Updated Oct. 2, 2014. Historically, Characterpalooza took place inside the Magic of Disney Animation building. When it returned from it’s seasonal hiatus in March ’13, sets began occurring near Echo Lake and on the Streets of America. Now (2014) it only occurs on New York Street (Streets of America.) Information for times and locations have been updated below. As of Sept. 28, a new location for Characterpalooza has been reported – near Tower or Terror!
Characterpalooza occurs almost daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, but have you ever heard of it? I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of it until just a few months ago. It is an unadvertised Character meet and greet session (never shown on a Times Guide schedule) that takes place next to Echo Lake and on the Streets of America. For 1 or 2 half hour sessions in the evening, many characters (including rare ones) make an appearance!
It’s always a SURPRISE as to which Characters will appear for Characterpalooza, which is where the “palooza” comes from. The most common Characters to appear are Stitch, Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Snow White, Pinocchio, Gepetto, and the Queen of Hearts; but many times a more “rare” character or two get thrown into the mix. (Not even Guest Services can tell you “who” is going to make an appearance at Characterpalooza!)
The timing and number of Characters to make an appearance depends on the following show times for Fantasmic that evening:
- If Fantasmic isn’t scheduled, Characterpalooza will NOT occur.
- Beginning November 2nd (2014) Characterpalooza will go on it’s Winter Hiatus – returning in early 2015. (ie. No Characterpalooza appearances even if a Fantasmic show is scheduled.)
- If one Fantasmic show is scheduled, Characterpalooza will occur at 3:30 p.m. and 5:05 p.m. on the Streets of America.
- If two Fantasmic shows are scheduled, Characterpalooza will occur only at 6:00 p.m. on the Streets of America.
- As always, check out Kenny the Pirate for the updated schedule!
We were able to hit Characterpalooza back in 2012 (pictures below). Jafar, Rafiki, Mary Poppins with 2 Penguins, and Chip & Dale greeted everyone during the first set. The 2nd set of Characters consisted fo: Jasmine and Genie, Pinocchio and Gepetto, the Wicked Queen (from Snow White), and Meeko. Two nights later many of the same came out, but some different ones that we saw were: Pocahontas with Meeko, Captain Hook with Mr. Smee, Mulan and Goofy. Hitting the outdoor Characterpalooza in 2013 – we met Pocahontas & Meeko, Belle, Max, Pinocchio and others.
HINT: Be sure to have an Autograph Book with you to experience some extra fun and make more memories! Here’s our Favorite Autograph Book idea.
This is a great opportunity to meet a bunch of Characters that are relatively rare, and with short waits!