Most of my clients visits to Disney World involve meeting with at least some of the many characters around the parks. Not every meet and greet will be perfect but the tips below should help you make the most of those precious moments:-
1. Plan in advance who you’d like to meet. Some characters are around all day and may even have a fast pass line. Others are only out at certain times (this can be checked on the My Disney Experience app or Times Guide). They will shut the queue when the number of guests waiting will take them through to that character’s end time so get there in plenty of time. If you can go early in the morning or later in the evening there will usually be a shorter queue - this is great not only because you'll queue for less time but usually the characters will spend more time interacting with your group.
2. Don’t worry if the character you’re waiting to meet disappears for a few minutes. If they aren’t coming back the attendant shouldn’t allow you to get in the line, so if they vanish it usually means they just have to leave for a quick break. Winnie the Pooh needs regular honey breaks and Mickey sometimes needs to check on Pluto. They’ll usually be back in less than 5 minutes.
3. Wear clothing, hat, ears, jewellery anything that relates to the character or one of their friends. It gives them something to talk about. Mickey and Minnie love to see any mouse ears and my sister and I ask them to pick a favourite. If you want to get a reaction out of Donald you could always wear something with Mickey on it!
4. Have your autograph books open on the right page and a pen ready. The character attendant will probably tell you this but please listen! You only get a limited time with the character and don’t want to spend all of it struggling with books and pens
5. Clean off sticky hands and fingers - if you have small children who have just had a Mickey ice cream please use a wet wipe to clean their hands. Princess dresses aren’t improved by chocolate handprints!
6. Ask the character something to start off a conversation. Ask about their friends, film or tv show. For example you could ask Ariel if she sees much of Flounder now she is in the human world, or ask Minnie whether Mickey is ever going to get round to proposing!
7. Expect that your little ones might be scared of the characters. Sometimes meeting an animal first eg Pluto is a great way to introduce them to meet and greets. Put yourself between the child and character for photographs if they are a bit worried.
8. Ask the character attendant take your picture. If you have memory maker included then that’s great but if not the character attendant is always happy to take a picture on your camera or phone for you
9. The main thing is not to worry - if you go blank and can’t think of anything to say the character will help you out. They meet hundreds of people each day so are completely used to it
10. Say thank you - not just to the character, but also the photo pass photographer and the attendant for their time. They spend a lot of time in the heat being shouted at - manners cost nothing!
Do you have any other ideas? Let us know!
P.S. Don't forget you can meet characters at Universal parks too!