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Goofy

Most families find that a trip to Disney just isn’t complete without at least meeting Mickey Mouse, but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to character experiences. If you’re a fan of getting in for a hug and photo with your favorite Disney characters, there are several ways you can include these special moments in your visit. Waiting in line at the standard well-publicized meet and greet locations is only one option. Here are some alternatives that will add even more character fun to your stay.

Look for characters-in-training

American Adventure

New characters who are still in training have to get their feet wet with real world guests to truly earn their ears. This typically happens at pop-up meet and greet spots around Epcot. These are unannounced and unscheduled, so you won’t have much luck asking Cast Members about them. Simply keep your eyes open in these areas, because you never know what you might spot.

Meet and greets with characters in training are special because they give you a chance to see some of the rarer characters on the roster. Before holiday parties and other special events, performers may dust off their skill set with a particular character by stepping out on stage in Epcot here and there in preparation for the big event.

The most common spots for character training are near the gates to the left of American Adventure and at the gates between the United Kingdom and Canada. The characters don’t stray too far from these entry and exit points so they can make a quick getaway if they need to get offstage. Watch carefully while you’re in Epcot, because you never know who you might spot.

Hit the floor at a dance party

Character Dance Party

Character dance parties are an outstanding way to interact with Disney characters, because they offer a more relaxed environment than the traditional autograph-hug-photo routine. During dance parties, you can follow along in classic dances like the Electric Slide or Macarena with Mr. Incredible in the lead, boogie down with the Mrs., or let your inner monster loose on the floor beside Mike and Sully.

Disney has featured several different dance parties over the years. The current offering is an Incredibles Dance Party. While the character lineup and theme may change from time to time, these parties are nearly always held in Rockettower Plaza in Tomorrowland. Dance parties are a fun way to light up the night. You’ll find the fun happening between 5:00pm and 10:00pm.

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