How to Meet Mandalorian & Baby Yoda at Disney World

The Mandalorian and Grogu (Baby Yoda) now meet Walt Disney World guests in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios. This post how to get selfies with or photos of these very popular free-roaming characters, how their appearances differ from a traditional meet & greet, and more. Plus, our commentary about how this improves the land and why we want more of this. (Updated September 30, 2023.)

For those who are unaware, this dynamic duo started meeting last year at the start of the Christmas season in California. Mandalorian and Baby Yoda have been incredibly popular out there–we’ve seen them around a dozen times in Batuu West, and each time they’re practically swarmed by guests.

In fact, when Mandalorian and Grogu first began appearing in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the crowds around them were so large that Cast Members were aggressively clearing people away. Things have gotten better since, but they still get mobbed on occasion and it can be difficult to capture good photos or video.

To this day, it’s a very similar story at Walt Disney World. Although Mandalorian and Grogu/Baby Yoda began meeting months ago, they are still routinely overwhelmed by guests as soon as they appear. We’ll share some photos of that in a bit, and offer strategy for beating the crowds and getting good selfies with or photos of the Mandalorian and Grogu.

For starters, we should probably explain how the Mandalorian and Grogu are very different from other character appearances at Walt Disney World. You might see some other sites or social media posts referring to the Mandalorian and Grogu character meet & greet. That is most definitely not what this is.

This may seem like a distinction without a difference to Walt Disney World first-timers, but the Mandalorian and Grogu do character appearances. That’s different from a meet & greet in the conventional sense of the term, which is characters that stand in a specific location with a line for guests to wait in and meet party by party for unobstructed photos, autographs, etc.

By contrast, the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda appearances are free-roaming, which means the character wanders around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. He’s constantly moving; there is no line for photos. That may sound great–no waiting in line, right? Well, that depends upon your perspective.

Because the Mandalorian is free-roaming and wandering around Black Spire Outpost, there is constantly a colossal crowd around him. So many people, in fact, that you may be unable to snap a selfie with him. Din Djarin often weaves around, switching directions and bouncing through guests (like an NFL running back trying to get away from defenders!) to avoid causing too much congestion. It’s honestly a big comical.

The Mandalorian is essentially the Taylor Swift of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, totally overwhelmed by his adoring fans wherever he goes. It’s great for the fortunate few who are lucky enough to get photos, but it can cause disappointment among others who “fail” to get photos with the Mandalorian and Grogu. It’s also arguably better than the alternative of a dedicated meet & greet, as that would be so popular that the wait time would be like 2-3 hours at all times.

Now let’s turn to some tips. The first is that Din Djarin and Grogu appear around Black Spire Outpost, which is the marketplace area of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This is the semi-covered area with all of the little merchandise stalls and Ronto Roasters.

Although we’ve seen him come out in other spots at Disneyland, the only location we’ve ever seen the Mandalorian enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the above cavern. This is adjacent to the main entrance of Black Spire Outpost, about halfway between Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

If you think that you’ll have a competitive advantage knowing where the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda appear on stage, think again. You’ll be one of at least one of a dozen people on an average day awaiting an average set. This can vary based on time of day, crowd levels, weather, season, and even luck.

But the point is that Din Djarin and Grogu are in incredibly high-demand even months after they first began appearing in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World. We’ve gone to see their sets several different days/weeks/months to formulate strategy and try to get better photos, and although their crowds aren’t as bad as they once were, the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are still the most popular characters at Walt Disney World right now. Don’t expect that to change during Christmas or anytime in 2024, either.

If you’re unfamiliar with the layout of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll know you’re in the right spot if there’s a small gathering of people camped out ~10 to 15 minutes before Mando and Grogu show up. Again, the Walt Disney World version of these characters have Swifties-caliber fan followings, making their California counterparts look like Smash Mouth groupies.

On busier days, the duo are still consistently mobbed by hordes of guests, preventing the Mandalorian from wandering more than 20 feet into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. On a busy day or bad time of day, it can be pure chaos–you may not get within 10 feet of Mando and Grogu.

To beat the crowd, we’d highly recommend trying to meet the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda during their first set of the day. You can find the approximate appearance times in the My Disney Experience app, but they’re typically:

  • 9:45 a.m.
  • 10:45 a.m.
  • 11:45 a.m.
  • 1:25 p.m.
  • 2:35 p.m.

Again, don’t rely on that list. It can change based on operating hours and crowd projections.

What doesn’t change is that the appearances get progressively busier over the course of the day. Part of this is the natural increase in crowd levels at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests focus on rides first thing, and then move on to character meet & greets and other entertainment midday.

Another component is almost certainly people who stumble upon the Mandalorian or underestimate crowd levels earlier, and return to make a more “serious” attempt at a good selfie later in the day. Regardless, we have yet to find fewer people swarming the characters in the afternoon. The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda always have the smallest crowds during their first appearance of the day.

You might be thinking that 9:45 a.m. is way too early to meet the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, which is precisely the point. The vast majority of other guests will be focused on their first rides of the day, rope drop strategy, etc. This is precisely why our 1-Day Disney’s Hollywood Studios Itinerary lists “rare characters” and exploring Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge early on. It’s a way to zig when they zag to beat the crowds for characters, which get much worse later in the day.

Not only that, but wait times at DHS peak early. There’s a good chance that they’ll be pretty close to their highs of the day by around 9:30 a.m., making that a good time to head to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to see Din Djarin and Grogu. Moreover, you can get a ton done first thing, especially if you’re staying on-site. See Early Entry at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Strategy & Park Opening Strategy.

Another tip we’d offer is to be assertive but polite. Don’t just stand back and hope that the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda make you the chosen one. Your best bet is to be up front early on. Try to interact with them in a fun way, let the conversation go wherever it goes (don’t immediately ask for a photo–enjoy the moment), and then ask for a photo. Politely. 

Conversely, do not be rude to other guests or the characters. Don’t push your way through the crowd and demand a photo. The Mandalorian is ultimately the boss, and he dictates with whom he interacts and who gets photos. He’s not going to “reward” bad behavior, and will ignore you. (Also, it should go without saying, but don’t be rude to any Cast Members. They put up with a lot–don’t make their lives and jobs more miserable.)

It’s a tough needle to thread, but you want to be in a position where you’re not getting pushed around or passed by other guests, but also not the one doing the pushing. Firm, but polite. There’s gotta be a Mandalore translation of “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  

About the only other tip we’d offer would be to anticipate where they’re going to go, rather than trailing them around like a puppy dog. Although they’re free-roaming, the characters typically move in a loop around Black Spire Outpost, exiting back through the same spot where they came out.

If you see that the Mandalorian is hitting a wall of people heading one direction, loop back and wait for him to head towards you. This increases your odds of getting a selfie. Or, if the characters have already been out for over 10 minutes…consider heading back towards where the Mandalorian enters and exits. You might have better luck catching the two as they depart Batuu!

That’s really everything we can offer in terms of strategy. What follows is our commentary about the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda finally appearing in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge…

Back when it was originally announced that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would “evolve” its storytelling, this was focused primarily on Disneyland. At the time, it was believed that this was because Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Resort complicated elements of the timeline at Walt Disney World. With Galactic Starcruiser now closing, it’s no longer a convenient excuse.

Regardless, here’s what Imagineer Scott Trowbridge had to say about how the storytelling of Galaxy’s Edge will evolve with these additions back when they were first announced last year: “Since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019, Star Wars storytelling has experienced a galactic expansion to include many new characters and stories across a wide range of settings. Now, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is likewise expanding the stories guests can encounter when visiting,” shared Trowbridge.

“Having been designed from the outset to connect with a broad range of Star Wars storytelling, Black Spire Outpost has played a role in many of these stories stretching over thousands of years and while, up to now, we have mostly shared those story connections through media and publishing, we will soon give visitors to Batuu an opportunity to connect with those fan-favorite stories with the immersive detail and authenticity that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was designed to deliver.”

Walt Disney Imagineering is committed to the long history of Batuu and the collection of characters who inhabit the outpost. This includes legacy characters, original characters, and new and future characters from the ever-expanding galaxy of Star Wars storytelling.

Trowbridge added this, which I found interesting: “While we as visitors may be able to experience different stories throughout Star Wars history, the characters on Batuu can not. They will remain in their specific story and timeline and won’t intersect with other characters or stories that would not be appropriate for them.”

Out in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, other characters have been appearing for a while now in addition to Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. There, the legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand stake a claim in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, as they wander around Black Spire Outpost.

Although Grogu is undeniably adorable, we actually prefer interacting with Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. For one thing, neither is nearly as popular–it’s common to see Fennec all by herself, blending in with the surroundings and proactively approach guests and question them. As an actual face character who is able to improvise, she’s the most amusing of the bunch, and offers up the most fun (and often funny) interactions. Makes for good people watching in Black Spire Outpost.

For now, the only characters who have arrived in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are Din Djarin and Grogu. The timing of appearances of the Mandalorian characters is hardly coincidental–they arrived on the same day that the journey of Din Djarin and Baby Yoda continues in the third season of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+.

To our knowledge, no end date has been set for the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda walkaround characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No other information has been provided as to when or how long these characters will appear at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World has only indicated that the Mandalorian and Grogu will make regular appearances in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge alongside the existing lineup of regularly-appearing characters. Din Djarin and Baby Yoda are not appearing as part of a limited time or promotional push; their appearances are open-ended but subject to change.

It’s nothing new for Walt Disney World to add characters for a limited time to promote a new movie or television show. That’s almost certainly what’s happening here with Din Djarin and Grogu for season 3 of the Mandalorian on Disney+. What remains to be seen is how long this lasts, and whether it becomes permanent by popular guest demand. 

Back in the 1990s, pretty much every new animated film received a full parade. More recently, it has happened with meet & greets, dance parties, projection shows/tags, and extended previews…but mostly just at Disneyland. The quality of these varies and does whether they fit naturally or feel contrived, but the point is that synergy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Historically, Walt Disney World has benefited tremendously from synergy, and could continue to do so in the current climate with the company fixated on its Disney+ streaming service. Why they have declined so many recent characters (and other additions) is actually a bit frustrating.

Some might argue that failing to embrace synergy is an even worse thing, and I would be in that camp. An average first-time guest expects to see characters from popular new movies at Walt Disney World.

As people who enjoy fun and adorable critters, we’re totally on board with Baby Yoda (officially Grogu, for people who take Star Wars seriously), the Mandalorian, and other characters appearing in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We actually discussed exactly this in our post: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Needs to Break the Rules.

Suffice to say, this alone will go a long way to address our core complaints, many of which could also be rectified by simply adding many more characters to inhabit the land. (Something that we’ve yet to really see since both Walt Disney World and Disneyland dropped physically-distanced characters.)

One thing that I thought was notable about Scott Trowbridge’s previous statement was that visitors may be able to experience different stories throughout Star Wars history, but the characters on Batuu can not. Specifically, he said this about the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda: “They will remain in their specific story and timeline and won’t intersect with other characters or stories that would not be appropriate for them.”

To my knowledge, this isn’t relevant to any of the character additions that were just announced. Both of the series on Disney+ are only set a couple of decades before Batuu, so there’s nothing inherently at odds with them appearing in the land’s current timeline. This statement seems more relevant for future changes.

The clear implication–reinforced with multiple references to characters, including legacy characters–is that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will no longer be bound to a specific timeline, but the characters inhabiting it will. This wouldn’t be anything new; character integrity has always been a big deal for Disney.

This would mean that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge could theoretically be one time period in the morning and a different one in the evening, or even different timelines in different areas of the land. So long as the characters themselves don’t break continuity, there’s wiggle room for what the land itself can accommodate, at least, in theory.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Walt Disney World will juggle multiple timelines simultaneously throughout the day, week, or even year on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It could simply be nudging open the door for switching things up in the future to keep the land fresh and encourage repeat visits.

Over time, it’ll be interesting to see what happens on that front, and how the physical components of the land (e.g. attractions, shops, dining, etc.) play into this timeline continuity–or don’t. It’s been almost a year since Trowbridge originally announced all of this, and the only thing that has changed thus far is the characters. At some point, a ‘timeline refresh’ of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would be a cost-effective and efficient way to bring a sense of newness to the land.

Ultimately, Din Djarin and Grogu are a great addition to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Kudos to the team that finally got the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda at Walt Disney World. Even with the colossal crowds that sometimes overwhelm them, this is a huge addition that brings a fresh sense of energy and excitement to Black Spire Outpost.

To that point, don’t let all of the above warnings about crowds discourage you from trying to see these characters. We’re only trying to help you prepare strategy, and manage expectations. One other thing we will say from all of our experiences is that guests absolutely love seeing the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Everyone in the vicinity of characters is visibly and audibly excited to even get a peek at the Mandalorian and Grogu. The sentiment around them is always overwhelmingly and unanimously positive. I’d imagine guest satisfaction for this character encounter is absolutely off the charts.

As we wrote before, it was only a matter of time until Baby Yoda and his homies started to appear at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No matter what the initial intent and timeframe for their appearances, this is too big to contain. These characters are tremendously popular, with guest demand and satisfaction scores inevitably making the decision for Walt Disney World to make these characters permanent fixtures of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios. This is the Way. 

Beyond that, this is another signal that Imagineering and Lucasfilm are still tinkering with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the land isn’t viewed as a “finished product.” That’s not altogether unsurprising, as there were credible rumors about additions and changes way back in early 2020, but those fizzled out entirely in March of that year. Between the MagicBand+ bounty hunter game and this character news, it’s nice to see Imagineering getting more opportunities to revisit Batuu, iterating and improving upon its offerings. Here’s hoping that more is on the horizon. We’ll keep you posted, so stay tuned!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


Have you met the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda at Walt Disney World? Any tips to add for successfully scoring a selfie with Din Djarin and Grogu? Hopeful that they’re still in the land during your next trip to Walt Disney World? Do you think Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge should break its own rules or stick to the fixed timeline and story? Would you like to see even more characters in the land? What about Darth Vader and other original trilogy characters? Think Galaxy’s Edge should focus on fun, canon, or a mix of both? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

21 Responses to “How to Meet Mandalorian & Baby Yoda at Disney World”
  1. Katie L September 30, 2023
  2. Heidi Drum September 30, 2023
  3. Wolverine In Exile March 2, 2023
  4. Graham March 2, 2023
  5. Karen March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023
  6. Jodi Berend March 1, 2023
  7. Aaron March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023
  8. Laura March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023
  9. Maggie March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023
    • Maggie March 1, 2023
  10. Ash March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023
  11. Mallory March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023
  12. Buzz March 1, 2023
    • Buzz March 1, 2023
    • Tom Bricker March 1, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *