11 Tips for Having the Most Memorable Meet & Greets With Characters at Disneyland

A young girl staying at our hotel recently couldn’t stop smiling as she told staff about meeting her favorite Disney princess — Moana! She gleefully reported that Moana asked all about her Disney adventures and gave her a hug during their photo op. The magical meeting was truly the icing on the cake for the family’s perfect day at Disneyland® Resort. That’s the case for many guests, both young and old, who get caught up in the magic of meeting their favorite Disney characters face-to-face. If you or loved ones are looking forward to meeting iconic Disney characters during your California vacation, here are some tips to help make your Disneyland character experience as magical as possible.

1. Download the official Disneyland Mobile App. You can use the Characters tab to plan your character meet and greets at Disneyland® Resort. If you’re not as tech-savvy, you can pick up a printed schedule as well.

2. Make your own autograph book. Creating a customized Disneyland autograph book can be a fun activity to get youngsters excited about the trip and makes for a great keepsake from your Disney vacation. As an added bonus, you’ll save money if you skip buying it in the park.

3. Prepare kids ahead of time. Meeting Disney characters is exciting, but it can also be intimidating — especially for toddlers and younger children. Consider talking about polite manners, setting expectations in case certain characters aren’t available during your visit, and help your child come up with fun questions to ask before your trip. For example:

    • Ask Peter Pan if he has seen his shadow
    • Ask Jasmine or Aladdin if you can ride on the magic carpet
    • Ask Anna or Elsa for their best snowman building tips
    • Greet Belle with a hearty “Bonjour!” and ask for book recommendations.
    • Ask Cinderella how Gus Gus is doing.
    • Ask Rapunzel for her best hair tips.

4. Write the characters a note. If you or your child have a favorite Disney character (who doesn’t?!), consider writing them a personal note or bringing another special gift (such as a “dinglehopper” fork for Ariel). It’ll make their day and you may even get to spend a little more time with them.

5. Consider a Character Dining Experience at Disneyland® Resort. If you have the budget, Character Dining Experiences at Disneyland® Resort can be a fun and exciting way to meet your favorite characters at Disneyland® Resort.

6. Dress up. While Disneyland® Resort has strict rules about costumes in the parks, particularly for adults, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear some fun shirts or do some Disneybounding. If you get into it, it’ll make for more memorable photos. The characters may even comment on your outfit!

7. Have treats and toys on-hand for youngsters. A quick snack, a binky, or a favorite toy or stuffed animal can help calm infants and toddlers who may get a little afraid when meeting Disneyland® Resort characters. Have them handy to help assure you’ll get the perfect smile. It’s also a great way to keep them occupied while waiting in line! You can also visit the Baby Care Centers at Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park with infants and small children if needed!

8. Use the official Disney photographer. While you can take your own photos during character greetings, we recommend taking advantage of the Disney photographers that are usually on hand during character meet and greets. Then, get a Photo Pass for access to the photos online. You can decide later if you want to purchase the images. It’s always nice to have a backup option in the event of lighting issues, photobombers, or Aunt Sally accidentally getting her thumb in the picture.

9. Get to know character handlers. There are character handlers that travel with the characters around Disneyland® Resort. Their first priority is the character, but they’re also great resources for questions, photo ideas, and more. They’re usually wearing special buttons and uniforms to help identify them.

10. Use your time in line wisely. Don’t wait until the last second to remove the lens cap from your camera, open the camera app on your cell phone, or dig out your pen for your autograph book. Keep the line moving, maximize your time, and show respect to other Disneyland® Resort patrons by being prepared when it’s your turn.

11. Bring extra supplies. The last thing you want is to spend time in line and then have a mishap when it’s your turn! Pens/markers running out of ink before an autograph and cell phone batteries dying are two of the biggest culprits that can mess up a Disney character photo-op. Consider throwing some extra pens and an external charger in your bag to help you avoid such incidents. Don’t miss our Disneyland® Resort packing checklist for some other must-have items as well!

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Keep the magic going

If you or your youngsters love meeting characters at Disneyland® Resort, you’ll love Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. Hop our free shuttle service from Disneyland® Resort and come meet our very own Princess Corinne! She’s on hand for meet and greets, storytimes, tuck in service, and more to make your stay in Anaheim extra magical! Check out our other hotel amenities and book your stay today!

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