How about this: For the first time at Disney Parks, you’ll have the opportunity to nail down a time for a face-to-face meeting with Mickey Mouse at the Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning this spring, we’ll be offering FASTPASS for Mickey at his new permanent home, Town Square Theater, located inside the current Exposition Hall area at the entrance of Magic Kingdom park.
Once open, it’ll be more than just a new greeting space for Mickey. Imagineers are creating new elements and surprises for Magic Kingdom park guests, including an interactive queue – with an extra touch of Disney magic. Also, during the New Fantasyland construction, royalty will be visiting as the Disney Princesses will be in Town Square Theater to meet and greet their loyal subjects this spring.
How will it work? Magic Kingdom guests will be able obtain a Disney’s FASTPASS specifying a one-hour window when they can return to see the popular character for hugs, photos and autographs – without waiting in the standby queue. This marks the first time the complimentary, computerized service has been utilized for a character meet-and-greet at any Disney Park.
Walt Disney Imagineers are already working to completely transform the space for the new experience. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on this one-of-a-kind experience.
Lots of good ideas here. The great thing is that you can choose whether or not you want to engage in this experience or not. I have visited WDW several times over the years and the fast pass allows me more time to stroll around and just enjoy the park as it was intended instead of standing in lines. If the characters are your thing, you can enjoy a shorter line and more magic. If you are worried about a visit to Mickey interfering with your other Fast Pass plans, then perhaps prioritize. There is just so much to do there, there is always a sacrifice of some sort. It’s the reality of having so many opportunities available, which is why I keep going back; on some levels to have the same experiences (ex. Pirates of the Caribbean), and on other levels I want to find new corners to explore and enjoy. There is so much detail in everything, its all one giant work of art that we “jump” into, just like in Mary Poppins! So don’t stress…just enjoy what a great opportunity it is to just be there. Thanks Walt!
Great Idea! This will definitely make it easier for people to meet Mickey! 🙂 I did the Disney College Program last spring and, through the course of 4 months, was able to meet all the characters I wanted to. It’s so special to meet Mickey, no matter what your age. My 56 year old mother got a little teary-eyed when she met Mickey for the first time and it was wonderful to be able to share that experience with her. People seem to forget that it’s not important how many rides you go on or how many characters you meet or if you make your reservation. Some of the best times I’ve had are eating chicken fingers on a bench with my roommates in Magic Kingdom just talking and laughing, waiting for the fireworks. When you go to the parks, remember that you, as a guest, can make magic happen for someone else! If you’re in a group and one of you loses your fastpass for Space Mountain and you don’t mind waiting in line, give your fastpasses to a family walking by. The smiles and the joy that you can spontaneously give someone are the real memories that you remember. My very last day with the program, I really wanted to make some more magic before I left the parks so I bought a balloon (you know, those eight-dollar mickey-shaped balloons that children lust after every day of their vacation), and I walked over to a mom with a sleeping little girl in a stroller and introduced myself. I asked if her little girl would like a balloon and the mom smiled so brightly and told me that her daughter had wanted a balloon all week but that they just hadn’t gotten one yet. I asked if I could tie it to her wrist and then did so. I imagine that girl woke up and saw the balloon and thought that Mickey put it there, but who knows. It’s the magic that you make that you really take with you. Try to think like Uncle Walt. Take your time because unlike so many things in this world, Disney will always be here.
What an amazing idea! My son was bummed out when we visited toon town two years ago for his 2nd birthday and we had a 3 hour wait to see Mickey! We are comming in June this year and hopefuly this will be open by then and he can finally meet Mickey! Disney Keep up the GREAT WORK! Things like this are what makes my family Disney diehards and keep comming back because you know how to make a guest feel special and not just a park filler! Thank you!
What a wonderful new addition to the MK! When will it be open? We are headed down mid-March!
This is such a great idea for those of us who are planners (I have our 5 day trip planned out almost to the minute!).
Does anyone know if the they will be doing the same thing for the Princesses, since from what I have read, they will be in the same building, just different qeue lines.
It would be great to take our daughter to BBB, have Daddy run and get a FAST PASS for meeting the Princesses and just be able to go right from BBB to have her meet the Princesses.
Since she is so little, there really isn’t much else we would use FAST PASS for, so I think this is a wondeful idea!
Can’t wait to get there in the fall!
This system would be great at the Princess Fantasy Faire and Pixie Hollow at Disneyland! Those lines are so long to wait in for little kids this sounds like a solution with great potential.
well comming from australia i would use the fast pass to make sure i see mickey , whats disney without mickey , this time i am doing breakfast with him that way you get a feed and meet the characters at the same time
Is he still going to be at his house??
I like the idea. We usually don’t bother waiting in lines for characters, but rather eat at restaurants that have them when we are looking for that experience. This offers us a much cheaper…haha free…way to do the meet and greets. I hope they implement it with all or at least most of the characters at some point. The closer we get to the Next Gen project, the happier I am. That is, unless they decide not to offer those things to DVC members staying on points or annual passholders just looking for an optimized day at the parks 🙁
So does this mean that we may see the interactive Mickey????
Another point on the Fastpass concerns – It is has been my experience that as a matter of policy, Disney only enforces the beginning of the return window. As long as the guest returns after the beginning of the return window (it could be more than an hour later), the Fastpass will be honored.
Will this Mickey and Minnie Meet and greet have a larger or smaller capacity as the former Judge’s tent meet and greet?
I have always thought another good idea would be to do what Disney does so well and use their technology in ‘audio animatronics’ in this situation. The spirit of the characters is what is important after all!
They could place 3-4 audio animatronic Mickey’s at the entrance to the MK on Main Street. This would greatly reduce line wait times, and everyone would be happy. You could even use the real voice, having Mickey say “Hey it’s me, Mickey Mouse!” People could get pictures, meet Mickey, and not wait too long. With this scenario you could get that impossible picture with all 6-7 main characters too (Mickey, Minney, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, etc.); all audio animatronic.
It’s a win-win situation.
I’ll accept the magically vacated attendant job.
To the concern about, “What do I do if my fastpass to meet Mickey coincides with my ADR at…” Let’s assume that the fastpass will be similar to the current fastpass system (we have no reason to think it won’t be). With the current system, if you approach a fastpass station for Space Mountain and see that the return time is the same as your ADR time, you wouldn’t take a fast pass, would you? So why would you do any differently for the Mickey M&G? The problem with your dilemma is that it is based on a guest making a mistake by double booking themselves, not on Disney forcing you to take a Fast Pass for the same time as an ADR.
I’m not a fan of this. Yes, it will be great to be guaranteed to meet Mickey. But I have to agree with everyone else, this feels like another step towards a fully planned vacation. Planning is not bad by any means, but these are Disney Theme PARKS. Parks. When’s the last time you went to Central Park at 10:35 AM to see a certain performer, or got a reservation to see the Grizzly bears at Yellowstone at 3PM? You didn’t. You don’t do that at parks. Planning too much is a bad thing. I understand that you don’t have to take advantage of this system, and that it does help occasionally, but Disney really needs to consider the negative effect on guests who don’t use the system. The beauty of Disney World is that you pay for your ticket, and pay for other things, but everyone has that equal chance to say “Hey! I’m in the mood to ride Big Thunder, let’s go!” or “I want to meet Ariel, how about we head over to fantasyland!” Without planning in the morning exactly what you are going to do, you can wander and enjoy, minus the huge standby lines.
Also, I’d REALLY like to see WDW implement a character program a little more like Disneyland’s, and sometimes seen at the Hard Ticket events, where the characters don’t just give a hug, sign your autograph book, take a picture, and send you on your way, but really INTERACT with the guests, ride rides, joke around, have fun… They’re in Disney World too! I’ve only really seen this from atmosphere characters lately.
It’s a step with good intentions, but the consequences need to be considered!
Will this possibly feature the new “talking” Mickey that was prototyped a year (or two) ago?
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Although I’m an adult, I still enjoy photo ops with characters :). I’ll come back to a point I made in another post about scheduling everything. As someone else touched upon, we’re now making our ADRs 180 days out. We’re using FP for attractions. Now, adding another slip of paper and time slot to the mix…seems like overkill. Also, what happens if the 1 hour slot I randomly get from a FP machine happens to fall in the same window as my ADRs at California Grill I had to book 6 months ago?
Will it impact my guest experience? I’m not sure yet, but I am definitely curious to see how this is implemented.
Any chance we can get a sneak peak at what the Fastpasses themselves will look like?
while I understand what the poster ( cast member ?) said about the experience being cheapened in their eyes, it’s just not that simple. I also belong to various Disney blogs and this gets discussed a lot. As a DVC owner and once a year visitor to WDW with my family and other relatives, I can tell you we view things differently from people who are there, or can attend every day or whenever they want. My kids are basically grown now but when they were small a trip without meeting Mickey Mouse was an issue. Yes as an adult I realize chance meetings are ‘magical’ and very different from the staged meet and greets today. And for me that may now include the mayor of Main Street or the Dapper Dans- but for my little nieces they adore meeting the characters in staged settings as well- from meals to set places. I realize this is not for everybody, just as thrill rides are not for everyone. I do not think this new arrangement for Mickey will alter anyone’s life experience negatively and appreciate Disney’s efforts to try and be everything to everyone. I do have some concerns aout the recent announcement of ride FP’s with times ( like dining ressie’s now) but mainly that might be because I do not know some facts like : is the current FP system also staying up, will people be aallowed in after the set time also ( problem today with FP in my opinion) – ride down times- how will that be handled, will stand by lines now be unmanageable ? etc)- waiting to learn more though before I pass judgement
While I understand what people mean when the talk about the frustration of having to choose between planning, and spontaneity, I think that this is fair. We have to make choices, if we want to get everything in, then we can plan and prepare and take on that stress, but also get a lot more in. Those who want to relax and go with the flow can do so without the stress, but may miss out on some of the gems, like Cinderella’s Table. Everything in life is a trade off. I personally DO hope it is on the same fast pass system as the rides, because then you have to make a choice, what is important to you, Splash Mountain, or Mickey, and by making you choose, it keeps open the fast pass for someone else. Just my $0.02.
Can we expect this for DLR?
While this will save my family time I really miss the day I walked around the corner and Mickey came out of no where. While I can understand Mickey I really wish there was a little more surprise to getting to see a character. If you have to see a character then do one of the many character meals!
I am constantly amazed at how Disney tweaks the customer experience. I think this is a great addition. The only concern is the location of Mickey. If I get a fast pass for Mickey, then go deep into the park and then go back to the entrance at my time, wouldn’t that make it too easy for me to say I am tired a leave? (since I am at the front gate) I am guessing the imagineers weighed that possibility against the advantage of me walking past the main street stores an extra time. Regardless, it is a great idea and I am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.
Great idea! I 2nd the idea of having this connected to all the characters! Waited 45 mins last month to meet 5 of the characters together…it was totally worth it, but would’ve been nice to have that time cut down! 🙂
It would be awesome to do this with all characters. It gets discouraging to see one, only to be told that they are getting ready to go on a break. At least this way we could plan who we most want to see and make sure that we are there!
Is this attached to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant?? I hope nothing is going to happen to the restaurant…it’s my family’s tradition to have a meal there. Cool concept about meeting Mickey—good idea Disney!
I love this idea !! My son never had the patience to wait on those long lines (He’s developmentaly delayed)so now we can !!!
I have a mixed reaction to this announcement, especially on the heels of the “future enhancements” recently discussed by Mr. Staggs. On one hand it provides visitors a way to shorten wait times. On the other hand it adds the stress of planning each moment of a vacation to be able to experience the favorites.
I find I weigh my experiences at the parks now, rather than experience them. I think that is sad. I feel the ratio of attractions to guests has diminished over the years as the hotel and park capacity has increased.
My dilemas include scenarios such as: I made the meal reservations 180 days ago and now my FP to meet and greet “Character Hero” or ride “favorite” is the same time or deal with 120 minute standby line for that 3 minute experience. Or in the future Mr.Staggs envisions: preplan and schedule everthing we want to do 180 days before we arrive and stress over getting to each appointment at the times chosen or wait in a 120 minute standby line, again.
I wish I had the answers of how to make it all easy, fair, fun and profitable. Disney Parks appear to be exploring alteratives, I hope the windfalls out weigh the pitfalls.
Love it! My toddler will be so excited to meet Mickey (again) and I will be so excited not to have to wait for 30 minutes + to see him 🙂
@ Patricia ~ All of ToonTown (where the houses are) are closing for the FantasyLand expansion! My 8yo daughter is SO sad that she wont get to tour Minnie’s house on our March trip! It’s her FAVE!
Wonderful idea, Meeting Mickey is stressful for my at the Magic Kingdom, With a fast pass I’d feel more assured to meeting the mouse. Thank you so much for this and I look forward in meeting Mickey!! In his new Presidential Suite!! lol
Please don’t use “nail down” and “Mickey Mouse” in the same sentence ever again, Disney!
I would also like to know if it’s connected to the FP system for rides, and how this will affect that system, if at all.
Will the theming and banners added to the outside of Exposition Hall be period based to blend with the rest of Main Street (ie: early Mickey featured on the banners versus current Mickey)?
Would definitely hate if this meet and greet is done with disregard to the design of Main Street.
I love the fastpass idea but what will happen to Mickey and Minnie’s houses?
This is such an awesome idea! My Disney tradition is to make sure I get a picture with my favorite Mouse when I’m either at his house or on his ship!!
Do you have a date this will begin ?
So stupid, this is going to cause many problems. im an attendant at magic kingdom and i think this goes against everything i believe in when keeping character integrity alive. it really is true that Disney no longer cares about character integrity.
Will guests be able to return anytime after the one-hour time frame, as they currently can with other FASTPASS attractions, or will they be bound to that one hour window?
When do they expect this to open? Probably not next week when we will be there!
When exactly will this open? Will be there March 5-12!!!
Hi Joey, we’ll post an update with the date here on the Disney Parks Blog.
Will this FASTPASS system be connected to the rides? Meaning if I get a FASTPASS to meet Mickey, am I still able to get a FASTPASS for a ride, or will have to wait to get a new one?
Will this be completed any time soon? I’ll be in the park in just under two weeks 🙂
So exciting! Love it.
I wonder if this will be on a different FP system then the rides are on? If not then it stinks that we couldn’t get a FP for a ride since we’d have one to see Mickey.
What a great idea! Instead of worrying what time we should visit the great Mouse himself, we can get a time to come. I can’t wait to check it out! 🙂
If the line is nearly as much fun as the new Winnie the Pooh queue, then I’ll take the stand-by. Somethings are better with anticipation!
Genius! Thank you!
I for one would love to see this at all the Character Meet-And-Greet’s. Number one, its hot as heck in Animal Kingdom and number two, I have less patience than my 2-year old! 🙂