Archives for July 2013

Teen Beach Movie on DVD!

TeenBeachMovieDVD

Disney’s contemporary surf-rock musical that debuted last Friday on Disney Channel, was a huge hit! Did your family watch Teen Beach Movie? My kids loved it! The movie was made for kids ages 6-14 and their families. It was so much fun and very cute. If you want to own this Disney musical “classic” on DVD, it is being released on July 30th nationwide. It will include new music and dance numbers as well as behind the scenes rehearsal footage.

Here are some fun pictures from the movie that your kids might enjoy.

TeenBeach6 TeenBeach5 TeenBeach4 TeenBeach3 TeenBeach2 TeenBeach1

This Saturday, July 27th, Disney will have a Dance Along telecast at 8:00 pm (ET/PT) hosted by the cast of the movie. It will include dance tutorials for the kids to follow along.

And if your kids loved the music, the soundtrack it available on iTunes. Expect to also find in stores licensed products including apparel, home decor, dolls, bedding, lunch kits, school supplies, junior novels and e-books, and more. Items can be found at Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kohls, Kmart, Disney stores and more.

And as they say in the movie, “Surf, sun, sand, it’s a bikini wonderland!”

Character Greets at Disney World

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Part 4: Animal Kingdom and Beyond

The last part in our Character Greets series is Animal Kingdom, and this park has the least amount of character meet and greets. But you won’t mind not having as many character opportunities here, because there is so much to see! Here are a few specific tips for Animal Kingdom character greets:

1. The main area for character greets is at Camp Minnie Mickey and there are usually lines for each character. These characters take 15 minute breaks so keep that in mind when getting in lines. This is a great place to “tag team” the lines if you can.

2. The newest greet is Mickey and Minnie in their explorer outfits. This is NOT in Camp Minnie Mickey but in theri own location near It’s Tough to be a Bug. This is the only Meet and Greet with both Mickey and Minnie taking pictures together (besides special events). There is an inside queue for this greet and no fastpass. Expect a bit of a wait during crowded park times.

Animal Kingdom is the one park that we as a family have done the least amount of character greets. But here are pictures from the ones we have enjoyed:

BalooLouie

Baloo and King Louie were lots of fun! And King Louie gave great big hugs!

Pocahontas was a great face character. My kids really liked her, but our posed picture was not the best. I enjoyed the candid moments better anyways.

Pocahontas was a great face character. My kids really liked her, but our posed picture was not the best. I enjoyed the candid moments better anyways.

Pocahontas2

Inside the Mickey and Minnie queue are cute pictures of them as "explorers".

Inside the Mickey and Minnie queue are cute pictures of them as “explorers”.

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While not a character, meeting DaVine is always a surprise treat and she does occasionally pose with guests.

Beyond the four theme parks, you can occasionally see characters in other places. We just happened to run into Goofy at Blizzard Beach and took this very impromptu picture on our way out of the park. Such a fun picture though as Goofy is dressed in his bathing suit and life jacket!

Goofy at Blizzard Beach

Goofy at Blizzard Beach

Here is a list of all the Character Greets at Animal Kingdom:

Adventurers Outpost: Mickey and Minnie
Camp Minnie-Mickey: Pocahontas, Baloo & King Louie, Chip & Dale, Donald
Dinoland: Goofy & Pluto
Discovery Island: Dug and Russell from Up!, Winnie the Pooh & Tigger
Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Rafiki

At the two water parks, there is a character greet at each.

Blizzard Beach: Goofy
Typhoon Lagoon: Lilo or Stitch

For more character greets, visit the Preschoolears website, and read our other posts on Disney World greets:

Magic Kingdom Character Greets
Epcot Character Greets
Hollywood Studios Character Greets

Character Greets at Disney World

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Part 3: Hollywood Studios

At Hollywood Studios at Disney World, there are some great photo opportunities with characters. And if you are a Pixar fan, this is where you can find most of the character greets for those movies (with the exception of Buzz at Magic Kingdom and Dug and Russell now at Animal Kingdom).

While most of our previous tips and advice for character greets still apply for Hollywood Studios, here are a few extra tips for meeting your favorite characters at this park:

1. The Magic of Animation has the largest collection of characters all in one place but waits can be 20-45 minutes for each. We found that lines almost disappeared during meal time, like lunch. So eating earlier and then getting pictures might help with lines, OR snacking in line and eating lunch late.

2. Magic of Animation is a great time to “tag-team” the lines – meaning, put an adult in the line and have another adult take the kids to play at the interactive displays until it is almost time for the character. Then kids don’t get bored waiting in line.

3. The queue area for pictures with Buzz and Woody is a great place for lots of pics, which is good because the line is slow. Expect the wait to be a bit longer than they estimate as the greetings are slow. Good idea to grab a fastpass for Toy Story Midway Mania and then get in line for pictures.

The new Character Palooza is once a day, right now in the late afternoon, where a group of characters come out for meet and greets at a designated location. The location has changed once but at the time of this post, it is at the Streets of America. The group of characters changes daily so you never know who you will meet.

Here are some pictures of the characters greets we have enjoyed:

Buzz and Woody in “Andy’s Room”

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Hugs from Buzz are always great!

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One of the many fun pictures in the queue area

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Magic of Animation Character Greets

Wreck It Ralph & Vanellope

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Details in the queue are fun, like this game with the ‘Out of Order’ sign backwards so it seems like you are inside the game.

RalphSign

More queue details – it is a digital sign that has the Bad Anon Meeting on it that Ralph goes to in the movie.

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The Incredibles

Frozone and Mr. Incredible

Frozone and Mr. Incredible

Sorcerer Mickey

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Mickey’s Pals

Goofy

Minnie

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New Monsters University Character Greet

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Queue detail of pictures of the different Monster Fraternities. If you have seen the movie, these are very cute.

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Mike & Sully’s Fraternity at Monsters U

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My girls loved the Monsters Sorority, and this picture was in the queue as well.

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Sully playing ‘peek-a-boo’. So fitting for his character!

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Who wouldn’t want a hug from ‘kitty’?

Here is a complete list of all the character greets and locations at Hollywood Studios:

Magic of Disney Animation: Mr. Incredible & Frozone, Sorcerer Mickey, Ralph & Vanellope, Daisy & Donald, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy
Animation Courtyard: Jake, Handy Manny (Sofia the First to arrive in late summer)
Backlot Tour Exit: Mike Wazowski & Sully
MuppetVision Exit: Lightning McQueen and Mater, Phineas and Ferb
Sorcerer’s Hat: Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Minnie, Chip & Dale, Stitch
Pixar Place: Woody, Buzz, Army Men
Indiana Jones Stunt Show: Indiana Jones & Marion
Streets of America: Character Palooza (mix of characters that come out – list unknown)

As noted, Sofia the First will be arriving as a greet near the end of August, near the Disney Junior Live show. So if your kiddos are fans, you may want to try to get a picture with the newest princess!

For more character greet information at Disney World, visit the Preschoolears Disney World tips page. And also see our older blog posts for the other parks:

Magic Kingdom Character Greets
Epcot Character Greets

Come back to read our last post on Character Greets at Disney World!

Character Greets at Disney World

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Part 2: Epcot

Of all the parks, Epcot probably offers the most “mixed bag” of characters and most of those character greets are in the World Showcase, although don’t be surprised to see a random character at the entrance of the park. Here are some tips for doing character greets at Epcot:

1. The character greets in the World Showcase are the least crowded right when it opens at 11:00am. Epcot posts specific times for their characters because they take 15 minute breaks. Unlike other parks, they post those times on signs near the character greet area. Lines tend to go down during a break so if you are willing to wait, you could be in a shorter line.

2. To avoid crowds, send one parent in line while you and the kids are waiting for another character to limit your child’s wait time. This is easiest to do in the World Showcase since Meet and Greets are spread out throughout the countries.

3. Most characters are in traditional costumes and are popular pictures to get if you can. For example, Goofy is dressed in jungle gear at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood type clothes at Hollywood Studios, but not at Epcot. He is dressed in his usual “goofy” outfit.

Here are some pictures from the meet and greets as well as a list of where to find your favorite characters. As said before, limit how many character you try to see in one day otherwise you may burn your kids out. I speak from experience!

Goofy at his Meet & Greet near the park entrance. My family are big Goofy fans, can you tell?

Goofy at his Meet & Greet near the park entrance. My extended family are big Goofy fans, can you tell?

Belle takes pictures by the water in her lovely blue dress, and this is the only greet in this outfit.

Belle takes pictures by the water at the France pavilion in her lovely blue dress, and this is her only greet in this outfit.

Jasmine and Aladdin have a greet area inside the Morocco pavilion. The only other place to meet them is Magic Kingdom.

Mulan does greets either inside or outside at the China pavilion.

Mulan does greets either inside or outside at the China pavilion.

There is an official Character Spot by Innoventions, just about at the center of Future World. It is usually rather crowded and has long lines so we have always skipped it. I would advise skipping it as well if the wait is more than 20 minutes. Many of the characters you can see at other parks must faster. The other meet and greets that have great backdrops and could be worth the wait are Alice, Aurora and Snow White.

Main Entrance/Legacy Plaza: Goofy
Innoventions West Character Greet Area: Chip and Dale
Character Spot: Mickey, Minnie, Pluto
Showcase Plaza: Duffy the Disney Bear
United Kingdom: Winnie the Pooh & Tigger, Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins
France: Princess Aurora (gazebo area), Belle (in blue dress)
Morrocco: Aladdin & Jasmine
Germany: Snow White
China: Mulan

As you can see, there is a shorter list of characters to see at Epcot than Magic Kingdom. When Epcot first opened, there were no characters at all at the park, and slowly Disney has changed that policy. All these characters can be found at other parks as well, except Duffy the Disney Bear. The only other unique meet and greet is Belle in her blue dress. All other greets with her, she is in her yellow dress.

Don’t forget to have your autograph books ready when you meet your favorite character! Read our post on how we make our own autograph books for all our Disney trips.

Please stay tuned for our posts on Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. To read our other posts on Character Greets, here are the links:

Magic Kingdom Character Greets
Hollywood Studios Character Greets

Character Greets at Disney World

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Part 1: Magic Kingdom

Visiting the parks at Disney World wouldn’t be the same without getting to see one of your favorite characters! Our family loves visiting as many characters as we can each trip, and of course, we bring our autograph books. But getting a chance to talk with and take a treasured photo with a character is part of the Disney magic. It also takes a little planning and finesse!

I would like to offer some pointers and advice for each park on getting to see your family’s favorite characters and making it memorable. Disney does change the characters that are available throughout the parks so my list is only up-to-date as of this summer. Here are some general pointers for seeing the characters:

1. Before you even arrive for your vacation, decide which characters you want to intentionally visit at each park. It is best to have a plan and narrow down the list of who is most important. Character Meets are listed on the calendar on the Disney World website.

2. When you arrive at the park, grab a Times Guide and see if the characters you are looking for have the same times you had planned. Times and characters can change on any day, so always be flexible.

3. If you plan to do autograph books, be prepared while waiting in line with page and pen ready. Characters are always ready to sign autograph books while they interact with your kids. For how to make your own autograph book, visit our popular DIY Disney post on Autograph Books.

4. Take pictures of your kids interacting with them as well as posing. Some of my favorite pictures are the candid pictures.

5. The best times to get a picture with the characters are first thing in the morning, during meal times, and late at night (if they are there toward park closing). Be aware that some characters take 15 minute breaks and that time isn’t always posted, so wait times could be longer that you think.

6. Face characters (those where you can see their real face) are great with impromptu interactions. Have your kids think of great questions to ask them, like asking Peter Pan “What does pixie dust feel like?”.

7. Besides a posed picture, also take a silly or fun character picture pose. Sometimes those turn out much better than just standing and smiling.

8. Unless you want grumpy faces in your pictures, limit how many character greets you do each day otherwise your kids will be burned out. While each child is different, waiting in lines over and over again without a ride at the end will wear on most children.

At the parks, there are two ways to meet with characters: Character Dining and Character Greets. We are only talking about Character Greets in this post. These are the spots throughout the park where you wait a bit in line to talk with the character and get some pictures.

Here are some of my favorite greets, as well as a list of all the current Character Greets at Magic Kingdom.

Mickey

The Mickey Meet & Greet is located on Main Street at the Town Square Theater. You can get a FastPass for this greet which I highly recommend. The inside is quiet and Mickey is wonderful! Also, the FastPasses are NOT connected with the FastPass system so you can get another ride FastPass at the same time. The Princess Meet & Greet is also located at the theater and has a FastPass, which I recommend as well.

PeterPan

Peter Pan and Wendy are located just past the Peter Pan’s Flight attraction (around the corner). They are wonderful face characters and offer great interactions with the kids. Don’t forget to ask for a “Tinkerbell” picture with them!

Stitch

Stitch is located in Tomorrowland. While we didn’t do it here, taking a crazy picture with him is a must!

Belle

You can meet Belle in New Fantasyland at the attraction “Enchanted Tales with Belle” which my kids loved! Belle was very sweet, and they got lovely pictures with her in her pretty yellow dress. If you are wanting her in her lovely blue dress, she has a Greet at Epcot in this outfit.

Ariel

At Ariel’s Grotto in New Fantasyland, you can meet with Ariel as a mermaid! That was exciting for our kids to see her as a mermaid, and the queue is pretty fun.

Tink

Tink and her fairy friends are located in Adventureland in TinkerBell’s Magical Nook. We actually stumbled upon it late one night and there was almost no wait…which made this Meet and Greet even better!

Vidia

There is always another fairy with TinkerBell and this time we were really lucky to meet Vidia…we have almost met them all! But Vidia was lots of fun with the kids and they were almost more excited to see her than TinkerBell! (almost) The one downside is that you won’t know what fairy is with TinkerBell until you get inside, so don’t promise your kids anything!

Tiana

Princess Tiana still has her own Greet area and sometimes Prince Naveen is with her. Her dress is quite beautiful! She is located near the entrance to Liberty Square. This is a picture of my niece getting to meet her.

WhiteRabbit

The White Rabbit and Alice greet people near the Mad Tea Party. There are other places you can find Alice, but this is the only one with the White Rabbit, and he is pretty fun.

Woody

Woody and Jessie greet folks near Splash Mountain, actually right at the exit to Splash Mountain. Their meet and greet is kind of hidden which can sometimes mean shorter waits. This is the only place to get a picture with Jessie.

Here is a complete list of Characters Greets at Magic Kingdom including location:

Town Square Theater: Mickey; Princesses including Aurora, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White
Main Street: Marie from Aristocats, Mary Poppins
The Nook in Adventureland: Tinkerbell & Friends (different fairies vary each visit)
Peter Pan’s Flight: Peter Pan & Wendy
Ariel’s Grotto: Ariel as a mermaid
Enchanted Tales with Belle: Belle (in yellow dress)
Mad Tea Party: Alice, White Rabbit
Winnie the Pooh ride: Tigger and Pooh
Cinderella’s Castle (on different sides): Fairy Godmother, Merida (in her own Meet & Greet area), Anastasia, Drisella and Lady Tremaine
Pete’s Silly Sideshow: Daisy, Donald, Goofy, Minnie (in circus themed outfits)
Gaston’s Tavern: Gaston
Adventureland (near Aladdin’s Carpet attraction): Aladdin & Jasmine
Liberty Square/Christmas Store: Princess Tiana & Prince Naveen
Splash Mountain Exit: Woody & Jessie
Tomorrowland: Buzz, Stitch
Frontierland: Chip and Dale

Always keep in mind that waiting for character greets can take a long time, and if you are only visiting the park one or two days, you will need to be selective beforehand for which characters you really want to see.

For more character greet tips and advice, visit our Disney World tips page, and read the other posts in this series:

Character Greets at Epcot
Character Greets at Hollywood Studios

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