While rides and shows are why many come to Walt Disney World for vacation, the opportunity to see and meet their favorite Disney characters is an important component to any Disney World trip. Disney's Hollywood Studios has a rich assortment of characters, many of which are unique to the park and if you'd like to give your favorite character a hug, here's a primer for finding your favorites.
Disney loves to compliment its many rides and shows with character meets to give guests more options. Character meets serve another purpose of pulling more guests away from the attraction queues and give guests an alternative. In general, finding your favorite characters isn't difficult, you just need to know where the characters usually can be found.
The most popular places to find characters in Hollywood Studios are
You can find characters elsewhere from time to time, but generally speaking these are the top places you will find characters to see consistantly.
If you're looking at that list and don't know where to start, there's good news: some of these meet locations have a theme. For example, Pixar Place will only have Pixar characters such as Buzz, Woody or the Green Army Men. Disney Junior will have the preschool characters and the Sorcerer's Hat generally has Mickey's friends like Daisy, Minnie, Donald or Goofy.
If you're looking to meet the latest Disney film star, there's no question that the Magic of Disney Animation is the place to go. Unless the character is a princess (and then it's off to the Magic Kingdom for that entitled gal), you will find a character (or two) from the latest Disney film inside the Magic of Disney Animation. As of this writing, that's Lotso from Toy Story 3 but he will be replaced by Winnie the Pooh on May 16.
When to go is just as important as who to see. Most character meet locations are best experience in the morning hours, when lines are shorter. In my experience, lines build throughout the day and by afternoon, the lines are longest. When Mickey Mouse appears at 10am usually inside the Magic of Disney Animation, the first hour is usually a ghost town. Likewise the Cars characters near MuppetVision 3D wont have much of a line until lunch time. If characters are your priority, then definitely spend the morning hours meeting them to ensure minimal waits.
There are also some characters and "looks" that are unique to the Studios. The Disney Junior characters can only be found in Disney's Hollywood Studios and if their regular meet area isn't enough for your toddler, you can book breakfast or lunch at Hollywood & Vine restaurant and have a character meal with them. The Fab Five characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto) and their friends (Chip, Dale & Daisy) have special costumes that are unique to Hollywood Studios. They all have Hollywood glitzy outfits, with the exception of Mickey who is dressed as Sorcerer Mickey.
Hollywood Studios is also the place to find Pixar characters. Characters from the Incredibles, Toy Story, Cars and Monsters Inc are available to meet. You can also see characters from Ratatouille, Up, Bug's Life in the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! parade.
For anyone who loves to meet characters, Disney's Hollywood Studios is one of the best parks in Walt Disney World to come face to face with your favorite character. With a blend of new and old faces, it's hard to go wrong with meeting the stars of your favorite Disney films in the place where showbiz is!