Thanks to several different Limited Time Magic events, some characters offering new regular meets and some Epcot character training, 2013 provided me with the opportunity to meet more than 20 new characters. I thought it might be fun to rank the top 13 meets that were new to me and open up the rankings for some discussion.
We’ve had the opportunity to meet Liverlips, Wendell and Big Al numerous times at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot training, but Shaker was always elusive to us. Many years ago, he appeared at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but things changed. In 2013 the Magic Kingdom entertainment decided to bring him back with the other Country Bears for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for a group meet and greet. We met them right after the parade for a very short wait.
I never had the opportunity to meet Greedo at Star Wars Weekends previous to this year. He was still pretty difficult to come across this year because he only came out for late afternoon rotations and roamed the dark side. Each time he would appear, he was mobbed by Star Wars fans who knew it was an unusual site to find him roaming about.
11. Sofia the First
On August 11, 2013 Sofia the First made her debut at Hollywood Studios and I was among the first guests to meet her at her new meet and greet location outside Disney Jr. There was much anticipation for this meet and greet and a long line formed that averaged one hour or more throughout the day in the scorching heat. Sofia was having a great time dancing along with her adoring fans.
10. Anna & Elsa
I tried a number of times to meet Anna & Elsa for training before their actual meet began. They had some wardrobe issues and only appeared briefly for one day of training. Disney had announced a specific date for the couple to begin appearing in Epcot, but that was also delayed by some construction issues. I returned mid-day the following day and waited about an hour to meet the ladies. This has become THE MOST POPULAR meet in Walt Disney World right now and people regularly wait 2 hours or more to meet them. Arrive early!
Throughout my many trips to Walt Disney World Gideon had always eluded me. I knew he offered training meets at Epcot, but my timing had always been wrong to meet him. I stopped by one day after checking out the Magic Kingdom’s Limited Time Magic with EuroRob to check on training and found Gideon doing some training. It was pretty funny because I was the only guest who was excited to meet him and most people didn’t know who “the cat guy” was.
8. Ludwig von Drake
Ludwig von Drake appeared for Limited Time Magic in January 2013 along side Scrooge McDuck. They were meeting their Ducktales fans in front of the flag pole in the Magic Kingdom for “Long-lost friends week.” I wish the Magic Kingdom would make every week a long-lost friends week and just rotate a different character each week or even every day. Is it really necessary to meet Pluto at the flag pole EVERY DAY?
7. Robin Hood & Friar Tuck
On the other side of the flag pole for the first long-lost friends week was the elusive Robin Hood! My family and I had met the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John many years ago in the Magic Kingdom, but never had the joy of meeting Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. The characters didn’t disappoint the fans and it was a fun interaction with 4 very rare characters. Another great highlight of the Limited Time Magic campaign.
6. Bowler Hat Guy
We had the opportunity to meet Wilbur and Lewis Robinson at Disney California Adventure in October 2007. We were told by the cast members there that Bowler Hat Guy was roaming about, but we couldn’t find him anywhere. We were able to find some other great villains like Shan Yu, Hades and Gov. Ratcliffe, but the Bowler Hat Guy couldn’t be found. I guess he was under Doris’ control that day? As a part of the Limited Time Magic campaign, the Bowler Hat Guy appeared in the chaos that was the Unleash the Villains Night at Hollywood Studios on September 13.
5. Louis the Alligator
Louise the Alligator appeared for the second Long-lost Friends week at the Magic Kingdom and again for the Halloween characters meets at Port Orleans. We didn’t meet him at Port Orleans, but I did have the joy of finally meeting him at the Limited Time Magic event. Limited Time Magic was a great deal of let downs with a few great character weeks throw in, but this week was a great success. I had looked forward to meeting him for quite a while. This Long-lost Friends Week coincided with a job interview that I had arranged that would eventually lead to us moving to Kissimmee.
4. 3 Little Pigs (Fiddler, Fifer and Practical)
When I met the 3 Little Pigs along with the Big Bad Wolf, I wore my t-shirt that said “Mmmm….Bacon with them on the shirt. They weren’t very happy to see that shirt 🙂 It was a fun interaction and it was great finally getting to meet the piggies.
During the Limited Time Magic campaign, the Magic Kingdom offered a Fairies Week that was back-to-back with the Long-lost Friends 2. I was hoping to meet Silvermist because she was the only pixie that I hadn’t met between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. On my first meet I missed out on meeting her but she was available on my second attempt of the only day I had available!
If it weren’t for the one-time-only nature of my number one choice, Megara would have easily ranked number one. She came out to visit at Epcot for a couple of days for training prior to the Unleash the Villains event. She was very in character and a lot of fun to interact with. She was a real “slice.”
1. Oogie Boogie
We waited several hours to hope to meet Oogie Boogie on Unleash the Villains night at Hollywood Studios. My children almost didn’t even make it. They were stuck in traffic at the exit and I told them to just walk to the entrance. The night was one of craziness and chaos (what else would one expect from villains?) but we got to meet one of the most elusive villains in history!
What are some of YOUR top meets for 2013?