If you’re anything like me, sometimes meeting characters can be a bit of an awkward experience. Sometimes you just don’t know what to say, what to do with your hands, or even where to stand. So how do you break the ice and have the most memorable character experiences? Here’s a few helpful tips that I’ve learned and used to make the best out of them!
My first tip is to make sure that you have your autograph book out and ready! This will get rid of that awkward time when you’re fumbling for your book, or trying to find a blank page. When you’re prepared and ready for the characters, they are in turn ready for you!
Are you celebrating something while you're at Disney? Your birthday? An Engagement? Family Reunion? Wedding? Make it known to the characters! Most of the time they will congratulate you in their own special way. For example, on our recent family trip, it was my daughters birthday and Mickey Mouse sang Happy Birthday to her. We were also celebrating our engagement, and Chip and Dale saw our “Happily Ever After” pin and proceeded to do the “Single Ladies” dance! This adds a lot of fun and laughter to character experiences.
My next tip is to have little facts or stories of or involving the character ready! Is Pluto your favorite character? Let him know! Is Under the Sea your favorite Disney song? Let Ariel know that you know all the words! Ask Tinkerbell how she uses one of her giant crayons that are conveniently resting up against the wall in her meet-and-greet space! Look around you and take in the environment and use that to your advantage. Most characters are in a corresponding decorated space that not only takes you into their world, but that you can use to enhance your meeting experience.
My favorite and most helpful tip to a great character meeting experience is corresponding costumes or t-shirts! To me, you get the absolute best experience when you somehow relate to the character you’re visiting. If you’ve seen little kids dressed up as a character, meeting said character, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. I used this tip myself while meeting King Louie and Baloo in Animal Kingdom. I wore one of my favorite Fett&Co. tees which was Jungle Book themed. It says “Jungle VIP” on it, filled with tropical leaves. Meeting King Louie and Baloo in this tee turned out to be my absolute favorite character experience! Not only did the characters start singing and dancing to “I wanna be like you” from the Jungle Book, but they also tried to make me ‘reach the top’ and dance along with them!
The best thing to remember while meeting characters is to loosen up and have fun with it! If you go into a character meet-and-greet prepared, happy and ready to have fun, your characters will definitely notice and feed off of that!