Even as an adult, a trip to Disney isn’t complete without meeting Mickey Mouse. I still get excited and I always have butterflies in my stomach before hugging the Big Cheese, himself. For children, this feeling is only magnified. Whether you are meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time, or your children are getting ready to meet their favorite princess for the first or 100th time, follow these Do’s and Don’ts for a fun and enjoyable character interaction.
Do: Bring something for the character to sign. Whether it is an autograph book, photo matte, or postcard, collecting character signatures is a fun way to interact with all your favorite characters, and gather some FREE mementos from your trip. Get creative with them when you get home and make a collage or add them to your scrapbook.
Do: Remember your manners. Characters love to interact with guests, but please remember to be gentle with the characters and remind your little ones that it is not funny to punch Pluto. Along with this, keep your questions relevant. Definitely ask Ann and Elsa where Olaf is or if they miss Arendale, but don’t ask what time their shift ends or if they are a natural red read/blonde.
Do: Plan ahead. Make sure to check your Times Guide to see where and when your must see characters will be appearing, and make sure to get in line early. Many characters have long lines, so make sure to account for that in your day. You can also get a FastPass for many characters and that will cut your wait time down significantly.
Do: Get your picture taken. You can either use PhotoPass , or hand your camera or phone to one of the photographers to get a fun and FREE picture with all the characters. This is another great way to collect memories and mementos without spending any money.
Don’t: be cranky with the character about the wait. It is not Cinderella’s fault that there was a long wait to meet her. Try not to take your frustrations out on the characters or their attendants. They are doing their best to make each interaction magical, while still trying to keep the line moving.
Don’t: monopolize the characters time too much. It’s great to have an autograph signed, a photo taken, and a small conversation. However, do not take up so much time by have individual photos taken, a group photo taken, a kids only photo, and then an adult only photo taken. Remember, their area a lot of people in line behind you, and you have a lot of other things to get to that day as well.
Don’t: ruin the magic for others. There is only ONE Mickey Mouse. Do not ruin the magic for guests behind you in line by suggesting otherwise to the characters or the attendants. Try to look at the situation from a child’s point of view and ask questions that keep the magic alive.
Don’t: ask the character to hold your child. It’s against the rules. I agree that it would make an adorable picture to have Goofy holding a small tot in his arms, but it’s just not possible for the characters to do this.
So, we’ve covered the basics of the Do’s and Don’ts of meeting characters. Most importantly, just remember to have fun! Character meet and greets are some of my favorite memories from Disney vacations.
Did I miss any Do’s or Don’ts? Let me know if the comments!