When we started taking John to Disney World people told us we were crazy, he is too young, he won’t remember, blah blah blah. His first trip was when he was 8 months old. We took a Disney cruise on the Disney Dream (this was AMAZING), and then we headed off to Disney World for 4 more nights. This vacation was the best vacation ever! We made memories that he may not remember, but we sure will! While at Castaway Cay he met Donald, his first character.
This meeting was love at first sight! He was so happy and excited! At one point he even tried to kiss his beak. He loved Donald so much that he actually cried when we had to leave! We have since been back to Disney 2 more times with John (he is only 2), and his love for Disney characters keeps on growing. He not only calls all of the characters by name, but he also is always on the look out while there and can spot a character from a mile away.
During all of our visits, I have had quite a few parents approach us and ask “What did you do to prepare your son for characters?” and “How is this kid not afraid?!” I tell them we are a Disney household. We literally eat, sleep, and breathe Disney. When we are not there we are planning to be there. We fill up our time by reading Disney stories, watching Disney movies, and playing with our Disney stuffed animals. I think however that our secret weapon is the Disney Sing A-long Series. This series is not the animated sing alongs, this is the actual real life, big, characters. My son loves music and when I found the “Disneyland Fun” DVD it was a match made in heaven. The DVD’s feature a lot of the main characters that you will see in the park, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger, to name a few.
I think it is easy for a kid to see a small animated character in a book and think of how cute and fun they look, but when they see a gigantic Goofy they become so scared if for nothing else the large size! These DVD’s help kids to see what a life-size Mickey or Tigger will look like.
We own 4 of the DVD’s but our favorites are Disneyland Fun, Beach Party at Disneyworld, and Campout at Walt Disney World. My personal opinion is that seeing the life size characters takes the edge off. It makes it so fun when your toddler literally runs up to Lotso or Mickey and jumps into their arms. These are some of my best memories at Disney! I am not saying that you must put your child in front of a TV for hours to get them used to seeing life size characters, I am saying watching these DVD’s a few times may help your child become acclimated with the characters. Plus it is so fun to have a Disney dance party in your living room!
Share with us, what have you done to get your kids ready for meeting the characters? Please let us know your tips, advice, and experiences!
Heather is a Disney Gal, who loves the chocolate smell of Pop Century in the morning, dreams of being Snow White in a parade, and happily skips down the middle of Main Street USA while wearing Mickey ears!
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