We all know that Epcot is chock full of character meet & greets at scheduled times throughout the park. Whether you're at the Character Spot in Future World meeting Mickey, Minnie and Goofy or across the way with Joy, Sadness and Baymax – or wandering World Showcase for scheduled meets with Belle, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Donald, Anna, Elsa, and more – there's no shortage of characters to be had in this park.
That said, while we all know about these scheduled visits, many people don't realize that Epcot is also generally the park most commonly used for character attendant training. Be in the right place at the right time, and you might be lucky enough to stumble upon an impromptu pop up with Pocahontas or Cinderella.
…or King Louie or Smee.
Spots where you'll most often want to keep your eyes open are the gates between the UK and Canada in World Showcase, as well as right inside the entrance at International Gateway – the back entry to Epcot between the United Kingdom and the bridge to France, where you enter if you're coming from the Epcot Resorts around Crescent Lake.
Other spots include the gates between Italy and the United States pavilions and the area beside Journey Into Imagination. So always keep your eyes open if you're wandering near these tucked away areas!
These impromptu meet and greets add so much unexpected fun to the day. You'll often get to meet some of the rarer characters with no lines at all. You'll also have the chance to interact with a cast member attendant who's earning his or her ears.
For me, these sorts of unscheduled surprises are such a big part of the magic here in Walt Disney World. You can schedule what seems like the perfect day for yourself and your family – but so often the most special memories are these little surprises that we didn't even know about when we were working so hard on our trip plans.
Who are your favorite characters to meet in the parks? Have you ever stumbled upon a rare and unannounced character meet and greet? Comment below and let me know!!