The Character Queen’s top 5 favorite character meet and greets

This is a post from Dustin "The Character Queen" Hayes. Be sure to follow him on Facebook. Here's Dustin...

Since I started my adventures in character hunting, the question I get asked most often is "What character meet has been your favorite so far and why?"

This question is nearly impossible for me to answer because I have loved every second I've gotten to spend with my character friends, so I decided to choose several of my favorites and share the stories behind the pictures with you!

5. Lady Tremaine and the Stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia

These ladies are the absolute best way to start your morning in the Magic Kingdom when they start meeting behind Cinderella Castle (though they are temporarily relocated to the large wall near the Enchanted Forest in New Fantasyland). They always love compliments and attention, and if you're willing to give it to them, your time with them can be hysterical!

There was one morning when I decided that I needed to make an honest woman out of Lady Tremaine, so I proposed to her with my credit card.

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

(Our wedding and reception will be at Gaston's Tavern and we're registered at Medieval Target.)

Not wanting to leave her two lovely daughters out, I asked Anastasia and Drizella if they wanted to be in a little video with me. They told me they knew the words to this song, honest...

A video posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

Be careful if you happen to meet them at the same time that Dream Along With Mickey is playing in front of the castle, however; they get frightened by loud noises and you might end up taking cover with them unintentionally.

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

4. Maleficent

It was a beautiful morning as I strolled up the International Gateway at Epcot, and little did I know that the Mistress of All Evil was trailing slowly behind me to search for new goons and cause all sorts of mischief.

I immediately delayed my plans to tour World Showcase and trailed her to her unexpected meeting spot for the day. When it was my turn to meet her, I was at a complete loss for words, and this happened...

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

After a brief discussion about how I could do a much better job searching for the princess for her, I tried my best to mimic all her evil fabulousness for a photo. So much awkward.

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

Maleficent is not a character meet and greet regularly offered, so if you are ever strolling along and feel a chilly wind behind you, turn around. It might just be her!

3. Darth Vader

Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios bring about a whole slew of character meets you don't regularly find in the parks during the rest of the year. One of the most popular happens to be one of the rulers of the evil Galactic Empire, and while his wait proves to be very long, it can be worth every second.

The day I met him, we had quite the stare down for a moment, but as soon as he turned towards my camera, my demeanor changed entirely. C'mon, who doesn't love a tall, dark and brooding guy?

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

(Darth's line can be incredibly long throughout the entire day, so I recommend making this your first stop at rope drop if you are attending Star Wars Weekends.)

2. Ariel

The Little Mermaid is my all time favorite movie, so any time I get to go to Ariel's Grotto in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, I instantly turn back into the 4 year old I was when I first saw the movie.

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

Ariel has a LOT to talk about with you. She'll always be curious about the different accessories you might be wearing, so be careful, she might just want to add them to her own collection!

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

She's also fascinated by a lot of things those of us with legs take for granted. I tried giving her surfing lessons one time.

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

Quite possibly my favorite moment with this fishy was when we were staring at my handheld trinket (my phone) when suddenly her voice started to disappear again...

A video posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

(Ariel's line is always shortest right after Wishes to park closing time and this would be my recommended time to visit her.)

1. Rapunzel

Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland is the home of the sassiest lost princess you'll ever meet! This ruffian always loves to hang out with her. One time she taught me some of the dances she teaches to the boys at the Snuggly Duckling...

A video posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

There was the time we went looking for Pascal together...

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

A photo posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

But the best moment of all was when I decided to see if I could give her the smolder like her friend Flynn Rider!

A video posted by Dustin (@dustin_b_hayes) on

(Rapunzel meets with Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall, and lines are typically longest for them in the middle of the day. If you don't use a FastPass+ to visit them, your best bet is to visit at park open when everyone is headed to the Mine Train, or later in the evening during Wishes up until park close.)


I have been very fortunate to have had as many magical moments with my character friends as I have had in the last year, and I am absolutely looking forward to more in the future! Happy Character Hunting!

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