Whether young or old we fall in love with the Disney princesses in the movies. What better way to immerse ourselves into this fantasy world than meeting them in person. One thing that has always impressed us at Disney World is the high standard of quality and it really shines with their character meet and greets. The interactions that our daughter has with her princess friends goes beyond somebody dressed up as a character to pose for pics; she IS that princess to her. Even adults will have fun talking to the characters. On one trip Anna recognized my Scandinavian heritage and inquired about my ice business. A common question I get asked in regards to Disney vacation planning is how and where to find the princesses. In this article I’ll let you know where to find them in the Parks and other venues plus some tips to make your experience more enjoyable.
Here are a few tips to get you started and help make the most of your princess meet & greets.
- Bring an autograph book for each character to sign. They are inexpensive and makes for a personally valuable souvenir. They will sign some other items, like picture frames, but try to keep it basic. They will not sign you or the clothes you are wearing.
- PhotoPass photographers and an assistant will be on hand for each meet & greet. The photographers will let you take pics/video at the same time. They can also shoot pics with your camera if everybody wants to get in the action.
- Use the MyDisneyExperience (MDE) mobile app to keep track of meet & greet times in the parks.
- Treat the situation as if you were really meeting a princess. Basically, be polite and keep it family friendly. The characters are well versed and are fun to interact with.
- Be respectful of time. There is no rush, but keep in mind other guests are waiting the same as you did.
- Missing a huge princess fan from your party? Ask the princess to record a video message to send them.
- Have your kids dress up for the occasion or choose some fun Disneybounding fashion for yourself. The characters love it and makes for great pics.
Magic Kingdom is one of the two best places at Walt Disney World to find princesses. After all, Cinderella Castle greets you front and center. There are multiple places for meet & greets here, which makes it easy to fit into a day at the Park. FastPass+ is available for a few of the meets for added convenience. Below is a list of the princesses you can find at Magic Kingdom. In addition to meet and greets there are stage shows in the Castle forecourt and the daily parades where you can see several princess and princes.
- Cinderella — Princess Fairytale Hall located behind the Castle. She meets with a second princess, typically Aurora. FastPass+ is available and recommended for this popular meet & greet. Best time is end of the day, especially during fireworks if you can’t snag a FP+.
- Rapunzel — Princess Fairytale Hall. She meets with a second princess, typically Tiana. FastPass+ is available and recommended for this popular meet & greet. Best time is end of the day, especially during fireworks if you can’t snag a FP+.
- Ariel — Ariel’s Grotto to the right of the Under The Sea ride queue. She meets here in her mermaid form making it one of the more unique interactions. Fastpass+ is available. Not as busy early morning and later in the day.
- Merida — Fairytale Garden to the right of the Castle. This is a fun meet & greet since it is paired with fun activities like archery and crafts. Lines vary and FP+ is not available.
- Jasmine — Adventureland behind the Magic Carpets ride. She often appears with Aladdin. Lines vary depending on crowds and break times.
- Belle – While not technically a meet & greet, she appears in person as part of the Belle’s Enchanted Tales. Participants get to pose for pictures (no autographs) and sometimes they pull all of the kids up for a picture opportunity at the end. Volunteer to be part of the show and have fun!
- Alice – While not a princess, Alice fits right in and often has a fun meet and greet with the White Rabbit near the Mad Tea Party (teacups) ride. Lines typically aren’t too bad and I’ve seen bonus Alice in Wonderland characters appear from time to time.
- Tinkerbell – Another not-quite-princess who meet sin the Town Hall near the entrance. Fun photo op with her larger than life backdrop.
***UPDATE: Crown Princess Elena of Avalor will begin meeting with Cinderella at Fairytale Hall November 24, 2016. Read all about it here.
Many people are surprised at just how many princesses are to be found in Epcot. And when you arrive you won’t see any in Future World since they are scattered all around the World Showcase country pavilions. This is a great feature for family touring as the kids get to see some of their favorite princesses and the adults can enjoy the food and shopping. The trick is timing the meet & greets, so keep an eye on the MDE app or watch for when you see characters leaving for breaks and plan your other activities on the fly. Here is list of the princesses meeting in Epcot.
- Anna and Elsa – Royal Sommerhaus in the Norway pavilion. Anna and Elsa, arguably the two most popular meet & greets recently now have their own dedicated building. Unfortunately, FastPass+ is not available though you can find one for the adjoining Frozen Ever After ride if you plan ahead.
- Mulan – China pavilion. Mulan meets in the gardens and often has a short wait since not a lot of people know she’s there. This is a great setting for pictures.
- Snow White – She meets off to the left side of the Germany pavilion near a wishing well. Lines vary depending on crowds and timing of when you arrive.
- Jasmine – She meets with Aladdin by the lake in front of the Morocco pavilion. Lines vary. Not as good a photo op as others, but good interaction with the two characters.
- Belle – She meets by the lake in front of the France pavilion wearing her simple blue and white country outfit and occasionally Beast shows up too.
- Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland – Meet in the tea gardens of the United Kingdom pavilion. Watch the mobile app for times. Waits typically aren’t too long.
- Random characters appear from time to time near the International Gateway entrance and Wold Showplace (between UK and Canada). If you’re lucky you may spot some rare characters like Megara from Hercules. I have seen Rapunzel and Ariel at the Gateway before.
Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
Despite Epcot having so many opportunities to meet your favorite princesses, there are barely any to be found in the other two Parks. The only princess character you’re likely to find at Animal Kingdom is Pocahontas, who currently meets at the Character Landing. Tarzan has a meet & greet now, but Jane is still a very rare character to find. In Hollywood Studios the only princess you’ll find is Sofia the First from the Disney Junior series. She can be found, along with Doc McStuffins and Captain Jake, in the Animation Courtyard or at the Hollywood & Vine buffet.
Character meals are a great way to bundle up a necessity (eating) with some great interaction. During your meal, characters will make their way through the restaurant and stop by each table. When they stop by to visit, feel free to capture some great pictures and get autographs. There will be several individuals or groups moving from table to table, so the wait between interactions is not long. If you’re short on time during your vacation, this is a great way to fit in some much desired meet and greets. Here are the character meals where you can find your favorite princesses.
- Cinderella’s Royal Table – Located within the Castle in Magic Kingdom, serves a set menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White and occasionally Jasmine are on hand to meet guests. A bit on the pricey side at over $60/adult and nearly $40 for kids. Unique setting in prime real estate with the opportunity to meet several princesses during one meal will justify it for some.
- Akershus Royal Banquet – Epcot’s Norway pavilion. Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, and Snow White. Pricing is more reasonable than Cinderella’s Royal Table at around $50/adult and $30/kids and is highly recommended. Breakfast is typical family style American fare, but the Scandinavian lunch and dinner buffet is amazing. If your kids are not too adventurous, the usual child-friendly meals are available. Book early as this one fills quickly.
- 1900 Park Fare Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner – Grand Floridian. I highly recommend this character meal for Cinderella fans. Cinderella and Prince Charming are on hand to meet guests. As a bonus, Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella also make the rounds for some really fun interaction. I have a good time just watching them circulate around the room. The food is excellent and pricing is reasonable at around $45/adults and $30/kids. Plan an early dinner time as a break from a day at Magic Kingdom. ***Note: The 1900 Park Fare Supercalifragilistic Breakfast is an odd mix of characters and I’d recommend Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace for Winnie the Pooh types instead of this one.
Character meet & greets change from time to time and also special offerings happen during special events, such as the Halloween and Christmas parties at Magic Kingdom. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and bookmark the website to keep up on the latest happenings around Walt Disney World and useful travel planning tips.