One of the things my kids love to do (and me too honestly) is to visit characters when we visit Walt Disney World. There are so many different characters at Disney that you could spend days seeing them all in all four parks (and both parks at Disneyland!). I’m going to share where you can find characters, tips for interacting with them, and some free autograph pages at Walt Disney World.
Are you planning a Disney vacation? Be sure to check out these tips to help plan your Walt Disney World vacation!
Where to Find Characters at Disney
You know and love them. They visit you in your home through your favorite books, television shows, comic books or video games. Meeting them in person is a must do during your vacation. Don’t worry – you won’t spend hours in line because I’m going to help you figure out where to find characters at Walt Disney World as painlessly as possible.
Before You Go
Decide who is a “must see”, how you’re going to collect autographs, and how much time in your trip is going to be devoted to meeting characters. Longer trips allow for more time but even during a short trip you’ll be able to meet quite a few of them with a little bit of planning.
If any of your “must do” characters are notorious for having a very long wait (think Anna and Elsa), consider using one of your FastPass+ experiences to meet them. You’ll still wait in line to see them but it will be much shorter than people just walking into the standby line to see them. Another thing to consider is if you need to actually meet the character in person or just seem them in passing (waving from a parade for example).
Character Meet and Greets
Many of the characters you’ll come in contact with are through meet and greets where you’ll stand in line and get to meet your character.
Being the most popular park, there are plenty of opportunities to meet characters during your visit. From Mickey Mouse to Anna and Elsa, you’ve got a lot of options here. Arrive at Magic Kingdom for rope drop (an adorable “show” welcoming guests to the park before it officially opens) to see a slew of characters in front of Cinderella Castle.
When you enter the park in the mornings, there are often characters out around the flag pole and sidewalks before you head down Main Street, U. S. A. Most of these are common characters (Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck for example) so unless they’re a must do, skip them for now. Stop in Town Square Theater during the day to take a break from the heat and meet the Big Cheese himself. (Because he’s located near the exit, this is a good one to do on the way out.) In addition to Mickey, Tinker Bell is also in Town Square Theater so it’s a nice place to stop. Mary Poppins and Snow White are often out in this area as well.
Keep your eyes peeled as you’re enjoying the park – characters can be anywhere! Buzz Lightyear usually greets guests near Buzz Lightyear’s Spaceranger Spin in Tomorrowland and Stitch can be found over there too. Princess Tiana (and sometimes Prince Naveen!) has a spot to greet guests in Liberty Square near the Ye Old Christmas Shoppe.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Three groups of characters stand out here for us when we visit: Toy Story toys, Star Wars characters, and some of the classics.
Toy Story Land
After trying our hand at Toy Story Midway Mania, we make a stop right across the walkway to see Buzz and Woody. This meet and greet is indoors with photo ops along the way. Lightening McQueen and Tow Mater are also here and meet with guests most of the day without much of a wait. They can be a little bit loud so little ones might need a grown up to walk them up until they feel comfortable.
Our favorite monsters can also be found at the Studios: Mike and Sulley! While waiting in line, take some time to read the postings on the boards – they’re very cute!
Star Wars Characters at Disney
Between Star Wars Launch Bay and Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll be able to find several of your Star Wars favorites. Storm Troopers wander the area patrolling. They won’t always stop to interact with you but if you’re quick, you can stand near them to get a picture.
Most of the characters here are real and always on the move but some of your favorites are here too. Baloo and King Louie are always up for a good time and like to have fun during their time with you. Up fans will want to make time to meet with Dug and Russell to compare Wilderness Explorer badges during your visit. Keep your eye out for Devine among the trees and vines along the walk ways.
Each of the countries in World Showcase hosts a character from the movie that took place in the country. Mulan meets in China, Belle and the Beast meet in France and Aladdin and Jasmine greet guests in Morocco for example. In Future World you can stop by Epcot’s Character Spot to meet some classic characters indoors (strollers need to be parked outside here).
If you don’t feel like waiting in line or you like to multi-task, a character meal can be a great option for you. One of the easiest ways to meet characters is to enjoy one of the many character meals offered at both the theme parks and resorts. While the price for these meals is more than some of the other table service meals offered, remember that you’re also getting to see multiple characters in a very short period of time without waiting in long lines in the heat. Many of the meals are also all you can eat either family style or buffet so you can take your time to see the characters as they rotate around the room while enjoying your food at your own pace. (Tip: grab food for the kids as soon as you are seated so they can eat some food before the characters come out.)
Disney Card Meet and Greets
If you have the Chase Disney VISA card, there are special meet and greet options for you as well. Because the number of card holders is limited, the line for this type of meet and greet is much shorter. Currently, there’s a Star Wars meet and greet for cardholders as well as a meet at greet experience at EPCOT with several classic characters.
Parties and Special Events
Visiting one of the parks during a party or special event is a fantastic experience. It also allows you to meet characters you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to on a regular day visiting the parks. Be sure to look over the event information to see what characters will be out and where they will be located if any of them are “must meet” for you.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will allow you to meet with characters in their holiday attire. Guests attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party brings out characters in their Halloween costumes as well as characters who aren’t normally aren’t out in the park (villain fans – this is the one you need to attend!). Pirate fans will love the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage where you’ll take a trip with some of your favorite pirates while you get a fabulous view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
Watching parades in the parks is a great way to see a lot of different characters. While they won’t stop and visit with you or sign autographs, you’ll be able to wave as they pass and take pictures. The Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom has lots of princesses along with their princes – some that aren’t out to meet in the parks. Love to dance? The Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Parade happens a few times a day in the Magic Kingdom. It stops along it’s route and watchers and guests passing by are encouraged to stop and dance with the characters and performers. Both Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party have special parades.
Collecting Autographs from Characters at Disney
There are almost as many different ways to collect character autographs as there are actual characters you can meet during your Disney vacation. Below are some character autograph collection ideas that we’ve personally done as well as some new ones we haven’t tried yet.
Be sure to have a large pen to use while collecting autographs. If you loose or forget yours, you can purchase one at just about any merchandise location on property. Another item to add to your park bag is something hard to write on if you’re using a soft cover book or just paper to write on (think a clipboard or hardcover book).
Disney Autograph Books
Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and resorts sell a couple different varieties of autograph books. The most basic book has plain white pages for characters to sign on. Another version of the books include a place for the autograph as well as a picture of you to add once you’ve returned home. My kids also like to use these books to draw in while they’re waiting in line or to turn into a journal of sorts to write things down about their day.
Custom Autograph Books
From simple scrapbook paper to a hardcover book full of pictures of characters from previous visits, this is all about how creative you want to be when creating your book. This option has always gotten the most attention from characters (we even met the very same Aladdin and Jasmine two years in a row!). Use the autograph pages below to create your very own custom book to have printed. I’ve also purchased Mickey head cut outs from this Etsy shop to use at autograph pages that were super cute and easy to use to collect autographs.
Bring along your child’s (or your) favorite story book and have the characters sign it. Story time will be much more fun at home when they see the character’s autograph while reading their bedtime story. Character encyclopedias are another popular option for collecting autographs. While you likely won’t meet all the characters included in the book, it’s fun to see how many you can get. You can also purchase favorite story books to have the characters sign and you can read again when you’re back home.
Characters cannot sign anything you’re physically wearing on your body but you can bring a shirt or hat to have signed. Make sure you have something hard for the characters to sign on. Another thing to consider is something to hold the item tight while they character signs to make it as easy as possible for them. Binder clips or clothespins could work well for this.
Other Fabric Items
Pillow cases, quilt squares, backpacks, bandannas, scarves… The list goes on and on. So long as you remember you can’t be wearing what the characters are signing, they’re usually happy to sign. Remember to bring something hard for them to sign on and something to hold the item tight so the signature comes out clear without hassle or frustration for the character.
This is a favorite of mine to take, especially when we’re going to an event or party. Collect all the princess signatures on a photo mat and put it in a frame with your own little princess in front of Cinderella Castle or with her favorite princess she met on vacation once you’re back home. Consider keeping the photo mat in a zip top bag when you’re not using it to keep it clean and from getting the corners bent up.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to collect autographs (and many more we haven’t even listed here). It doesn’t matter which method you choose so long as you’re having a good time!
Tips for Meeting and Interacting with Characters at Disney
There’s nothing like hugging the head mouse himself or getting to meet your favorite princess in real life. But lots of folks are a little nervous about meeting a Disney character if they haven’t before. There’s nothing to fear. I’m going to share just what you can expect during your time together.
Most every character will interact with you in some way during your visit. They may have to use some form of sign language to communicate because they can’t speak. Feel free to hug the characters, give them a high five, or just say hello. Wearing something related to the character (Mickey ears when you’re meeting Mickey or Minnie for example) might lead to some additional interaction. Some guests also ask about things that happen in the character’s movie or television show (like asking Pooh where his honey pot is for example) to interact more with the characters.
Here are a few other tips for when you meet characters at Disney:
- If there’s a specific character that your family wants to see during your visit, take the time to stop at Guest Services in the park, the Concierge Desk at your resort, or a Cast Member within the parks. They can let you know if that character will be out, when they’ll be meeting guests, and where you’ll be able to meet with them.
- Grab a Times Guide when you enter the park (usually located with the park maps) because characters , their location, and their availability are listed. You can also use the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone to get this information.
- Be prepared when you get to the front of the line. Have your autograph book, thick pen, and camera ready to go. It wasn’t fun waiting while you were standing in line. Don’t be that person that holds up the line digging your autograph book out of your bag or trying to find your camera because your phone died to take a picture.
- Be prepared that some characters won’t be able to talk with you. “Face characters” (ones that you can see the actual character’s face – think a princess for example) can have conversations with you. Full costume characters (think Mickey) won’t be able to talk and they use a sign language of sorts to communicate. Be ready to help them decipher the signs the character makes.
- Let your kids know that it’s ok to not say anything when they visit the characters. My boys, especially my oldest, were worried that they wouldn’t know what to say when they got to the front of the line so we spent time visiting characters that didn’t speak. Once we made it through a few lines and the saw it was ok to not have a whole conversation with them. (Their sister on the other hand has no problem talking to anyone…and she has a brother who hasn’t met a stranger now that he’s a bit older.)
- Check the Disney website and My Disney Experience for the latest character locations and times before (and during) your trip.
Characters will gladly take pictures with you. Cast Members may ask you to remove a hat or something that may be offensive. You’re also not able to hold up (or ask the character to hold up) signs promoting products or businesses. Children do need to stand on their own or be held by someone traveling with them for the pictures. Characters are not able to hold children for pictures, but may kneel or sit down to be more at their level. Don’t be shy about asking for multiple pictures either. If you’d like a family picture with Mickey and another of just your children, that’s fine. Just be sure to be respectful of the others waiting when asking for multiple pictures or poses. Cast Members also gladly take pictures with your own camera or phone.
For many of the characters, you’ll need to be in the location at the specified time (both are noted on your times guide you can pick up when entering the park and in the My Disney Experience app). Cast Member are also able to help assist if you’re looking for a specific character or can’t seem to find the location. Listen to the directions given while you’re waiting. Many times you’ll be asked to get out your autograph book and pen while you’re waiting to help keep the line moving.
These lines are also tight spaces and may be out in the weather. Be prepared with drinks, snacks, umbrellas, battery operated fans, sunscreen, and “time wasters” (activity books, stickers, bubbles, ect to keep you busy while waiting in line). Also make sure to stop and take a bathroom break before you get in line so you don’t have to leave the line for a potty break.
Free Printable Autograph Pages
Having an autograph book that’s different from the blank ones sold in the parks can be a great way to start a conversation or interaction with a character when you meet them. I’ve created some free autograph pages to use when you meet characters at Disney.
Please use these pages responsibly. If you like them (which I very much hope you do), please tell your friends by sharing the link to this post with them or pinning this post so they can come find the pages. Don’t just download the pages and send them to all of your friends. These downloads are for personal use only. I provide these free for my community and readers as a thank you for the continued support.
Not only can these be used as autograph cards, there are a few other things you could use them for:
- Print them and put them on your stroller with your family’s name or a nickname
- Use them to help count down until your trip to Disney
- Print them and use them to label your child’s room or playroom
- Use them to label your classroom or child care facility
- Print off extra copies for your kids to color on while they’re waiting in line, after they’ve gotten ready in the morning, or getting to and from the parks to your resort
Now on to the autograph pages! To download the autograph pages, you can click on the image under each heading or the link the description. That will take you to all the autograph pages for that movie and group of autograph pages. You can find a link to all the pages saved as pictures here to save and upload to create your own custom autograph book to print.
Alice in Wonderland
You’ll be able to find Alice in ECPOT’s World Showcase. Make sure you take these Alice in Wonderland autograph pages with you so she can sign them during your excursion to find characters at Disney. In this group, you’ll also find Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit, and Cheshire Cat.
Beauty and the Beast
My daughter’s favorite princess is Belle so we always have to go see her castle and restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. You can listen to (and even be part of) Belle’s story in the Magic Kingdom. After she’s done telling her story, each of the kids can get a quick hug and picture but she doesn’t sign autographs there (the kids get a card that’s pre-signed). When you go to France in ECPOT’s World Showcase you can meet Belle (usually in her blue and white dress). Sometimes you’ll even find the Beast meeting guests with her. In this group of autograph pages, you’ll find a few of Belle’s other friends included as well.
Big Hero 6
Despite not being one of the most popular Disney movies, you’ll be able to find Baymax in EPCOT. He gives the best hugs! He’s the only character from the movie you’ll be able to meet, but there are some others included in these autograph pages.
There are nods to Cinderella through Disney property – the most obvious being Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Make sure to print off these autograph pages and take them with you to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table. You can also dine with Cinderella and her prince for dinner at 1900 Park Fare (you might also find her stepsisters there too).
The Doc is in at Hollywood Studios! You can meet Doc McStuffins near the Disney Junior Dance Party. Print off these autograph cards to get Doc’s autograph or use to diagnose your toys at your very own toy hospital.
Emperor’s New Groove
While you won’t find these characters at the Disney parks (consider yourself very lucky if you ever spot them!), you can still use these autograph pages to label your stroller or make a countdown calendar (or another crafty thing you come up with).
Do you want to build a snowman? Stop by to see Elsa and Anna at Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom or in Norway at EPCOT’s World Showcase. You can sing along with your favorites at Hollywood Studios. Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to Olaf while you’re at Hollywood Studios too! You’ll need these autograph pages to plan your ball, collect autographs, and stuff chocolate in your face.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy hasn’t fully made it’s way to the east coast yet, but you can experience the ride at Disneyland. Print off these autograph pages for the kids to color on while you’re waiting in line or for the parade to come.
You can meet Edna Mode herself in EPCOT while you’re visiting characters at Disney. I can’t wait to meet her myself! These Incredibles autograph pages will have you set up with Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, and Edna.
A Disney vacation is full of emotions for sure. Joy and Sadness will help you work through your feelings when you meet with them at EPCOT. I’m sure they’d love to see some pictures of their friends on these autograph pages during your visit.
You won’t find any of the characters at Disney on a regular basis, but we’ve seen Baloo and Louie at Animal Kingdom before so keep your eye out for them. These autograph pages would be fun to use during a movie night before your trip to label food or for everyone to write down their favorite parts.
Lilo and Stitch
My middle kiddo has been a Stitch fan for a very long time. We’ve met him several times – both in the Magic Kingdom and at the Ohana character breakfast at the Polynesian Resort. Both Lilo and Stitch can be found at breakfast (and they even have Stitch waffles!). I’m sure they’ll love these autograph pages to sign when they come by your table during breakfast. You’ll even find a few other familiar faces from the movie when you print these autograph pages.
You’ll find your Lion Guard friends through the Animal Kingdom park. They’re not actual characters, but there are statues throughout the park that your kids will be able to interact with and learn from. These autograph pages will be great for these kids to write down some of the things they learn throughout the park.
Have a Lion King fan? Make sure that you visit the Art of Animation resort. You’re welcome to visit even if you’re not staying at the resort. Use the resort maps (or ask a Cast Member for help) to find the Lion King section of the resort. You’ll feel like a toy in Andy’s room from Toy Story with these giant friends. You can still use these autograph pages to label your family’s stroller or to count down until your vacation arrives.
Ariel has been a favorite of my youngest for a very long time. You can swim under the sea to meet her in the Magic Kingdom. Print off these autograph pages and let your little princess see if she can spot all the characters during the ride.
Our favorite practically perfect person meets with guests both in the Magic Kingdom and in EPCOT’s World Showcase. Before you meet her, print off these autograph pages so you can show Mary what you like to do with your family.
Mickey and Minnie
It’s not a visit to Disney until you see Mickey and Minnie. As you can imagine, you can find both of these characters in the theme parks as well as several different character meals. These autograph pages will come in handy for collecting autographs as well as planning your trip, counting down to your trip, and drawing on while you’re waiting to see Mickey. You can also use these as “extra” pages for autographs you don’t have a specific autograph page for.
Moana is still tough to find at Disney but these autograph pages are still cute and can be used for other things besides autographs.
Monsters Inc (and Monsters University)
Mike and Sulley are so much fun to meet! Stop by and see them while you’re at Hollywood Studios. And don’t forget to take your autograph pages with you! Draw some of your favorite monsters on them. Or write a joke to share during Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom.
Stop by China in EPCOT’s World Showcase to meet with Mulan. Make sure you’ve got your autograph pages with you when you go by to say hello.
Nemo and his friends aren’t available to meet but you can get your picture with their statues at EPCOT outside of The Seas with Nemo and Friends attraction. You can use your autograph pages to label your stroller or draw on while you’re waiting for Turtle Talk with Crush to start.
Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack and Sally don’t meet guests on a regular basis in the parks. They usually appear during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Even if they’re not out in the parks, these autograph pages are perfect for using even when you’re not at the parks.
All it takes is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust! Have fun with Peter Pan when you meet him in the Magic Kingdom. You’ll also find Tinker Bell here. Sometimes you can find Captain Hook (especially during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party because more villains are out then) in the parks too. He is part of the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage too. Plan your next pirate adventure with these autograph pages.
When Pocahontas isn’t out on an adventure with her forest friends, she meets with her human friends at Animal Kingdom. Take your autograph pages and draw pictures of some of the animals you meet on your way to see Pocahontas.
Pooh and Friends
If you’re a fan of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, you’ll have to make time to visit the Magic Kingdom during your visit. Not only is there an attraction you can experience, but you’ll find Pooh and his friends near the queue of the ride. You’ll also want to make sure to make a reservation for breakfast at Crystal Palace. In addition to the delicious food, you’ll get to visit with Pooh and his friends for a friendship breakfast. You’ll certainly want to make sure to print off these autograph pages to take for all the characters you’ll find at Disney.
You’ll be able to find some of the princes meeting with their princesses. We’ve met Prince Naveen with Tiana (who just happens to be my favorite princess) in the Magic Kingdom. The Prince was with Snow White in Epcot one day and we happened upon them. Prince Charming is probably the easiest prince to find. You can dine with him and Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare (happens to be one of my favorite character meals for breakfast and dinner). Even if you don’t get to meet the princes in person, these autograph cards are still great to print out and have in case you happen upon the princes during your adventures.
You’ll want these princess autograph pages for your Disney trip. Aurora, Jasmine, Snow White, Tiana, Mulan, Tinker Bell, Ariel, Moana, Pocahontas, Merida, Elsa, Anna, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Belle, and Sofia the First.
Princesses (black and white version)
Have kiddos who like to color? These are the perfect pages for them! They can color these pages to show the princesses or leave their drawing with the princesses and use a different page to collect autographs.
Tell Rapunzel all about your latest art projects and adventures when you meet with her at Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom. You can even see her tower and the lanterns in the Magic Kingdom. Keep an eye out for Pascal while you’re over there too! Take Rapunzel some of your favorite drawings on these autograph pages when you go to meet her.
As you stroll around the world, make a stop in Germany in EPCOT’s World Showcase to see if Snow White is there to meet. When you visit Disneyland, you’ll be able to ride Snow White’s ride (the ride area in the Magic Kingdom is now Princess Fairytale Hall in case you were curious). You can also find Snow White meeting guests at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom as well as Akershaus in EPCOT along with other princesses. Snow White also has her very own dining experience at Wilderness Lodge now as well. Autograph pages will be perfect for when you meet Snow White but can also help pass the time while you wait for a table.
Give your favorite royal a hug at Hollywood Studios. Sofia the First is part of the Disney Junior meet up area near the Disney Junior Dance Party. Use these autograph cards to meet with Sofia or to keep track of your own royal adventures at home.
If Star Wars Land is on your list during your next Disney vacation, you’ll need these Star Wars autograph pages. Darth Vader, Leia, Luke, Han, Obi Wan, and Chewbacca are all ready to help you find intergalactic characters at Disney. Stop by Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World (it’s also at Disneyland too!) to find your favorite Star Wars characters.
Toy Story fans have to stop by Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. Not only will you be able to meet Buzz, Jessie, Woody, and Bo Peep, you’ll also be able to ride with Slinky Dog and the aliens. The whole land is so much fun. Buzz also meets with toys at the Magic Kingdom near his attraction. You’ll need these autograph pages when you visit your toy friends.
While you’re working on your Wilderness Explorer badge at Animal Kingdom, be sure to stop by and see Russell and Dug. You might also run in to Kevin while you’re there! Take these autograph cards to keep track of your adventures.
Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and Flash among other friends are part of these Zootopia autograph pages.
What tips do you have for finding, meeting, and interacting with characters at Disney?