The first time I visited Disney World as an adult, I had no idea how big of a deal the character meetings could be. When we went in 2010, Abby loved the characters (although Cade did NOT). It was even more special meeting them this time because all 3 kids LoVeD the characters. Although we did not have any character experiences that were not enjoyable, we definitely had some that stood out as amazing. Here is a list of our top character experiences (in no particular order):
1. Peter Pan and Wendy Darling: They were located at Magic Kingdom in the area between Fantasyland and Liberty Square where the bathrooms used to be. We just missed the cut off to meet Peter and Wendy a few times throughout the afternoon and kept saying we would come back. When we missed the 3:00 set, we found out that 4:00 would be their last one of the day. So, we decided to go ahead and wait in line even though it was only about 3:15. That put us first in line for the 4:00. When they came out, Peter came running into the area yelling and crowing. He actually made me jump a mile but I instantly started laughing when I realized what was going on. Peter and Wendy talked to the kids, asked them questions, and played their roles perfectly. Then they gave the kids “flying” lessons. It was such a neat experience and the kids still randomly talk about when they met Peter Pan and how he made them jump.
2. Princesses at Akershus: When we went to Disney in 2010, we ate breakfast at Akershus and this time we ate there for dinner. Aside from the food and service being fantastic, the characters were fabulous as well. The night we were there, the princesses were Belle, Ariel, Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella. We met Belle on our way in and had our pictures taken with her. The other princesses came out during dinner. They also had a Princess Parade where the kids walked through the restaurant with the princesses. It was cute and a nice way for the kids to feel part of the experience.
3. Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella: We met Cinderella’s step-mother and step-sisters near Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Magic Kingdom. They were perfect. They were in character but not mean and scary. The girls loved them. They asked Cara questions and Anastasia kept telling Cara how cute she was. Although they had their characters down perfectly, Cara was cute enough to get Lady Tremaine to smile even though I could tell she didn’t really want to.
4. Playhouse Disney at Hollywood and Vine: We ate at Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios for breakfast in 2010 and lunch in 2014. The characters do not do appearances for dinner. When we were there, it was Oso, Handy Manny, June, and Jake. A few weeks after we left, the characters switched to Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake, and Handy Manny. Ugh! Cara would have LOVED to meet Doc and Sophia. Even without those favorites, the character experience was fantastic. They took their time at the table and didn’t make us feel like we couldn’t go to the buffet or we would miss out (as they told us at Crystal Palace). They also had times where the kids could go up and sing and dance with the characters. The kids really had a lot of fun and the fact that the food was amazing was a bonus.
5. Enchanted Tales with Belle: This experience is at Magic Kingdom in the New Fantasyland area next to Be Our Guest restaurant. When we went in 2010, the New Fantasyland area was under construction so this was the first time we did the Enchanted Tales. We used a Fast Pass for this since we had the Magic Bands although I’m not sure how long the line would have been without it. It would be worth waiting for anyway. It reminded me of a reader’s theater. There were three different areas to the experience. In the first area, it is an introduction. The second area is where the kids “try out” for parts. They made sure everyone got a part that wanted one. Then in the last area, Belle came into the room and the kids acted out the story. Cade got the part of Belle’s father so he held up prison bars and shivered from the cold. Abby was Philippe so she galloped and neighed across the room. Cara got the part of Chip and she was to jump around. She did a great job! After the play, the kids all got a picture with Belle. It really was such a neat experience.