Magic Kingdom Characters

Magic Kingdom is where all the storybook magic unfolds. Due to popularity, most characters exchange in and out specific locations. FastPass+ options as well as Photo Pass opportunities to capture the precious moments.

The princesses usually work 40-45 minutes at a time, then take a 15 minute intermission. If you stay in line, you will not lose your place and you should have decent placing when the princess returns from her beauty nap.

  Try to arrive at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled meet-and-greet time as the line may close to new guests as they get close to the scheduled ending time.

Even though Magic Kingdom offers some great characters meals like Cinderella’s Royal Table (inside Cinderella’s castle), Be Our Guest (Belle’s Castle) and Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh), most of the character meet-n-greets take place at specially-themed booths, such as Ariel’s Grotto or Merida as a Warrior at her booth.


Aladdin and Princess Jasmine

  • 9:30 AM  to 5:10 PM
  • Adventureland (by Magic Carpet ride)
  • Signs autographs

Alice and occasionally the Mad Hatter

  • 9:20 AM  to  11:40 AM
  • Fantasyland (near Mad Tea Party aka teacups)
  • Signs autographs

Anastasia & Drizella (Evil Step Sisters) | Lady Tremaine (Evil Stepmother) | Fairy Godmother

  • Evil Step Sisters and Lady Tremaine alternate with the Fairy Godmother throughout the morning and afternoon.
  • They are currently at the New Fanstyland wall
  • You can also ask a Cast Member when you arrive to call the Character Hotline to inquire if the Cinderalla characters are greeting guests that day
  • Signs autographs

Ariel at Her Grotto 

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland (next to Under the Sea- Journey of a Little Mermaid
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available


  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • New Fantasyland, right next door to Be Our Guest restaurant
  • Does not sign autographs- she signed her autograph on the bookmark you receive as well as the PhotoPass card
  • FP+ available

Buzz Light Year

  • 10:00 AM  to 4:45 PM
  • Tomorrowland –Star Command Headquarters ( next to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin)
  • Does not sign autographs, usually gives a stamp

Cinderella and Elena of Avalor

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • Fantasyland –Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available – only place you can meet Elena

Daisy Duck

  • 10 AM to 7:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland –Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs

Donald Duck

  • 10 AM to 7:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland- Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs


  • 10:00 AM  to  4:30 PM
  • Fantasyland (outside of Gaston’s Tavern)
  • Signs autographs

Goofy (The Great Goofini)

  • 10:00 AM  to  7:30 PM
  • New Fantastyland– Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs


  • 9:15 AM  to  6:15 PM
  • Fantasyland – Fairytale Gardens, which is in front of Cinderella Castle on the Tomorrowland side
  • Signs autographs

Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration Characters

Surprise characters will greet guests at the flagpole on Main Street USA until September 30th, 2019, from around 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

List of possible surprise characters (changes daily):

  • Chicken Little and Abby Mallard
  • Gideon and Foulfellow
  • Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Prince John and Friar Tuck
  • Robin Hood and Little John
  • Remy and Emile

Peter Pan and Wendy

  • 1:00 PM  to  4:30 PM 
  • Fantasyland (near Peter’s Pan Flight)
  • Signs autographs


  • 10 AM to 7:30 PM
  • New Fantasyland – Pete’s Silly Side Show in Storybook Circus
  • Signs autographs

Rapunzel and Tiana

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • Fantasyland – Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Signs autographs
  • FB+ available, only place you can meet Tiana


  • 9:00 AM  to  8:30 PM
  • Main Street USA– Town Square Theater
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger

  • 10:45 AM  to  7:00 PM
  • Fantasyland – The Thotful Spot (near the Winnie the Pooh ride)
  • Signs autographs

Hollywood Studio Characters

Hollywood Studios is where movie magic comes to life! Whether you seek rockin’ adventures, playful stage performances, intergalactic fantasy or fascinating film history, you’ll find it all– and more.

Disney does not have a permanent location for meeting Toy Story characters; however, you can catch them around Toy Story Land.

Due to popularity, most mascot characters exchange in and out specific locations. FastPass+ options as well as Photo Pass opportunities to capture the precious moments.

  Try to arrive at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled meet-and-greet time as the line may close to new guests as they get close to the scheduled ending time.



  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard– Star Wars Launch Bay
  • No autographs

Buzz Lightyear

  • 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Toy Story Land (by sign)
  • No autographs


  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard – Star Wars Launch Bay
  • No autographs

Doc McStuffins

  • 9:30 AM  to  6:30 PM
  • Animation Courtyard (next to Disney Jr. Live stage)
  • Signs autographs

Green Army Men

  • Sporadically throughout the day they are found marching around Toy Story Land. If you’re lucky, you can catch them as they play the drums or even get to bounce a ball with them.
  • No autographs, but they might stop for a pic.

Kylo Ren

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard – Star Wars Launch Bay
  • No autographs

Mike & Sully (BRAND NEW) 

  • 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Animation Courtyard– Walt Disney Presents
  • No autographs

Mickey Mouse (Sorcerer)

  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Commissary Lane- Red Carpet Dreams
  • Signs autographs

Minnie Mouse

  • 9:00 to 8:00 PM
  • Commissary Lane–Red Carpet Dreams
  • Signs autographs


  • 9:00 AM  to  8:00 PM
  • Echo Lake– Celebrity Spotlight (next to Frozen Sing-Along Celebration)
  • Draws a snowman as an autograph

Sofia the First

  • 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Animation Courtyard (next to Disney Jr. Live stage)
  • Signs autographs


  • 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Animation Courtyard (next to the Disney Jr. Live stage)
  • Signs autographs

Woody and Jessie

  • 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Toy Story Land (by Toy Story Mania)
  • Signs autographs

Epcot Characters

Epcot is twice the size of Magic Kingdom park—and is divided into Future World and World Showcase. Here, creativity is encouraged, imagination is celebrated and countries are united. Be amazed, inspired, and entertained!

Due to popularity, most mascot characters exchange in and out specific locations. FastPass+ options as well as Photo Pass opportunities to capture the precious moments.

  Try to arrive at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled meet-and-greet time as the line may close to new guests as they get close to the scheduled ending time.

The princesses usually work 40-45 minutes at a time, then take a 15 minute intermission. If you stay in line, you will not lose your place and you should have decent placing when the princess returns from her beauty nap.


Disney Visa Character Experience

Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, or Goofy, in traditional attire. Complimentary downloads of photos- guests must present a valid Disney Visa credit card at entry.

  • 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Future World- Journey Into Imagination with Figment (left side of Disney & Pixar’s Short Film Festival
  • Signs autographs


  • 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
  • World Showcase – United Kingdom Pavillion (near The Tea Caddy)
  • Signs autographs

Anna & Elsa

  • 9:00 AM to 9 PM
  • World Showcase –Norway Pavillion–Royal Sommerhus (near Frozen Ever After ride)
  • Signs autographs

Norway Vikings

  • 12:05 PM 
  • 12:55 PM 
  • 1:45 PM 
  • 3:15 PM 
  • 4:05 PM 
  • 4:55 PM
  • World Showcase– Norway Pavillion–God’s of Vikings exhibit
  • Signs autographs


  • 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Future World- Innovation West – Hiro’s Workshop (across from Epcot’s character spot)
  • Does not sign autographs


  • 11:00 AM to 4:50 PM
  • World Showcase- France Pavillion–lagoon side
  • Signs autographs

Daisy Duck

  • 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
  • 3:10 PM to 6:30 PM
  • Gateway to World Showcase- take a left towards Mexico Pavilion and she has her own gazebo. 
  • Signs autographs

Donald Duck

  • 12: 00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • 4:10 PM to 7:00 PM
  • World Showcase- Mexico Pavillion (side of the Aztec phyrmaid )


  • 11:45 AM to 5:35 PM
  • World Showcase- Morocco Pavillion (near Restuarent Marrakesh)
  • Signs autographs

Joy and Saddness

  • 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Future World– Innovations West (across from Epcot’s Character Spot, on the same side of Baymax, but separate queue line
  • Signs autographs

Mickey & Minnie Mouse – and Goofy

  • 9:00 AM  to  9:00 PM
  • Future World- Innovention West
  • Signs autographs
  • FP+ available


  • 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • World Showcase-–China Pavilion (near Temple)
  • Signs autographs


  • 1:35 PM to 3:55 PM
  • World Showcase– Legacy Plaza West– Friendship Ambassador Gazebo
  • Signs autographs

Ralph and Vanellope

  • 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Ralph intermittently appears)
  • Future World– Innovations West (across from Land Pavilion)
  • Vanellope signs autographs. Ralph can’t because he will wreck the pen.

Snow White

  • 3:00 PM to 6:20 PM
  • World Showcase– Germany Pavilion
  • Signs autographs

The Two of You: A Single Parent’s Perspective

As a single parent, you can sometimes feel like certain things are out of your reach, such as affording that extravagant present for your child at Christmastime or planning a Disney vacation. 

I am here to tell you that a Disney vacation is possible, even if you are a single parent. Having never been to Disney World myself, I assumed I could not afford a vacation for me and my five-year-old daughter. Luckily, I had a good friend who was a Disney travel agent who gave me a quote. I was pleasantly surprised at the cost. We decided to book our trip to Florida and see one park per day for three days right before she entered kindergarten.

After I got over the imagined cost hurdle, I then began to worry about our safety. I had family members tell me that it wasn’t a good idea to travel by ourselves. (We had traveled by ourselves before, but not out of our home state.) I had good friends who are Disney regulars tell me that I would probably lose my daughter at some point in the parks. Say what?! I went into full panic mode. They advised me to make identification cards with my name and cell phone number on them in case my daughter got lost so she would have something to give to a Disney employee. With trepidation, I made the cards and explained to my daughter how to use them if she got lost.

Luckily for us, we did not have to use the identification cards. Even though I get motion sickness easily, I made sure to go onevery ride with my daughter so we would always be together, which I believe reduced the risk of her getting lost.

The highlight of our trip was Toy Story World at Hollywood Studios. It had just opened, so we were very excited to see Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the gang. It did not disappoint! We had Fast Passes for the Slinky Dog ride and got seated at his tail. It was a bit thrilling for a kid’s roller coaster.

We also had a great experience with our hotel, The All-Star Movies Resort. The shuttle service was timely, consistent, and convenient. The food was better than expected. And there were fun activities to do when we weren’t visiting the parks. We spent a lot of time at the swimming pools and watched movies outside.My daughter was even content watching Vampirina on repeat in our hotel room. I ordered room service one night and was very pleased with the quality and value of the food.

I don’t ever want my daughter to feel like she is missing out on anything because of her single parent status. I want her to have an even better childhood than I did. Going to Disney World by ourselves has given me the confidence to plan future vacations and has silenced the inner voice that used to tell me: “Am I doing enough? Can I handle this?” I am enough, and I can handle this. And you can, too.

Article submitted by Lisa Campos

Value to Deluxe – the differences besides the price tags

The main difference between Disney World’s Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts is an obviously going to be one of cost. The Value Resorts are designed as an entry-level option for those wanted to stay on site with rooms typically in the $150- $200 a night range. The moderates will be a step up and are usually between $ 250 – $400 a night and then you have the Deluxes where costs can range anywhere from around $500 all the way up to over $800 per night. However, there are other distinct differences between each of these amazing options which may help you determine which resort is “just right” for your family.

The Value Resorts feature family friendly pools, as well as food courts with something the whole family can enjoy (not to sound like an infomercial). The best part of the Value Resorts, is the reasonable price point, and fun atmosphere for kids.

The Moderate Resorts are our go-to choice usually, because the price point isn’t astronomical, but the theming tends to fit our personalities better. We love the relaxing Mansions on the river of Port Orleans, or the beaches of the Caribbean, and think you will too!

The Deluxe Resorts are the creme de le creme of Disney Resorts. Elaborately themed, elaborately decorated, and elaborately priced, these resorts are the nicest, most beautiful, and have the best service you’ll find on property.

Layaway your vacation and how does it work?

When most people think about layaway payment plans, they usually think about toys under a Christmas tree. The secret that most families don’t realize is that vacation layaway payment options can also be a solution for trying to figure out how to pay for a family vacation.

So how does it work?

Plan Ahead.

Here are some quick guidelines as to WHEN to start planning your family vacations in order to give yourself the best vacation payment options…

Valentines day: Start shopping for next Thanksgiving and December holiday travel.

Spring: Fall break

School’s Out for Summer = Spring Break Holidays for the next school year.

Back to School: Book next year’s summer vacation.

I hear you! It’s hard to plan that far in advance with everyone’s school, activities, sports and work schedules. Many of us don’t know our schedules for next week, let alone next year. It’s a shocker but if want the best rates, choice of rooms and airline seats and the ability to make layaway payments on your vacation, time is your friend. Planning ahead will also afford you the best rates and availability choices contrary to everyone’s dream of finding that elusive last minute deal. And more time to catch promotions!

Most cruise lines and theme parks require your vacation to be paid in full about 30-90 days prior to your arrival. The balance of your trip can be divided into installment payments or no set payments (pay as you like).

Most large major online travel websites that allow the public to book their own trips require payment in full at the time you confirm your vacation and do not offer vacation layaway payment plans.

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

On July 14th 2017, Disney opened the doors to its new fireworks watching party at Epcot. Frozen Ever After, Disney’s new spin on one of its more popular attractions, gives attendants an up-close space to watch Epcot’s nightly fireworks show, and treats attendants to unlimited desserts and speciality cocktails. 

On our most recent trip to Disney World, our family attended the party during its opening week.  After eating dinner at the Germany pavilion, we headed to the World Showcase Plaza.

At the party, Disney chefs deliver countless pastries and desserts. Parents can also order a cocktail to enjoy during the show.  

Avoid the crowds and watch the fireworks from the party’s own exclusive viewing area, separate from the park’s general admissions crowds.  Partygoers are given 3D glasses, which add snowflakes to the fireworks show. 

After the show, partygoers enjoy a private ride on Epcot’s Frozen Ever After ride.  Save your family’s FastPasses for the other  Tier 1 Epcot rides.  

The party is offered on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Admission is $79 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $47 per child (ages 3 to 9).  Admission to Epcot is required. 

Promotions Generally

Periodically, Disney runs vacation package promotions–some of these are well worth it, others end up providing only a negligible benefit. Examples of promotions include dining package discounts (Free dining) , discounts on certain rooms up to 30% off , and even full package discounts known as Play, Stay & Dine, normally 10% off each component of the package.

As expected, Disney typically releases these promotions at slower times. Higher demand rooms (Deluxe Disney Vacation Club rooms, villas, and resorts) are rarely included. Until recently, the Little Mermaid room (the most popular room at the Art of Animation) NEVER qualified for a promotion, but recently Disney offered it during one of its promotions.

Understanding the wording of the promotions and the reality of the ads blasted through the Disney channels is crucial to understanding a significant-savings discount versus more nominal discounts.

The wording or hype of the promotion is always going to look glamorous, which it undoubtedly will be, but the oft-advertised narrative of Mickey personally picking up and hanging out in the park with your daughter (not that you’d let her) or that your family will save thousands of dollars are rarely, if ever, true.

Disney vacations will almost always see the most significant savings when the following two things are met (1) your family is staying at a deluxe resort, and (2) your family or party has multiple children over the age of 10 (for dining discounts).

The villas at any of the resorts will, unfortunately, never qualify for a promotion, as they are kept open for Disney Vacation Club members.

Also, room discounts are Disney’s first attempt to fill the rooms, after which they will apply a more popular, higher-demand promotion like free dining to fill any remaining vacant rooms.

Some of the Problems with Disney Promotions

First, promotions do not always save you money. My previous clients booked trips before the annual ticket increase and before the parking fees were implemented; they would have been charged $350 if they switched to/applied the promotion.

Also, many times you are required to have a certain length of stay park hoppers/park hopper plus park passes. Thus, promotions can sometimes lead to less flexibility overall.

Another example is if you have booked an Animal Kingdom Savanna view room, you may need to downgrade rooms if the standard rooms are where are the savings are at. Or, the Polynesian you might have to upgrade from a standard room to a preferred room–under this scenario you may be getting a “free” upgrade, not a discount.

Big Changes Afoot!

Due to issues generally beyond our control, my vacation-planning services will no longer be offered through Cupcake Castles Travel Agency. Instead, I will be offering vacation–planning and guidance directly through the family and Disney. My primary focus will remain the same as I continue to help plan magical vacations.

This will make sure I’m not bound by administrative burdens and other obstacles that arise when working within the context of an established travel agency.

Please continue to revisit this page, as well as, from where I will now be launching my vacation-planning services. Hope to hear from you soon!