When preparing for our first trip to Disney World, my wife had been researching Disney character meet and greet opportunities. Since it was our first time I had not clue what to expect or what to expect. So here is what you NEED to know about character meet and greets.
- First and foremost, there will be a wait to meet any character. The more popular characters can have an extremely long wait. We waited about 20 minutes to meet Cinderella and that was with the FastPass+. If you have the opportunity to add in the FastPass+ to your Disney experience, I would suggest you do so. The FastPass+ allows you to jump the line at rides, experiences, and at select character meet and greets. Luckily when we arrived at Hollywood Studios, we were the first in line to meet Buzz and Woody and did not have to wait, unfortunately that wasn’t the case for the other meet and greets.
- There are friendly characters and some unfriendly characters. As we made our way over to Magic Kingdom, I knew we were going to meet a few Disney Princesses. My boys were extremely excited to meet as many Disney characters as they could and they sure did. When we met Merida she was extremely nice and had her signature wild, curly, red hair loose and asked my boys if they were well behaved. My oldest responded with a quick “YES!” and she responded with “Good! I have three brothers and they do not behave at all!” She then turned to my youngest daughter and said “You are lucky you only have TWO brothers, I have THREEE!” She got my daughter to smile, which is a difficult thing to do but I am not too sure if my daughter was amused with what she had to say or with Merida’s wild hair.
- Some of the characters will sign autograph. So make sure and bring an autograph book or if you don’t have one yet pick one up at any of the gift shops around the parks.
- Characters are extremely professional and will play along. Cinderella and Rapunzel were in the same area so we were able to meet them together. When we met Rapunzel she asked if my boys liked to take adventures just like her friend Flynn Ryder and Cinderella told my daughter Emma that she has a little friend named Gus Gus and she told her to have faith in her dreams. Cinderella was extremely poised and soft spoken unlike Merida who was a bit louder like her character in Brave. What I learned later on is that the Cast Members playing these characters get extensive training on how to act, walk, and speak like the characters they are portraying.
- Characters never break character, NEVER! My son and I both met Kylo Ren at Star Wars Launch Bay inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios and he never broke character. During our encounter he would recite lines such as “I see the Dark Side in your future.” and “I want that droid, tell me what you know?” “No need to be afraid!” When it was time to pose for the picture he gestured his hand and pointed his finger and indicated where he wanted us to stand for the picture.
- Some characters DO NOT sign autographs. No matter how big a fan of the character you are and how many times you ask or plead they will NOT sign autographs and they will not break character like I mentioned earlier. My son was amazed to see Storm Troopers walking around outside of the Star Wars Launch Bay and was enthusiastically asking the Storm Troopers for an autograph but got denied every time. The Storm Troopers kept reciting lines such as “Not while on duty.” and “Calm Down!” and never once stopped for an autograph or picture. While they were on “patrol” outside of Launch Bay they would see BB8 balloons and knock them out of the way.
How have your Disney Character experiences been?