One of the many things that makes a trip to Walt Disney World so exciting for children is the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite Disney characters in real life. Whether your child is a fan of the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, and beyond, a Disney character interaction can make your visit even more special.
I recently had the opportunity to experience this little piece of Disney magic firsthand with Danger. These meet-and-greet opportunities were not what I expected them to be - they were even better! Read on to discover how to make the most of your character visit!
What A Disney Character Interaction Looks Like
Stand in line (sometimes the line is a fun queue with things to explore and coloring sheets) and wait for your turn to pose with the Disney character of your choice. The lines tend to be rather long, so expect to wait for about 20-30 minutes minimum. Snacks and a smartphone are good things to have on hand during your wait.
When it's your turn to step up and meet the Disney character of your dreams, you do one of two things: You walk up and start hugging/posing/chatting with the character OR you hand over your autograph book. (The general guideline is that if you want to get an autograph, you do that first. More details below.)
During your visit, a Disney PhotoPass photographer stands by, snapping pictures of your special moment. When you are finished, the photographer will hand you a card that has a code to access your images on the back. If you visit another character, you would hand the photographer that same card to add photos to.
How To Make The Most Of Your Disney Character Interaction
1) No autographs! Really! I had considered buying my daughter an autograph book for our trip, but it turns out that this would not have been the best option for us. While the other families had fun getting autographs for a special keepsake, my daughter spent her entire character interaction really interacting with the characters. As a result, she danced with Cinderella, received lessons on how to curtsy like a real princess from Aurora, got tangled up in Rapunzel's long hair for a good several minutes, danced for Merida, got passed around and fussed over by Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too, and more!
If you do decide to bring an autograph book, make sure it is open and the pen is ready to go before your turn with the characters. This does make things go smoother, and they appreciate having things ready for them. There are some really adorable homemade autograph book templates available online, but the Disney-licensed ones are very affordable and attractive, too.
2) Take your own photos, too. While the Disney PhotoPass photographers are very good, you might be able to capture some really great or interesting angles on your own. Variety is never a bad thing to have. (I have a very nice DSLR, so my personal pictures turned out very well. All images included in this post were captured by ME - and were only edited to include a watermark!)
3) Allow children to meet the characters by themselves, if possible. If mom and dad start chatting and hugging the characters, it limits the amount of quality time that children get to spend visiting their favorite Disney characters. Of course, that can be easier said than done, especially when your favorite character is involved!
I know that every day is different at Disney, because the cast members that portray each character change out often. That said, if you follow the above tips, you just might find that your child's experience can be a little more magical ;)
What tips would you add to this list?
If you would like to see more pictures from our Disney character interactions - with additional information about lighting and camera settings - visit the Classic Mommy facebook album!