Pick up a guide map (or two) and a Times Guide (or three) when you enter the park. The information includes the day's entertainment schedule, listing all the special goings-on for the day. Included are concerts, encounters with characters, holiday events, parades, fireworks, restaurant hours, and the major happenings. Tip: There's also an all-parks guide that includes much of the same information and is well worth picking up, too.

Where to Find Characters

The Town Square Theater (on Main Street, U.S.A.) was recently re-imagined as a place where kids can meet and mingle one on one with Disney's most famous character: Mickey Mouse. Disney princesses, temporarily displaced during the Fantasyland expansion, can also be found in residence (their permanent home -- as well as a slew of all-new meet-and-greet opportunities, is scheduled to open in Fantasyland as the first phases of the expansion begin to roll out). Adventureland (at Pirates of the Caribbean and near Magic Carpets of Aladdin), Tomorrowland (near the Space Ranger Spin), and Frontierland (near the Diamond Horseshoe) are other hot spots for character sightings. Be sure to have your camera ready and waiting, and autograph book and pen in hand, if you want to capture the moment before it's gone.

Tip: If you're willing to spend money to avoid waiting in line, character meals at restaurants such as the Crystal Palace and Cinderella's Royal Table (as well as at select WDW resorts) all offer the opportunity to meet your favorite characters. Just don't forget to make Advance Reservations if you go the dining route.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.