I’m of the opinion that any age is the right age to go to Walt Disney World, but there is something special about a preschooler’s first trip. They’re old enough to understand more of what’s going on, and they likely have favorite characters that they can’t wait to meet. Many of these kiddos are big fans of the shows on Disney Junior, including Handy Manny, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Special Agent Oso. The stars of these shows can only be found in one park in Walt Disney World, and today I’ll tell you where.
Here are three things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Disney Junior.
1. Disney Junior—Live on Stage!
Your little ones will love this puppet show in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It currently features characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. There are no seats in the theater; everyone sits on the floor, which enables the kids to get up and dance and sing along with the show. There are also some special surprises, like bubbles and streamers, that thrill toddlers. This is one of the few attractions in Walt Disney World that I would skip if I didn’t have a child along, but if you do, it’s so much fun to watch them during the show. They just get so excited!
2. Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine
If you want to meet June from Little Einsteins, Jake the Never Land pirate, Handy Manny, or Special Agent Oso, you’ll want to make reservations for breakfast or lunch at Hollywood & Vine for Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine. The characters come around to all of the tables for photos and autographs (often more than once if you’re slow eaters), and there are also musical interludes when the kids can get up and dance with the characters. It’s a buffet, so picky eaters should have no problem finding something they like.
3. Disney Junior Meet-and-Greet at Animation Courtyard
Another opportunity to meet Disney Junior characters is at the meet-and-greet location in Animation Courtyard, just outside Disney Junior—Live on Stage! Characters are usually found there most of the day. Today, for example, they were there continuously from 10:30 to 5:30. Jake the Never Land pirate was added to this meet-and-greet just last year, thrilling many little pirate fans. Unfortunately, to make room for Jake, the Little Einsteins were booted, so if you want to meet any of them, you’ll have to do the Play ‘n Dine.
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This is probably the easiest themed-day itinerary possible—just one park and only three to-do items. Don’t forget to make your advanced dining reservations for Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine before your trip—breakfast or lunch, your choice. You can combine meeting characters in Animation Courtyard with waiting for the next show of Disney Junior—Live on Stage! Since the characters are listed in the Times Guide as “Stars of Disney Junior,” you won’t know for sure who will be there when, but you can check with the cast member at the meet-and-greet if there’s a particular character you’re hoping to see.
Who is your favorite Disney Junior character?