Is meeting characters a staple of your Disney vacations? I love meeting characters for a couple of reasons– it’s a nice way to take a break from rides and the other craziness that comes with visiting a theme park, it helps get some great photo ops, and of course I love meeting characters from some of my favorite films! (It’s even fun to meet characters as an adult!) Here are some of my favorite character meet and greet experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort:
What can I say about meeting Gaston that hasn’t already been said? Gaston is a total lady’s man for those ladies that will have him (ie: all of the women waiting in line to meet him while their families stand around his tavern wondering why this is all happening). He is absolutely hilarious and half the time I meet him I’m too busy either swooning or laughing hysterically to even get a somewhat decent photo.
There aren’t many characters that I feel like I just have to meet every time I go to a certain park, but Gaston has become one of those characters. I waiting in line to see Gaston more times than I’m proud of when I lived in Orlando, and I continue to do so now with each vacation I take. Any interaction with him is just such a good time, even when he makes fun of me for being a cat lady (see photo below) or outshines Chaz with his biceps.
When I met Gaston on the 4th of July, I happened to be wearing this beautiful patriotic cat shirt. He said I’d probably be single forever because I must be a crazy cat lady, so I told him I was engaged, but of course he then asked where Chaz was (who was not in the park with me at all– as I was in Orlando by myself). I walked right into that one when he laughed about how I proved his point and was just there to see him anyway. (He wasn’t entirely wrong though?)
Kylo Ren definitely takes the cake for “most awkward meet & greet that I continue to put myself through despite the resulting uncomfortable photos.” That’s totally a thing right? I have no explanation for this, at least it happens to my friend Theresa too so I’m not alone in this.
I’m thinking maybe we should have a caption contest for the photo above. I remember this being a really intense moment between Kylo Ren and Chaz, but there I am just in the middle of them laughing. #awkward.
Star Wars Weekends Characters
Speaking of Star Wars, I loved meeting characters during the now-defunct Star Wars Weekends. (Do you think Star Wars Weekends will make a comeback? We hope so!) We loved the character dining experiences available during Star Wars Weekends in addition to the various meet and greets around the park. Even if Star Wars Weekends never make a comeback, we’re hopeful that we’ll start to see some more characters once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens.
Jack and Sally
Jack and Sally are some of my favorite characters to meet! I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and as much as I would love to be able to meet Jack and Sally in the parks more often, seeing them only at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party sort of makes it even more special. If you prefer the Christmas side of this movie to the Halloween side, be sure to visit during the holidays to see Jack as Sandy Claws!
Like Jack and Sally, villains can be difficult to track down if you aren’t at the Halloween party. Occasionally you’ll see some who have meet and greets in the parks, like Gaston or the Lady Tremaine, but in general the Halloween party and other special events are the best way to see them. Partially because they are more rare to see, but also because I just love Disney villains, these meet and greets have been some of the most memorable for me. My absolute favorite villain I’ve met was the Big Bad Wolf during a runDisney event!
I love meeting any of the Disney princesses, but Rapunzel is my favorite! Chaz has a tradition of taking a selfie with her every time we meet, and this interaction is always memorable.
I couldn’t make a list of the most memorable character meets without adding Mickey! When Mickey first “got his voice” a few year’s back, I’ll admit I was skeptical. This just wasn’t the kind of experience I had grown up with while meeting Mickey and I thought it would be strange… which it totally is. But it’s grown on me and actually become some of the most memorable moments from my recent trips.
Do you love meeting characters? Let me know in the comments what your most memorable meet and greets have been!