Walt Disney World has been making a number of changes to meet and greets around its parks in recent weeks, many of which you may not have even noticed! From all-new meet and greet experiences now in testing to some shuffling of well-known princesses to new locations, there are some big changes afoot for many well known characters at Walt Disney World.
If character meet and greets are part of your plans during your next Walt Disney World visit, make sure you are aware of these changes so you know exactly where to go to meet all your favorites!
1. Flynn Rider casually meets fans in Fantasyland
When New Fantasyland made its debut in 2012, one of the biggest hits of the new area wasn’t the new rides or expanded areas, but the new, free-roaming Gaston meet and greet experience. What set Gaston apart from other meet and greets was its unique format: instead of shuffling guests through cavernous queues and only allowing them access to their favorite character for a minute or less, Gaston was allowed to walk around the New Fantasyland courtyard in front of Gaston’s Tavern as he pleased, talking with fans casually, taking the occasional picture and cracking jokes with guests (usually at his own expense).
Though this meet and greet experience has become a little more structured since it first debuted in 2012, its clear that this type of free-form “natural”-feeling experience is something that many guests enjoy. Though Gaston remained the only meet and greet experience like this at the Magic Kingdom for several years, another new meet and greet experience is now in testing for the next two weeks in Fantasyland and this time guests will be able to meet one of the good guys: Flynn Rider from Tangled!
During this limited-time test, Flynn Rider will be running around Fantasyland (literally!), getting into trouble and interacting with guests, asking them questions about where Maximus is and enlisting guests to help him solve various problems that only Flynn rider could have. Though this new experience looks like it will provide guests with quite a bit of interactive fun, if you’re hoping to get a selfie or an autograph with Flynn you’ll sadly be out of luck. According to the Magic Kingdom times guide, “Flynn Rider is on the run throughout Fantasyland. We just never know when or where he will show up. He can’t stop for autographs, but keep your eye open and you may get to snap a picture of him on the run.”
2. Pocahontas gets a more prominent meet and greet
Though it’s possible to meet every single “official” Disney Princess at Walt Disney World, some are more difficult than others. For instance, to meet Mulan you have to head over to Epcot, and meeting Aurora often involves having a meal of some sort. However, Pocahontas has been hidden away in various locations around Disney’s Animal Kingdom for several years, making her an especially tough princess to track down.
However, instead of shuffling around Discovery Island and Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Pocahontas now has her own dedicated space at the Discovery Island Character Landing, including a themed backdrop featuring a colorful mural. This meet and greet area is expected to be a permanent new home for her, and will hopefully mark the end of Pocahontas’ long trek around Disney’s Animal Kingdom.