by Jennifer Stuart
One of the magical elements of a Disney Cruise is the ability to meet your favourite Disney characters onboard the ships. Read on for information and tips on how to meet all your favourite characters on your Disney Cruise.
Depending on which ship you are sailing on, your character breakfast may look different. If you are familiar with character breakfasts at the Disney Parks then you will know how these work. You have a reserved time for breakfast and while you eat the characters will come around to your table and interact with you and your family and give you time to take photos. Which characters are available at character breakfasts varies by ship. We had a wonderful character breakfast onboard the Disney Wonder with classic characters in their cruise gear. We met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto all while enjoying a table service breakfast in Animator's Palate restaurant. The best part is that this is not an extra charge option but available to everyone! Reservations for character breakfasts open up at the same time as your ability to book shore excursions and other onboard activities. The timing of this will depend on your Castaway Club status.
Insider Tip: If you aren't able to get a reservation check in with guest services on your embarkation day to see if there are any cancellations.
This is another free character meeting opportunity that you need to have advance reservations for - it is just that popular. This is a great way for the princess lovers in your group to meet several princesses at one time with minimal waiting. As your ticket is for a specific time, we waited only a few minutes for each princess. Princesses that are usually available are Belle, Ariel, Cinderella and Tiana. There is plenty of time for a good interaction and lots of photos. As with character meets in the park, there will be a professional photographer, but cast members are happy to take a picture for you on your camera or phone as well.
There is usually at least one character dance party on board. This picture of Sully was from the Pixar Pals Dance Party onboard the Disney Wonder. We had a chance to dance with Woody, Jessie, Sully, Dug and Remy. On the Disney Dream we went to the ******* Dance Party and danced with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Chip and Dale all in their Caribbean Cruise outfits. This is a really fun way to meet and interact with characters for Disney fans of all ages. It is not a classic meet and greet and is better for video than still photos. It is a lot of fun and we highly recommend you schedule this into your plans.
There are numerous opportunities to meet characters at different times throughout the cruise. There are many classic meet and greet sessions scheduled with a variety of characters. Characters vary from day to day and from ship to ship although popular and classic characters will be available on all ships. If you want to meet Mickey you will get your chance! Other characters such as Tinkerbell aren't as common and if you see them come up for a meet you should definitely take advantage of it and not take the chance that she will be available later in your cruise. In general there are more character meets scheduled for days at sea but these are also busier.
Insider tip: If you don't have little ones that need to be in bed, character meetings later in the evening can have much shorter lines.
If you are sailing on a special cruise such as Marvel at Sea or Star Wars at Sea, those are great opportunities to meet characters specific to those franchises. These usually occur on a specific day and lines tend to be very long, so go early.
Characters in Costumes
We are suckers for meeting classic Disney characters in special outfits. These characters typically include Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Chip and Dale. Cruise specific outfits to look for are:
-Caribbean Cruise wear (these are some great beachy looks and you can find them in these outfits on Castaway Cay or at the Character Dance Parties on Bahamian, Caribbean and other warm itineraries.
- Pirate Night - all in great pirate inspired outfits These will be only worn on pirate night so plan accordingly if you want to get that pirate picture.
- Alaskan - These are only on Alaskan sailings as they are specific to that region. Mickey is in a lobster fisherman outfit, Minnie is wearing a great Parka, Donald and Daisy are in a buffalo plaid outfits and Chip and Dale are wearing outfits inspired by coastal First Nations.
- Sailor outfits - these are usually worn on the first and last days of the cruise -they are red, white and blue and "nautical." These now include both Mickey and Minnie in captain outfits.
- Formal night - the highlight for us here was Minnie in a beautiful formal dress and gloves.
- Halloween on the High Seas- on the "Halloween" night you can meet characters dressed up in their halloween costumes.
-Merry Christmastime Cruises - expect to get a chance to meet characters in their holiday outfits. Lots of Santa hats and holiday sweaters.
There are also opportunities to meet characters during different activities, but these might not be as obvious. Pictured above is a Frozen meet and greet that was a ticketed, but free, event on the Disney Wonder. Check for these opportunities when you go to book your shore excursions. Other chances to interact with characters are sometimes available in the kids clubs. Specifically the Oceaneer's Club and Oceaneer's Lab. For example our daughter has had the chance to meet Stitch several times in the club. These activities included a "luau" where they made Hawaiian themed crafts and "Stitch's Space Goo" which was a parent and child activity to make space goo (that they got to take home). Check the descriptions of the activities on the app to see if a character will be making an appearance.
Castaway Cay and Shore Excursions
,Even off the ship there can be chances to meet Disney characters. On Castaway Cay you can meet classic characters such as Mickey and Minnie but also usually Stitch and, fittingly for a Caribbean Island, Captain Jack Sparrow. When booking Shore excursions you can look for ones that include character meets. For example on Alaskan sailings there are usually a couple that include meeting characters in their Alaskan outfits at Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp and Salmon Bake.
Other Opportunities to See Characters
There are also several shows on board that give you a chance to see characters but not necessarily interact with them. These include the Sailing Away Deck Party on embarkation day, the ***** on Pirate Night, Freezing the Night Away on northern cruises, and the Till We Meet Again farewell show on the last night of the cruise.
Use the Disney Cruise Line App
If you enjoyed this post you may be interested in some of our other Disney Cruise Posts.
All Photos by Jennifer Stuart
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