Who doesn’t love a character meet and greet?
I love seeing the interactions between the characters and their fans! From silly poses to autograph sessions, this special time is not be missed! So, what do we all do? We fumble for our cameras and cell phones, struggle with terrified children, and bombard characters with everything under the sun (thank you Pinterest) to sign. I know, I’ve been there! It feels like you wait in line forever, only to spend a couple of minutes (at best) with the characters before walking away stupefied hoping and praying that those Disney Photographers are able to do some magic with that photo session!
So, today’s tips are inspired by those moments of frenzy, we will be taking a look at what you can do to cut down on the stress and boost the memories of those precious moments with the characters!
Make sure your camera is ready to go!
There is seriously nothing more disappointing than missing out on a photo opportunity due to camera issues. I had a terrible experience with a dead battery with tragic timing…it was back in 2000…I was 5th row at an *N’SYNC concert (#1 fan here! LOL!). Needless to say, my heart was broken. Since then, I have made a vow to never be left high and dry when it comes to my camera. Now I have a common sense plan of action when it comes to my photography gear. Here is my thought process for capturing the memories!
The night before:
- Charge camera (if applicable)
- Charge cell phone
The morning of:
- If you have a camera that takes disposable batteries, put in a backup set of batteries
- Check memory card(s). I have a lot of backup memory cards because I take a lot of pictures!
- Make sure you have any cameras and/or equipment that you are planning on taking (still shot, video, or lenses)
Plan your poses
You’d be surprised by how much wasted time and stress you can avoid by planning out your poses. Now, this doesn’t mean to have every single detail mapped out. After all, you want this interaction to be fun, memorable, and natural. What I am more referring to, is knowing who is going to be in the picture; i.e., just the kids? the whole family? or whatever configuration you can imagine. Planning who gets their photo or meet and greet time first, second, etc. can help with the shuffle of bags, kids, and cameras!
Help your kids
Part of having an enjoyable experience is creating a low stress feeling for everyone involved. I think it is good idea to ease your kids into the whole process. In other words, be flexible, if your little one is frightened, don’t push the interaction. If you notice any hesitation, make a call to make it less stressful. This might mean you are in every picture (this really is not a bad thing!) at least this way, your child gets to ease into the process and see you model a safe and fun interaction with characters. A great place to try out character meet and greets is at 1900 Park Fare’s character dining. I like that the characters come to your table to visit and I especially like that there isn’t a long line of park guests waiting for you to “ease” at lightning speed! When you prep your children for a visit with a character, the entire experience is better!
Get it together!
Being ready for your turn is HUGE! Not only does it make for a more enjoyable experience for your party, but it also makes for a more enjoyable experience for everyone waiting in line. Being respectful of everyone’s time is key! So, what am I talking about anyway? I am talking about getting out anything that you’ll use in your turn, including but not limited to:
- autograph books, shirts, pillowcases, picture frames, etc., etc. etc.
- Sharpie or Pen
- Disney PhotoPass cards
Slow down and enjoy your time with the characters. I know how easy it is for me to get caught up in wanting to speed things along to give the next person in line their turn. I often have to remind myself that everyone waits the same amount of time and as long as I am being respectful of my equal share, I am allowed to not feel guilty to snap a few photos and share a few hugs. I just had this realization (again) as I sat in Chef Mickey’s a few weeks ago. As I rushed through snapping photos of my nephew with Mickey and the gang, it hit me. Slow down! Enjoy this moment! That reservation had been on the books for 6 months, why not enjoy our time? About three characters in, we did just that. We slowed it down; taking time to chat with the characters. I knew we were being fair with our time. It was so much more enjoyable when I forced myself to stop and enjoy the moment!
What are some things you do to make your time schmoozing with the characters as stress free as possible? Do you have any “must do’s” when it comes to getting ready. What do you wish you could tell the other guests who are waiting in line with you? List your suggestions in the comment section below!
As always, thanks for reading!
For more tips, tricks, and ideas for making your trip to Disney World magical, visit my blog
See ya real soon!
- Disney Announces New 2013 Theme “Limited Time Magic” – So what is it exactly? (chipandco.com)
- What you can do to get your kids ready for Character Meet & Greets! (chipandco.com)
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