People visit Disney parks with all sorts of different goals in mind.
Some go for the rides – the more thrilling the better.
Certainly, there are guests who go for snacks or drinks at EPCOT.
But for the little ones, and admittedly a few big kids, it’s the opportunity to meet their favorite characters.
All of the parks offer character meet and greet opportunities. But EPCOT has some really unique character experiences.
So grab your autograph book! Let’s take a tour of all the best places to catch a glimpse of your favorite Disney characters at the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow!
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Are there Disney characters at EPCOT?
Yes! You can meet a variety of Disney characters at EPCOT. Character sightings occur throughout the day in several different locations.
If you’re looking for princesses, head to the World Showcase.
Most of the more classic Disney characters can usually be spotted in World Celebration, the area near the main entrance close to Spaceship Earth. This area was formerly known as “Future World” and is under construction at the time of this writing.
As a result of revised safety protocols in recent years, traditional character meet and greet experiences have been modified.
You’ll still be able to meet your favorite Disney pals at EPCOT and other Disney parks. However, cast members will be there to ensure that you keep a safe distance while you take that selfie.
As Disney continues their phased reopening process, there are still lots of opportunities to meet popular characters. Certainly, the park has been creative about making adjustments such as moving indoor character meet and greet experiences to outdoor locations.
What characters can you find at EPCOT?
EPCOT offers meet and greets with several classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Goofy.
Donald Duck fans will be delighted to meet him dressed up in Mexican garb complete with a sombrero in the Mexico Pavilion.
There are also several EPCOT characters that you won’t see at the other theme parks. Since EPCOT is so large, be prepared to spend a lot of time traveling from one character sighting location to another.
If you’re interested in both classic characters and princesses, you’ll be visiting both World Celebration and the World Showcase.
Importantly, most of the beloved characters you can meet at EPCOT are only available at specific times each day. Times and locations are subject to change.
To that end, I recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app. The app features a map that offers a “check the times” guide with an official schedule. It is particularly helpful if there is a specific character that you are hoping to meet.
Goofy and Pluto can be spotted near EPCOT’s main entrance.
Head left at Spaceship Earth and you may be able to spot Daisy Duck near guest relations before entering World Discovery.
Head back toward the center of World Celebration toward Imagination and look for Winnie the Pooh in the Garden area.
Nearby at ImageWorks, you can meet Joy from Pixar’s “Inside Out” and Vanellope von Schweetz from “Wreck-It Ralph”.
Joy and Vanellope only make appearances at EPCOT. You won’t be able to meet them anywhere else in the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Where can you see Mickey Mouse at EPCOT?
Mickey Mouse can be spotted just inside the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival building. He pops up for sightings throughout the day.
Be sure to check the “times guide” in the My Disney Experience app for a schedule. The building is located right beside ImageWorks (where you can meet Joy and Vanellope) in World Celebration.
If you’re looking for Minnie Mouse, she’s not too far away. In fact, you can find her at the EPCOT World Showcase at the main entrance directly behind Spaceship Earth.
Head clockwise around the World Showcase Lagoon toward the Mexico Pavilion. You can meet Donald Duck in a sombrero and colorful Mexican attire beside the pyramid.
Can you see princesses at EPCOT?
EPCOT is a great place for meeting princesses. Several royal ladies appear for pop-up meet and greet experiences throughout the day in the different World Showcase pavilions. Look for them in their respective countries of origin.
After saying hi to Donald Duck in Mexico, continue on to the China Pavilion. You can meet Mulan in the gardens there.
Walk past the Outpost and head for the Bavarian-style buildings. Snow White makes appearances throughout the day near the wishing well in the Germany Pavilion.
Continue past Italy, the America Gardens Theatre and Japan. Keep an eye out for Princess Jasmine near the stage in an area called Lamps of Wonder in the Morocco Pavilion.
However, you’d have to visit Magic Kingdom to see Aladdin.
Princess Aurora and Belle can be seen on the promenade near the France Pavilion. And both Alice and Mary Poppins are located in the gardens of the United Kingdom Pavilion.
Are there dining with character meals at EPCOT?
EPCOT has two character dining restaurants: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Garden Grill Restaurant. Reservations are highly recommended.
Akershus is located in the Norway Pavilion near the Frozen Ever After ride. It is a table service restaurant featuring Norwegian cuisine. It’s hosted by a variety of Disney princesses.
The lineup rotates, but some of the royal hosts may include Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Elsa and Anna.
When my oldest son was about to turn three, we took him for brunch at Akershus and it is one of my favorite Disney memories.
He was playing with silly putty to keep him occupied in-between visits from the princesses and Snow White arrived at our table. She took a seat, asked for a piece of the putty and shaped it into a tiny apple for him. So magical!
Garden Grill restaurant is located in the World Nature area of EPCOT in the Land Pavilion.
This rotating restaurant is a great place to enjoy a family-style meal. Plus, the produce served there is grown in the land’s own greenhouse.
Chip n’ Dale and their Disney friends will visit your table while you eat. Additionally, you will have an opportunity to get a unique view of the boats moving through The Living with the Land ride located beside the restaurant.
While the park offers many great character opportunities, EPCOT does not have a cavalcade, so you won’t catch any characters passing by on floats, whereas in other parks you could spot characters like Pocahontas this way.
What about the other Disney parks?
A few of the popular characters can be spotted at the other parks. For example, Tigger is a character experience at The Thotful Spot in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland.
Star Wars character Chewbacca may be at the Animation Courtyard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Kylo Ren can be found near Galaxy’s Edge. And also Buzz Lightyear and other “Toy Story” characters can also be spotted in Hollywood Studios.
Princess Tiana can be seen at the Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom.
Popular characters from the “Lion King” like Timon and Pumba can be spotted at their popular show in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and in DinoLand U.S.A, you can see Donald Duck and his friends at Dino-Bash.
Do you have a character experience at EPCOT to share? What are your favorite Disney World characters? Let us know in the comments!