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How to find rare characters at Walt Disney World

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By placing the character locations and schedules (which I’ll update tonight) on this blog, it was my hope to help some people locate their favorite character more easily. Some characters were listed on the Times Guide, but others were (are) left off the Times Guide. The official Disney line was “ask a Cast Member.” That can be helpful at times, but other times the hard-working cast members just don’t know the answers or haven’t worked there long enough to answer guests questions. At other times the schedules were guarded like State secrects in a black box with handcuffs attached. Recently, one blog/twitter follower said she was given 5 different answers when she asked where Mary Poppins was meeting for Limited Time Magic – True Love Week. I hoped to help people know where to go and when to go there to meet their favorite characters. It was my experience on Ultimate Tours that character meets were always the longest lines, even when the meets were well-planned. Of course, we were trying to do EVERY attraction and EVERY character in the same day which we first accomplished in June, 2011.

How to find characters at Disney WorldCurrenlty, there are about 60 different characters available for regular, scheduled, in-park meets. There another 9 characters that can be met by paying a fee for a meal or character experience that don’t meet regularly. But, what about the “Rare” characters? Where do they meet and how can you find them? Some characters like Abby Mallard, Angelica, Chicken Little, Iridessa, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, Prince Caspian, Rhino, Silvermist and the Power Rangers are just EXTREMELY RARE from Walt Disney World. But there are other characters who do show up from time to time in set locations, but NO SET SCHEDULES. Well, no set schedules that the public will see.Some characters may only appear once or twice a year like Shang (right before Christmas parade) or Shan-Yu in Epcot.  Recently, Eric appeared for several meets in Epcot and in the past Megara might pop in once or twice a year.  Other characters who regularly appear in the parks use Epcot to train their attendants and photographers.  One might also see characters training for the Halloween Party in mid-August in Epcot or Animal Kingdom.  A rare, random meet, like seeing Mushu in Epcot might happen from time to time, but the list below are characters that are a bit more difficult to find.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and find Governor Ratcliffe in Animal Kingdom or the Brers at the Frontierland Hoedown.With the help of a good friend, I was able to compose this non-exhaustive list of characters who don’t make scheduled appearances, but are most likely to appear in a park.

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Training and Random Meets at Walt Disney World
These characters are considered more difficult to locate in Disney World. Epcot Training is random and can occur at any time or not at all. They are most common between 11am and 3pm. The training meets are open to all guests. Frontierland Hoedown is a scheduled experience that often allows a brief time of meet and greets. Check the Magic Kingdom Entertainment Schedule above for weekly times. NOTE:  MNSSHP stands for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and MVMCP stands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. They are ticketed events that any guest can purchase tickets to attend. (Some dates sell out well in advance).
Annie Disney Jr Dance Party    
Atta      
Big Al Epcot Training Frontierland Hoedown MVMCP
Bolt Character Palooza Epcot Training  
Brer Bear Epcot Training Frontierland Hoedown  
Brer Fox Epcot Training Dinoland Dance Party  
Brer Rabbit Frontierland Hoedown    
Captain Hook Character Palooza Epcot Training MNSSHP
Clarabelle Cow Frontierland Hoedown    
Dopey Epcot Training Magic Kingdom  
Flik      
Genie Character Palooza Epcot Training Magic Kingdom
Gepetto Character Palooza Epcot Training  
Gideon Epcot Training    
Gypsy Moth Dinoland Dance Party    
Horace Horsecollar Frontierland Hoedown    
J. Worthington Foulfellow Epcot Training    
Jafar Character Palooza Epcot Training MNSSHP
Lilo Dinoland Dance Party    
Liverlips Epcot Training MVMCP
Max Character Palooza Epcot Training  
Meeko Character Palooza Epcot Training  
Miss Bunny Dinoland Dance Party    
Mr. Smee Character Palooza Epcot Training  
Mushu Dinoland Dance Party    
Perla Epcot Training    
Penguins Character Palooza Epcot Training Magic Kingdom
Pinocchio Character Palooza    
Queen of Hearts Character Palooza MNSSHP  
Rabbit Epcot UK Magic Kingdom  
Shaker Epcot Training MVMCP  
Slim Dinoland Dance Party    
Snow Queen Character Palooza MNSSHP  
Suzy Epcot Training    
Terk Dinoland Dance Party Epcot Training  
Thumper Dinoland Dance Party    
Tweedles Character Palooza Magic Kingdom  
Wendell Epcot Training Frontierland Hoedown MVMCP
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88 thoughts on “How to find rare characters at Walt Disney World”

  1. At MVMCP Dec. 2013 we saw several characters that I was told are hard to come by: All of the 7 Dwarves together, Scrooge McDuck with Donald and Daisy dressed in winter clothes, and princesses with their princes (Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora). The MVMCP parades featured characters I didn’t see again during our entire visit: Naveen, Beast, Burt from Mary Poppins with the penguins, Jafar, Genie, Gepetto and Jimminy Cricket. Going during that special event was absolutely worth the extra cost, for many reasons, and I would highly recommend it. During that trip, but not at that event, at Hollywood Studios, we saw Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope (they had their own permanent set inside so it didn’t seem rare) and Sorcerer Mickey. Also Stitch and Eeyore were at HS. It’s fun to find your favorite characters in different costumes (like Chip and Dale in scarves) and it was a good time for that too.

    Sorry it you’ve mentioned it already but don’t forget that if you have a Disney Visa card, you can go each day of your visit to the cardmember exclusive meet and greet. You don’t know who you’ll get until you get into the room but it’s a great photo op with classic characters (there were always several). And you get a copy of the photo for free!

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    1. Those characters at the Christmas party aren’t really considered rare because they appear at every halloween and christmas party. Many of the others you mentioned on scheduled daily. Check my Master List under Characters

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  2. I’ve also seen random training Meet and Greets outside Great Movie Ride tucked off to the left behind some of the walls. These were not a part of Characterpalooza. It was always just one character at a time. I met Meeko and Max that way!

    Also, if for some reason the Beauty and the Beast show in Studios cannot be performed (it was down for a few days during my CP), they will have the characters come out and meet you. This includes Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth who rotate with Belle and the Beast.

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  3. Hi Kenny,
    It was so much fun to see Hercules at the Rock Your Disney Side event, and I noticed he was at the Princess Half Marathon a few months ago. Any chance he’ll be coming back out for any special events in the near future? Thanks for any help you can provide. 🙂

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  4. Another good way to meet uncommon characters is to sign up for a runDisney event. The last few years the Princess Race has featured pit stops with Barbossa and Capt Jack as well as a hero M&G with Shang, Eric, Hercules, Aladdin, Flynn Rider and John Smith. Last year the post-race party for Wine and Dine included groups of characters like Mushu and Mulan, Tiana, Louis and Naveen, Belle was even out with Beast in her sparkling yellow ballgown. During the race, I was fortunate enough to get Vader and Boba Fett in front of Star Tours. I understand the Tower of Terror race also has some rare characters out and about.

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  5. A long time ago Maleficent used to appear at the Grand Floridian buffet breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. I have tons of photos with her from 2000. She’s my favorite villain. Also got to meet all 7 dwarfs that trip at Epcot. I think it’s sad how slimmed down the appearing characters have become. It’s not like Disney is hurting for money.

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    1. They change the secondary (for lack of a better term) characters quite a bit. In 4 trips between 2005 & 2009 I saw a lot of characters doing meet & greets that don’t appear anymore… Jaffar, Kim Possible & Ron Stopable, Power Rangers, Robin Hood & Friar Tuck, Clarise, Chicken Little, Koda & Keni and a few others but my brain is drawing a blank right now.

      There are characters now that won’t be around in 5 years (Wreck-it-Ralph & Vanellope for example). Also the new area of Fantasyland has given more room for characters. Tinker Bell and friends weren’t regular 5-6 years ago.

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      1. Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Minnie were merely moved in Magic Kingdom. Gaston was added while Marie was moved and Beast was made dining only. The Animal Kingdom received massive cuts and haven’t been replaced with meet. A couple months back they began offering the dance party there as a fill in for the Lion King show. Overall WDW has lost more than it’s gained. I wrote a detailed post about this last year. Most were lost due to FP+ requiring more performers for a specific character. Yes, some always have a short shelf life.

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  6. I know for a fact that on April 7th Maleficent was out for a meet and greet at Characterpalooza. My roommate is a character attendant with that most days.

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  7. There are a lot of names on this list that used to be regular’s in past years. A few I wish I stood in line for but didn’t, like Jafar and Dopey. Though I did get a nice picture of Dopey during my ’07 trip, but I didn’t get him with me.

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  8. I would love to meet any character from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Are they 100% out of circulation even for special events?

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  9. You can also meet genie and wreck it Ralph at disneyquest special events sometimes and as far as I know that’s the only place that Ralph goes on a regular basis. I know he’s there on New Year’s Eve for sure

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  10. Thanks! What’s the Villians Event & when is it? Also I’ve been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Before & she wasn’t there. Is it in the last 5 years that Jane is there? They are both my favorites and I’ve never seen them. 😦 Also is there anytime that Hercules is there? I’ve only seen him once. & What about Tarzan?

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  11. After reading your list of rare characters I’m so glad that I already have photos with most of them from a few years ago….I really miss the “random meetings…one night on our way out, Pinocchio, Gepetto,, Gideon, J Worthington, Launchpad McQuack, and a Country Bear were just standing around together. It was great! I got photos & danced with the Bear ( the good ol’ days!)

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  12. Hi, again
    I was wondering if you could make an apple app of charcterlocator because I and a lot of other people have iPhones and would,love to have the app.

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  13. Hi,

    Is the teardrop in Magic Kingdom still being used as a character training site or has that been done away with since the opening of new fantasyland?

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      1. Thanks Kenny. Has an alternate training spot been created in MK or is the only place to have these impromptu engagements with rarer characters now at Epcot ?

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  14. I wondered if you have any insight… we saw Gideon last week in the Epcot training spot. Made me wonder, what is he training for? I could understand why King Louie, Baloo, Pooh, Pluto, Mickey would be there for training but wasn’t sure about Gideon. Does he have a M&G somewhere? I wondered just what he was training for? Or could it have been just for the handler? No photographers at the one we found, just Handlers with tags that said “Earning my Ears” and characters.

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    1. Gideon only offers those random meets at Epcot. He comes out to help train those Character Attendants and Photographers. Other characters assist with this task as well 😉

      On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM, Kennythepirate's Disney Character

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  15. Just an FYI that Terk and Timon were cut from MiSiCi just before Christmas. Sadly I don’t think a lot of people noticed.

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  16. When did they remove Stitch from Studios? He was still there in late September/early October 2012 when we were there. Can he be found anywhere now? My daughter loves him and we always have to have a photo with him when we visit. She’s going to be heart-broken if he’s gone for good.

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      1. Stitch isn’t rare. He is on the schedule Characters > Hollywood Studios. Also can easily be found in Magic Kingdom. This article pertains to rare character meets that are unscheduled

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  17. Very interesting list. For us locals, it’s almost a shame that there isn’t more of a science to meeting uncommon characters (except Character Palooza), but I guess that would also take away some of the fun. Now I do have 2 questions:

    1) The last few times I have seen MISICI Terk and Timon were not present, and I had read on other blogs that they had been cut from the street party. Have they returned (or perhaps, were the rumors of their demise incorrect in the first place)?

    2) You mention that 9 characters are available only through special meals/character experiences. I can only think of 7 (June, Agent Oso, Mad Hatter, Piglet, Prince Charming, Beast, Lilo). Who are the other 2 (or more, in case I was wrong about any of the 7 I mentioned) and where can you meet them?

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    1. Rob,
      I can only say that Timon and Terk were in it on my last visit. Not sure if they were cut. Don’t know what blog mentioned that they were cut.

      Captain Hook and Mr. Smee through Pirates and Pals Voyage.

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      1. Guess I’ll just have to check out MISICI again and see if they are around.

        Completely forgot about Pirates and Pals – definitely a cool way to meet a couple of great characters.

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      2. Caught the tail end of MISICI yesterday, and Terk and Timon were nowhere to be found. Obviously not conclusive, but it seems as though others here have had similar experiences recently. Hope that helps.

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    2. when i went a few years back, Beast could be found in the France pavilion in Epcot- but my sister and mother were just at WDW last week and they met him after dinner at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom

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  18. The character training at Epcot you’re talking about, would that be where they open up the gates and bring people inside and close them and let you meet and greet several characters? Because that happened to my family on our last trip to Disneyworld. Those giant gates that are scattered throughout the World Showcase in between countries opened up, something like eight characters came out, and then they brought us in, closed them up, and let a group of maybe 25-30 people (which included my group of 13) get pictures and autographs from all the characters. The cast member said it happens maybe once a month. We saw Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Brer Bear and Brer Fox, Gideon, Baloo, and Mr. Penguin. It was incredible. 🙂 Very special magical moment!

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    1. There’s two of those training locations, one between Canada and UK and the other would be American Adventure. Characters also appear at the International Gateway, near the fountain and near Imagination.

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      1. Very cool experience! We had no idea what was going on, I actually thought they were probably on their way somewhere and told my nephew they couldn’t do autographs until they got to their spots. It was my nieces’ and nephews’ first trip to Disneyworld, and they just thought that was the neatest thing ever! We also ran into Prince Philip at Epcot a couple of years ago, I think near Imagination, definitely in Future World West. 🙂

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  19. We couldnt find fairy godmother in true love week we were told to go to several different locations and ended up walking past her on the way to Alice after we gave up.

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      1. Thank you! I have someone who really wants to meet Rabbit and he’s proving to be elusive. Apparently a few weeks ago, he was at Crystal Palace for one day. Hoping to somehow track him down.

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