Friday, 18 September 2015

How to: Have an Awesome Disney Character Meet and Greet


You're either the type that like to meet characters or the type who don't, when holiday-ing at a Disney Park. I, am obviously the first. I think that the simple interaction between yourself and a character can completely make a holiday - no matter your age.
Therefore, I thought I'd share a few tips I've learnt and heard that may help to make your Meet and Greet a little extra special!


First and foremost... BE PREPARED!
I can't state this enough. You are standing a line for plenty of time so make sure that you have yourself completely ready for when it is your turn to save others waiting extra long.

Autograph books - If you are a signature collector, have your book ready on the page you want signed...the characters are not mind readers and will just sign wherever they can. It would be wise to be considerate to fur characters when choosing your pen too! Some may not be able to grip very well so the chunkier the better. A little hint to get personalized notes from the characters is to wear (or have your kids wear) a name tag! It isn't a rule and won't 100% work but it has been known for characters to of seen and then autograph 'To Danielle' etc. I also once had a character just over hear my name and write 'Love for Danielle' :)

Cameras - When I am nearing the front of the queue I get my camera sorted. Not everyone will need to faff around with settings etc, but this is when I do all that jazz with having a DSLR. If you are using a phone, have the camera ready on the screen. A point and shoot, turn it on and be ready. Or photo pass, have your magic band or pass to hand.
Seeing as there were two of us, I'd set my settings and snap the photos of my Mam first then trading the camera off to her for my turn with the character, I therefore did not use the neck strap as it can take up valuable time when trying to untangle it from hair or mouse ears!

Smile! - Please for love the of Disney do not take kids who are scared. They will scream, you will continually shove them to the character and it will be embarrassing for everyone to witness as well as yourself. As well as traumatic for the child too I'd guess! Ask the child first if they want to meet *insert character name here* and make it sound fun and exciting. If they don't want to then don't waste your time and others by taking a place in the line.


STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

Dress Up - This doesn't necessarily mean full on cosplay, or even Disney bounding in fact. Something as simple as wearing a Donald t-shirt when meeting Donald or having on Piglet ears when meeting Piglet will make the character excited to see that you like them. I have heard this from ex-characters as well as witnessed it first hand a few times myself. I even remember Stitch going ape because someone had a pen with him on it. He knicked it and ran over to all of the characters showing them then gave the guy loads of kisses, so lovely to watch!

Say something interesting - Tell Mickey you love him or Pooh that he's your favorite and your bound to get plenty of attention and big hugs. However this point comes more into play with the 'face characters' (Princesses, Princes, Villains that show their real face) as they can banter with you.
Some characters are known for the fun they have with guests who ask and say interesting things or challenge them. Hello! Gaston anyone?

Dont be shy -  As someone who constantly has issues in social situations and struggles to speak to normal people let alone strangers this point is something I constantly try to work on. No one at Disney will judge you. Be you. Be silly. Be fun. Just don't be shy. Want to run up to Tigger like a child for a huge hug - do it! You will not be the first nor the last adult to do so...



THINK ABOUT IT

Non-Signers - Due to costume clothing or paw restrictions some characters cannot give autographs at all. Be aware of this and don't just keep shoving the book under their nose assuming they just can't see it. Watch the people before you or even look up online who doesn't sign to avoid this little hiccup. Some characters in WDW may have a stamp to use in your autograph book instead of signing, but not the majority.

Breaks and Switch Offs - Inevitably characters will need breaks. It gets hot and uncomfortable for the majority of us so imagine how it must be when covered in make up or in full fur character get up. Not only that but drink and toilet breaks are needed too. During these breaks many characters may be switched out to someone else to prevent the queue from stopping dead for a while. When this is the case please do not moan or have a go at the attendants. Put yourself in their shoes! If you don't want to meet who has taken over then just leave the line politely, however I suggest sticking around, it's when some of the most unexpected nice meet and greets can happen.

Time it Right - When you have specific meets on your wishlist make sure to check the time in your programme and get there with time to spare. Getting near the front of the queue doesn't just mean a short wait time, but a completely fresh character who is yet to get tired.


Overall...
Be polite!! For goodness sake, pleeeaasseee have manners! To the other guests, staff and especially the characters. Say 'please may I have a photo?' and 'thank you very much!' when parting ways. There is nothing nicer than someone appreciating you and being kind when you are at work and it is just the same for Disney cast members.


There we go, these are just a few tips that I find can help you make the most of your time with the gang at Disney Parks!
I'd love to know if you have any other tips, so let us all in on the goss in the comments yeah? ;) I'd also like to know about your favorite meet and greet experience. Who was it with and why was it so special?? OH and send me photos of it on Twitter!!! I'm at @UnderToWonder ;)



20 comments:

  1. This is great! I barely met any characters while I was at Disney World. The only one I truly wanted to meet was Aladdin but I missed him. Next time i'll definitely make sure I take the time out to meet lots!

    Renee | Lose The Road

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I just missed Aladdin and Jasmine in 2010 too. They were just leaving as we got to where they were :( Boo!!
      I try to meet a few different ones each time :)

      xo

      Delete
  2. This is such a good post Danielle! I really want to meet Jack Skellington and Sally so these are great pointers and I've heard that Gaston is brilliant and I love the fact that they stay in character so they can really have fun with you! The pictures of Dr Facilier are amazing too, he's another of my favourites. This is brilliant! - Tasha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! If you want Jack and Sally you have to go at Halloween time! Sally only appears occasionally but Jack is there like all day (10-4 I think) through out Halloween!
      Dr Facilier was sooo cool! I dunno why but I was scared to meet a few of the villains but if you suck up to them they are nice to you lol. Also only out at Halloween!

      xo

      Delete
  3. I went to Disney World and really wasn't interested in or bothered by the characters. The parade was great, but I enjoyed all the info about Walt Disney himself! xo
    amber love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, as an adult you are either pro character meetings or anti meetings lol! I'm more a character fan than a ride fan as I don't do big rides!

      xo

      Delete
  4. This was such a great post, thank you! I've read quite a bit about meeting characters, but this post is so nice as it's all there and organised, right in front of me! I'm going to Walt Disney World next year for the first time and have already started planning things I can wear or take for when I meet certain characters! Look forward to more posts :) xx

    http://rachelrapunzel.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank YOU! Oh gosh I'm so excited for you!! I hope you'll keep us all up to date with your plans and the trip on your blog!

      xo

      Delete
  5. Aww this is adorable! I used to be so shy and scared of the characters when I was little and now I'm just happy to give them hugs and chat to them!

    hellomissjordan.com xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judging from the video footage I was perfectly happy to hang out with them when I was 6 haha
      I get a little emotional when meeting certain ones now haha

      xo

      Delete
  6. I loved this post! I really hate it when people aren't polite to them, so I agree with you on that. And being prepared before you meet them is 100% a great tip- it's so annoying to see people faffing around and keeping the character waiting.
    My biggest bug bear though is when there's no defined queue for the characters and parents like to push their children in front of you. I understand that Disneyland is for children, but I've also paid to be here so I'm entitled to meet the characters too!
    I've had so many amazing meet & greets, they're my favourite part of visiting a Disney Park!

    Sian xx Cakey Dreamer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :)
      I just hate when people aren't polite in general.
      I wish all of the meets had to have official queues as I don't have a backbone and just let people push in front a lot :/ So much so I ended up missing a couple of characters who had to leave.

      Walt would never say that it's just for children. He did say after all "To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.''

      xo

      Delete
  7. People in costumes freak me out, I think I'll be staying away from the characters when we come :) (We're definitely heading down the same time as you, Kris doesn't know that, but I'll remember to tell him haha). Plus the hugging and touching... it's not my thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what, I am full on petrified of anyone dressed up - EXCEPT at Disney and I have no idea why.
      I'll have a whole itinerary planned so I'll make sure we do our meet and greets when were not with you lol.

      I'm not a huggy person either. I don't hug friends and stuff ever. But Mickey heck yeah!! haha

      xo

      Delete
  8. I love meeting the characters and my kids love interacting with them but sometimes the queues are a killer. Last year we had a fast pass to meet Elsa and Anna at ten pm, needless to say my pair had fallen asleep well before then.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh Anna and Elsa, I can only imagine the queue. I have never waited longer than half an hour to meet any character thankfully.

      Thank you!
      xo

      Delete
  9. My thoughts have been a little up and down about doing a meet and greet. How will I act? How will they act? Will my shy-ness take over and I'll be an awkward mess. But with my trip getting closer I'm seriously considering it& taking on board all your tips.
    Also going to stalk all your Disney posts for more and more inspiration, so thank you!!

    Sarah xo // See The Stars

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean but when you get there everything just seems different and it really is worth it. The first one may be a tiny bit awkward - but everyone is in the same boat and the characters are really amazing at making people feel at ease and stuff. I'm glad you've been checking out my posts - thank you!!! I hope you have a brilliant time. Make sure to let me know if you do meet any!!

      xo

      Delete
  10. I loved this Danielle!! I was so shy when I went 3 years ago and didn't have as much fun as I should have! I met Mickey and was just like.... Hi..... *the shame*!! Tania xx taniamichele.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No shame - I think we've all been there! I just have to force myself to have fun as its not everyday you get to meet them and there's nothing to be embarrassed about as everyone is in the same boat :)

      xo

      Delete

Every comment you leave puts a smile on my face.
Thank you for reading, I highly appreciate it. :)