Meeting Mickey Mouse is on the top of almost every first-time Walt Disney World visitor’s list (and probably a lot of repeat visitors’ lists too). Meeting Mickey Mouse in a long line, however, probably is not. With Mickey’s enduring popularity, it can be tough to get that prized photo with him and not feel like you have spent half your day in line. These are some strategies you can follow to minimize your wait in line to meet Mickey at the Magic Kingdom.
Mickey Mouse meets in Town Square at the theater just beyond the entrance to the right. To minimize your wait, use one of these four strategies, listed here in increasing order of effectiveness:
- Visit at park open: As of January 2017, Magic Kingdom allows everyone to enter Main Street USA before the park opens. This includes the area where the theater is located. If you want to meet Mickey when the park officially opens, you will have to be in line at the theater. You may end up waiting just as long in line waiting for him to open as you would later in the day, so this is probably not your best option.
- Visit just before park close: All Walt Disney World attractions allow you to enter a queue up to park closing time, even if that means the attraction will stay open for several minutes (or more) to get everyone through the line to experience it. Often, wait times are inflated to discourage people from entering the line. Don’t worry – get in line, and you will be meeting Mickey in no time. The only issue with this strategy is meeting with young kids who might be exhausted and fussy by the end of the night.
- Use FastPass+: You could use one of your three FastPasses to meet Mickey. It just depends on your family’s preferences in using one of the three FastPasses that you can book in advance to meet the big cheese. Some families might want to concentration on the three “mountains,” Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan’s Flight, as those typically have long lines throughout the day. But if meeting Mickey Mouse is at the top of your list, using a FastPass is a good option.
- Visit during a parade: This is by far my favorite and most recommended strategy in meeting Mickey Mouse. Because the theater is in the same area where Magic Kingdom parades begin or end, it becomes a bit difficult to transverse the streets and sidewalks to get to the theater when a parade is en route. The parades are also very popular and on the must-see list for many families. What often happens is that Mickey’s wait time will go down just before the parade begins and stay low for the duration of the parade. This is the perfect time to visit if you don’t mind missing the parade or can see it another time. My family recently hung out near the train station platform and saw the wait time for Mickey Mouse decrease from 35 minutes at 2:30 p.m. to 10 minutes at 3:10 p.m. as the Festival of Fantasy Parade was making its way toward Town Square.
- Dine at Chef Mickey’s: While technically not in Magic Kingdom, a short walk from Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary Resort can have you dining in Mickey’s restaurant, Chef Mickey’s. This option also comes with a significant added cost in either paying cash for the meal or using one dining credit per person if on the Disney Dining Plan. But I include it here because of its proximity to Magic Kingdom and also because Mickey and the rest of the Fab Five (Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto) come right to your table while you dine, thus saving you from having to wait in line or use a FastPass. (Note: If you want the talking Mickey, you need to meet him at the theater in Magic Kingdom; Mickey who meets at the Contemporary, as well as all other locations, doesn’t use his voice.)
If meeting Mickey Mouse in/near Magic Kingdom doesn’t work with your plans, you can meet him in one of the other theme parks and a few other locations around Walt Disney World:
- Animal Kingdom: Adventurer’s Outpost (meet-and-greet, FastPass+ available) and Tusker House (character dining, Disney Dining Plan credit or pay cash)
- Epcot: Epcot Character Spot (meet-and-greet, FastPass+ available) and Garden Grill (character dining, Disney Dining Plan credit or pay cash)
- Hollywood Studios: Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams (meet-and-greet, no FastPass available), Hollywood & Vine (character dining, dinner only, Disney Dining Plan credit or pay cash)
- Polynesian Resort: ‘Ohana (character dining, breakfast only, Disney Dining Plan credit or pay cash)
- Ft. Wilderness Resort and Campground: Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (character dining, dinner show only, seasonal, Disney Dining Plan 2 credits or pay cash)
- Swan hotel: Garden Grove (character dining, select days, pay cash)
What is your best tip for meeting Mickey Mouse? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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