Getting up close and personal with with “real-life” Disney Characters from your favorite Disney stories, television shows and movies can be one of the highlights of your Walt Disney World vacation. There is nothing sweeter than seeing my son plant a big kiss on Minnie’s nose and I have to admit that, even as an adult, I love posing for a picture with my favorite princess, Cinderella.
With the potential of a long wait or even the unknown of how your child will react to seeing their favorite character life-sized, I’ve come up with several tips to help alleviate any stress and anxiety that may damper your magical meet and greets!
1. Plan ahead. Decided what characters you really want to meet and those you aren’t as interested in. Knowing where the characters you want to meet will be, and at what time, means you can be at the front of the line.
2. Have your autograph book (or pillow case or photo mat) ready while you’re in line. Not all characters will sign (King Louie hasn’t learned to write yet!) but for those that will, having everything ready to go means you will spend less time fumbling around in your bag and more time enjoying your time with your favorite characters.
3. If you’re traveling with young children, set realistic expectations. Just because they love watching Jake every morning on Disney Jr’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates does not mean they will immediately run up to him at Hollywood Studios and start a sword fight! Now, they might and that would be awesome (and why Memory Maker is great for character meet and greets) but they may also be a little frightened that this Jake is SO much bigger than the Jake the are used to seeing on their television screen. Take it slow and follow the little one’s lead.
4. Again, if you have little ones, don’t force them to interact with the characters. The cast members that are “friends with” our favorite Disney characters are great at reading children and interacting them them on a level that’s comfortable for everyone.
5. Book a character meal (or two or three!). Character dining is a great way to meet several of your favorite characters in a more relaxed environment – and you get to enjoy a great meal! Chef Mickey’s is a great option with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy all in attendance. And Cinderella’s Royal Table or Akershus have some of your favorite Disney Princesses all in one place! Take advantage of as many character meals as your budget will allow!
6. Don’t forget to take advantage of FastPass+ when offered to select character interactions. The talking Mickey on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, the Frozen sister at Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom and Mickey and friends at the Epcot Character Spot are some of my favorite FP+ character meet and greets to schedule. There is nothing worse than waiting in long line with a little (or big!) kid who can’t wait to meet their favorite mouse or princess. Avoid those lines where you’ll get the most bang for your buck while saving yourself precious time.
And here is one last little tip if you’re traveling with especially young toddlers.
7. Take advantage of videos character interactions and shows on video sharing sites such as You Tube. Letting you child see what they may experience may take away some of the fright. I can’t promise this will work but my tiny Disney loving son watched a lot of You Tube videos before his first birthday visit earlier this year and every single character interaction was a magical experience.
What are you tips and tricks when it comes to meeting your favorite Disney character? Did we miss anything on our list? Let us know by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page!
My name is Alissa and I am a Writer for Chip and Company. I’m also an Independent Travel Consultant with World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency used by Chip and the Disney Addicts. Email me today at email@example.com to book your next “Magical” vacation to your favorite destination.