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Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters

by Leap on March 12, 2020 7 Los Angeles

Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - PinterestNo matter how old you are, you never get tired of meeting your favorite Disney characters in the parks. The trick is knowing where to find them. Sometimes they unexpectedly appear — especially at the Disneyland Resort — and that is pure Disney magic. They do, however, tend to frequent their favorite spots in the parks. If you know where they might be, you can increase the likelihood of meeting your favorite Disneyland characters on your next trip!

Our Guide to Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters

Meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto

If you are going all the way to Disneyland, you can’t get by without meeting the big cheese himself: M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Mickey and his friends Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Chip and Dale are often at the top of everyone’s must-see list. You can find these classic characters at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

In Disneyland Park, most of them are almost always near the entrance to the park. After you walk through the tunnels, you can find them in the middle of the circle in front of the train station, by City Hall, near the Mad Hatter and in front of other stores and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The morning and early afternoon are popular times to find them here greeting all the guests coming into the park.

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Mickey at Toontown

Another area these Disneyland characters frequent is Toontown. Mickey and Minnie greet guests and pose for pictures in their houses, and their friends are often out and about on the streets of Toontown. Keep your ears open! When you hear clock sounds and music, a new character may be arriving. You'll see them emerge from a doorway in Toontown City Hall. Follow them to their meeting spot for the shortest wait.

At California Adventure Park, you can meet these same classic characters on Buena Vista Street. They'll be dressed in vintage wear. Pluto is sometimes near the airplane by Soarin'. At times, we have run into Oswald the Lucky Rabbit near the park entrance. When he's out, he's usually the first or last character you see when you either come in or exit the park.

Summon Star Wars Characters

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Chewbacca

You can meet Star Wars characters in both Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and in Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. Chewbacca and Darth Vader (and sometimes Boba Fett) see guests at Star Wars Launch Bay.

Stormtroopers patrol all of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Sometimes Supreme Leader Kylo Ren joins them. They will decide if they want to stop and talk to citizens (unlike other characters in the park who can’t wait for guests to visit them). There is no official line or location or greet for the characters in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. This is their world and they have things to do. You can hop over to our guide to the roaming characters of Galaxy's Edge for more details on where to meet Chewbacca, Rey, Vi Morada the spy, R2-D2, stormtroopers and Kylo Ren. If you want the warm and fuzzy meet and greet, look for Chewbacca. He's always good for a hug! The First Order characters are bit more intimidating but can also be hilariously rude.

Pose with Super Heroes

You’ll find Captain America, Spider-Man and other Marvel Super Heroes in Disney California Adventure. Once the new land Avengers Campus opens, that will be the place to find all Super Hero encounters. Hop over to our super guide to Avengers Campus to learn where to meet the following Avengers:

  • Members of the Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Spider-Man
  • Thor and Loki
  • Doctor Strange
  • Iron Man
  • Captain America
  • Captain Marvel
  • Black Widow
  • Black Panther and his Dora Milaje, inlcuding General Okoye

Meet the Princesses

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Meet Princess CinderellaLily recently shared how to meet the Disneyland princesses (and even some of their friends, such as Flynn Rider). You can find all that detailed information in her tips for meeting princesses at Disneyland. Most Princesses stay in Disneyland Park. Several can be found in or near the Royal Hall in Fantasy Faire. There are exceptions. We recently came across Pocahontas near the Rivers of America. She says she is usually off exploring with John Smith, but when she is in the area, she visits guests at Disneyland. Merida strolls around Fantasyland. You might run unto princesses near "it's a small world" or the Wishing Well. Tiana frequents New Orleans Square and the Mark Twain Riverboat.

Anna and Elsa (sometimes along with Olaf and Kristoff) are in California Adventure. Other princesses do make special appearances at Disney California Adventure during certain holidays. Mulan visits guests with Mushu during Lunar New Year and Elena greets guests during the Festival of Holidays.

Find Fairies

Tinker Bell and her fairy friends flit about in Pixie Hollow. Beware! Captain Hook has been known to lurk about near Fantasyland. Keep an eye out for Tinkerbell’s friend, Peter Pan. He rarely stays still but is awfully fun if you do find him.

Where Are Winnie the Pooh and Friends?

Disneyland Characters - - Tigger

You can meet Winnie the Pooh (plus Eeyore and Tigger too) after exiting Splash Mountain or The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride in Critter Country.

Meet Pixar Pals at Pixar Pier

Throughout the day, various Pixar pals pop in to see visitors to Pixar Pier. They tend to stay in their neighborhoods.

  • You might encounter Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Frozone or Edna Mode near the entrance to the Incredicoaster.
  • Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and Bo Peep welcome friends in front of Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • You might Meet Joy and Sadness, Mike Wazowski and Sulley, Russell and Dug, Ian and Barley or other Pixar Pals across from the Pixar Pal-A-Round.

Encountering Other Favorite Disney Characters

Disneyland Characters - Alice and Mad HatterMost other Disneyland characters can be found scattered throughout the parks. Here are a few favorites you might see.The rarest and most unusual characters are often wandering about in Fantasyland. We’ve recently run into Geppetto and John Worthington Foulfellow from "Pinocchio." Here are a few favorites you might see:

  • Alice and the Mad Hatter make appearances near the Tea Cups and the Alice in Wonderland ride. This duo is quite humorous, and the two love to have funny chats with guests. We've hopped by to play games with them in front of "it's a small world" or at Refreshment Corner, as well.
  • Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother flits around Fantasyland near the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (inside you can be magically transformed into a princess or other Fantasyland attractions.
  • Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Gaston in FantasylandGaston and the Beast have been known to wander around Fantasyland. Gaston also frequents Fantasy Faire, always on the lookout for Belle. If you run into Gaston looking for Belle, shhh … don’t give her location away. She is usually safe inside the Royal Hall with her princess friends. Sometimes she (or Rapunzel) will greet audience members after their respective shows at the Royal Theatre. Belle also likes to wander about and has been known to hop on a horse to take a spin around the King Arthur Carrousel.
  • Aladdin and Jasmine have been spied in Fantasy Faire and near the Wishing Well.
  • The residents of Radiator Springs also drive out to meet people in Cars Land at California Adventure. You'll find them in driving down Route 66 or parked in front of the Cozy Cone Motel.
  • Sometimes Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps greet fans in Disney California Adventure. They hop around near The Little Mermaid — Ariel's Undersea Adventure.

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Moana in Adventureland

  • Moana of Motunui welcomes voyagers in Adventureland, hidden near the exit of Tarzan's Treehouse.
  • The pirates Captain Jack Sparrow and Redd may wander about New Orleans Square. We've also had a run-in with Jack at Pirates Lair on Tom Sayer Island.
  • Dr. Facilier and Tiana greet guests in New Orleans near the Rivers of America.
  • The Evil Queen from Snow White has been lurking about near Fantasyland, often between Pixie Hollow and Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes she's near the castle entrances. She's wonderfully wicked. Be sure to bow before greeting her!
  • The Citizens of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure, are hidden gems that might not be your traditional Disney characters, but they are a lot of fun, and quite chatty.
  • Do you have a Chase Disney Visa card? You can meet characters at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that others cannot access. The location at Disneyland is in Star Wars Launch Bay (it's usually Darth Vader). In Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure, you can usually meet Stitch or Daisy or Pluto. It's always a surprise, and it is fun to get private time with the character.

There are always other characters popping up. Mary Poppins — the best nanny ever — sometimes appears near the castle and Pixie Hollow. You'll also find her and Bert strolling past the castle, around Main Street and through Fantasyland. They do not stop for photos, but they welcome guests to stroll along and have a chat with them! We have also caught them posing with guests near the entrance or at Refreshment Corner before it opens. Some days, they dance along with the pearly Band in front of the castle. At times, Mary and Bert will hop on the King Arthur Carrousel for a spin. They like to keep you guessing, and that is part of their magic.

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Mary Poppins on Carousel

There are often other characters just inside the park entrance, but you never know who you will find there. It could be a princess, a villain, a classic favorite or a surprise obscure character. It is always best to look around when entering or exiting the park to see if you can spy a special character.

You never know which Disneyland characters you are going to meet in either of the parks.The parks update character experiences all the time. Disneyland is much more spontaneous than Disney World when it comes to characters, and we've noticed a growing number of wandering characters. Disneyland is full of surprises — all the better to keep you hopping and entertained! Be sure to keep your eyes open for opportunities to meet characters. You may find them simply walking next to you!

It is fun when you come across a toadally unexpected character. You just can’t plan this type of thing, but when it happens just go with it and enjoy the magic.

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Maleficent at HalloweenMake a Plan to Find Seasonal Disneyland Characters

Some characters only make appearances during certain seasons.

Jack Skellington and Sally are some of the more popular “villains” to greet during Halloween Time, but you can also find Cruella de Vil, Jafar, the Queen of Hearts, the Evil Queen, Maleficent  Dr. Faciller and others. We've met a few hitchhiking ghosts and other prominent ghosts from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Halloween Time, as well. Additional villains appear during the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party.

During ¡Viva Navidadin California Adventure, you may see members of the Three Caballeros, Princess Elena of Avalor or other characters.

Mulan, Mushu, Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale celebrate Lunar New Year in California Adventure by taking photos with guests. Classic characters will also be wearing their New Year’s best during this celebration.

During the Holidays at Disneyland you can meet Santa Claus in either park. He just might be replaced with Santa Goofy after Christmas — Santa does need to rest.

Disneyland Characters - Character Cast Member

More Tips for Finding Characters at Disneyland

Most characters are out (on and off—they do need to take breaks) from the park openings until late afternoon. If you are having trouble finding your favorite character, check the Disneyland app. The best sources of information about characters are the Disney cast members wearing buttons that say, “Ask Me About Characters.” They might be able to help you, or may even consult the Toon Finder to find out when and where you can meet them. The Disneyland Park app can tell you where to find characters, but it is not always reliable since so many characters move. If you see character cast members standing still and there is no character nearby, remain close. A character is on his or her way to this exact location, and you can be one of the first in line to greet them. Keep that camera and autograph book handy!

Small Children and Disneyland Characters

Tips on Meeting Your Favorite Disneyland Characters - Pluto and small child in Toontown

Sometimes meeting a character is overwhelming for toddlers and small children. Lily loved hugging some characters as a baby, and then suddenly the idea of posing for a picture with Mickey Mouse at age two made her cry. Now she is back at it, always searching for her favorite princesses. This is completely normal and very common.

If your child suddenly fears a life-size Goofy, don’t worry. A little stranger anxiety is a healthy and normal stage, and it can be very emotional meeting your favorite Disney star. The characters are much bigger in person than on TV. You will find many characters get down on the ground to greet their smallest guests eye to eye for this reason, but don’t force it if you child is afraid. Wave to the character from afar (visiting from the stroller always feels safer) and limit your character experiences to rides and parades. We promise they will grow out of it and will be happy to meet them again soon.

Disneyland Characters - Belle

Another way to meet Disneyland characters either in or out of the parks is to make a reservation through Disney Dining for a character dining experience. You will be sure to meet many different characters at Disneyland this way without having to look for them or wait in lines.

No matter where your character experiences take place, they will make for hoppy special memories indeed. Have questions about meeting Disneyland characters? Share them in comments below!

Related: Our Spooky-Good Guide to Disneyland Halloween Time

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
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Jan 31, 2020 at 5:23 p.m. Brad Says...

Do the 7 dwarfs do a meet and greet at Disneyland?

Feb 4, 2020 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brad!

No, sadly, they do not.

Keep hopping!


Sep 21, 2019 at 10:34 p.m. Matthew Suh Says...

Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale, Snow White, Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Alice, Mad Hatter, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Aurora, Cruella de Vil, Mary Poppins, Bert, Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Ariel, Belle, Aladdin, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mulan, Mushu, Jessie, Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Frozene, Edna Mode, Tiana, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Merida, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Elena, Moana, and Bo Peep have to sign my different books.

Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and Elena are taking turns the meet & greet inside Royal Hall at Disneyland.

Jack Skellington and Sally both signed my different books at Disneyland from early September to early January.

Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Mulan and Mushu have sign my books in Lunar New Year Festival at California Adventure.

Mickey, Minnie, Snow White, her prince, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Aurora, Phillip, Mary Poppins, Bert, Ariel, Eric, Belle, Beast, Aladdin, Jasmine, Tiana, Naveen, Rapunzel, and Eugene have to sign my big Valentine papers and books at Disneyland from February 11th to 14th.

Pocahontas must be in Mickey Floral and near Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland every Sundays and Wednesdays because I want to see her and she asked me about my singing voice.

Aug 10, 2019 at 9:56 p.m. Adrian Luk Says...

I am autistic and my special interest are costume characters in disneyland. I just want to know does the DAS card works for characters meet and greet as in disneyland? I only interested in costume characters. And also how long will the characters stay in the park and how long is the queue? is it possible that you can give me some advice for characters meet and greet information about time, location and the time of the queue so I can make plan for going to disneyland california soon.

please may you reply to me as soon as possible?

Aug 14, 2019 at 10:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Adrian!

As far as we know there is no DAS benefit for meeting the characters. Some characters walk around and do not necessarily stop and have a line (such as Peter Pan, some princesses or other characters in Fantasyland). You can always ask the line attendant if they can offer you an accommodation. Some characters have long lines and others have short lines. You’ll find the most characters in the first half of the day. Fewer at night. Because characters vary so much at Disneyland, the best way to locate them is to use the Disneyland app. At the top of the home page, there is a map. Click on the pulldown menu next to “Attractions” and then click on “Characters.” Each Mickey head on the map will show you the location of characters. Click the head to see the characters on that general location (again, they do move around and may not be in that exact location). Then click the individual character’s name to see today’s appearance times. That will give you the most up-to-date information. Have a great time!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 10, 2017 at 1:23 a.m. Justin Bieber Says...

This article should tell you where you find all characters ????????????????????????????????????????

May 26, 2017 at 2:58 p.m. Tommy Dulaney Says...





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