Home » 4 Character Changes At Walt Disney World You Need To Know About (March 2023)

    4 Character Changes At Walt Disney World You Need To Know About (March 2023)

    Character meet and greets are a big part of what makes a trip to Walt Disney World so special, and in recent months Disney has taken it upon themselves to make a number of improvements and changes to each park’s character line-up, including adding new experiences and more. 

    This month, the Magic Kingdom’s Merida meet-and-greet location is rumored to be taken over by Encanto’s Mirabel by fall. Additionally, the Disney H2O Glow After Hours upcharge event will return to Typhoon Lagoon this summer, and the princesses have now officially returned to Cinderella’s Royal Table. But first, let’s take a look at a highly-anticipated pair of Star Wars characters who made their Walt Disney World debut only a few days ago:

    1. The Mandalorian and Grogu now meeting guests spontaneously at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    Disney’s Hollywood Studios now offers a unique and spontaneous experience to guests with the arrival of The Mandalorian and Grogu, who will be roaming the Marketplace area throughout the day. The duo’s arrival celebrates the launch of The Mandalorian Season 3 on Disney+.

    Guests can expect to interact with The Mandalorian, who will speak to them, while Grogu sits in a carrying pouch. While The Mandalorian and Grogu do not stop for individual photos or autographs, they do occasionally pose for fans in the area. The popularity of this character experience has been overwhelming during its first few days, with large numbers of fans crowding around these characters when they appear. 

    Because the character interaction times are spontaneous, no information about set times is available in the times guide. Right now, fans hoping to catch a glimpse of this duo will need to hang out in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and keep their eyes peeled. Though no specific information has been shared about how long these characters will be appearing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it is expected that The Mandalorian and Grogu will stay for some time so that as many guests as possible can meet them.

    2. Mirabel rumored to be replacing Merida later this year at the Magic Kingdom

    Exciting news for fans of the animated movie Encanto! The main character, Mirabel, will be making her way to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom later this year. Although Disney has yet to make an official announcement, WDWMagic reports that Mirabel will be taking over the existing Merida meet and greet location, which is located across from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

    The project has reportedly been in the works for some time, but was delayed for unspecified reasons. However, it appears that this project is finally ready to move forward with Mirabel set to begin her meet-and-greet appearances at the Magic Kingdom by the fall. Mirabel has already made her debut at Walt Disney World in the “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” in June 2022 and has also been testing unscheduled appearances spontaneously at EPCOT.

    Because the area will need to be re-themed to match the character, we’d expect a final appearance date for Merida to be announced in the near future if this project is indeed working towards a fall opening date. Merida currently does not meet anywhere else at Walt Disney World, but the character could be moved to another location following this change. 

    3. Disney H2O Glow After Hours event returns to Typhoon Lagoon this summer

    Disney H2O Glow After Hours will return to the newly-reopened Typhoon Lagoon this summer on select nights. Guests attending this upcharge event can enter Typhoon Lagoon as early as 6:00 PM on event nights, and stay until 11:00 PM, enjoying all of the park’s attractions, special entertainment, food, and more with limited guest numbers and low wait times.

    In years past event guests have been able to enjoy special character meet-and-greet opportunities with Toy Story friends. In addition, special beach-themed dance parties with other Disney pals happen spontaneously throughout the night. Characters who have been a part of these dance parties in the past have included Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in summer outfits, as well as Lilo and Stitch.

    Like with other Disney After Hours events, complimentary ice cream treats, popcorn and fountain beverages are included with admission. Specialty food items and drinks will also be available at the event for an additional charge. 

    This year’s event takes place on select nights from May 20, 2023, to September 2, 2023, from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Cost is $75 for adults, $70 for kids ages 3-9. Discounts are available for Annual Passholders and DVC Members. More information is available on the official website here

    4. Princesses officially return to Cinderella’s Royal Table, along with higher prices

    The princesses have officially returned to meeting guests at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Guests who visit the restaurant can now meet with Cinderella in a photo op just outside the restaurant’s entrance. Once inside, guests will then be able to meet with Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, Snow White, and other various rotating princesses while they dine at the restaurant. At the end of the dining experience, guests will receive a card with all of the princess’ autographs on it as well as a special souvenir wand or play-sword following the meal. 

    With the re-addition of characters, the price for this experience has risen from $67 per adult and $39 per child at dinner to $79 per adult and $47 per child. This price includes a three-course meal for each guest that consists of an appetizer, entree and dessert. Non-specialty beverages are also included. Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is also more expensive, now priced at $65 for adults and $39 per child.

    Reservations for this return experience are now available on the official Cinderella’s Royal Table website and can be made up to 60 days in advance of a visit to this restaurant. Excitement is high for this returning experience, so if you’re wanting to see the princesses at this location, you’ll want to make a reservation as soon as possible.