Meeting Epcot characters in 2021 will be a little different from what we’ve seen in the past. Disney initially implemented special pop-up parades in the parks that made seeing characters, in most instances, much simpler.
However, the character promenades discussed in this review have now ceased. Instead, socially distanced princess meets have been added to several countries in Epcot’s World Showcase, replacing the promenades.
Below we’ll take a look at the new character meets that have recently been added to Epcot.
This article was last updated on September 15, 2021.
Characters at Epcot in 2021
At the time of this update, you may encounter the following character meets in Epcot.
- Meet Anna and Elsa in Norway
- Snow White in Germany
- Jasmine in Morocco
- Aurora in France
- Belle In France
- Meet Joy from Inside Out
- Meet Winnie the Pooh
- Meet Mary Poppins
Unfortunately, the specific timing of these meets is not available in the My Disney Experience app.
In the other Disney Parks, you will still run into the pop-up parades that were introduced last year. For reference, they are called character cavalcades at Magic Kingdom. The times for these cavalcades are located in the My Disney Experience app underneath the entertainment section.
Additionally, there will be an opportunity to see the Christmas Parade at Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours. You can view the dates and pricing here. And I have a full guide from last year of the Disney Christmas Character Meets that might be available this season.
Epcot Character Appearances in 2021
Below are the opportunities to greet characters from a distance in Epcot. All of the characters will be in a roped-off area. Guests can walk up to each area and talk with the character, and take distanced photos or selfies.
Aurora is meeting guests in the France Pavilion. For me, this was the most difficult character to run into when touring the World Showcase. Aurora changes places with Belle several times per day. From my experience, I often run into Belle, but rarely see Aurora out.
In fact, it took me four to five trips to Epcot before I saw Aurora.
Here is Belle meeting in the same location. I’m not for sure if she actually meets here more often or if it was just the luck of my timing. However, I do run into Belle nearly every time I visit.
Next door in the Morocco Pavilion you’ll likely run into Jasmine. She meets on a stage on the same side of the walkway as the pavilion. All of these characters are located in open, public spaces. If they are out meeting guests, you should notice them.
Snow White meets next to her wishing well in the Germany Pavilion. This is her traditional meet and greet location at Epcot.
You might happen upon Alice or Mary Poppins in the United Kingdom Pavilion.
The first time I circled the World Showcase, I didn’t see anyone out in this area. But when I passed by again later in the afternoon, I noticed a character handler out and felt someone must be visiting. Sure enough, Mary Poppins was out in the gazebo bidding good day to guests.
She’s at just the right distance to take a photo or two. She’ll gladly pose if you would like to stand outside her gate for a photo.
Joy from Inside Out rotates in the same area between the Imagination Pavilion and The Land Pavilion.
And Elsa and Anna have been meeting in front of the Royal Sommerhus in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion.
Make sure to keep your eyes open for other pop-up character meets when touring. You never know who you’ll run into at Disney!
Former Character Promenades at Epcot
The information below pertains to the character promenades that ended in August of 2021. I will leave this information below for the time being. You are welcome to browse the images or details. However, I wouldn’t anticipate these special promenades returning.
Before August, Epcot had character promenades. The promenade part comes from the characters traveling around the World Showcase walkway, formally called the World Showcase Promenade.
You can expect these special experiences to add a smile to your face. I think that most visiting, young and old alike, will enjoy them. They are spontaneous and require no time commitment.
The Epcot character promenades are also a simple way for your children to see their favorite Frozen princesses, live horses, and the one and only Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The most popular question is how to see the different types of character promenades at Epcot. Understandably, most will want to see these interactions while visiting. On the day of this visit, I spent most of my time in the World Showcase, and each promenade went through twice between park opening and sunset.
The timing for the character promenades is completely random to prevent crowds from forming. However, if you are in the World Showcase, my best tip is to pay attention to the music playing in your immediate area. When the music changes in the area ahead of or behind you, it typically means a character promenade is approaching.
In fact, the music gets really loud as the speaker system changes over to your immediate area. If you are outside, most will be able to note the change. For example, below is a video of the Princess Promenade as it comes through Canada.
So if you really want to see these special promenades, I recommend being patient and waiting for them to pass by while you are touring the World Showcase. It appears that they are coming through multiple times of the day. However, I don’t recall seeing them after 6:00 p.m. on my visit, so they might not be available during the later hours.
Next, we’ll take a closer look at the different promenades.
First up, we have the very popular Frozen Promenade. There are members of the royal guard carrying flags representing Arendelle as the promenade approaches.
The promenade also includes Elsa and Anna being pulled in a horse and carriage.
Elsa comes along waving to all the different travelers of the World Showcase.
The horses are so wonderful to see in Epcot. I mentioned to my son that they should always have them, and his immediate response was there was no way that would be possible during festival time. And if you’ve ever been to Epcot during normal festival time, then you know he’s right.
Anna rounds up the mini promenade in the most royal carriage. They did a really nice job with this grouping to get it ready for the reopening. I also feel like more guests have an opportunity to see the characters this way. Many guests are so busy trying to knock out attractions that character meets fall by the wayside.
But when you see one of these promenades approaching, it only takes a brief pause from your day. They come and go in less than a few minutes. And seeing characters is really a big deal for children. Maybe even those kids who might like to think they have outgrown this kind of interaction.
Fans of princesses will want to see the Princess Promenade as it passes through the World Showcase.
I caught this one coming through the Japan Pavilion not too long after the park opening. We had entered through the International Gateway and headed around this way toward the American Adventure. These photos were taken around 11:30 a.m., not long after the park opened.
You’ll have the opportunity to see several princesses. I saw Belle, Aurora, Jasmine, and Snow White on this promenade. Jasmine is sitting on the third row, waving out to the other side.
All the princesses make an effort to wave and greet guests as they come through.
And Snow White, of course, is up to her usual expressions, which always make us laugh.
Lastly, we have a look at Mickey Mouse and Friends as they tour the World Showcase. As a fellow World Showcase traveler, I love the whole idea of this promenade.
Goofy and Pluto were leading up the group of friends on foot.
This group has already been displaced so often the past year with all of the construction going on at Epcot. I guess the World Showcase seems like the best thing for them until more normal character interactions can resume.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse come next with their own row and a divider between them and the driver.
It was so good to see them in their classic outfits while touring. From the photos, you can probably tell that guests can see all the characters really well from a safe social distance.
Make sure to check out the full Disney World Characters List for more details.
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If you are staying in the Epcot Resort area, you may enjoy one of these hotel reviews:
- Disney’s Beach Club Review
- Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Review
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Review
- Disney’s Yacht Club Review
Good luck seeing your favorite characters at Epcot in 2021! Leave a comment below and let me know if any of these are your favorites!