So you’re going to Disney World, the land of fairy tales and pixie dust, where dreams really do come true! Chances are it’s the dream of at least one person in your party to meet a princess! In reality though, this is the dream of thousands of other park-goers as well. So how do you make that special person’s dream come true without having to devote an entire day to standing in those legendary 6 hour lines to see Anna and Elsa? Take heart! With a little planning, you can even reserve a rendezvous with Disney royalty!
Of course, the most obvious way to meet a princess is through a character meet-and-greet – and there are plenty to choose from! While you’ll likely stumble across a number of princesses in your travels around the parks, you really do need to have a plan if you want to maximize your time, particularly if you want to meet a particular princess.
Here’s the low-down on where you can find them. The good news is that you’ll generally find the princesses where you would most likely expect to find them – Ariel is in her grotto near her ride, Jasmine is in Morocco, and so on. And since Disney is no regular theme park, these locations seem so authentic that you’ll feel like you’re walking right into the story!
You’ll find a princess in each of the four parks, but naturally, you’ll find most of them in the park with all the castles – Magic Kingdom! Of course you’ll also find hundreds of their royal subjects right there in line with you! Don’t fret though – through the magic of Disney, you’re now able to get a Fastpass+ for the most popular princesses like Anna and Elsa and Cinderella. Fastpass+ is available to all park guests, but guests with a Disney resort reservation can reserve a Fastpass+ 60 days in advance using the My Disney Experience website or mobile app. Annual passholders and guests staying offsite can reserve 30 days in advance with the advance purchase of park tickets. Guests who purchase their tickets on the day of their visit can reserve a same day Fastpass+, subject to availability, at any of the Fastpass+ kiosks around the park.
1. Anna and Elsa:
These princesses may hail from the coldest land, but they’re still the hottest princesses in town! Anna and Elsa appear daily at Princess Fairy Tale Hall in Fantasyland and they are the prime example of what you should use a Fastpass+ for! I made my Fastpass+ reservations within moments of our 60-day reservation window opening up (before sunrise) and I couldn’t get this one until late at night at the end of our week-long trip! You snooze, you lose! If an encounter with these princesses is an important part of your trip, this should be the first thing you do when making reservations! If you’re trying to get a same day Fastpass+ once you are in the park, make this your first stop!
Note that Anna and Elsa will be moving to the Norway pavilion at Epcot sometime in the future, where construction is underway on a specific Frozen attraction.
2. Cinderella and Rapunzel:
While you’re at Princess Fairy Tale Hall, you can also request an audience with Cinderella and have the “best day ever” with Rapunzel in an enchanting castle setting. Fastpass+ is available for this royal encounter too and you should use it!
Fastpass+ is also available for everyone’s favorite mermaid, but it’s not quite as crucial as it is with Anna and Elsa or Cinderella and Rapunzel. The line can still be long though, so if you are with a tiny person who won’t last long, this is a good use of a Fastpass+. But if you choose to line up for Ariel, consider going at off-peak times, like later in the evening when the wait-times are much shorter. You can become part of her world at her seaside grotto, located beside the Under the Sea ride in Fantasyland.
You can meet Merida in her highland homeland at Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland. Disney refers to this as a “play and greet” as guests can practice archery and color their own tapestry while they wait to meet this Scottish heroine. And wait they will, as this line is often an hour long and there is no Fastpass+ to change your fate!
Tiana will make your acquaintance under a shaded forest gazebo at the edge of Liberty Square. Fastpass+ is not available, but this line goes much faster than the lines for Fantasyland royalty.
Jasmine will grant you an audience near the Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride in Adventureland. Fastpass+ is not available here, but this line isn’t likely to be too long either.
World Showcase Pavilions at Epcot:
7. Belle, Jasmine, Mulan and Snow White:
Through the magic that only Disney can create, some of the same princesses also appear at the various cultural pavilions at Epcot. You’ll find Belle in France and Jasmine in Morocco, often with Aladdin. You’ll also find Mulan in the shadow of the Temple of Heaven in China and Snow White by the wishing well at the German pavilion. The pavilions of the World Showcase do not open until 11, so visiting these characters is more of an afternoon activity.
8. Sofia the First:
If there is a little princess in your party, you’ll certainly be looking for Disney’s newest and youngest princess, Sofia the First! You can find her in Animation Courtyard, beside the Disney Junior Live show. If you get an autograph, remember that she’s still working on her handwriting!
In keeping with the setting, the only princess you will find at Animal Kingdom is Pocahontas, who will greet you at the Discovery Island Trail area near the Tree of Life.
Interactive Shows and Special Events:
While character greetings provide a fantastic opportunity to meet the princesses, guests can actually interact with them as well at certain live shows.
10. “Enchanted Tales with Belle” at Magic Kingdom:
“Enchanted Tales with Belle” is an interactive experience where guests enter Maurice’s cottage and climb through the magical mirror (which actually grows) to enter the library, where they are cast, alongside Belle, in various parts for a brief enactment of the tale as old as time. This is an excellent experience for small kids, as the cast members will find parts for everyone who wants one. Guests then have an opportunity to take a picture with Belle. Fastpass+ is available for this attraction, but if you choose not to use it, consider going early in the morning or in the evening when the lines aren’t as long.
11. Frozen Sing-Along at Hollywood Studios:
Back by popular demand, from June 17 to September 7, 2015, is the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, which is a funny retelling of the Frozen story, featuring Anna and Elsa. There are opportunities for audience interaction and a chance to relive all of the Frozen hits during the sing-along. You’ll never have to let it go!
While character greetings and interactive shows are wonderful ways to rub elbows with the princesses, nothing beats the ability to do the same thing while sitting down, enjoying a cool drink in an air-conditioned restaurant after a few hours in the hot Florida sun. There are several fabulous character dining experiences featuring Disney royalty that are worth a try! You are going to eat anyway and as long as you have a reservation, you won’t have to be bothered with lines!
12. Cinderella’s Royal Table at Cinderella’s Castle:
This is a must-do for Disney princess lovers! Cinderella greets her guests in the Grand Hall of her castle and takes a photo with each party. Guests then ascend the royal staircase to the banquet hall where they enjoy a meal fit for royalty while looking out over Fantasyland. During the meal, 4 other princesses visit with guests at their table and pose for photos and sign autographs. Guests receive a souvenir photo of them with Cinderella. It is expensive, but it’s the only opportunity to see inside Cinderella’s castle and it’s the experience of a lifetime for many. This experience is generally booked 180 days out, but if you can’t get a reservation, you can check for cancellations right up to your time of arrival. When you wish upon a star, dreams come true!
13. Princess Storybook Dining at Epcot:
Though you can’t top dining at Cinderella’s castle, you can also dine with royalty at a royal feast thrown by Her Majesty the Queen at Akershus restaurant at the Norwegian pavilion at Epcot. Here, guests will dine on a royal feast featuring Norwegian-inspired food while being visited at the table by various princesses. Guests also receive a souvenir picture with one of the princesses. While reservations are highly recommended, it is often easier to get a reservation here than at Cinderella’s Royal Table, so if you have had no luck there, Akershus is an excellent alternative.
14. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare:
Cinderella and Prince Charming host this “happily ever after” buffet dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian resort. This is an elegant affair where guests interact with Cinderella and Prince Charming at their table, along with other characters, which might include the Fairy Godmother or Cinderella’s step-sisters.
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15. My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party:
This is a truly luxurious event for any young girl! Rose Petal, a magical flower from Princess Aurora’s garden, hosts this high tea service for young princesses, featuring storytelling, music, a parade and a visit from a Disney princess. Girls receive a My Disney Princess doll, princess jewelry and other souvenirs. This experience is very pricey, but there are only a small number of guests, giving more opportunity to interact with the princess. This experience is held at the Grand Floridian resort at the Garden Grove Tea Room. Reservations are recommended.
16. Disney Junior Play ‘N Dine at Hollywood and Vine – Hollywood Studios:
If your dining party includes members of the younger set, Disney Junior Play ‘N Dine is an excellent character dining experience. Guests enjoy a buffet meal while being visited table-side by several Disney Junior characters, including Sofia the First. There is also an interactive show where children are able to join the characters in dancing and a parade around the restaurant. The food is excellent here and it is a much more civilized way for younger guests to meet Sofia than standing in a long line outside in the heat. Character dining is available for breakfast and lunch only.
Now you’re armed with the information that you need to ensure an encounter with your favorite royal highness! Don’t forget to check the Times Guide once you get to the park – the princesses have other royal duties and are not necessarily out there all day! If you were not able to get the reservation of your choice, keep checking back during your visit. People cancel all the time! You are, after all, in the place where dreams come true!
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