Characterpalooza – an actual Disney best kept secret!

October 5, 2012 Cheryl 6
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Walt Disney World claims to have lots of best kept secrets, but here is one that actually lives up to that claim!  “Characterpalooza” is an unadvertised Character Greeting session that occurs almost daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s on the Streets of America!  It used to occur inside the Art of Animation building, but the recently moved it so the characters can roam around and greet guests!!

Who will you see?  Well that is the surprise!   Not even Cast Members can tell you who is going to make an appearance!

The timing and number of Characters depends on the following show times for Fantasmic that evening:

  • If Fantasmic isn’t scheduled, Characters will appear from 4:50 to 6:50 PM.
  • If the first Fantasmic begins before 7:30 PM, then Characterpalooza will not occur since the Characters will be getting ready for Fantasmic.
  • If the first Fantasmic begins at 7:30 PM, Characters will only appear between 4:50 and 5:10 PM.
  • If the first Fantasmic begins at 8:00 or 8:30 PM, Characters will appear from 4:50 to 5:50 PM.
  • If the first Fantasmic begins at 9:00 PM, Characters will appear from 4:50 to 6:30 PM.

Last time we were there we saw Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Genie, Jafar, Snow White, Pinocchio, Gepetto, Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, Mary Poppins and her penguins, and The Wicked Queen (from Snow White).  The Little Einsteins were also there!  We are really big on getting Character signatures, so any chance to catch a rare one is a treat.  If you feel the same way, I would definitely recommend scheduling some time in the Streets of America!

Get tips like these and more when you book your Disney vacation with me.  Request a free no-obligation quote today and let me help you plan a character-filled Disney getaway!

Many thanks to for providing research material for this article.  You can read their article on Characterpalooza here!  Kenny the Pirate is also an excellent reference for the most up to date information on Characterpalooza!!




Hey Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!

August 22, 2012 Cheryl 2
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(Originally published on 7/22/2012) There may be 104 days of summer vacation, but at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are 365 days of Phineas and Ferb!  Located near the exit of the Muppet-Vision 3D attraction and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, this has got to be one of the most fun character greeting spots in all of Disney World!

As the story goes, the cartoon duo is making a movie called We’re Making a Movie – The Movie.  Phineas and Ferb are currently filming on location, and you are part of an active movie set.  With a DJ spinning all of TV show’s hit tunes, set director Cletus Filmore takes guests from the queue and has them recreate scenes from Phineas and Ferb episodes!  Big kids, little kids, and kids-at-heart are given blow-up guitars and saxophones, tambourines, and taught dance moves so that “the band” can be ready for their close up!  All the while, the two stepbrothers are there, signing autographs and taking photos with guests.

Meeting Phineas and Ferb was high up on our to-do list during our last visit.  Being big fans of the show (my husband has “S.I.M.P.” as his ringtone) we were all pretty excited to meet the boys…and this character greeting did not disappoint.  We stood in line about 45 minutes total, but honestly it didn’t seem that long at all.  The wait would have felt incredibly long in the hot sun however, if it were not for the director.  He had a gentle, yet insistent, way of encouraging young kids and their-not-so-young older siblings, parents, and grandparents to get out there and reenact scenes from the TV series.  It was especially funny when our friend Dave got out there and started doing the Y.M.C.A. to “Phinedroids and Ferbots”!  Then, not to be out done, I got out there during the next round and added my not-yet-ready-for-prime-time tambourine skills to “Gitchi Gitchi Goo”.  All the music, jokes, and improv entertainment definitely make the time pass quickly.

Once we got to the front of the line, it was time for the stepbrothers to take a break.  But, as we had two young boys in our group, the characters gave high fives to them on their way past and let them know (via Disney hand gestures) that they would be right back.  About 5 minutes later they returned, and we spent a few minutes getting photos and having them sign autographs.  It didn’t feel rushed at all, and was definitely worth the wait.  It would have been nice to have some of the other characters there – Candace, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and, of course, Perry – but at least there is a pop-up of Agent P that you can see in the pictures.   And, until they build a Phineas and Ferb roller coaster, this is a great way to spend some time in the Tri-State Area.

Planning Tip:

If you are planning on going to the Phineas and Ferb Play’n’Greet and during your next trip, just know that they are very popular characters. Because of this, the wait seems to consistently at least 25-30 minutes. The music and show gags make the wait quite tolerable, but also know that the area is NOT covered and the queue always seems to be in the hot sun, except if it is raining (as it frequently does in the summer months).  If it does rain the characters will leave…and they may not come back.  There is a Disney Photopass staff member there to take pictures, but if you hand them your camera they will take some shots with your camera as well.  Finally, remember to check the time guide for exact times that Phineas and Ferb will be there, as they are not there all day.

UPDATE (8/22/2012):

As Garrett noted below – when the weather is gloomy, the boys move inside to the Premier Theater, which is located to the right of the regular meet and greet (right past Lightning McQueen and Mater).  We were there yesterday and the line was pretty short – in fact we were the last ones in line, and T got to dance with Phineas!

I have also heard an unconfirmed  rumor that the We’re Making a Movie – The Movie set is going to be wrapping up at the end of September, and it will be just a regular meet and greet.  I hope this isn’t the case, as being part of the film was a lot of fun, and set director Cletus Filmore definitely made the wait in line fun.