Don’t Make it Weird: 4 Ways to Make or Break Your Character Interactions

Is meeting your favorite Disney character a must-do on your Walt Disney World Vacation?

The author’s favorite – Buzz Lightyear!

For lots of people – kids and adults alike – meeting their favorite characters in real life is a highlight of their trip. Here’s a few tips on what to do, and not to do, to make the most out of these celebrity meetings!

Edna Mode at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

To Do:  Be Ready!

The best thing you can do to maximize your meet and greet is be ready! Make sure to have you autograph book open to the page you’d like them to sign, and kindly take the cap off your marker. It can be hard to do with Mickey’s big gloves! Have your camera ready and open so you can start snapping right away. Don’t waste precious time fiddling around for your book or trying to open the camera app on your phone.

Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom

To Not Do: Rush!

While your time may be limited, don’t rush your interaction! You waited in a long line – enjoy the time you get to spend with the characters. Think of some fun questions to ask them – ask Ariel if she’s found any new “thingamabobs” or “dinglehoppers” recently or ask Mulan to show you some cool warrior poses. Tell Baymax you are satisfied with your care or give Chewbacca a big, furry hug. Ask Rapunzel how Maximus is doing, or tell Gaston that he’s handsome. (I promise you’ll get a good reaction with that!) You get the idea – don’t just walk up and snap a picture in a hurry. Engage with the characters and make the meeting memorable!

Gaston outside his tavern in the Magic Kingdom

To Do: Start Snapping Right Away

Don’t wait until the characters are perfectly posed with your kids to start snapping pictures! Some of the best photos and videos are during the interaction itself. Maybe you’ll capture a look of complete awe of their favorite princess, or a hug from Dale, or a laugh caused by Peter Pan. The posed pictures are certainly keepsakes, but make sure to record some of the rest of the meeting as well. You may snap a new favorite photo!

A Hug from Chipmunk-o-Saurus Dale!

To Not Do: Ruin the Magic

Adults – this one is for you. As far as Disney (and all the little ears around you) are concerned, that is the REAL Mickey. There’s only one of him – in fact have you ever seen him in two places at once?! Didn’t think so! While older kids and adults might be very aware of how the characters are being brought to life, please do not ruin the magic for those who still believe. Don’t ask them if they are hot – they are, it’s Florida! You’re hot so of course Olaf is hot, too! (It’s OK though, he loves summer.) Have fun watching your little ones meet their heroes, and maybe even embrace the magic, use your imagination, and believe yourself!

Olaf in Summer!

So there you have it – some ways to make or break your character interactions! Who are you most looking forward to meeting on your next Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments!

Remember! When you’re in Disney tag @allearsnet in your photos!

Be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for videos of our meet-and-greets with the characters! 

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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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3 Replies to “Don’t Make it Weird: 4 Ways to Make or Break Your Character Interactions”

  1. To late. It’s already weird for grown ups to hug, fawn over and carry on a fake conversation with something they know is not real. Freud would have a field day with this.

    1. Maybe this can help: My sis works at Disney’s California Adventure in CA and knows many of the “Behind the scenes” and tells me that the characters only work in very short time frames, so yes, they’re hot, but they get to take cool breaks often. That made me feel better! Ha! Big “Bravos” for the actors! How fun they are! Thanks!

  2. As a former Minnie, I tell all my friends and family to not pat or tap the characters on the head. It makes just an awful noise in the heads of the costumes. Another tip, if your small child is terrified of the character, please don’t try to force them to get closer to the character, it just makes the interaction really awkward for the cast member. Finally, yes, it’s hot in there and no, there isn’t a fan or AC in the costumes so like mentioned in the article, no need to ask!