Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meeting Characters at WDW - Part 3 of 3

(the following is a guest blog)

This blog will conclude the 3-part series on meeting and greeting characters. As stated in part 2, this blog will focus mainly on the Pixar characters.

Nothing says Pixar quite like Toy Story. Toy Story characters are in even more demand now with the release of Toy Story 3. But the amazing story of the three movies and the years that have passed since the first one has garnered many fans of all ages. Because of all of this, expect to wait in lines for Buzz, Woody and Jessie.

Buzz and Woody can be found across the street from Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios. The earlier in the day you go, the better off you probably will be. You get Buzz and Woody at the same time. Disney has done a great job of placing various “sets” for photo opportunities leading up to meeting this dynamic duo, so the time passes fairly quickly.

You can also find Woody along with Jessie in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom. This duo is located just outside of the bridge by Splash Mountain on the side closest to Adventureland. This was probably the longest wait we had to meet any character, and there’s no escaping the heat. Again, these characters are probably more popular than ever right now, but it was worth it for my kids.

With the release of Cars 2 this week, Lightning McQueen and Mater will be back at Hollywood Studios. The two were pulled in May, so unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them. That’s my son’s favorite movie, too. The two are located near the backlot tour. In addition, Lightning will be replacing Herbie in the Lights, Motors, Action show in that same area. It’s a great show, so I’m sure the addition of Lightning will only increase that. Obviously, Lightning and Mater won’t be able to sign your autograph book, but pictures with the two are available.

Speaking of not being able to sign, Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc., are also available at Hollywood Studios. You can find them near the exit of the backlot tour. When we got done with the tour, both characters were taking pictures as a duo. By the time we got in line, Mike was going on break, so we only got to get a picture of Sully. Sully didn’t sign, but I believe Mike does. If we had gotten right back in line, we could have gotten Mike, so the rotation happens fairly often. The kids didn’t want to wait around, though.

One of my favorites was getting in the picture with the Incredibles characters Frozone and Mr. Incredible. Frozone is one of my favorite characters, so I had to jump in. These two were in the animation building in the animation courtyard at Hollywood Studios in the same location as Mickey (and Pooh). I understand that sometimes Mrs. Incredible is one of the two signing, but the two days I went in it was Frozone and Mr. Incredible. Expect to pose like a super hero if you meet these two.

Flik from Bug’s Life is located in Animal Kingdom between Asia and Africa. We saw him, and our kids would have liked to have met him, but we never had the timing right.

Other non-Pixar characters that haven’t been mentioned yet that are highly sought after are Pooh’s gang. You can find Pooh and Tigger in Fantasyland outside of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I believe these two are non-scheduled as well, so you just have to be on the lookout for them. We found them there around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. We saw the two being escorted to the spot, so the line wasn’t bad for us, but it backed up fairly quickly.

A better way to meet them, as Yen Sid Fan has already pointed out, is by obtaining and ADR for the Crystal Palace. I agree completely with Yen Sid Fan that getting one of the earliest reservations is the way to go to get in the park early. In addition, the food is probably better at breakfast. I’ve heard it’s good, and the food for dinner is, well, not very good at all. We took our son here on his birthday, so he was excited to meet Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. All four also signed a birthday card for him which will be a nice treasure.

Other characters that aren’t as likely to have waits include Brer Rabbit in Camp Minnie-Mickey at Animal Kingdom, Thumper in Camp Minnie-Mickey at Animal Kingdom, Marie from Aristocats in France at Epcot, and Stitch just inside the opening at Epcot.

If your little one is a fan of Disney Jr., you can find characters from Little Einstens as well as Handy Manny inside the animation courtyard at Hollywood Studios.

Again, plan well just like you need to with any other activity you undertake at WDW. Be prepared, be ready for your turn, be considerate to others, and treat the characters as if they’re the real characters.

If I have posted incorrect information, if you have questions, or if you want to add to what’s been said (as it’s clearly not an all-inclusive list), please do so. The more information posted, the more accurate this can be to those looking for help!

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