Earlier this year, my family cruised on the Disney Magic for the first time. It was our first ever Disney Cruise Line Vacation, and my girls first cruise. From the moment we stepped foot inside the terminal in Port Canaveral, Florida, I knew we were in for a special vacation. Frequenting Walt Disney World as much as my family does, I didn’t think we’d want to take time to meet Disney Cruise Line character meets on this trip, but boy was I wrong. Meeting characters only adds to the magic you and your family can experience on a cruise.

The Disney Magic docked at Castaway Cay. Photo Credit: Sarah Gilliland, Twins TravelingMom

The Disney Magic docked at Castaway Cay. Photo Credit: Sarah Gilliland, Twins TravelingMom

Tips for Disney Cruise Line Character Meets

Among the many reasons we chose to cruise on this particular itinerary and ship was that my superhero loving twin would get to meet one of her heroes, Captain America.  Marvel and Disney go hand in hand now — a fact well known to my daughter, but we have yet to visit Disneyland as a family to meet the superheroes. A cruise with at least one Marvel character was our best bet for fulfilling her Marvel superhero dream at the moment. Not all characters are represented on all Disney ships so choose wisely. If you follow these easy tips you will feel prepared for your meets, and you’ll be back to your regularly scheduled activities with plenty of time to spare.

Meeting characters begins in port on a Disney Cruise Line vacation.

The character meets begin before you even board your Disney Cruise Line vessel! Photo Credit: Sarah Gilliland, Twins TravelingMom

Don’t Wait to Get a Ticket

On the Disney Magic, guests are given the opportunity to pre-book many activities online, but character meets are not one of those things. Everyone who wishes to meet characters during scheduled times will need a ticket. Tickets for meets can run out.

TravelingMom Tip: If characters are important, don’t go to your room first. Don’t go eat first. When you board the vessel, head straight to the Port Adventures desk.  Regardless of which ship you sail, if this is an important event for yourself or your children, head straight to the desk (yes, with your luggage in tow), and get those tickets!

Cinderella signs autographs for her fans at her character meet.

Cinderella signs autographs for her adoring fans. Photo Credit: Sarah Gilliland, Twins TravelingMom

Arrive to Your Meet on Time

Given a specific time to meet a character was new to us. We were used to having to get in line and wait (FastPass+ or not). On Disney cruises, there isn’t a lot of room for guests to just stand around in long lines and wait, so you are given a specific time to come back and meet. Don’t be more than 5 minutes early, but don’t be late either. The cast members are extremely efficient in moving everyone along without making the experience feel rushed. You will have plenty of time with each character.

Be Prepared

Be ready to take your child’s picture by having your camera on and your settings set. If you are using the ship’s photographer, fine, but, again, think of the other families waiting and prepare yourself, please. Make sure your own personal princess also has all her needs for her photo too. We had a few people trying to “hold” spots in line while someone dashed back to the cabin for a tiara or a plush toy. Prepare your group before you arrive, and it will make the whole experience a lot less stressful.

Meeting Donald and Daisy through your vacation is very easy.

Donald and Daisy wearing their sailing attire on the final night at sea. Photo Credit: Sarah Gilliland, Twins TravelingMom

Check Your App or Daily Navigator

Each day, your cabin will be given a paper copy of what’s going on on the ship. From games to movies to dining, it’s all right there in your daily newsletter or “Navigator.” You can also check with the Disney Cruise Line app on your mobile device, which is magically synced to the ship wifi and updates itself with all of that great information as well. Checking these two places will help you plan the who, what, and where of meeting other characters.

Meeting characters like Mickey on a Disney Cruise Line vacation is low stress compared to the parks.

Where else can you meet Mickey barefoot and in pajamas but on a Disney Cruise? Photo Credit: Sarah Gilliland, Twins TravelingMom

Meet Characters on Other Nights

In addition to the ticketed character meets, there are tons of opportunities to meet other characters. On our last night, the girls had just put on their pjs to head to the Oceaneer Club for “Pluto’s Pajama Party,” when we happened upon a meet and greet of Mickey, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy all dressed in their sailing attire. Where else can you meet Captain Mickey while barefoot and in pjs but on a Disney cruise? That is a memory I will always cherish.Disney Cruise Line character meets are a lot of fun! With the right planning, you can meet all your favorites and get back to enjoying your cruise. These tips are easy and will make your Disney Cruise Line vacation a blast!

Meeting characters is not the only reason to cruise with Disney Cruise Line, but it is certainly a great one. Do you have any tips for how to handle character meets onboard a Disney cruise? Happy sailing!