Characters: Disney VISA Meet and Greet at Epcot

This sign leads you to the Disney VISA Meet and Greet

This sign leads you to the Disney VISA Meet and Greet

In general, I really don’t like posting about things only some people can do in the parks, “exclusives”, if you will. However, this meet and greet is such a good experience that I can’t quite stop myself.

This particular event is limited to current Chase Disney VISA cardholders. You will have to produce the card to gain access to the meet and greet, though each cardholder can bring guests with them. (I have not heard of a limit on how many people may attend with one cardholder, and I would assume that as long as you are not bringing the entire day’s population of Epcot with you, you should be fine.) If you are or are traveling with a cardholder and you are at all inclined to visit with some members of the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto, of course) then you should definitely make time for this event during your next day at Epcot.

My daughter's first time at this meet and greet

My daughter's first time at this meet and greet, back in May 2009

The meet and greet takes place each day from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm inside Epcot’s Innoventions West. (Innoventions West is on the same side of Future World as the Land and Sea pavilions. Remember it this way: Soarin’ shows you California, a state on the west coast of the U.S., and it is on the west side of Future World. There, you’ll never get Innoventions West and East mixed up again.) Once inside, search for the sign pictured above. You’ll find it near the wall of video games and the “Where’s the Fire” game. Join the line (it wraps against the wall leading back from the curtained entrance to the meet and greet room) and a cast member will come along and check your credit card to make sure you’re legit. They will also give you a voucher for a free PhotoPass 5×7 to be chosen from the pictures shot of your group during this meet and greet, so make sure not to lose that voucher! You can only redeem the voucher at Epcot’s Camera Center (next to Spaceship Earth, toward the park entrance) and you need to redeem it on the same day as your meet and greet experience.

It’s a little hard to get a feel for what your wait will be like. You are not rushed along at all when you enter the meet and greet room, so the amount of time that each group takes will be longer than at other meet and greet experiences around the parks. However, this line is usually much shorter than most other meet and greets, so your overall wait time should not be too bad unless you happen to hit this at a very busy time. And believe me, you will appreciate the relaxed pace once it’s your turn.

A more recent visit to the meet and greet, in June 2011

A more recent visit to the meet and greet, in June 2011

Before you know it, you will be ushered behind the curtains and into the room. This is when you will enjoy one of the best perks of this particular opportunity: you’ll be the only group in the room with the characters and won’t have other guests looking on as you get your hugs, pictures, and autographs. We have been to this meet and greet many times, and in our experience, having two characters there is the most likely situation. We have, however, been there when there was only one character waiting for us, and we have also been lucky enough to see three characters at the same time on another occasion. You never know who and how many characters will be there until you go in, which is actually kind of exciting! We have visited this meet and greet at least 20 times, and the characters present have always been from the Fab Five. We’ve never seenĀ Donald here, but instead, some combination of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy or Pluto, so I would say that the character(s) you are most likely to see will be drawn from that group. Things could always change in the future, though!

There will be a PhotoPass photographer inside the room, and photographers at this location tend to shoot a lot of pictures. You’ll really appreciate that when you go to get your free 5×7, as you will probably have a variety of shots to choose from and you’re much more likely to get a shot you’ll really love. Make sure to either give the photographer your PhotoPass card or get a fresh one from them, and put it with your free photo voucher so you can have both handy when you go to the Camera Center later in the day. You will need that PhotoPass card to access the pictures taken at the meet and greet, and therefore, to receive your free 5×7. You are obviously allowed (and encouraged) to take your own pictures or video as well. You will have plenty of time for autographs and some other interaction with the characters who were there to meet you. Above all, we really value this experience for its relaxed, unrushed feel.

Unfortunately, it will be necessary for you to wave goodbye and head out sometime (hey, Soarin’ won’t ride itself, right?) but you’ll have your free 5×7 to help you remember the experience. And here’s the good news, you are allowed to visit this meet and greet once a day, any day that you are at Epcot during the meet and greet hours. You could go every single day of your vacation, if you happened to be in Epcot during the hours of 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm. If you are a Disney VISA cardholder, I absolutely recommend going at least once.

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About Kathy

I'm a lifetime Disney Parks fan who recently (and coincidentally) found herself relocated to Central Florida. These are our adventures visiting the many attractions and exhibits that are all too easy to overlook in favor of the headliner and super-headliner attractions.
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