There’s a joke between Joshua and me about my love for the characters:
Shawna: Let’s go get in line to see Wilderness Donald!
Shawna: Around the corner behind the tree.
(This isn’t actually a joke.)
It’s called my character radar. So when I first read about Character Palooza at Hollywood Studios, I could hardly believe it. Character Palooza is a character meet and greet experience that you won’t find on the times guides. If you ask a cast member about it, you’ll get a fairly vague answer, in my experience. But if you love the characters, it’s worth tracking down.
The schedule for Character Palooza is fairly complicated. Kenny the Pirate has an extensive discussion of which nights you’ll find a Character Palooza and where you’ll find it. What you won’t know is which characters you’ll find. Sometimes there are two Character Paloozas, sometimes one, sometimes none. So consult Kenny’s schedule to see if you should expect a Character Palooza during your visit.
The thing that I just love about Charcter Palooza is that you’ll likely seem some fairly rare characters. While I’ve heard that you might see Minnie or Goofy, in my experience I’ve seen characters I didn’t often see elsewhere. One night, we got there a bit too late, and all the lines were closed, but I could at least see who was there, and it was awesome! Genie, Tweedledee & Tweedledum, and Bolt were a few of the highlights. Some of the characters I’ve actually met at Character Palooza include Meeko, The Queen of Hearts, Queen Grimhilde, and my absolute most very favorite ever—Jafar!
The lines tend to be relatively short, so you’ll likely be able to see many characters in a fairly brief period. Because the crowds are small, you can also sometimes have an extended interaction with the characters. I got to speak with Queen Grimhilde for quite some time, because there was no one else waiting for her.
Note that in my experience, you won’t find a Photopass photographer at Character Palooza, so be sure to bring your own camera. The character handlers are always very willing to take photos.
Have you ever been to a Character Palooza? Which character would you love to see? I’ve yet to meet Genie. He’s on the top of my list for our next trip (which is just a few weeks away!).