I arrived at the Magic Kingdom at about 8:30 a.m. ready to meet some characters that are difficult to find at Walt Disney World these days. For only one week (January 21-27) in Town Square at the Magic Kingdom they are offering “Long-lost Friends Week.” I had fully expected to see the exact characters that appeared but was surprised that Gideon wasn’t meeting with the Pinocchio gang. It’s funny to me that many guests have no idea where to line up for the quickest entry from the rope. I just waltzed right up to the rope while all the other people were forming a psuedo line behind the other section of rope.
I knew that Marie and Pluto would relocate to Storybook Circus for the special week and Mary Poppins would move to Fantasyland, so the Flag Pole was my first destination. I chose the left hand side of the flag pole. When I made it there I found this sign telling me what characters would appear there.
The characters appeared within a minute or two of the park opening. We had chosen wisely. The Robin Hood gang had the longest lines throughout the day. It may partially be because there are 4 characters with which to interact and somewhat because they are really rare. I was excited to finally meet Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. We had met the Sheriff and Prince John many years ago.
After meeting the Robin Hood characters we quickly hustled over to the meet and greet with Ludwig Von Drake and Scrooge McDuck on the other side of the flag pole. It’s labeled as “Duck Tales” but Ludwig didn’t appear in Duck Tales. I only waited about 5 minutes after park opening to meet Ludwig and Scrooge. The line would easily average 15-30 minutes later. All the characters would appear for 30 minutes and disappear for 30 minutes except during lunch break. I’ll include the schedule I studied later in the post. I met Ludwig and Scrooge again later in the day.
I chose to skip the Pinocchio group in favor of the 3 Little Pigs with the Big Bad Wolf next. They are located in the spot that is usually occupied by Mary Poppins in the mornings and early afternoon. I waited about 10 minutes for this early morning meet. I would meet the Pigs and Big Bad Wolf three times during the day.
At this point the lines for the characters had already closed for the first set, so my friend Rob and I went to meet Mickey Mouse. After our time interacting with Mickey we went ahead and joined the line for Clarabelle and Horace before they returned. I wandered around taking photos. I wish I could share all my pics right now, but the internet at my hotel is horrible. Clarabelle and Horace meet at the EXIT to the Mickey Mouse meet. If you come under the RIGHT hand tunnel to enter Town Square, you’ll find them in a little nook on the immediate right. There’s a sign for them. I met Clarabelle and Horace two times.
The remaining meet wasn’t as exciting for me personally. I’ve met the three members of the Pinocchio group many times and Pinocchio and Jiminy aren’t LONG-LOST as they were retired in 2012 and Pinocchio and Gepetto appear pretty regularly at Epcot and Hollywood Studios for training and character palooza. The Pinocchio group was located immediately in front of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. I waited 14 minutes to meet Pinocchio’s group.
The best plan to meet all the characters begins by arriving before rope drop and making your way straight for the Robin Hood group. They had the highest waits throughout the first day. Then head to Ludwing and Scrooge and follow that up with the 3 Pigs. You’ll probably have to wait for the next set, so arrive a few minutes early and meet the Pinocchio group before heading to Horace and Clarabelle. The cows meet had the shortest waits throughout the day. They are kind of hidden from view.
I would have liked to have seen Darkwing and Lauchpad instead of the Pinocchio group, but otherwise it was great fun and very well organized. The characters march by with signs with their names on them before placing them in their group sign. I guess that is to inform guests who they characters are.
NONE of the characters autograph. Instead they hand you these nice little cards that commemorate Long Lost Friends Week. Each group of characters had their own cards.
Here’s the schedule that I observed today for the meet and greets:
What characters would YOU like to see for a future version of Long-lost Friends Week?
Will there ever be another long lost friends week?
Haven’t heard of any plans. It was my favorite part of that promotion, by far.
-Three fairies from Sleeping Beauty
-Hercules and Meg
-Huey, Dewey, and Louie
-Kenai and Koda
-Robin Hood gang
-Lady And The Tramp
-The Little Mermaid gang (Sebastian, Prince Eric, Flounder)
-And as much of the old characters as possible!!! <3
This is amazing. Some of these characters haven’t been seen in ages. They have the costumes and the people to wear them, why can’t they bring these ones out on a regular basis instead of seeing characters like Pooh in a couple of different parks.
Depending on the character unit, Cast Members today are telling Guests either that they are out of autograph cards completely or that the few they have remaining are only for children.
I’d imagine that probably means that they’ll all be gone very early tomorrow, if there are any left after today.
Yea, and people are selling them on ebay. :(
Want to buy mine. Just kidding :)
If there are to be any more Long Lost Friends Weeks, I’d like to see the following characters return:
-Huey, Dewey & Louie
-Stromboli & Blue Fairy
-Thumper & Miss Bunny
-Jose Carioca & Panchito
-Jaq & Gus-Gus
-Flora, Fauna & Merryweather
-Maid Marian & Little John
-Bernard & Bianca
-Basil & Ratigan
-Oliver & Dodger
-Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus, Clopin, Frollo, Hugo, Victor & Laverne
-Hercules, Meg, Phil, Hades, Pain & Panic
-Kuzco, Kronk & Yzma
-Milo Thatch, Kida, Vinny & Moliere
-Jim Hawkins & B.E.N.
-Kenai & Koda
-Lewis Robinson, Wilbur Robinson & Bowler Hat Guy
-Gadget, Monterey Jack & Fat Cat
-Rebecca Cunningham, Kit Cloudkicker & Don Karnage
-Goliath the Gargoyle
-Kim Possible & Ron Stoppable
-Dreamfinder & Figment
Got some great choices there Phillip
Any other surprise characters floating around recently in the Parks? Just wondering if there are a few other suprises in store besides the official ones lining up on Main Street.
Not for Limited Time Magic. I did find Gideon, Brer Bear, Max and some others at Epcot doing training meets
I was so excited to see the Pinocchio group bc our first trip was last May, right after he was retired. He is one of my favorites!
I certainly understand that. I wish they would have offered Foulfellow and Gideon though.
Any ideas, yet, as to the special magic that will happen starting the week of 1/28? Thanks!
I would really like to meet the Seven Dwarves, especially Grumpy! I am a veteran Disney Land guest. In the 70’s, Winnie the Pooh used to walk around with a honey pot on his head. It would be cool if they brought back that old costume. Love the blog Kenny!
7 Dwarves always appear at the Halloween and Christmas parties. If you get the opportunity, you should try one.
Oh… I wish I could meet the three little pigs again. I only met them once back in 1974, when I was four years old.
jealous does not begin to describe my emotions right now.
at least I get to live vicariously
Big thanks to you for standing in that big ol’ gap in the rope because we were at the front of the rope and if you hadn’t walked up with your Kenny the Pirate shirt, I would’ve never known that the characters were right there. As it was, we ended up following you into the Robin Hood line and got a great picture!
Are there Photopass photographers at each characters?
Yes, each of the 5 groups has its own PhotoPass photographer.
Great post kenny along with those awesome pics.well unfortunately i couldnt get down there this time because wdw didnt announce it until a week prior but hopefully they give us a heads up next time!!And the characters i would hope to see would definately be Quasi and the hunchback notre dame cast.darkwing duck,Shan yu!!
Glad your Meets are going well Kenny, great to meet you Sunday.
Great meeting you and your dear wife too!
My kids enjoyed meeting all the Long Lost Friends yesterday. Felt a bit rushed, but got to see everyone by 10:30. We’d like to see Hercules&Meg, John Smith, Shang&Mushu, and fairies from Sleeping Beauty.
I’d also vote for the Hercules/Hunchback gangs.
Being European, it’s pretty common for us to see Robin Hood and Pinocchio characters at Disneyland Paris (even Launchpad and Shan-Yu were pretty common the last couple of times I visited), so I’d like to see Jim Hawkins and B.E.N from Treasure Planet make a re-appearance.
Great post Kenny. FYI–Ludwig Von Drake was on Duck Tales as Launchpad’s psychiatrist. He was only on one or two times
Thx Jolie couldn’t remember that
Our vacation starts Saturday, but we won’t get to the park until around 3. I’m really glad we’ll have the chance to meet these guys and gals on Sunday. AND….thanks to YOU I know exactly where to go to get my daughter’s favorites!! Thanks again for all of the fun you provide on your website and your app!!
Robin Hood and 3 little pigs again, so maybe I can meet them. Hunchback, mermaid group and toy story group.. Buzz, woody, bo peep….
I would love to see the Hunchback group, Flounder, Sebastian, The enchanted objects, Hercules group, Shang, Mushu, Shan-Yu, John Smith, Ratcliffe, the Hag, Kenai & Koda.