A recent visit to Characer Palooza at Hollywood Studios
Character Palooza is an unpublished character meet and greet that takes place at Hollywood Studios. Here’s the article I wrote on Character Palooza a while back with more information.
We dropped in on Saturday afternoon and saw the Streets of America abuzz with meet and greet action. It’s funny how many people don’t know this exists and just stumble upon it. I’ve observed recently that the summer appearance can vary from 5:55pm to 6:10pm, so arrive a few minutes early!
Our goal Saturday was to ride Expedition Everest and Dinosaur and take part in the Dinoland Dance Party at Animal Kingdom, then hop over to Hollywood Studios to take in Character Palooza and the new Rock Your Summer Side Dance Party. We succeeded at everything except Dinosaur which went down while we were there.
We arrived at Character Palooza and Jordyn was hot and tired and was going to sit on the steps and wait on Debbie to meet some of her favorite characters…until she saw Max! In the same day Jordyn got to meet Mushu and Max for the first time, so she was pretty happy.
After Hollywood Studios chose to remove the Pixar Countdown to Fun Parade and Disney Channel Rocks from it’s entertainment offerings, the schedules for Character Palooza were changed dramatically. It’s left people wondering when and where the character free-for-all of rare characters will take place.
Here’s the new rules:
On a night when TWO Fantasmics are performed, Character Palooza will take place only at 6:00 pm on Streets of America
On a night when ONE Fantasmic is performed, Character Palooza will take place at 4:30 pm at Echo Lake & 5:30 pm at Streets of America
When there is no Fantasmic scheduled, there will be no Character Palooza.
Given the current park schedule at Hollywood Studios, it would mean that Character Palooza or “Pop-up Surprise” as some Cast Members refer to it, will only appear ONCE per night at 6:00 pm on the Streets of America now through August 20th.
Here’s the description of Character Palooza that is posted on the top left of the blog. It contains a list of characters you might find.
Character Palooza is a secret meet and greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that occurs daily based upon Fantasmic! schedules for the day. It seems like a random occurrence to most guests, but actually follows a set schedule. You can often find rare Disney characters like Brer Fox, Dopey or Robin Hood at this meet that you might not find anywhere else!
Cast Members are taught to ignore or brush off any questions concerning this offering in order to keep crowds at a minimum.
Updated January 25, 2019
How long does each Character Palooza set last?
Each set typically lasts from 15-20 minutes, but characters aren’t guaranteed to stay out any certain length and the cast varies from day to day. They typically close the gates within 10 minutes or less based on the crowds, so be there early!
What happens when it rains?
If it rains during a time that a set is scheduled to take place, the meet will be canceled.
Do the characters sign autographs?
If they are capable of signing autographs, they will sign for you.
Do they have Photopass/Memory Maker Photographers
No, but there are a number of Cast Members who are willing to use your camera or phone for you, so have your own device ready!
Where can I find Character Palooza?
You’ll find the location, exact details and map on Character Locator.
Where can I find the actual schedule?
The weekly schedule for Character Palooza is only found on Character Locator. Subscribe to see all the details, but keep the secret, so it doesn’t become a mad house! Please don’t post the info on blogs or web forums to keep the crowds down!
What characters should I hope to meet?
Here’s some of the characters that we’ve met over the years (which characters appear on a given day will always be a surprise, there’s no way of knowing what characters will appear in advance.) If there are multiple appearances scheduled in a single day, you may see the same characters at each appearance.
- Brer Fox
- Chip n Dale
- Donald Duck – Sailor
- Mary Poppins
- Minnie Mouse
- Queen Grimhilde (Snow Queen / Evil Queen)
- Robin Hood
- Snow White