Spotting more than one of the same character

I’ve been meaning to post about this since I got back last month, as I’m just curious what other people think, and whether we were making a big deal over nothing.

So Disney are generally very careful with their character meet and greets, and making sure that they don’t have more than one of the same character near each other. If a kid came out of the town hall after meeting Mickey and then saw another Mickey in the town square, that would spoil the magic.

So here is something we experienced at Epcot. We were on our way to the Bon Voyage Breakfast at the Boardwalk, and we were making our way to the international gateway. Just before the exit, by the bridge, there was an Ariel meet and greet. This isn’t a usual spot for Ariel, but we’ve seen other characters do impromptu meet and greets there. We thought this was odd, because we were only a 5 minute walk from Trattoria al Forno, where Ariel was doing the character breakfast.

Now I know, you could argue that these characters are nowhere near each other, but, a lot of families who go to that character meal, will likely have either walked through the international gateway to get to the Boardwalk, or will be walking into Epcot afterwards. We even saw one family who had been for breakfast, and the kid was asking his parents “how did Ariel get here before us?” They had eaten at the Boardwalk and met Ariel, and now the kid saw this second Ariel and the parents were trying to explain how she’d got there.

Me and my friends thought this was really unlike Disney, and that somebody definitely hadn’t thought through the location of this pop-up meet and greet with Ariel.

That night on our way out we went to Guest services, just to make them aware of this in case there had been a mix-up or something, and the lady didn’t seem to understand what we were trying to say. The more we tried to explain it to her, the more it seemed like the lady thought WE were asking her “how did Ariel get there so fast?” And we were saying, we obviously know it was 2 different people, but it’s just very unlike Disney to do something that kinda spoils the magic. We weren’t complaining, we were just expressing a concern.

The guest services lady looked at us like we had 2 heads! It was pretty funny to be honest, and became the running joke of the holiday.

Are we crazy to have thought that this was something worth bringing to their attention? Or does this sound like something that someone at Disney would want to be made aware of?

From what I read, no Cast Member is EVER supposed to admit the characters are not real, so that might explain the reaction. Hopefully once you were gone she transmitted the info as needed.


Oh if that’s true then that would actually make a lot of sense.

We got overdosed on Mickey at Epcot last fall. He was at Garden Grill and at a character m&g where we had to go by him in order to get to Goofy who we had not yet seen. THEN he was in the Disney Visa m&g where they wouldn’t tell us who the characters were because they didn’t want to “spoil the surprise”–even though I explained we’d just ran into Mickey a couple times. My son shoved his autograph book in my bag and was like “I can’t take another Mickey autograph” and explained that he didn’t want Mickey to see it and get his feelings hurt that DS didn’t want his autograph again. For what it’s worth, I don’t think my son even really gave much thought to the multiple Mickeys, he just went with it. It didn’t take away from the magic–except for my husband and I that were both annoyed they wouldn’t just tell us it was MIckey to save us 20 minutes.

The location near to IG is used as a training venue for new character CMs. Which means you can see some varied characters that are not even usually in Epcot.

As for the problem with the character meal, I guess that is an issue parks wide. After all, whilst the parade is on at MK, there are some of the same characters at CRT and CP. It would be possible to see both versions of the characters - in the restaurant and out of the window.

Plus Tink and Mickey are still at their m&g spot in Town Hall whilst the parade floats are passing by. You could come out of Town Hall having just met Mickey and see him on a float right in front of you.

Same at DHS with the Disney Jnr characters at H&V and in the park.

Difficult to see how they could eliminate these issues completely.

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Or why anyone would care… Adults seeing multiple should be a non-issue and it’s up to parents how they’d want to explain it to kids. No matter how old my kids have been they know that the characters are just people dressed up in costumes and that there are any number of “Mickeys” or “Cinderellas” around the parks. The magic and wonder comes from our ability to play along, not in believing any of it is real.


This is my understanding.

She was probably cracking up afterward herself as she retold this to her coworkers. It sounds like she held the party line very well and is good at her job.


I often wondered about the characters in the parade. I wondered if they closed some of the meet and greets during the parade but I suppose this isn’t always practical.

I guess this kind of thing happens more often than I realised.

Like I said it didn’t spoil the magic for us, any more than it would to see a character from future world walking through adventure land. I just know Disney usually are very careful with things like that and it surprised me, more so because it was completely avoidable as this wasn’t a usual place for Ariel to meet.

Honestly the more I talk about it the more ridiculous I feel!

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I can understand you thinking it was “avoidable”.

But that location is where they train the character CMs. So you can see anyone there, even Dug who belongs in AK. Or Tink who clearly belongs in MK. Any CM who is new to the character they are to play will get their first experience near the IG.



Well you likely made the CMs day. I bet they deal with so many mundane questions and you gave her the chance to be fantastical.

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She’s a mermaid, she obviously swam there, which she can do much faster than you can walk. :smiley:


I hate the mystery character meet. This happened at Fairytale Hall. They refused to tell us. Why do I want to waste my time? We ended up with Aurora and Tiana. Tiana was nice but we wound up seeing Aurora 3 other times that trip (I knows this too).

My kids are 2 and 4 and truly believe they are real at this age. I wouldn’t want to lose that. I was worried my daughter would notice that Cinderella looked different at Akershus and CRT but she didn’t. We got lucky and had the same Aurora who remembered my daughter.

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I had my photo taken with Mickey at the character spot last Christmas, then walked to BC to see the decorations. Guess who was there, too? Mickey, in a different costume.

I asked a CM how it was possible that Mickey got there so quickly. She explained that there are mouse tunnels underground and he uses these to get around.



Did she manage to keep a straight face whilst replying to a 50 year old guest? And did you? I think I would have been doubled over laughing!


We are pretty clear on what is real and what is make-believe. They still enjoy having a lot of fun with pretending at any age. :slight_smile:


I won’t wait for mystery characters in those halls, but I do subscribe to KtP for certain reasons…

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Disney is for everyone. I say if they don’t laugh, keep at it. Ask more questions about the tunnels. Where does he keep all the costumes? Who’s his tailor?



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