Ariel, the Little Mermaid, can ALWAYS be found in her special greeting area on the castle side of the Matterhorn. Except for her break times, your child is guaranteed to be able to see her. Also, you may run into some of the other Disney characters in Fantasyland, and if you do, they may be some of the lesser-seen characters. The only time I saw Cinderella's fairy godmother was here in Fantasyland, for example. More usually, one of the Disney princesses will be in this area. One of the Fantasyland stores holds a children's story time, and there's ALWAYS a princess there--Belle, Cinderella, or Aurora, most likely. If you have a youngster, the story time is good to attend. It is one of the few less-crowded attractions that are really GOOD. Plus, it's air-conditioned!
Story time is a great activity for the crowded mid-day hours. Speaking of crowded mid-day hours, a good thing to do during the afternoon, when the lines for the rides are long, is to take in the live production of "Snow White--An Enchanting Musical" in the theater across from It's A Small World. This outdoor theater holds a huge crowd (1,500--1,800 depending on size...because the seating is on long benches), it's in the shade, and the production is top-notch--and it has plenty of Disney characters in it for your child to enjoy watching. Basically, it's a mini-musical which tells the Snow White story and features the songs from the movie---such as "Whistle While You Work," and "Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho." The artistic, detailed sets of the castle and the woodland cottage are very beautiful. This past summer (2005), there have been five daily shows of this musical. If you want to know the showtimes for the day you'll be visiting, do this: go to disneyland.com, click on "calendar" (or write "calendar" in the search box), and once the calendar appears, follow the instructions. Not only will you get the schedule for the Snow White musical, but for all the entertainment in the park for the day, including the parade and the fireworks. (If you haven't pinpointed the exact date of your trip, checking the calendar may help you make your decision. At the end of August every year, the number of show times dwindles--and some things you might want to see (such as the Electrical Parade at California Adventure) aren't available at all on some days of the week.