the Midway shops and games, is a small little photo area where Toy Story Characters come out to play. With a little carnival like facade in the back, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie visit guests. They kind of come out sporadically so be sure to check what times they will be visiting to see them. Lines can start to get long fast but they move along pretty quick. Be sure to check the bottom of the characters’ shoes to see if there is an ANDY sig
nature on them!
Mickey / Minnie / Goofy / Three Caballeros (Seasonal): Twice a year the seating areas next to Goofy’s Sky
School fill with crowds ready to get their picture with seasonally dressed characters. While the restaraunts serve specialty food and there are mini parades down the walkway it is the characters that people really want to see. Early in the year Greece gets a spotlight celebration with Mickey who does a meet and greet in the appropriate attire. At Christmas time there is a Viva Navidad Celebration where the Three Caballeros and Goofy (with mariachas on his shoes by the way) come out to greet guests. These meet and greets are VERY popular and lines grow quickly so plan to wait a bit for a photo – although it is totally worth it!
Dug / Russell: Along with looking for squirrels, Dug and Russel are off in the Redwood Creek area exploring and earning badges. Next to Grizzly River Rapids, guests can earn their own Wilderness Explorer badges by exploring and discovering the Redwood Creek area. You receive your badges during an official Wilderness Explorer Ceremony in which Dug and Russell come out for meet and greets. (Check with Cast Members or use the Disneyland App for specific ceremony times) This ceremony has its own little area with seating for families and a stage. Dug and Russell come out at the end of the ceremony and take their time being with guests. The people attending the ceremony are the first to see them and then other guests can get in line. Since they are kind of hidden back in the Redwood Creek area there aren’t that many people who take the time to visit them. Getting your picture with Dug and Russell as well as completing the Wilderness Explorer Challenges are definitely worth doing at least once. Kids will love adventuring through the area and even adults can participate in some of the challenges.
*Update: Dug and Russel are no longer available for pictures.
Aviator Minnie / Pluto: Over in Grizzly Peak Airfield right in front of the airplane Aviator Minnie and sometimes
Pluto visit guests. Minnie, who used to wear a stewardess outfit, now greets guests as an Aviator. Decked out in a stylish jumpsuit and goggles she is looking fly. Being in front of an actual airplane and a bill board in the back this is a great photo spot. Everything really comes together and your family are sure to end up with an awesome photo with a character!
*UPDATE: Aviator Minnie has been removed as the Dapper Minnie is now seeing guests on Buena Vista Street.
Well there you have it, this is where each of the characters come out for meet and greets in California Adventure. Times vary depending on the day, and Minnie needs time to change her outfits you know, but generally this is the day to day guideline. Remember to refer to the free Disneyland App for specifics on the day of and by using both you are sure to snag a couple character photos during your vacation! Also be sure to coordinate when to visit for your character meet and greets with our Diva Travel Agent Patricia with All for Dreams Travel for a schedule that works for you and your family (its free of charge and free of stress)!
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