Debbie’s Extreme Character Challenge

 

My 8 year old Daughter LOVES characters.  It is a special time in her life because she is old enough to remember everything about her time at Walt Disney World and young enough to still see the characters are real, living characters.  She spoke constantly on this day about how Mickey must be really busy because he has to open a park, meet guests in that park, perform multiple times in shows and hop to other parks to repeat those tasks.

So, before we left for our special Daddy/Daughter trip in April, 2012, she told me she wanted to meet as many characters as she could…in one day.  She had just designed her very own challenge!  Her older sister and brother hold 3 touring records for attractions and Debbie had just completed her first Ultimate Magic Kingdom tour two days earlier with 64 attractions in one day.  But she was still determined to meet as many characters as possible on a fairly busy Saturday.

The challenge would require park hopping to all four parks and we established a few guidelines for our challenge that you can find here.

So how did we do?  We had 71 character meets, 68 would count according to our guidelines and 60 of them were actual unique characters.  That’s right we met 60 DIFFERENT characters in one operating day.  It required almost 14.5 hours of time.  We began with a Crystal Palace breakfast where we met Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.  We paid for our breakfast about 15 minutes in and departed at 8:54 to scurry down to meet Rapunzel.  If we weren’t first in line, we’d be behind all day.

We made it to Rapunzel’s new location next to City Hall just as the Rope Drop crowd was counting down the Welcome Show.  We then met Snow White and Mary Poppins quickly before hustling off to Adventureland to meet Jasmine and Aladdin.  They were 5 minutes late, then told us they needed to take a ride on the Magic Carpets before coming back to meet us.

 

We had seen Alice and White Rabbit on Mad Tea Party two days before.  They also rode before their first meet.  We had hoped to meet Frontier Donald before meeting Ariel, but the delay from the Carpets caused us to go ahead and line up for Ariel and Prince Eric.  In retrospect a nice dinner in Epcot would have given us the ability to meet those Princesses with no wait :)  We saw Peter Pan just across the bridge and darted toward his queue line.  He was fun and full of life as always.

We headed up behind the castle and joined the line to meet the Tremaine Family who are still in search of a prince before meeting Alice and the White Rabbit.  It was time to return to the Castle to meet the Fairy Godmother, who spread some magic for Debbie and her character challenge.  We met Donald, then Goofy before heading to meet Stitch (who was making bunny ears over my head) and Chip n Dale (Spacemen) in Tomorrowland.  It was 11:30 and we were heading to Animal Kingdom after meeting 22 characters at Magic Kingdom.

(The only character that we would have to scratch at this point was Jessie.)

 
 We arrived at Animal Kingdom and proceeded directly to meet Russell and Dug.  We practiced our Wilderness Explorer call before heading to Camp Minnie Mickey to meet 8 characters in an hour.  We skipped Mickey because his line was very long, but we knew we’d find him at Epcot.  We moved on to Africa to meet Baloo and Louie then met Rafiki at Planet Watch.We met 13 different characters at Animal Kingdom in 10 queue lines.  We had met a total of 35 characters in 23 queues by 2:09.

 

We then took a bus to Hollywood Studios and proceeded to the Phineas and Ferb meet and greet.  It was the most grueling line I’ve ever experienced.  We waited 33 minutes and there is NO SHADE for the guests in line or for the characters.  I had Debbie wait next to the water fountain in the shade because she is fair skinned and couldn’t take that much sun.  She gathered some new friends and then began playing while the parents held their place in line.  I DO NOT recommend visiting this meet in the afternoon in the spring or summer!

 We then found a Green Army Man by TSMM trying to grab a bit of shade for himself before meeting Handy Manny and Jake.  We circled back to meet Mike and Sulley before waiting in the AIR CONDITIONING for Woody/Buzz.  We knew it was a 30 minute line, but it would be nice and cool.  After meeting those toys, we made our way to Character Palooza.  We love this random meet because no one knows in advance who will show up.  We hit the jackpot!  We finally got to meet Max Goof.  I was super excited.  Debbie was still looking for Pluto.  We concluded Hollywood Studios by meeting Lightning and Mater and getting their autograph.

We had met 57 characters in 38 queue lines and exceeded our goal by 6:10 pm.

It was off to Epcot.  Debbie wanted badly to meet Marie before her line closed at 7:00, so we took the “short walk” to Epcot via the Boardwalk.  We would have made it into the park in time, but 142,000 jr. high cheerleaders were in line at the International Gateway.  We made our way down to Character Spot instead.  The line was only 20 minutes when we entered but ballooned to 50 just moments later, whew!  We met the Big Cheese and his sidekicks there.

 

We took the monorail, Debbie’s favorite ride, back to the Magic Kingdom to conclude our day.  We met Tiana and Naveen for their last meet.  Debbie had compassion on him being excluded from photos and asked to pose with him alone after meeting them together.  We met Tink and Terrance before heading to Town Square to meet the Princesses.  We finished the night with an extra Mickey & Minnie meet.

After completing her challenge, we stopped in to City Hall to get a button to commemorate Debbie’s character challenge and the wonderful cast member Alan did some magic and presented her with her favorite character!  That’s the kind of magic that brings us back!!

 

So will you take on the challenge???

Ultimate Character Day Data (Our average wait and interaction time was only 6.16 minutes per character or 10.18 minutes per queue.)

MK AK HS EP
Total 31 13 22 5 71
Different 29 13 22 4 68
Unique 28 11 20 1 60
Queues 17 10 15 1 43

Enjoy our photos!
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17 thoughts on “Debbie’s Extreme Character Challenge”

  1. Ok Please tell about character palooza ? Is that when characters meet in animation while parade is going on?
    AWESOME
    I do not know if it can be beat , but we shall have a blast trying!!

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  2. Looks like you guys had a blast! One question: Lightning and Mater give autographs? We’ve gotten pictures with them but never had a CM stamp our book or anything. Mike stamps doesn’t he, and Sulley? Any others that don’t sign and/or stamp?

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  3. My DD is 3, and a huge character fan, I can definitely see us doing this in a few years! Such great memories! Thanks for sharing, I love your site, so great for planning all our character meets!

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  4. I am so tickled to have found this! We leave Friday for our last trip for quite a while and my 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter are going to love it. Our goal will be considerably lower, but it will still be a blast.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  5. We are character junkies! My kids – DD8, DD7, DS6 have met over 80 different characters over the last 4 years. And we are headed to Star Wars weekends in a couple days. (The only 2 characters you list that we haven’t met are Duffy and Merida – but we’ll get them.)

    So sad to find out that characters we saw but missed pictures with- Yellow Rabbit and Cinderella’s Mice retired. I would have loved to have found this blog years ago! Just recently found easywdw.com and link to this blog.

    Any tips on Brer Fox? I have Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear, but have never seen the Fox.

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    1. Br’er Bear and Fox appear for meets that Hilton Breafast otherwise you can see them daily in the Frontierland Hoedown along with Br’er Rabbit, but they don’t usually pose for photos or autographs. Br’er Bear posed with us because we were wearing Splash Mountain shirts though :) They used to appear in Camp Minnie Mickey when it opened, but not lately.

      I think we’ve met over 200 characters over the years, not counting all the different costumes, so I know how you feel. I just started the blog back in December to help people meet characters with less waiting. The blog has had a great reception so far. Still adding a lot of stuff, just limited on time with work and family.

      Suzy and Perla do appear for the Christmas Party if you are ever around for that. KtP

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  6. I am so taking on this challenge in a week when I go with my niece. SHe will be turning 7 on this trip. She loves the characters.

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  7. I am thinking of doing it on July 1st. did you take disney transport the whole time? How easy is it to take a cab from park to park? Do all the park now have park to park transport? What did you do about food? Grab on the fly? Was your daughter beat by the end of the day? Sorry so many questions my A type personality is taking over. I have started to try to plan out our day, not so easy.

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    1. Yes, we parked at mk and used Disney transport. You can drive, cab, anyway you like. Cabs from mk still require monorail, but bus to another park doesn’t. Yes all parks have buses. We packed healthy snacks and grabbed some chicken nuggets to share. We carried a refillable filter bottle to drink asking with drink packets. We were quite full from the character breakfast. No my dd was still bouncing like tigger at the end. I asked several times if she was okay and she was still ready to keep moving. There isn’t a bigger type a planner than me, I totally understand!

      It’s going to be hot on your day, try to plan many indoor or shade meets in the afternoon. KtP

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

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  8. Kenny, although we didn’t take this challenge on in one day…My daughter and I can surely relate. We went in 2007 and in 4 days got on just about every ride at all 4 parks and got over 100 characters. I actually enjoyed it. It was a challenge – and I think that was the funnest part. We’ve been back 3 times and each time – while fun – doesn’t add up to the first time. People ask us about what to do, where to go, who to see. We’ve taken other people with us the other 3 times so we don’t get to find a lot of characters because they are getting theirs. But, all total we have gotten 150 character signatures/photo ops. We have gotten some retired and some unique characters too. We’ve been to rides that were just premiering. It amazes me how you can go and see a character one visit and then go back the next and nowhere to be found. We’ve seen Gideon each time we’ve gone – but have YET to find Max – one of my daugter’s favs. Can’t wait for our trip next month!

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  9. Wow! What an accomplishment! I can tell it is an older story, as many character have stopped appearing or moved on to other locations.

    I was also the recipient of special Disney hospitality. While waiting for my friends at Mouse Gears, I chatted with a supervisor about how part of our trip was thanking friends who put us up during the big flood in Calgary in 2013. He gave me a Bolt (my favourite character) and Mickey dressed as Ariel for the daughter of the family that put us up during the evacuation (her favourite character).

    He had another cast member take our photo, as he collects the best stories he’s heard in a scrap book. His name is Andre, and he was very sweet.

    Larry

    PS How does Character Palooza work? I have never caught it before.

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