I Have A Confession: I’m Too Scared to Do This ONE Thing in Disney World

While Disney World is full of magic, some aspects of the park are a little scary to certain guests.

I’m always down to do (almost) anything in Disney World!

Those who don’t like roller coasters likely would NOT enjoy Expedition Everest, and rope drop crowds can be downright terrifying to experience (been there, done that, never again). There’s very little I’m scared to do in Disney World, but I have a confession to make: I am 100% too afraid to meet characters.

Now let me rewind for a second — this isn’t a NEW thing. I actually wasn’t much of a Disney kid growing up, but I did get to go twice as a toddler. And guess what? Yeah, characters weren’t my jam then either.

Me and my poor mom on a Disney World trip circa 2003

However, back then it was because those characters were GIANT and I was tiny. Nowadays I’m an adult, so they’re not scary to me in that sense. No, now I just completely freeze up.

Chip ‘n Dale

I’ve heard lots of people talk about how they’re nervous to chat with characters because they never know what to say (even some of the team feels this way!), BUT they’re still able and to do it and shake off a potentially slightly awkward encounter. I, on the other hand, can’t even bring myself to get in line.

It’s Raya!

Cast Members nearby are trained to help lead the conversation when you’re greeting characters, and the character you’re meeting also has plenty to use to strike up a conversation, so you don’t have to do a ton of work. Logically, I know this — I watch the AllEars YouTube team meet characters in videos ALL the time and see it happen, but I still can’t bring myself to hop in line and say hello.


I’ve spoken before in posts about my social anxiety, which is a big factor in my fear to meet characters, but another big drawback is that being autistic, the uncertainty around how the interaction will go is beyond daunting. Regular everyday social cues fly over my head often, but most of the time, it can go unnoticed when I’m out in public and there are tons of people around. But when I’m meeting with a character and all our attention is on each other, there’s no hiding that!

The best ducks around!

Again, logically I know that these characters meet all different kinds of people throughout the day and know how to handle all types of interactions, but that logic just doesn’t break through the fear. And trust me, I’d like nothing more to just be able to hop in line with a bit of nervousness and still be able to go through with the meet and greet. My last trip, I was loosely Disneybounding as Rapunzel in Magic Kingdom (who saw me during the parade, pointed, and mouthed “we’re matching!” and I nearly cried) and wanted SO badly to get in line to meet her to get that adorable photo…but I still couldn’t do it.

My (sorta) Rapunzel Disneybound!

But I am DETERMINED to get over this fear, friends! Mark my words, it WILL happen sometime soon(ish) since I just became an Annual Passholder again. The key for me though is that I can’t just force myself to do it. I know myself well enough to know that it won’t go over well, and won’t be enjoyable. So instead, we’re going to take baby steps.


In fact, I’ve already taken a big step forward in comparison to a few years ago! When I got to travel to Disneyland Paris last October, my mom and I snagged a last-minute reservation for the Plaza Gardens Restaurant, which is a table service character meal with some of the Hundred Acre Woods gang (my favorite!), Mickey, Pluto, and Minnie. I was SO excited to be in the park that all of my nerves flew out the window. I shed my adult skin for the moment and let my inner child shine through, and in the words of my Mom, I just “lit up” whenever a character came by.

Me in Disneyland Paris with Eeyore (my favorite!)

So how can I get back to this? Well, my first hurdle is that I need to be with someone who I trust and makes me feel comfortable just being myself. However, I’ve learned that I can’t be by myself, which is tricky, since I usually travel to Disney World alone. Once I’m able to meet a character with someone else in tow, then I’ll be able to work toward meeting them on my own.


I know my brain well, and once it starts to see the pattern of how conversations can go, it’ll start to recognize it (we love patterns up in this brain) and can prepare for what to expect. Then all I have to do is subtract the extra person from the equation, adjust the pattern slightly, and I’ll be good to go!

Meeting Kevin may be a good place to start!

For many, it’s just as simple as getting in line and waiting your turn for that wonderful character moment and photo, but for some of us, there’s a lot more that goes into it. So if you’ve got someone in your party who’s really hesitant to meet and character, even if they’re an adult, I hope this has let you see a little glimpse into what could be going on in their mind. Rest assured I’ll be keeping you updated on my progress, so stay tuned to AllEars!

These are 5 foolproof Disney World planning tips to ease an anxious mind!

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How do you feel about meeting characters in Disney World? Have any tips for me? Share them with me in the comments!

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2 Replies to “I Have A Confession: I’m Too Scared to Do This ONE Thing in Disney World”

  1. I totally get you and can relate. Characters meet and greets are not my thing. I feel so uncomfortable for the same reasons and I’m almost fifty! Interactions with them are so awkward to me. I spend most of my time on the attractions and can see the characters in the parades. 😉

    1. I’m so glad you can relate, JD! Seeing characters in the parades is something I love too — thank you for reading!