Anna and Elsa Moving to 9am Beginning February 9

Just a heads up that Anna and Elsa are moving to a 9am – 6pm schedule beginning February 9th. According to the Epcot Character Prioritization page, this was the previous advice:

Best Time to Meet: People go directly to the Meet and Greet at rope drop and wait in line. Because the characters don’t meet until 11am, this results in a minimum two hour wait. The walkway to Norway is open at Park open because Akershus Royal Banquet Hall serves breakfast from 8am. I recommend getting in line sometime after 11am. You’ll end up waiting 2+ hours, but the whole group will be able to enjoy Future World. Note that only one person in the group needs to wait in line. So if you have someone willing to wait at rope drop, they could conceivably head to Norway first thing and wait two hours with the rest of the group joining at that time. An Akershus breakfast reservation would only help if a member of the group exits the restaurant to wait in line around 8:50am. That would put you among the first in line, but you’re still waiting the two hours until 11am. If you’d like to meet Anna and Elsa, but won’t be heartbroken if you miss them, then you may want to try the line closer to 6:30pm. The characters usually greet through at least 8:30pm and evening waits are shorter. But you risk the line being closed at that time if there are already too many people in line.

The 9am start complicates some things and makes some things easier. Because the characters don’t offer FP+ and have such a limited hourly capacity, it makes the most sense to head straight there at rope drop. Hitting an attraction before meeting the characters will result in a one to two hour wait at the characters because it takes so few people to push wait times up. The downsides to heading straight there are that it’s a hike from either the main entrance or International Gateway and waits will build at the headlining attractions like Test Track and Soarin’ while you’re spending time meeting the characters. Also, groups with 8am Akershus Banquet Hall breakfast reservations will often have one member of the group wait in line for the characters instead of eating breakfast. Or a group member will leave breakfast and get in line long before anyone could hope to arrive from either entrance. So even if you head up first thing at 9am, you may not even get into the 9am meet and will have to wait until 10am. And then by the time 10am rolls around, Soarin’ and Test Track will already have 45+ minute waits every day of the year.

In a lot of ways, the Frozen meet is a lose-lose situation. Head straight there and maybe you’ll get to meet them by 9:45am. Or maybe it won’t be until 10:15am. And that’s after basically running with children from one of the entrances first thing in the morning. Visit the priority attractions first and someone is waiting 90 minutes to two-hours-plus in line later in the day anyway.

One course of action would be to visit on an Extra Magic Hour morning. One person could head straight to Norway to hold the group’s spot in line while others hit Soarin’ and/or Test Track and you wouldn’t need to be as concerned with breakfast reservation people lining up before you because they don’t take reservations before 8am. The rest of the group could meet in Norway close to 9am.

The best course of action is probably telling the kids that Norway is closed and the characters went home for the summer. Or winter. Or something.


  1. goofyfan6698 says

    “The best course of action is probably telling the kids that Norway is closed and the characters went home for the summer. Or winter. Or something.”

    I love the last part!

  2. Stacey says

    We have 8am breakfast reservation at Akershus. It would be super awesome if we could hit this up right after we are done. Not really willing to skip breakfast to wait in line though so if it comes to that, I guess we will just continue on with our original plan.

  3. Michael says

    In the days of the old fastpass, a FP runner could get the family FPs for Soarin’ at rope drop, then maybe grab a set for Test Track within an hour (assuming the runner was one of the first to Soarin’) while the family goes straight to Anna and Elsa’s line. By the time they complete their visit with the Queen and Princess, they could return to Future World and ride both and still grab an early lunch. Now that we have this AMAZING invention called FP+, this same family could run to Norway, have a FP scheduled for one of the two biggies, and then wait in line forever if they want to ride the other.

    Sure sounds like an improvement to me!

  4. josh says

    Assuming someone exits by 9am you’ll still be ahead of everyone coming in from the the main entrance/International Gateway.

  5. josh says

    Yeah or use Test Track single rider, ride the other on a second day at Epcot, or get in line after 8pm (and ideally as close to 9pm as possible) when waits are shorter.

  6. Samantha says

    You know, at times like these I wonder why Disney doesn’t have two sets of the same characters meeting and greeting in separate rooms (with one line that’s blind). Yeah, I know, it’s blasphemy to have two Elsas or two Annas or two Mickeys or whatever. But I’d be willing to bet 99% of the kids would be oblivious and the parents certainly wouldn’t complain about the line moving twice as quickly.

  7. josh says

    They do for a lot of the newer meet and greets. There are multiple rooms at Character Spot, Princess Fairytale Hall, Ariel’s Grotto, Town Square Mickey, but this meet was built so hastily that there isn’t room for another meet. I have heard they are having trouble finding Elsas as it is. The cruise line had Anna for a short while, but as far as I know they didn’t have any Elsas for the cruises either.

  8. Khurston says

    I am so thankful my 9 yr old seems to be over character meets for this trip. Looking forward to many many more rides next month!!

  9. josh says

    Not sure what the Elsa trouble is. It doesn’t seem like she would be any more difficult to cast than any others.

    Mexico and Norway are accessible before 11am because Akershus in Norway starts taking breakfast reservations beginning at 8am.

  10. Jon says

    My wife waited and waited with the kids. Then with only 3 people in front of her, one of the people in front of her had their “party” show up. That added 10 new people in front of us. We got so mad we left. I think you should serve your time in line.

  11. Michelle says

    Do you think this is going to be their permanent meeting place? Or have you heard anything about a new location??

  12. josh says

    Saving spots in line is not only allowed, but encouraged at this meet and greet. It would be nice if they would limit the configurations to the number of people that waited in line. For example, if you have one person waiting in line, that means your group gets to take a picture in one configuration. Not mom and dad, and then child and mom, and then grandma and grandpa and grandson, and then grandson and granddaughter, etc. But that is probably impossible to enforce.

    I don’t think there’s any point in trying to predict the future. This is a “temporary” meet and greet but where they’ll go and when is hard to say. My estimation is that they will keep them in Norway – just move them to a more glamorous backdrop.

  13. Michelle UK says

    Thank you, Josh, for the heads up

    I did consider telling my girls that Norway is closed and Anna and Elsa have gone home for the summer / winter, but instead I made an Akershus reservation for 8.10 on our first Epcot morning at the end of April. Plan will be for someone to jump in the line at 9 am while the rest of us finish up breakfast. I wonder if Akershus will see an up-swing in early breakfast ADRs because of this?

    Luckily we have other days when we can hit Soarin’ / TT early (and there’s always good old – tiered – FP+ :/ ) but it’s not ideal and I can see why the change is going to be a pain in the proverbial for a lot of people

    So now we are eating at Akershus twice during our Disney fortnight as I didn’t want to give up our lunch ADR, we really enjoyed our lunch there last trip. (We’re on free DDP, to explain my laissez faire attitude to our ADRs)

  14. Sherrie says

    Haha! I love the tell them Norway is closed comment! I think we will just wave as we peek in! We will have 2 grands dressed as these princesses, but won’t be able to wait that long. Our reservations aren’t until dinner at Askerhaus. Oh well, life goes on.

  15. Sherrie says

    By the way I don’t think anyone would appreciate one person saving places in line for the rest of our group of 31! Even if a few are boys that wouldn’t want to, I know what Josh is saying.

  16. Emma says

    Since we are not planning to go back for at least a year, I hope they will have worked it out. Of course we plan on telling her that the speedway and IASW are closed whenever we go next, we just apply the same line to the Frozen characters.

  17. Cindy Kay says

    Josh, Is the little boy on a leash (pictured above) included in every shot? Or can we request sans child? 😉

  18. Emma says

    I really want to see the Frozen characters, but balk at the thought of rushing there straight at rope drop and not even see them for an hour or more. Shame, because I absolutely loved the movie.

  19. Frank D says

    Skipping a princess breakfast to stand in line for 2 hours so my child (who won’t even remember the meeting) can meet the Frozen ladies is too much Disney Magic® for me to take. Pass

    We’ll wander past in the late evening and see what the line looks like and then go from there.

  20. Rob says

    Seems like the best solution has already been suggested. Make an 8 am reservation at Akershus. Mom or Dad or Uncle or whomever finishes off their breakfast by 8:30 or even 8:45 (which doesn’t seem too hard) and steps out of the restaurant and into line. Meanwhile another adult finishes up breakfast pays the bill and joins the rest of the family in line. Smooth and easy.

    The bonus result Disney is going to see is that Akershus morning reservations are going to start vanishing soon.

    Throw Fastpass+ into the equation and it all seems to be very civilized to me. No need to run around like crazy person. I just grab my Saorin Fastpass+ for the afternoon and the rest is gravy.

  21. Jen says

    I really like that the above photo captured an escaped child on a leash trying to crawl away whilst Mommy is bedazzled by princesses!

  22. Cassie says

    Would this work…I stand in line at 9 for A&E while DH takes kids on TT & MS then comes to meet me? Soarin’ later for all of us with FPP.

  23. Adam says

    I also was only going to comment about the boy on the leash. I’m kinda surprised that he isn’t tied to one of those poles while mom was taking her pic.

    You can never be too careful. =)

  24. Bernadette says

    You all are far more charitable than I, as I just assumed the mother of the ‘unleashed’ child was outside of the shot and had simply ceased bothering to try to reign him in. It’s got to be *exhausting* holding onto a leash all day – other people’s vacation photos be damned!

  25. Alyssa says

    Hi Josh, I have been lurking on your blog for a while. It’s great! I had to comment because we just got back from a late January trip and I told my kids that Elsa and Anna were no longer there. We had a great vacation and didn’t waste half a day waiting to meet them!

  26. Kay says

    We had Akershus reservations at 8:10 on 1/25. I got in line at 9:20. I was told that I was in the 1:00 meet time slot. They have a handler that goes throug the line and asks how many are in the group and kept track on a counter so he could tell those coming up later what time they could expect to get in. I waited while husband took kids on Test Track, Mission Space and something else…most relaxing 3 hours of the whole week, LOL!

  27. RebeccaMcK says

    I’ll check closer to the time of our October trip, but I really hope Anna and Elsa will still be around for meet’n’greets – maybe by then their novelty will have worn off, but even if there are still long lines we’ll attempt to meet them. The kiddo has met just about everyone else (and the characters left on her photo list are pretty rare) and she loves Elsa. We just saw the movie for the fifth time (well, twice was the “sing along” version). Good luck to it hopefully getting a couple Oscars next month. By the way, is the Akershus breakfast good?

  28. Mr. Baloo says

    I think the boy is too funny… On a leash, ready to pounce… Full cold weather gear and NO shoes!!!!!

    And the leash is way too long……

  29. Carol says

    We were at Epcot on the Sunday of MLK weekend. I had already told my dd that we were not going to wait to meet Elsa and Anna since we only had a short time in the park that day. But out of curiosity, I asked a CM what the wait was like at 11:00. She said if we got in line right then, we would meet the characters at 5:50pm. I can’t believe people would wait 7 hours to meet characters. Even my autograph loving daughter thought that was crazy. I think they should probably make this meet a FP+ attraction.

  30. says

    I feel like if I’m going to wait over an hour to meet these ladies, I should really see the movie first. Our favorite thing to do at Disney (my husband and I, no kids yet) is to get our pictures with the characters and since they’re a couple we don’t actually have, we’re goin’ for it.

  31. Psac says

    Frozen just made Disney stockholders a lot of money yesterday. Expect this to be some sort of permanent fixture. Excerpt from an analyst call below.
    Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said “Frozen” sales were growing as the movie just opened in China and will debut in Japan in March. The popularity of “Frozen,” produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, also is fueling toy and music sales related to the film, he said.

    “This has real franchise potential,” Iger told analysts on a conference call. “Expect to see continued interest in this and continued impact on the bottom line for quite a while.”

  32. marta says

    Going in March, and having b’fast at Akershus at 9:20. I REALLY want to tell my girls Anna and Elsa are not there… Please – is there a way the kids can see them, or see read signs that say something like ‘Anna and Elsa meet here’? My girls love the movie, but we shouldn’t waste hours in that line… Since we will be at Norway, I can’t pretend the place is closed 😉 Advice appreciated, please!!!

  33. Lotus14 says

    Ugh. I think we’re going to stick the the morning plan and then have an adult join the line around lunch time and wait for freaking ever the way we’d originally planned. The things we do for the kids!

  34. snarkymama says

    Since Disney has decided that characters should take over all of the Epcot countries (which, by the way, I don’t really mind), then, yes, Norway should be taken over by the FROZEN folk, even the ubiquitous character meal. Plenty of places to meet the other princesses, including the castle meal, so kick Cinderella to the curb, add a snowman and a prince and devote the Norway buffet to FROZEN. Heck, they could even raise the prices. Win-win.

    And why haven’t they associated Rapunzel with Italy yet? Yes, I know it’s a German fairy tale, but they already have Snow White camping out there and they could easily use the architecture of Germany–lots of towers–to tie in to the theme.

  35. snarkymama says

    Oh and, I love my kids, and have done some arguably crazy stuff for them, but I can’t envision a scenario where waiting in line, at a place I paid $100/day to be, for five hours to meet a college kid in a costume is ever gonna happen. Basically, people be crazy.

  36. Gregg says

    Who thinks they will now take a look at re-theming Maelstrom as a Frozen ride? They can do it on the cheap and quickly and turn it into a 1 hour+ wait ride – finally making it earn its tier 1 fastpass + rating. Same ride machanics with just a fresh coat of paint and different backstory.

    Before you think I am making fun of Maelstrom, my 7 year old son absolutely loved it (we rode it three time). His reasons – Line was not too long, there is a drop in the dark, there is a backwards drop, a forwards drop and the drop is not too steep but is still fun.

    Actually, are the Frozen princesses in the vicinity causing the ride to be busier?

  37. Steve says

    Gregg, yep, there have already been rumours about retheming Maelstrom into a Frozen ride. It all started in order to explain why this was a tier 1 attraction.

  38. Chicago Mama says

    We were also there on Sat 1/25. Speed walked past Spaceship Earth, then my husband ran the rest of the way. Arrived in Norway around 9:05. My husband waited with the rest of the dads while I managed the kids elsewhere. PhotoPass is timestamped 11:28. Totally worth it… 4 year old LOVED the movie, and sang “Let It Go” for Anna and Elsa. Not sure what was better….the look on her face, or the smiles on theirs.


    who the HEDOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS is ANNA & ELSA & should I care ??? for a picture . come on folks . remember it all started with a mouse .

  40. Molly says


    We were there the last week of January. No WAY was I going to wait in that crazy line and I had sort of prepped my youngest daughter that perhaps Anna & Elsa went back home to Norway. Of course, when rode Maelstrom, she got a glimpse. If you follow the ride out through the gift shop, there is a little roped off area where you can see (not greet) Anna and Elsa. I totally had my daughter stand in front of that rope and squatted, twisted and bent in unnatural angles with my camera to get a semi-private shot of her with them in the background. She was thrilled, even though some random stranger’s little girl is technically in the shot! Give it a try :)

  41. Mona says

    We were lucky enough to see this announcement while at WDW, so we changed our plans for Sunday (2/9). We arrived at Epcot at 8:15, then when the park opened at 9, we booked it over to Norway and got in line. It was still a 45 minute wait, but not bad considering we’d talked to others who had waited 3+ hours in the days before. Then we headed over to MK for the rest of our day. It worked out pretty well for us!

  42. Molly says

    @Marta, you’re welcome! Just to clarify, you’re still inside the gift shop when you see that little roped off area. It’s past the perfume section (if I recall) and it dead ends there, you can’t miss it! If I had any patience or loved my youngest daughter more, I’d wait in that line. Have fun :)

  43. Fran Griffith says

    This meet and greet is AMAZING!!! And well worth the wait. We had a 9:00 Akershus reservation. When we were just about done, my hubby went and stood in line while I tipped the waiter and got our stuff together. We waited 2 1/2 hours. Made a lot of friends in line and the kids all played together. It didn’t feel like a long wait. Please don’t tell your children they aren’t there or Norway is closed. The trip is about your children and believe me, they will love this visit. I would wait in ANY line to see my daughter’s face light up when she sees her favorite character.

  44. Anonymous says

    Went today (feb 21st) and the meet and greet didn’t start till 11. Apparently the 9am was for only one week while they tested out the new schedule. Ran to the line at rope drop and waited 2 1/2 hours, I considered this quick compared to the line after we were done!

  45. says

    We were at Disney from 2/18-2/24. The wait for Anna and Elsa on Sunday 2/23 by 9:45 was 4 hours. The princess half marathon really screwed up our morning plans at Epcot, but we were stuck because of our Akershus dining time. Poor planning on my behalf. We are going back in December, and I am praying that either Disney has this as FP+, has the girls incorporated into the dining at Akershus, or has finally found enough Elsa’s so they can have the characters at multiple theme parks. However, if they haven’t, I think my plan will be to book an 8am dining reservation, scarf down my food, and then run over to the meet and greet and get in line before 9 while my husband and daughter finish up. Luckily Akershus is a buffet and we went through the characters pretty quickly during the meal. Kind of crazy that I’d book this breakfast just to get a good spot in line to meet E&A. Sigh.

    On a side note- they used to only let people back to WS before 11 if they had a dining reservation. They had it roped off. Seriously wish that was still the case. Luckily for us my daughter saw Elsa & Anna from the gift shop and that was enough.

    Good luck people!

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