Anna and Elsa Moving to 9am Beginning February 9

by josh on February 5, 2014

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.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa February 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

Are they still selling Frozen merchandise in the stores? Looking for Elsa doll….

Anonymous February 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm

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!

Megan Miller March 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

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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