Epcot Character Experiences

In this, the third part of my Character Experiences series, I’m going to touch on the exciting world of meet and greets at my personal favorite park, Epcot.

While Epcot has evolved quite a lot over the years in many ways, one thing that I’ve found to be very consistant is the amount of characters that you can find roaming about the park.  The thing with characters in Epcot is that you don’t always see them right out in the open and you may walk right by them and not even know it.  Some of the meet and greet locations are tucked away or off to the side.  This rings true for World Showcase especially so keep your eyes open!

It’s time to take a look at Future World and the meet and greets that are available in this innovative section of Epcot.  When you arrive in the morning at the main entrance you’ll be greeted by both Stitch and and Daisy Duck.  Yeah, I think it’s a weird combo too and I don’t really understand the method of thinking behind that one but I just go with it.  Stitch is always one of the most interactive and hilarious characters to be around so even if you’ve never seen Lilo and Stitch or find Stitch’s character sort of off-putting… give him a shot!

If you’re at the park for rope drop inside of Future World, you’ll most likely get a quick opportunity to get an autograph and maybe a picture with one of the Fab Five if you’re right up to the rope.  Characters come around to welcome everyone to Epcot before rope drop so get your cameras ready.

At this time there isn’t a totally organized schedule for characters appearing outside of Mission: Space but I have seen characters such as Chip and Dale and Goofy appearing in astronaut garb.  I love seeing characters in “themed” outfits!

Moving over to The Land pavillion you have the only character meal in Future World.  Garden Grill Restaurant is a family-style dining experience in which your table will actually revolve around the kitchen area in a very slow circular motion.  While you’re eating turkey and blueberry Buckle, Chip and Dale, Mickey, and Pluto all come by to visit your table, sign autographs, and take pictures.  Make sure to get an Advanced Dining Reservation if this location interests you.

I don’t know if some of you would think of Turtle Talk with Crush in The Living Seas a character experience but I sure would.  Granted, you don’t pose for pictures with Crush or have him sign your autograph book (imagine how cool that would be if you could) but he does chat live with the audience and even gives little dudes some one on one time to ask him some of their burning questions.  On my honeymoon, Crush chatted with my husband and I and instructed everyone else to turn around and congratulate us.  It was so cool!

Innoventions West welcomes guests to greet Chip ‘n’ Dale throughout the middle part of the day.  Since they are tucked away from crowds, the lines are usually quite short.  Perfect for Chip ‘n’ Dale fans!

The last and most popular place to find characters is the Character Spot across from Innoventions West.  Mickey and friends appears regularly all day long so if you’re trying to get the “main” characters done, this is the place to do it!  I suggest hitting this up first thing in the morning or later at night when the crowds are lighter.  Also, be sure to ask how long the current wait is before jumping in the line because it can become a doozy.

Making our way across the park to the World Showcase, (perhaps my favorite part of the entire Walt Disney World Resort) if you stop by the Showcase Plaza you’ll find the bear we all love to hate or hate to love… Duffy.  While I understand that Duffy is simply a kid-friendly marketing tool, I approve of his cuteness.  I know some of you are fighting rolling your eyes at me but let’s just agree to disagree on this one.

Moving around the World Showcase clockwise, we come to Donald Duck dressed in total Mexican garb,  somebrero and all.  He’s so adorable all dressed up in Mexico that he’s become one of my favorite character experiences!

Norway’s sit-down restaurant, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, hosts a character meal fit for the little ladies in your traveling party or a single guy looking for a hot date.  While dining in a “medieval castle,” your party is greeted by numerous Disney Princesses that are ready to sign autographs and take pictures.  This is a very popular restaurant so make sure to get an Advanced Dining Reservation if you’re planning to dine here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The rest of the World Showcase is very princess friendly.  In China you’ll find Mulan greeting guests and in Germany you can see Snow White and sometimes Dopey with her.  Morocco is the place to find two people that always bring long lines… Aladdin and Jasmine!

For some odd reason France is a hot spot for character greetings.  Throughout the day Belle, Beast, Princess Aurora, and Marie all make appearances.  If you happen to be dining at Les Chefs de France then you are in luck!  Remy from Ratatouille comes out and chats with guest as they are chowing down.  No, wait.  The French don’t “chow down.”  What am I thinking?  They… nibble delicately.  Yeah, that sounds about right.

In the United Kingdom you can find Pooh & Friends ready to give you hugs.  Back in March I jumped around with Tigger and Pooh and had a grand ol’ time.  You can have a jolly holiday with the lovely Mary Poppins in the United Kingdom as well!  Lastly, Alice from Alice in Wonderland hangs out in this pavillion… probably looking for some tea.  The backdrop of the United Kingdom provides some of the prettiest and most unique character photographs I’ve ever seen.

Years ago I saw characters from Brother Bear roaming about Canada but I can’t seem to figure out if they still appear from time to time to greet guests.  Has anyone seen them lately or have they been hibernating?

I think it’s great that Epcot has so many characters to interact with despite the park not being “character centric.”  What are some of your memorable meet and greets at Epcot?  Are there any characters that you think would fit right in some place but Disney just hasn’t thought of it yet?  Let me know! 

Stacey Lantz

Born and raised in Southwest Michigan, Stacey believes she lives far too many miles away from Walt Disney World. In her spare time she enjoys singing/dancing, spending time with her nieces, and of course, talking about Walt Disney World to anyone that is willing to listen. She's been blogging about all things Disney since 2008. Follow her on Twitter @Stacey87.

13 thoughts on “Epcot Character Experiences

  • August 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Don’t forget the disney visa meet and greet.

    • August 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Yes! I didn’t include it since it really wasn’t a public meet and greet. I’m very excited to do the Visa meet and greet in October. Have you done it? What did you think?

  • August 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    How about if we love to love Duffy? 🙂 C’mon…he’s Japanese! He’s awesome! And oh so huggable. 😉 I have my picture taken with him on every trip.

    • August 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      Yay for Duffy love! He’s incredibly cute! I’ll make sure to finally get my picture taken Duffy in October so I can show that I don’t hate him. 😉

  • August 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    While i’m by no means a disney newbie i am new to the character photos. the last time i had my picture taken with a character the characters roamed around with no designated meeting location 😛 anywho excuse the stupid questions to follow…

    is donald in mexico with his fancy outfit everyday? i would love to get a picture with our group at food and wine! and if so how do i find out what time of day he’ll be there?

    again sorry for the stupid questions! thanks! 😀

    • August 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      From what I understand Donald is in Mexico every day! There normally is a time board just to the right of the Mexico pavillion that lists his current meet and greet times. He’s adorable! Oh, and definitely not stupid questions at all!

      • August 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        thanks sooooo much! 😀 lol after all these years being an annual passholder i just figure i should know at least something about characters 😛 i used photopass for the first time last year…i’m behind the times 🙂

        thanks again! 😀

  • August 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    One of our most memorable character experiences was in rocky we were working on a Kim possible mission in China early in the day (like right after opening if world showcase) and practically ran into mulan. No lines, no one else in sight! My 4 kids were in awe!

    • August 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      I love those privite meet and greets! It probably felt like Mulan really was right there at home in China. So cool!

  • August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I remember waiting in Morocco to meet Genie (back when they had a dedicated room for the Aladdin meet n greets,) and the excited kid in front of us chanting “C’mon Genie, you can do it!” as the big blue guy appeared from backstage.

    Do the majority of World Showcase meets take place on the walkway adjacent to the pavilion (with the exception of Pooh inside the UK shop) or are there particular areas we should investigate?
    Marie seems to be a character we always miss. 🙁

  • September 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

    In my former life working at The Disney Store, my manager told me about playing Tweedle Dee (or Dum, not sure) at Epcot. It was when they used to bring The Disney Store managers down to WDW and part of the events included playing a character and he got the round boy from Alice. I guess they figured it wouldn’t be as overwhelming working that type of character in Epcot.

  • September 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    The Brother Bear characters haven’t met in Canada since late 07/early 08.

    Character hunting is my fav thing to do at Disney, I’m always glad to see other adults that feel the same 🙂

  • January 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Heading to WDW in a week, and my little girl is agog over the characters, particularly the princesses. We’re going to the Princess Lunch at Akershus, but with respect to the characters in World Showcase that aren’t connected to something like that, are they in a designated area, or are they just out and about randomly? Can’t recall seeing any characters in WS the last few times I was there, but I wasn’t really on the lookout for them, either.


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