Once you’ve planned and booked your trip to Disneyland Paris, you can’t forget an essential element of the parks: the characters! Meeting the protagonists of our favorite childhood classics is a memorable event for all children and adults, regardless of their age.
Besides, meeting and greeting characters at Disneyland Paris doesn’t cost you more than a ticket to the entertainment resort. If anything, it just requires a little organization and time management, but that’s exactly why I’m here!
So, do you want to know more about How And Where To Find Characters At Disneyland Paris? Keep reading!
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How To Find Characters At Disneyland Paris
In order not to miss the opportunity to meet your hero, villain, princess, or other favorite characters, I’ll give you three valuable tips that will help you save waiting, research, and preparation time. As a regular visitor to Disneyland Paris since 2017, I’ve been able to test some tricks to find all (or almost all) of the characters available in the parks, especially the surprise meet and greets!
1. Check the Paper Program
If you’re in Disneyland Park, you can discover the programs and maps in the entrance tunnel, below the Disneyland Railroad – Main Street Station (the train that goes around the park). If you’re in Walt Disney Studios Park, programs and maps can be found outside Disney Studio 1.
In the program, you can find information not only about characters at Disneyland Paris, but also about shows from both parks – such as the parade Disney Stars on Parade, the night show Disney Illuminations, the musical Mickey and the Magician, or seasonal events like the Jungle Book Jive and Mickey’s Halloween Celebration. So, take a look at the list of the meet and greets for the week and choose the ones you really don’t want to miss.
Then you can take note of more detailed information such as times and locations. The program informs you of the exact place where a certain character is (or will be), with a description of the park, the “land” (that is, the thematic area), and even a specific reference on the map, be it a number or letter. Also, don’t forget to go to the place in advance (15-30 minutes), to avoid a lot of waiting in line.
2. Download the Official Apps
The official Disneyland Paris app is very useful and practical for booking restaurants or checking waiting times at attractions. But did you know you can also use it to create a wishlist with the meet and greets you’ve chosen?
You can download the application from Google Play or the App Store, but beware: install the one that has a yellow background, with a blue Mickey‘s head and a white castle! This is because the Disneyland app is very similar, with a white castle and a blue background.
It’s important to emphasize that there are encounters with characters at Disneyland Paris that require an appointment. To do this, you’ll have to download a free app called Lineberty (with a blue background and a white & red “i”) and issue an electronic ticket for the character you want.
Basically, you just have to select Disneyland Paris, one of the two parks (Disneyland or Walt Disney Studios), and the character you want. Lines open 15 minutes before the official meet and greets time and seats sell out very quickly, so be prepared!
Make sure you’re on the Disneyland Paris site and even with the official Wi-Fi – so you don’t have to go to the exact location. When the time comes, update the application, select everything I’ve said, choose the number of tickets, and validate your selection. And that’s it, now you can go enjoy the park and come back only at the appointed time!
3. Look for the Giant Umbrellas
As you walk through the parks, you will definitely notice “giant” umbrellas (green or beige) at strategic points. Well, if you didn’t know, these umbrellas can mean a surprise meet and greet with characters for that day, especially if they’re open!
The truth is that many photo locations that take place during the day aren’t announced on the official program. The vast majority take place between 10 am and 3 pm, but you just have to pay attention to the characters that cross you, to find out if they are heading towards one of these umbrellas.
Where to Find Characters at Disneyland Paris
Now that you have the most important recommendations on how to find characters, you can certainly put them into practice with my detailed list of meet and greets at Disneyland Paris, which goes far beyond all those mentioned in official media.
Oh, and before you forget: almost all the characters at Disneyland Paris sign autographs, so prepare a notebook and a marker (or pen) to collect the most exclusive and original souvenirs from your trip!
First and foremost, Adventureland is home to the great remote jungles of Asia, Africa, South America, and the South Pacific, paying homage to its exciting wildlife straight out of Disney’s most exotic classics! Here, the most prominent movies are “The Adventures of Peter Pan” (1953), “The Jungle Book” (1967), “Aladdin” (1992), and “The Lion King” (1994).
Facing Pirates’ Beach, Peter Pan and Wendy are a regular presence, and I’ve also met Captain Hook or Mr. Smee in the same place. Another space for frequent meet and greets is next to Restaurant Agrabah Café, where the stars are Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, or (more rarely) Genie.
In the photo location next to the Restaurant Hakuna Matata, you can find Baloo or King Louie. Likewise, near Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost there are usually Chip and Dale. On the other hand, more hidden towards the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Péril attraction, you may be lucky enough to come across Rafiki or Timon.
With a futuristic vision based very much on the ideas and creations of the French writer Jules Verne, Discoveryland also distinguishes another world-renowned science fiction visionary: the American director, producer, and screenwriter George Lucas.
Between two of the most popular attractions in this themed area – Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, stands Darth Vader’s headquarters at Disneyland Paris, under the name of Starport. With an imposing X-wing starfighter perched on the roof of the building, don’t miss the opportunity to meet the fearsome villain of the “Star Wars” saga!
Thirdly, Fantasyland depicts a fairy tale village with European inspirations. After all, it was the small, remote villages of Europe that served up many of Walt Disney’s first animated movies. France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are honored at Disneyland Paris Fantasyland through classics such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), “Pinocchio” (1940), “Dumbo” (1941), “Cinderella” (1950), “Alice in Wonderland” (1951), “The Adventures of Peter Pan” (1953), “Lady and the Tramp” (1955), “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), and “The Sword and the Stone” (1963), just to illustrate.
With all these references, it’s natural that Fantasyland is the area with the most character encounters in Disneyland Paris. First of all, there are two attractions to meet the most popular heroes and heroines: Meet Mickey Mouse – which needs no introduction – and Princess Pavilion, where you get a royal invitation to greet and pose with Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, or Rapunzel.
That being said, there are numerous places for meet and greets: at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups or between Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and Meet Mickey Mouse, you can take a picture with Alice, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit, Cheshire, or with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. In fact, I think it’s the movie with the most characters available in the park!
In the farthest part of Le Pays des Contes de Fées and Casey Jr. – le Petit Train du Cirque, Disneyland Paris tends to alternate the type of characters present, depending on the season. In winter, you’re able to find Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, or the Rabbit, while in summer I have met with Princesses who would usually be in the pavilion. The same system applies to another location, between the Princess Pavilion and The Old Mill.
If you’re looking for surprise character outings at Disneyland Paris, pay special attention to two locations (and the famous giant umbrellas): next to the food kiosk L’Arbre Enchanté and the restaurant Au Chalet de la Marionnette!
In the setting of the 19th-century American Old West, Frontierland is home to cowboys, saloons, and the famous Gold Rush. Unlike its namesakes at other Disney parks, Frontierland at Disneyland Paris has a very detailed backstory. The focus is on the fictional town of Thunder Mesa, which was founded by Henry Ravenswood, owner of Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor.
This themed zone is especially popular during Halloween when it’s rigorously decorated and inspired by animated movies such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) and “Coco” (2017). Other than that, it pays tribute to the Disney-Pixar classic “Toy Story – Rivals” (1995) and its sequels.
When it comes to meet and greets, one of the most brilliant locations is located in the garden of the Phantom Manor attraction. On Halloween, it’s Jack Skellington’s stage, but throughout the year different characters are presented – including Mickey Mouse with more eccentric costumes!
In the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue area, there are a number of different photo locations: there you can find Woody or Jessie, Goofy and/or Pluto, Merida (usually as a surprise character), Stitch, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (during Halloween), and even rarities of Disney classics like José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles.
Main Street, U.S.A.
Immersed in the typical American decor and architecture of 1920s, Main Street, U.S.A. is based on the emergence of the automobile, sports culture (especially baseball), horse-drawn carts, and other vehicles typical of the early 20th century, and in a general Victorian style.
Although it’s the most undervalued “land” in Disneyland Park in terms of attractions, Main Street, U.S.A. seeks to compensate for its levels of entertainment with several points of encounters with characters, including some surprise departures (especially during the summer). In addition, we mustn’t forget that this area is not only the epicenter of shopping and restoration in the main park but as well as the stage for the shows Disney Stars on Parade and Disney Illuminations.
Speaking of meet and greets, there are two almost at the entrance to the park, that is, in Town Square: at the door of Liberty Arcade and Discovery Arcade. In the first one, you have the opportunity to meet Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Max (on Halloween), or Marie (on Christmas). As for the second, right in front, it’s Goofy, Daisy Duck, or Scrooge McDuck’s turn (at Christmas).
Walking through Liberty Arcade to the end, towards the Sleeping Beauty Castle, you’ll notice another official photo location, opposite Casey’s Corner restaurant. Donald Duck, Stitch (at Halloween), and Thumper and Miss Bunny (at Christmas) often appear here!
Walt Disney Studios Park
At Walt Disney Studios Park, there are also many opportunities to meet characters, right from the Front Lot. This area corresponds to the large square at the entrance, nicknamed Place des Frères Lumière, in honor of the inventors of French cinema – the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière.
Goofy’s photo location is located next to the beautiful fountain from the animated movie “Fantasia” (1940) and the Walt Disney Studios Store. Behind it stands the monumental Earffel Tower, a symbol of the second park at Disneyland Paris. By the way, Goofy is dressed as a movie director, and the set is adapted to the surrounding environment.
Occasionally, other characters walk around this place – at surprising times – such as Pluto, Cruella, Mary Poppins, Bert, or their faithful Penguins!
Toon Studio is a themed area inspired by Disney and Pixar protagonists and my favorite at Walt Disney Studios Park. Classic movies from both movie studios reign over this land, such as “Aladdin” (1992), “Toy Story” (1995), “Finding Nemo” (2003), “Cars” (2006), and “Ratatouille” (2007).
At Toon Plaza, you can ask for autographs from a range of characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Daisy Duck, Woody, or Buzz Lightyear. However, it’s rare that the booking system through the Lineberty app isn’t in practice, so be aware!
The same goes for the newly opened Animation Academy attraction (formerly Art of Disney Animation) to greet Olaf. Also, at the Place de Rémy, where you often come across Remy, Emile or Linguini. In special seasons, you can also be lucky enough to spot Parisian Minnie Mouse!
Production Courtyard is more dependent on the seasonal seasons that run during the year – such as Star Wars or Marvel – when it comes to meet and greets. However, when that’s the case, you can head to Stitch Live! building and posing with Captain America, Spider-Man, Chewbacca, and even Rey.
In recent years, Disneyland Paris has presented the Star Wars seasons during the winter and the Marvel ones during the summer. However, this strategy could change in the coming months, with the opening of the Avengers Campus (scheduled soon), which will be a new area dedicated entirely to the MCU – Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Hotels & Disney Village
There are other places besides Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, where you can meet and greet Disney characters. I’m talking about the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, Disney’s Newport Bay Club, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe.
Each has its own photo location suited to the hotel’s theme, with daily morning appearances by heroes such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto. What many don’t know is that these meet and greets aren’t exclusive to hotel guests, and the queues are much shorter than in the parks!
Finally, there’s a list of restaurants that include meals with characters at Disneyland Paris: for breakfast, you have the Auberge de Cendrillon in Fantasyland, in the company of your favorite princesses, or the Plaza Gardens Restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A.
Both also provide lunch and dinner service, similar to the Inventions restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel. If you prefer a themed dinner at Disney Village, there’s Café Mickey. With the exception of the first one, all the restaurants are usually frequented by characters such as Mickey Mouse & Friends and/or Winnie The Pooh & Friends.
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