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A visit to Disney World isn’t complete without being wowed by the living, breathing characters that are a firm favorite feature of the resort.
What you might not realize is that you can also enjoy longer interactions with them courtesy of the character dining experiences which can be pre-booked prior to your trip.
So what do these experiences offer, how much do they cost, and where else can you find Disney characters on-site?
Dining with the stars all day long
If you’ve been frugal when preparing for your stay at Disney, then you won’t mind splashing out on one of the many character dining experiences on offer. And the good news is that there are various mealtimes and venues which are catered for by this resort-wide phenomenon.
For example, at the Trattoria al Forno on the Boardwalk, there’s the Bon Voyage Breakfast which features appearances by much-loved princesses including Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel from Tangled, along with their associated princes.
Meanwhile, at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, there’s the Perfect Princess Tea, which takes place in the afternoon and includes characters such as Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
When the evening arrives, the Happily Ever After Dinner is hosted by Cinderella and is typically gate-crashed by an amusing cavalcade of other entertaining cast members.
In terms of pricing, this can change regularly, but costs vary between $40 and $90 depending on the venue, event and timing.
Meet-and-greets elsewhere at Disney World
You might not want to stump up for a character dining experience, in which case a classic meet-and-greet with other Disney icons should be on the agenda.
Look up where to find your favorite Disney character before you arrive, and you’ll be able to make a beeline for their location to get a better chance of having a face-to-face interaction yourself.
Some characters are most commonly found in and around the attractions that are attached to their particular franchise; for example, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the place to be if you’re a fan of the Force and want to see the likes of Darth Vader, Rey, Chewbacca and so forth.
Other characters can be pre-booked for a meet-and-greet at a specific point via the official Disney World application. This is perfect for those who want to guarantee that they’ll get to see their most loved character, in a setting where they won’t be jostling for position alongside others.
Tips for making the most out of Disney’s character experiences
The first thing to know is that there are different degrees to which characters can interact with guests, for the obvious reason that the costumes they wear can sometimes get in the way of their ability to communicate.
In the case of Mickey Mouse and his other classic cartoon cohorts, for example, talking isn’t something they can do. You can still have hugs and exchange waves, but don’t expect flowing conversations.
For characters whose performers have their faces exposed, chatting is very much on the cards. And indeed you’ll be impressed with just how capable they are when it comes to charming the guests, so don’t be afraid to engage them in a chin-wag yourself.
Disney character dining experiences can be a delight, as are all meet-and-greet opportunities, so long as you arrange them ahead of time and know what to expect when you arrive.
Sure, there’s a price to pay for all of this fun, but it’s one that’s more than worth it, particularly if you’re taking young children with you.
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