Let’s face it…we’re all little kids when we’re at Walt Disney World and although we blame it on our children, we’re just as excited to see the characters as they are. Something inside of us still jumps when we see Mickey Mouse and we point and yell…and pretend we’re doing it for the sake of our children.
Nothing is worse than passing a closed line for your child’s favorite character and trying to explain why they can’t meet them. Coming in close behind the closed lines are the other character conundrums you’ll undoubtedly be faced with at some point during your trip. So what are they and how do you avoid them?
- Closed Lines: The excitement on your child’s face when they spot their favorite character is paralleled only by the despair when the character line is closed. There are few things worse than having to explain to your child why they can’t meet their favorite character. Avoid this character conundrum by planning ahead. Get a times guide when you enter the park and highlight the locations and times of the characters that are on your “must do” list. Line up a few minutes before the character is due to come out and you’ll be ready meet n’ greet as soon as they are!
- Unprepared fellow travelers in line: It never fails that you’re finally in your character line and you’re sweating bullets wondering when and where they’re going to close the line at. In the midst of your frantic fears of being cut off from the line the person in front of you is fumbling around for their autograph book, can’t find a pen, is dropping things everywhere and screaming at their children; simultaneously. Yes, they are the worlds worst multi-tasker and cause mass chaos. Don’t be this person. If you’re getting in line for a character meet n’ greet be prepared to meet n’ greet. That means have your autograph books out and open to the page you want signed. Have the pen ready, uncapped and in the page for the character to sign and if you have multiple books to be signed, open them all and prepare them and stack them on top of each other to make it easy for our furry friends to sign.
- Can’t Find Your Favorite Characters: Again, this can be avoided by planning ahead. The times guides in each park will tell you which characters you can find where and when. Grab a highlighter or a pen and mark which characters you can’t miss and include those times into your touring plans. Remember that certain characters can be found in multiple places so you can optimize your touring plans and character hunting schedule. You should also consider character meals, they provide a very relaxed environment to meet and greet and can save you hours of running around the parks waiting in line. If you have a Princess in your family have a meal at Askherhaus in Epcot or Cinderella’s Royal Table (this is a signature experience and will take 2 dining credits). If it’s just Cinderella you’re after, you can find her at dinner at 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian Resort and Spa).
- People taking too long in line: Time is precious when it comes to character meet n’ greets, particularly in the summer when the hot Florida sun is melting your skin and our fuzzy friends are about to drop from heat exhaustion. Be courteous to your fellow line standers and be prepared. Have your autograph books ready and opened to the page you want signed, have your camera ready and have a designated photographer in your travel party. If you want a family photo as the character handler, PhotoPass photographer (where available) or person behind you in line if they would mind taking a photo. This means you should plan ahead. If there’s no PhotoPass photographer and the character handler looks busy you should start a conversation with someone in line and offer to do a photo swap-have them take a photo of your family and you take a photo of theirs. Prepare your kids while you wait in line, tell them if the autograph is coming first or the photo and occupy some time by asking them what they plan on saying to the character or any questions they would like to ask. This way when it’s your turn they’re prepared and have more quality time interacting with the character than saying “um….” and looking terrified. It’s also a great way to pass time in line!
- Line Jumpers: A line is a line. It’s not negotiable and it’s not serve yourself. While we appreciate that you love characters as much as we do, please wait your turn in line. This is a double edged sword and requires at least one person in your party to stand IN the line. This means not wandering around and coming back and getting in “your spot” whenever you feel like it or allowing 5 strangers to cut in front of you. If you are in the line, be in the line. Know who is front of you and who is behind you and be courteous. No one appreciates it when you run in with your child from the side and get your character interaction without being in line. Be fair and be a good example to the children standing and waiting in line and don’t cause problems with other adults. While some adults may appreciate cage boxing, the Walt Disney World character line isn’t the place to throw down on someone who has aggravated you.
These are just a few of the main character conundrums that you may face while in the parks. While you may not be able to control the behavior of others you can control your own. Be prepared and friendly and realize that you aren’t the only person in the “world”. Set a good example for your children (and others) and wait patiently. Don’t forget that FastPasses are available for many of the popular character experiences, particularly in the Magic Kingdom.
If you are a character hunter, book your trip with me and i’ll customize and personalize an autograph book for you with your favorite characters. All books are 5×7, spiral bound, double laminated and come with a chart of characters and locations. These books are never pre-made and are truly one of a kind! Book with Pixie Michele and mention Chip and Co and the book is yours at no cost (as are my concierge level services!) Michele@PixieVacations.com
- New ‘Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Game Coming Feb 22nd to Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Where To Find The Best Character Meals At The Disney World Resorts (chipandco.com)