The Mandalorian

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

Image: Disney

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

Image: Disney

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. 


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