Where to Find Your Favorite Characters at the Magic Kingdom in 2021
Character appearances and interactions throughout Walt Disney World have been reimagined in the wake of COVID-19, but the magic is still alive and well! The Magic Kingdom offers an abundance of opportunities to interact with your favorite characters. From Mickey and the gang to princesses, friends from the Hundred Acre Wood and beyond, you’re sure to encounter some surprises every day of the week at Magic Kingdom Park.
While Disney doesn’t officially announce which characters will be appearing on any given day, we’ve found a recurring pattern in our five recent visits to The Most Magical Place on Earth and we’re excited to share the scoop in this unofficial guide.
To help maintain physical distancing and prevent crowds from forming, Disney frequently changes the schedule of which characters will be appearing. It’s entirely possible to find one of your favorite friends popping up in an unexpected location, so be on the lookout!
We’ve broken down where we've found characters on our recent visits within each area of the park below.
Main Street U.S.A.
The Walt Disney World Railroad Station - After you enter the park, turn around and look up - you just might find some of your favorite characters greeting Guests from the station’s platform. Characters rotate throughout the day, so make sure to check back often. We’ve recently spotted the following characters waving from above:
The Mad Hatter
Winnie the Pooh
Characters greeting Guests from the Walt Disney Railroad Station
Main Street Trolley - Emerging from the Car Barn between the Firehouse and the Emporium, trolleys depart regularly throughout the day. They typically head down Main Street U.S.A. and wind around the hub. We’ve spotted the following characters waving to Guests from the Main Street Trolley:
Winnie the Pooh
Fun Fact: The Dapper Dans often perform on the Main Street Trolley, too!
Piglet, Eeyore & Rabbit on the Main Street Trolley
The Crystal Palace - We’ve spotted our friends from the Hundred Acre Wood waving to Guests from the porch in front of this Victorian style restaurant. Keep an eye out for Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. While the characters aren't currently appearing in the dining room, you can often find them outside!
Pooh & friends greeting Guests in costume outside the Crystal Palace
Princess Fairytale Hall - While the hall itself is closed, you can occasionally find royalty out front greeting Guests. While Anastasia and Drizella (otherwise known as Cinderella’s evil step-sisters) initially appeared on the second level of the castle, they’ve relocated due to the reopening of Cinderella’s Royal Table. To get the most out of your interaction, ask them questions or (better yet) compliment their hair and makeup! So far we’ve spotted the following characters under the overhang of Princess Fairytale Hall:
Princesses (and occasionally a couple of evil step-sisters) can be found interacting with Guests from a safe physical distance at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland
Country Bear Jamboree - Here you may spot some of the Country Bears greeting Guests from the balcony above their iconic attraction. Chip ’n Dale have been known to pop up here, too!
Country Bears greeting Guests from the balcony above their attraction
Tom Sawyer Island Raft - While we haven’t spotted this one for a while (likely due to the ongoing refurbishments in this area of the park), in the fall Chip ’n Dale could be found waving to Guests from a raft on the Rivers of America. Hopefully they’ll be back to their playful interactions soon!
The Pirates of the Caribbean Stage - Located across from the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, here you can practice your best pirate lingo with Captain Jack Sparrow.
Tomorrowland Stage - Located near Joffrey’s Coffee, you’ll often find Buzz Lightyear and Stitch appearing here throughout the day.
Experiment 626 popping up in Tomorrowland
As I shared in my Complete Guide to the New Princess Appearances at Walt Disney World, spontaneous “Character Cavalcades” are now popping up daily in the Magic Kingdom. Lasting only a few minutes, these “mini parades” usually feature one or two floats in addition to some of your favorite characters. They’ve changed seasonally, with special new cavalcades debuting around Halloween and Christmas. Cavalcades follow the traditional parade route, beginning in Frontierland (next to Splash Mountain) and weaving through Liberty Square, across the bridge to the main hub and down Main Street U.S.A. Here are the current Character Cavalcades appearing at The Magic Kingdom:
The Royal Princess Processional - This cavalcade usually includes Merida, Cinderella, Elena of Avalor, Snow White, Tiana, Ariel, Rapunzel, Jasmine & Belle. The Fairy Godmother joins in on the fun, too!
A few photos captured during the Royal Princess Processionals on recent visits
Mickey & Friends Cavalcade - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy & Pluto glide by and wave to Guests from their parade float.
Tinker Bell & the Lost Treasure - You’ll find Tinker Bell spreading pixie dust around the Magic Kingdom perched atop an enormous box of treasure.
We were fortunate enough to see Tink several times on our most recent visit!
Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade - There has been a revolving lineup for this cavalcade, but we’ve frequently spotted Mary Poppins, Bert, Wendy, Peter Pan, Alice, Aladdin, Gaston, Tigger and Pooh.
Wendy was an absolute darling in the Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade
A Goofy Cavalcade - Goofy, Max, Clarabelle the Cow, Panchito and José Carioca greet Guests surrounded by a group of dancers.
If you watch closely, you'll see Clarabelle compliment my ears!
There are currently only two character dining experiences available in the Magic Kingdom. While characters aren’t guaranteed to appear during your meal, in our frequent visits we’ve spotted characters every time. You’ll find Cinderella welcoming Guests to her castle at Cinderella’s Royal Table and Beast walking through each of his three dining rooms at Be Our Guest. Note that while these restaurants have reopened, the character interactions have been reimagined, with each one appearing from a safe physical distance. We think they’re still filled with magic!
Our recent dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table was filled with magic!
Halloween - Last fall we spotted Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade with Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie as well as some of our favorite villains in the “It’s Good to Be Bad” Cavalcade featuring the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Jafar, Gaston, Queen of Hearts, Goob and Captain Hook. Halloween also brought new versions of the Mickey & Friends Cavalcade with the gang dressed in costumes, as well as Pooh & Friends on the Main Street Trolley.
Goofy dressed up as a lion during the Mickey & Friends Halloween Cavalcade
Christmas - We visited Disney World twice during the Christmas season and enjoyed Mickey’s Holiday Cavalcade, Santa’s Christmas Cavalcade (featuring the big man himself) and Goofy’s Scrumptious Cavalcade.
Santa - we know him!
While the lineup of character appearances and cavalcades often changes, we guarantee your next trip to the Magic Kingdom will have an extra dose of unexpected magic!
A few of our favorite character encounters from visits over the past 6 months
Kelly is a lifelong Disney fan and expert Travel Advisor for all Disney destinations. She specializes in meticulously planned vacations perfectly customized for each of her clients. For a complimentary vacation quote, click here.