Wild about Characters: 10 Meet & Greets You Must Do at Animal Kingdom
You’ve heard the “Animal Kingdom is a half day park” claim time and time again, right? Well, if you’re looking for extra amusements to fill out your day there, be sure to check out their wide selection of character greeting opportunities. Animal Kingdom boasts several that are exclusive to that park- Baloo, King Louie, Dug, Russell, Pocahontas, and Rafiki. If any of these are your favorites, don’t miss them at Animal Kingdom.
For all characters, you’re less likely to encounter disappointment if you arrive about 10 minutes before their scheduled appearances to guarantee a spot in line. Remember, characters need breaks, so they only meet for a limited amount of time. Also, if you’re interested in a character meal at Animal Kingdom, check out Tusker House. They don’t have character dining at dinner, but they do feature Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy at their breakfast and lunch buffets.
1. Rafiki: Rafiki makes appearances at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and can also be spotted near the park entrance just inside the gates at times. This is your only opportunity in all of Disney to meet Rafiki, so take advantage of it! Because Rafiki’s Planet Watch is generally uncrowded, you can meet Rafiki fairly easily.
2. Chip & Dale: Chip and Dale sure do get around- you’ll find them at every park! However, they might be a bit easier to meet at their location at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Like Rafiki, you’ll also find them near the park gates at times.
3. Dug & Russell: These friends from the movie Up can be found on Discovery Island near A Bug’s Life. This is the only place you’ll find these rare characters.
4. Donald Duck: Donald Duck meets guests in Dinoland USA. If you’d like to see him with his main squeeze Daisy, you’ll have to reserve a breakfast or lunch at Tusker House.
5. Daisy Duck: Visit the beautiful Daisy Duck at the Discovery Island landing. If you’d like to see her with Donald, you can find her at Tusker House.
6. Goofy & Pluto: Anyone else wondering why Goofy, a dog, acts and dresses like a human, but Pluto, also a dog, has to be a pet? No matter… these canine companions seem perfectly happy meeting together at a character greeting spot in Dinoland, USA. Goofy is also a guest of honor at Tusker House.
7. Mickey & Minnie: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet Disney’s most beloved couple at all of the parks. However, I always enjoy seeing characters in their varied outfits. You’ll find Mickey and Minnie in their safari gear greeting guests at the Adventurer’s Outpost, located on Discovery Island. You’ll also see Mickey (without Minnie) at Tusker House.
8. Pocahontas: This historical heroine can be found greeting guests on one of the Discovery Island trails. This is the only scheduled meet and greet for Pocahontas in the parks.
9. Baloo & King Louie: The loveable duo from The Jungle Book meets at a boat dock directly across from the Flights of Wonder show.
10. Dinoland Dance Party: Though not a traditional meet and greet (no autographs offered), you may catch a glimpse of some different characters during a pop up dance party in Dinoland. You may see characters from A Bug’s Life, as well as Thumper from Bambi, Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, Mushu, Terk, and more.
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Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart and works as an elementary school guidance counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, dog, and parrot. Meredith's hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, and "talking Disney" with anyone she knows who is planning a trip to Disney or has just returned.