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Meeting Disneyland Paris characters is similar to meeting characters at Disneyland California or Disney World, but there are few unique things you need to know about meeting Disneyland Paris characters in order to have a great experience.
Knowing the 10 things on this list will help you have an amazing experience meeting Disneyland Paris characters and leave the park with magical memories.
I’ll even help you track down some ultra rare characters!
Buckle in and get ready to become an expert on Disneyland Paris characters!
And be sure to share this article with all of Disnerd friends by using the social share buttons on the top and side bars!
1. No Characters Have Fastpass
This is a huge difference from Disney World and Disneyland!
You cannot get a fastpass to meet any of the Disneyland Paris characters.
You have to stand in line to meet every single character that meets and greets guests at Disneyland Paris. Even the most popular characters that can have a line that is over an hour long!
Meeting Disneyland Paris characters can be a time suck because of this!
Not only can you not get a fastpass to meet characters in Disneyland Paris, but the long lines can make it difficult to plan your day around meeting them and using your fastpasses for other attractions.
The fastpass system in Disneyland Paris is a bit tricky and has some oddities that no other Disney park has.
I have a complete post about Disneyland Paris fastpasses here. Give it a read because you need to know this information in order to plan meeting characters around using your fastpasses!
The fact that Disneyland Paris characters do not offer a fastpass option means you need to have a strategy in place for your visit to Disneyland Paris if you want to meet characters.
Having a strategy will help you see and do everything you want without feeling stressed or out of time.
The other 9 tips in this list will give you the information you need to prepare a strategy for meeting Disneyland Paris characters!
2. Mickey Mouse Always Has Huge Line
This has to be the most frustrating part of Disneyland Paris not offering fastpass for character meet and greets.
Everybody wants to meet Mickey, but the line is always over an hour long!
You have to tough it out and stand in a long, slow-moving line just to meet the mouse himself.
I’ve never had the patience to stand in the queue to meet Mickey at Disneyland Paris, which is a shame. The last time I was at Disneyland Paris, the line was almost 2 hours long to meet him!
It is a shame that they have designed it this way. It forces people to choose whether they want to meet Mickey or go on rides.
And on top of that, you need to make sure you have enough time to wait to meet Mickey between everything else you have planned for the day.
It can be surprisingly difficult to find the time to meet Mickey. Between parades, dining reservations, fastpasses, and shows, there aren’t that many opportunities in a day to wait over an hour to meet Mickey Mouse.
First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening are the best times to meet Mickey Mouse.
The line will still be long, but it will be shorter than any other time of day.
You may only have to wait 30 to 45 minutes!
If it is important to you to meet Mickey, carve out a dedicated chunk of time in your Disneyland Paris itinerary. Don’t plan anything else during that time and patiently wait in line to meet him.
He meets with guests pretty much from park open to park close, so you can plan to meet him whenever works best for you.
3. The Secret Time to Meet Disneyland Paris Characters
I’m going to let you in on a secret, but you have to promise not to tell anymore.
Disneyland Paris is one of those parks that lets guests in before the park officially opens. This helps get guests into the park and prevents people from getting grumpy and restless in line.
Disneyland Paris often lets guests into the park half an hour before the park officially opens. This is the best time to meet Disneyland Paris characters.
You can only meet characters that are at the front of the park along Main Street U.S.A., but there are normally 3 or 4 characters ready to meet guests!
Most often they are Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Goofy, but sometimes there are other characters.
I always get to Disneyland Paris early and meet the characters hanging out in the front before the park officially opens.
It is the best and quickest way to meet Disneyland Paris characters. You can knock two or three characters out before the park even opens!
The, obvious, downside to this is that you don’t get to choose what characters you meet.
You have to be happy with whatever characters are out and about on the day you’re visiting.
The Other Benefit
The other advantage to meeting characters before the park opens is it puts you in a great position to ride a few rides with no wait.
You’re already in the park before it opens, so you can be at the entrance to whatever land you want to visit first right at park open.
This basically ensures you walk right onto at least one popular attraction, and you can often ride two or three attractions with basically no wait!
It is a fantastic strategy!
You meet some awesome characters and then ride a few rides with little to no wait time.
It is worthwhile to get up early!
4. Use the Disneyland Paris App
The Disneyland Paris app will be your best friend!
It lets you check real-time wait times for attractions and lets you check the character schedule.
The app is more useful than the park map because it tells you when characters are meeting out and about and not in official locations. The park map tells you about Mickey mouse, the princesses, and sometimes when characters meet on Main Street U.S.A.
On the app, you can find out if characters are meeting in different locations around the park.
You can see if there are characters meeting in Fantasyland, Frontierland, and more specifics about what characters are meeting on Main Street U.S.A. and when.
The app is so much more useful than paper maps, so be sure you have the app downloaded on your phone before you arrive at Disneyland Paris!
The one thing the app is lacking is providing wait times for characters outside of Mickey Mouse and the Star Wars characters.
Since the characters that meet in unofficial locations don’t have a place to track wait times and rely on cast members to cut the line off when it is full, there is no current way for the app to track a wait time for these characters.
Hopefully that technology comes in the future!
Wifi at Disneyland Paris
The wifi at Disneyland Paris has become infinitely better in recent years!
The first time I visited Disneyland Paris, you had to pay to use their wifi, so most guests didn’t have access to wifi while at the parks.
Thankfully, Disneyland Paris has a much better wifi system now! They had to revamp it and make it available to all guests once they launched the Disneyland Paris app.
Everybody who visits Disneyland Paris can access their free wifi system.
It is pretty quick and has decent coverage considering how many people use it throughout the day. Disneyland Paris wifi isn’t perfect, and it can be spotty, but it is much better than the wifi at other Disney parks around the world. (I’m looking at you Disneyland California!)
You don’t need a password and connect to the wifi once you’re in the park.
It is available in both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios, but you, unfortunately, cannot connect to it in Disney Village.
Hopefully that changes in the future though!
You Have to Keep Your Online Data Safe
One of the major downsides to the wifi at Disneyland Paris is that it is a public network. It has to be, but there are risks associated with connecting to a public network.
Especially a public network that is used by so many people per day and anyone can access since there is no password required!
It is important wherever you travel to have a VPN installed on your phone, tablet, and laptop to protect your online data and privacy.
It becomes even more important to have a VPN on your phone when you’re connecting to a huge public wifi network like the Disneyland Paris wifi system.
You never know who is trying to spy on your online data and potentially steal your information.
You don’t want to deal with the nightmare of trying to call your bank and lock all your credit and debit card because you didn’t protect your online information and someone stole your banking information.
A VPN is the only way to protect your online data and privacy when using a public wifi network!
My Favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over my years of travel, and NordVPN is the only one I’ve actually liked.
VPNs are notorious for slowing down your wifi connection and making you want to cry out in frustration because it takes five minutes to open a webpage.
You don’t have that problem with NordVPN.
It is known for its high-speed connection and not slowing down your devices when you have your VPN turned on.
I can confirm that it is quick. It is by far the quickest VPN I’ve ever used, and it makes using a VPN when travelling so much more enjoyable!
You can protect up to six devices with one NordVPN subscription!
It is so nice to be able to protect all your devices with one account and not have to worry about choosing what devices you want to protect or having to purchase another VPN subscription.
My favourite feature is being able to cloak my location!
If you’re in a country that doesn’t yet offer Disney+, you can change your location in the NordVPN app to make it look like you’re in a country that does offer Disney+.
You can then log into your account and binge all your favourite Disney shows to get in the Disneyland Paris mood!
NordVPN offers sales almost all year ’round, so there is no excuse not to protect your online data!
It is super affordable. Your monthly subscription costs less than one Starbucks latte!
How can you say no to that?!
5. Star Wars is Relatively Quiet
This is one of the most surprising tidbits about Disneyland Paris characters.
Star Wars is popular is one of the most popular movie franchises in the world, but meeting the Star Wars characters isn’t a popular thing to do in Disneyland Paris.
You can walk up to meet Darth Vader or Chewbacca pretty much any time of day and not have to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes!
This is amazing!
It gives you the chance to meet super popular characters without the wait! In the US parks, you can expect to wait about 45 minutes to meet Star Wars characters.
Not in Disneyland Paris!
The Star Wars characters are some of the best Disneyland Paris characters to meet if you only have one day in the park.
It doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, and you leave with a super fun character interaction!
I’m not sure why the Star Wars characters aren’t that popular at Disneyland Paris, but I’m not complaining about it!
6. It Pays to be a Disneyland Paris Hotel Guest
One of the perks of staying at a Disneyland Paris hotel is getting VIP access to characters.
Every morning (and sometimes throughout the day) there are characters in the lobby ready to meet with guests.
You never know what characters will be there to meet you, but they tend to be similar to the characters you meet on Main Street U.S.A. in the morning. Pluto, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy.
But you never know who will show up!
Sometimes the Toy Story characters show up to greet guests! That’s always fun because Woody and Jessie have an incredibly long line in the parks to meet them!
Getting up early and meeting a few characters before you leave for the parks is a great way to check a few things off the to-do list without sacrificing other activities.
You really can have your cake and eat it too if you’re staying at a Disneyland Paris hotel!
Booking a Disneyland Paris Hotel is Frustrating
It doesn’t take much investigating to realize that booking a hotel directly through the Disneyland Paris website is more of a hassle than it should be!
You can only book a hotel package through the Disneyland Paris, which is annoying if all you want is a hotel room.
The package includes the hotel room, tickets, and a dining package.
There is no way to book just a hotel room on the Disneyland Paris website!
You can call and try to book just a hotel room, but they don’t always let you. Plus there isn’t a toll-free phone number, and there are hefty long distance charges if you don’t live in France.
Trust me I know from experience! I spent a lot of money on a phone call to Disneyland Paris to pre-book a dining experience a few years back!
There is, thankfully, an easier way to book just a Disneyland Paris hotel.
An Easier Way to Book a Disneyland Paris Hotel
I always use Hotels.com when I book a Disneyland Paris hotel.
You can book a single hotel room through Hotels.com and side step the need to book a package deal. Because, frankly, they aren’t really the best deal.
I like booking my Disneyland Paris hotel through Hotels.com because they allow you free cancellation up until the day before check-in, and you receive all the special benefits (like an extra fastpass) that hotel guests who booked directly with Disneyland Paris get.
You also earn nights towards your free night certificate, which is a huge bonus.
You get a free night’s stay certificate after you spend 10 nights in any Hotels.com property.
The value of your free night is the median cost of the 10 nights you stayed to earn the certificate, so staying at a Disneyland Paris hotel really boosts up the value of the free night you get!
Hotels.com is the perfect way to get around Disneyland Paris’ weird desire for every hotel guest to buy a package while still getting all the perks of staying on Disney property.
With the added bonus of earning towards a free night in a hotel!
7. You Should Consider Character Dining
A character dining experience is one of the best ways to meet Disneyland Paris characters.
It helps you plan your day, cuts down on the wait time to meet characters, and you get a decent meal out of it too.
There are four different place you can dine with characters:
- Plaza Gardens in Disneyland Paris (breakfast) to meet Pooh and friends
- Auberge de Cendrillon in Disneyland Paris (lunch and dinner) to meet princesses
- Inventions in Disneyland Paris Hotel (lunch and dinner) to meet surprises characters that are always changing
- Café Mickey in Disney Village (lunch and dinner) to meet Mickey and friends
Character dining is hugely popular, so you need to make reservations in advance.
You can reserve your table up to two months in advance, and, as of November of 2020, you can only make your reservation over the phone. You can’t make an online dining reservation at this point in time. Unfortunately.
Character dining is great for groups with children who may not want to stand in a long line to meet Disneyland Paris characters.
Character dining lets you get in and out with little to no fuss. The kids love it, and the adults get a little bit of a breather.
It is a win-win in that scenario.
The Downside of Disneyland Paris Character Dining
On the surface, character dining may seem like the perfect way to meet Disneyland Paris characters, but there are a couple of downsides to it.
It is expensive!
Character dining is not cheap.
The price of an adult ranges from €35 to €77 for a meal!
One meal can cut a rather large hole in your Disneyland Paris budget, so you need to consider whether or not it is the right financial decision for you and your group.
There are a lot of other ways you can spend that money.
On the other hand, money may not be an issue, and you’re happy to shell out that type of money for the convenience of meeting characters quickly and easily.
It depends on you and your Disney travel style.
I’ve done a number of character dining experiences. Sometimes I feel like they are worth the money and sometimes I don’t.
It just depends what you want out of your Disney trip.
But you’ve been warned, and now it is up to you to decide if character dining is worth the money or not.
Nobody takes your photo
One of my biggest pet peeves about character dining at every Disney park is that there is no character attendant that can help you get a photo.
Somebody in your group needs to take the photo, so it is difficult to get a group shot at character dining experiences.
You can ask someone at a nearby table to take a photo for you, but that gets old really quickly and becomes rude. That person wants to enjoy their meal as well and doesn’t want to get up and down and take photos for you.
The photo backdrop sucks
It is unavoidable that the background of your photo is going to be terrible.
There will be tables, other people, and a bunch of other unsightly things in the background of your photos.
A character dining experience is not the place to go if you’re looking for the perfect Instagram photo of your time at Disneyland Paris.
How to Decide if a Character Dining Experience is Right for You
It all comes down to how you want your Disneyland Paris trip to look.
If you want to meet a bunch of characters without waiting in long lines and money isn’t an issue, character dining may be perfect for you.
If you want a more professional-looking photograph and backdrop and don’t mind waiting in a long line, then you may want to skip character dining.
There is no right option.
8. Rare Characters at Disneyland Paris
There are a lot of rare characters at Disneyland Paris!
Some of them only come out during special events, and some of them can be found all year ’round.
One of my favourite rare Disneyland Paris characters is the White Rabbit. He hangs out in Fantasyland almost everyday, and it is a really special character to meet.
I’ve been to a lot of Disney parks, and Disneyland Paris is the only park I’ve seen White Rabbit meeting guests.
The Chesire Cat is more difficult to find, but if you’re really, really lucky, you might get to meet him too!
Marie from The Artistocats meets guests quite frequently. She isn’t out and about every day, but you can catch her once a week or so if you’re lucky.
Her brothers Berlioz and Toulouse (my personal favourite) only meet guests during the Christmas season, so they are much more difficult to find.
The best chance you have of meeting the Aristocats brothers is booking a Sunday brunch at Inventions. That is where they are most often seen during the winter months.
No guarantee though!
During the Halloween season, Huey, Dewey, and Louie tend to be out and about in Disneyland Paris. They sometimes meet with guests at the front of the park. If you see them, jump in line!
They’re super rare. The only other place I’ve seen them is in Tokyo DisneySea.
Another amazing rare character that you can sometimes meet in Disneyland Paris is Monseigneur Claude Follo the villain in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
There is a super secret place Frollo hangs out.
It is on the back side of the castle. If you’re at the back of the castle, on the very right-hand side beside the dragon’s cellar, there is a door where characters come in and out of.
This is the best place to spot most characters and the only place you can meet Frollo.
He is super hard to come by, but you may just get lucky enough to see him! I’ve never been so lucky, so please send me photos if you get to meet him!
All things considered, you can meet some pretty rare characters you won’t find in other Disney parks around the world.
9. Characters Don’t Roam Around
In most Disney parks around the world there are characters that roam around certain land throughout the day.
Normally you can see Peter Pan and Captain Hook chasing each other or Alice and the Queen of Hearts interacting, but that isn’t the case in Disneyland Paris.
Characters stay in their location, and there is no interacting with other characters or moving around the land in a semi-performance basis.
This is nice because guests know where and when they can meet Disneyland Paris characters, but it also take a bit of the fun out of it.
It is fun to randomly pass by characters and see them interacting with one another. It adds to the magic of a Disney park.
So you don’t need to have your camera ready to go at any moment in case you see a fun character interaction.
10. Photopass is an Option (and why you don’t need it)
Photopass is one of my favourite add on when I visited Disneyland or Disney World, but you shouldn’t splurge and get it at Disneyland Paris.
Disneyland Paris’ photopass costs €60 if you purchase it in advance and €70 if you purchase it at the park.
The problem is that there aren’t nearly at many photo locations or photographers around the park.
It is really difficult to get your money’s worth with the Disneyland Paris photopass.
It is more cost effective to use your own camera or purchase a single photo that you’re in love with.
I personally don’t see the value in the Disneyland Paris photopass.
Character attendants are more than happy to take a photo of you and the character with your camera.
This is the best way to get a photo with Disneyland Paris characters.
It costs you nothing, but you still have a great memory to take home with you!
Clearly, there is a lot of information you should know about meeting Disneyland Paris characters.
My best piece of advice is be patient, expect to wait in long lines, and have a strategy.
The character system at Disneyland Paris is far from perfect.
They need to introduce a fastpass option for Mickey Mouse and make it so people don’t have to make the hard decision between standing in line for an hour to meet a character or riding an attraction.
There are definite improvements that need to be made, and, hopefully, they make them in the coming years!
But until that time, stay strong and go in search of those ultra rare characters!
Normally, I would end this post by asking you to say hi to Mickey for me, but I’m not going to ask you to stay in line for that long!
But I will ask you to enjoy your time at Disneyland Paris!
It is an amazing park. I think it is underrated and doesn’t get as much love in the Disney community as it should.