Mirabel & Fan Favorite Characters Coming to Disney World!
More characters are debuting and returning to Walt Disney World! This post covers dates, details, and everything you need to know about the friends from Encanto, Star Wars, and other movies that’ll soon begin appearing at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Fort Wilderness, and beyond.
Prior to the start of summer, traditional character meet & greets with hugs, autographs, high-fives, etc. returned to Walt Disney World. Presumably, this was strategically-timed so Disney could capitalize on the best film of summer, Top Gun: Maverick. After all, who doesn’t want to give Goofy one of those iconic high fives?!
At that time, a bunch of previously existing “Sightings” were instantly restored to “Meetings.” Those include Mickey at Town Square Theater, Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall, Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall, Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight, Disney Stars at Red Carpet Dreams, Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus, and others I’m probably forgetting. A bunch of other character meet & greets also returned on or around that date, and according to the wait time data, these have among the top 10 attractions in every park since.
Along with this, several character meals also returned to normal. This includes fur character dining experiences like Breakfast à la Art at Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera and Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at DHS. It also includes Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White, but not most other face character locations.
Even though it has been back for a while, Cinderella’s Royal Table is not normal. Likewise, Akershus and Bon Voyage remain closed, as do other locations that previously featured face character. Not to ruin the illusion or anything, but we’ve heard that this is because Walt Disney World is currently experiencing a pronounced ‘princess shortage.’
In any case, we have some good news on the character front, with a fairly noteworthy expansion to options. Here’s the announcement from Walt Disney World…
Let’s kick things off with Magic Kingdom. We may not talk about Bruno, but we can definitely talk about Mirabel making her debut in the “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” on June 26, 2022!
The young hero from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film “Encanto” will join Miguel from “Coco,” Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Max, Goof, Moana and more as this cavalcade winds through Magic Kingdom several times each day.
Although Mirabel meets daily in both Frontierland at Disneyland and Paradise Gardens Park at Disney California Adventure, it sounds like she’ll only appear in the cavalcade at Magic Kingdom.
Given the popularity of all things Encanto, it’s surprising it’s taken so long for Mirabel to have a presence at Walt Disney World. While this is a positive first step, hopefully she gets a dedicated meet & greet soon!
Looking ahead to next month, the always iconic Minnie Mouse will join Mickey Mouse starting on July 6, 2022 in Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom. Both will be ready for hugs and photos in their EARidescent fashions designed specifically for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration.
Hopefully this also marks the return of human photographers to the memorable meet & greet. Automated cameras just don’t capture those magical moments and emotions quite the same.
On July 10, 2022, keep an eye out for familiar Fantasyland friends Peter Pan and Snow White as they greet guests at Magic Kingdom once again.
No word on where these meet & greets will occur. I seem to recall Peter Pan meeting outside the extended queue for Peter Pan’s Flight near Columbia Harbour House, but my memory is hazy on how long ago that was.
July 6, 2022 also marks the return of Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. There, you can join the nutty friends for a campfire celebration followed by a classic Disney movie under the stars. (Placeholder photo above until I can locate one of the actual sing-a-long.)
From my perspective, this is the most exciting news of all. I know it’s the thing the fewest Walt Disney World fans will experience, but this has long been a highlight at the Fort–I remember some version of this even when I was a kid. My fear was that Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long would never return. Very happy to hear that’s not the case!
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Launch Bay returns on July 17, 2022!
A celebration of the legendary space saga, Star Wars Launch Bay is your place for a warm embrace with Chewbacca, a face-to-droid encounter with BB-8 or a run-in with Darth Vader himself for those brave enough. (This is one of two instances of Disney using the “warm embrace” term in the press release. I cut out the other but couldn’t resist including this.)
Those are just the next few weeks! Walt Disney World has even more hugs, high fives, and memories on the horizon. In the coming months, a visit to Magic Kingdom will bring chances to meet Aladdin, Jasmine, Merida, Pooh, Tigger and Storybook Circus pals like the Great Goofini in Pete’s Silly Sideshow.
Your favorite toys will be ready for playtime in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Donald Duck and friends will rejoin their prehistoric party at “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Ultimately, good news on the character front. Slowly but surely, Walt Disney World is bringing back performers and other entertainment. It’s nice to see Mirabel make her debut, Star Wars Launch Bay return, and other prominent character meet & greet locations on the horizon.
Not to be overly negative, but there’s still the sense of what’s taking so long?! We’ve been spending time at Disneyland recently (I was actually working on an entertainment post when this news broke) and the character scene is a night and day difference between the coasts. Disneyland feels really close to normal, with free roaming characters, dedicated meet & greets, and even new faces (e.g. Captain Buzz Lightyear and Boba Fett) all appearing with regularity.
At Disneyland, Mirabel has been appearing for months as a part of meet & greets in both parks. You can also meet Raya, Miguel, Nick and Judy Hopps, plus whatever flavor of the day is appearing in a Marvel series on Disney+ in Avengers Campus, and countless other characters.
It’s easy to dismiss this as Disneyland having easier “access” to performers by virtue of its location, but that excuse doesn’t hold a ton of water when you actually visit the respective parks and see just how pronounced the difference–in both face and fur–characters actually is. Here’s hoping Walt Disney World starts expediting entertainment’s return–it makes a huge difference in the atmosphere and energy levels of the parks.
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What do you think of this Walt Disney World character news? Excited that Mirabel is debuting and Star Wars Launch Bay is returning? Would you like to see more characters, or think Walt Disney World has done a good job bringing them back? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? 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!
Do characters randomly walk around the parks do you can get a photo etc . Or do you always have to queue in a meet and great
It’s about time Princess Mirabel from Encanto is coming to WDW! She’s one of my favorite Disney Princesses. Where in The Magic Kingdom will she be available for Character Meet & Greets?
Any news on Tinkerbell “meet & greet?” — Before COVID, she was in theater next to Mickey. We have a 4yo granddaughter who is “set on seeing” her Tinkerbell! Thanks so much!
Any news on Tinkerbell “meet & greet?” — Before COVID, she was in theater next to Mickey. We have a 4yo granddaughter who is “set on seeing” her Tinkerbell!
Now I’m interested in hearing Princess war stories Tom LOL
I don’t know if you want to. I’m pretty sure they involve way too many adults making inappropriate comments/gestures/touching. :-/
Tom, do you think some hesitation to open more character dining is due to menu or restaurant style changes? I personally love the cold buffet at Akershus but wonder if Chapek is looking to cut down on any excess with those types of meals. I haven’t been to the new Tusker House dining, but it seems to be scaled back from the original version… And for our family of foodies, less interesting. Curious if that will be a new trend.
That could be the explanation for Crystal Palace or Tusker House (etc.) not having changed back yet, but I’d be shocked if that’s the reason for Akershus still being closed. That one is all about staffing.
If it were about cutting costs, they would’ve reopened Akershus as family style or with a different menu. Disney is leaving tons of money on the table by not having so many princess and other character meals back–that’s not something they want to do, it’s out of necessity/poor planning.
I was just on the phone with Disney Monday to check on any discounts for our upcoming stay at Fort Wilderness. They had no news on Chip and Dale. This is great news! When my youngest was 9 she dressed as Snow White in the parks and Chip proposed on his knee, it was so cute. She will turn 16 days before this year’s trip. Dad is bringing the picture of the proposal. Thank you for the great news!! This made my day.
Any rumors about the Goofy Breakfast at Vero Beach Resort? A favorite of ours we are patiently waiting to come back!
This is great! Any word on Ariel’s grotto meet and greet return?
Oh I was looking up Launch Bay characters and times just yesterday! Was disappointed that it showed as still temporarily closed so this is super exciting news for our upcoming fall trip, my 7 yr old son is a huge fan! Fingers crossed for the return of more princesses at CRT and/or the return of Akershus for my daughter, although she’ll be thrilled to see Mirabel!
My 8yo is excited about Launch Bay too. A return of Jedi Training would really make his trip!
I’m heading to Disney world in September, do you think trattoria Al forno and akershus will have character dining by than?
I’ve heard no credible rumors one way or the other, so your guess is as good as mine.
Face characters are the hold-up, so it really depends on hiring/staffing for those. Here’s hoping it gets better!
I’ve been thinking the same as Luke… What is the hold up with character dining? Is it just a staffing issue? You would think even opening SOME character dining times would ease the burden on places like Topolino’s. I especially don’t understand the hesitation on Winnie the Pooh & friends at Crystal Palace, since they aren’t face characters. And for princess lovers, the limited interaction at Cinderella’s Royal Table and cost-prohibitive nature (plus Beast-only appearance) of BoG makes the available character dining a letdown.
Here’s hoping we at least get one princess character dining at the resorts come fall.
Great news, thanks! Any rumors on when Winnie the Pooh and friends will be returning to The Crystal Palace?
I’ve heard nothing. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already, to be honest. Not like they’re face characters.
Thanks, Tom! We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Going to WDW inn July for the first time since Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and The Crystal Palace is our favorite character meal!
Hah! I hadn’t read all the comments yet when I posted above. I also don’t understand why they are holding out on CP and Ohana character dining. I wouldn’t eat at Ohana without getting to see Stitch.
on the one hand it seems ridiculous for adults to get excited about Disney hiring some teenagers to put on a costume and pretend to be cartoon characters,.. on the other hand when I met Ariel some part of me trembled in the presence of royalty as I teared up remembering my daughter singing the song. Additionally, I once saw Chewbacca quietly approach and hug a somewhat intellectually challenged youth who beamed with such a delight that would never be forgotten,.. so, ridiculous, yes,.. but also a tribute to Imagination which I view as a kind of pretending with hypotheticals,..
Oddly enough, I ‘suspend disbelief’ far better with the fur characters than the face characters. In the moment, it’s like actually meeting Mickey or whomever for me, and I get excited.
Not the case at all with face characters. Part of that is probably that we’ve known several (friends of) princesses over the years, so that and their war stories are often front of mind (and make me nervous).
To each their own, though–I’m very glad characters are coming back and hope this trend continues/accelerates!
Oh good I booked Ft Wilderness for my toddler hoping Chip & Dale would be back. Guess I better keep our evenings free and buy some vegan marshmallows for our trip.
Judging from my photo (https://flic.kr/p/ArNZyk), we met Pan by the extended queue in 2015. We had met Tinkerbell earlier in the day and I remember playing a fun game of “pass the message” between the two of them and Ariel.
Disneyland’s Mirabel M&G is nicely done, but I guess part of a cavalcade is better than nothing at WDW.
Great news about Chip and Dale returning to the campsite. My grandkids and wife will love it. How tall is Buzz? I always figured u for 6 feet.
Ha, I’m definitely not 6 feet tall–shave 2-3 inches off that–but thanks for the generous assumption! 🙂