Friday, October 25, 2013

A Stop at Epcot Character Spot

Epcot Character Spot has been a fun place to meet a lot of characters all at once, since it was first introduced in 2007.  The previous version included meets with The Fab 5 characters and saw lines that were often in the range of 45 minutes.  
My previous experience at the Epcot Character Spot in June 2012

However, earlier this year, the Epcot Character Spot saw a lengthy refurbishment that lasted a good portion of the year.  When it reopened (without a whole lot of fanfare), a few changes were made.  First off, new backgrounds were introduced.  Both were quite cartoony, but the newer ones seem a little less cluttered.  The focus is now drawn to the character.  The theme of the backgrounds are still based off the main principles of Epcot, innovation and discovery.

In addition, there are only three stations now, leaving guests to only get the chance to meet with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. (Pluto has previously met here instead.)

The other major change here is that wait times aren't nearly what they used to be.  I think this is due to the fact that with the old version, guests could plainly see the characters through the windows that faced the passageway to Future World West.  Now, however, the characters meet in a different spot inside the building, so guests can't see any characters at all.  This is great news for me though.  Character greeting isn't something that I HAVE to do on vacation, so it benefits me that the lines are typically short.  Matter of fact, when we were there in October near the end of the night, we waited a grand total of 5 minutes.

So, for this trip, since I hadn't visited the new location to meet some of Disney's most beloved characters, we got in line and pretty much walked right up.  Only a couple of families were in front of us.  First up is the Big Cheese himself.  We gave Mickey some love.

Next, the Goofiest of them all.  

Finally was Miss Minnie Mouse herself.  So very sweet.

This new meeting area is still fun.  It's a great opportunity to see multiple characters at once.  In addition, this is one of the best places to see Mickey Mouse in all of Walt Disney World because he is more hidden. (The other places you can meet him are the new Adventurers Outpost in Animal Kingdom, at the Magic of Disney Animation in Disney's Hollywood Studios, and now, guests can meet Talking Mickey at Town Square Theater in the Magic Kingdom.) 

My suggestion, if you want to experience this meet and greet, go towards the end of the night.  While most people are in World Showcase, Future World is quite empty.  Meaning that this character location's wait times plummet to next to nothing. Make sure to have your autograph book and camera ready! 

What are your thoughts for visiting the Epcot Character Spot?  Do you like this new version?  Prefer the older one?  Have tips for meeting the characters?  Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page.  

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