By Nick

Waaay back on Episode 25 of The Disney Exchange Podcast, we discussed meeting Disney Characters at Walt Disney World as well as on a Disney Cruise. For the most part, character experiences are now enjoyed at restaurants or at permanent locations, such as Pete’s Silly Sideshow at the Magic Kingdom. But there are still unexpected and pleasantly surprising character experiences to be had at Walt Disney World, and I thought I’d share a few with you today.

There has possibly been more than I’m going to list here, but these are the most memorable.

The first was on the second trip I took with my wife, Barbie, on an overcast day in January of 2007. We were at Disney Hollywood Studios, and had just looked at pins at the Sorcerers Hat when I noticed one of my favorite characters in front of The Great Movie Ride; Meeko!

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Then, a very unusual assortment of characters came out, a couple at a time, like Clara Cluck…

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… a Mary Poppins Penguin…

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…Goofy’s son Max…

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… and King Louie.

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In January of 2011, Barbie and I were with our friends Kandi and John, again at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were just leaving the park for the afternoon, when Barbie asked a Cast Member to see her pins. Barbie spotted a Stitch pin and asked to trade. As the Cast Member was handing her the pin, she asked if she liked Stitch. Barbie said he was her favorite, to which the CM responded “Follow me.”

We all followed her to a little cul-de-sac by Guest Services, where she asked us to wait a moment.

A couple of minutes later, Stitch peeked out from behind a corner!

But the surprise didn’t end there. As Stitch walked out, he was followed by Donald Duck, then Daisy Duck, Piglet, and Minnie Mouse!

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We had our own private meet and greet!

I wish we’d gotten the wonderful Cast Member’s name, as this was really a highlight of that trip.

Left to right: Kandi, John, Barbie, and Nick

Last but certainly not least this past January, my wife and I were in Epcot’s World Showcase with our friends Kandi and John, their children Grayson and Jazzlyn, and friends Laurie and Angelo.

Laurie, Angelo and I had just gotten some adult beverages to go from the Rose and Crown Pub and were strolling towards Canada when we saw 2 Disney characters I had never seen out, Honest John Foulfellow the Fox and Gideon the Cat, the 2 con-artists who sell Pinocchio to Stromboli in the animated classic Pinocchio.

They were waving to us to follow them. So we joined a few other park guests who had also spotted this duo. They led us into the World Showplace area between the UK and Canada. Knowing about this pair’s devious past, maybe we should have been more cautious? Well, I’m glad we weren’t, because, with a wave of Foulfellow’s hands, and a flap of his cape, the gate opened…

…to reveal Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, a Penguin from Mary Poppins, Rafiki, Baloo and King Louie!

We basically had them to ourselves, along with a small group of people, and had plenty of time to get numerous photos with each!

Have you had an unexpected character experience at a Disney Park?