|Doc took the Littles for a stroll|
1. Take It From Scar... Be Prepared (You just sang that, didn't you?)
There are super fun ways to prepare for meeting the characters before your trip, including watching movies featuring some of the most beloved characters. You could even do a countdown to your trip, by watching a different Disney film each week. Some of the most useful options? Dumbo, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Star Wars films, Frozen, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, the Toy Story films, Monsters Inc, Lion King, Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, and so many more!
|K and Max, taking a quick nap.|
If you want to create a really unique keepsake, rather than just bringing an autograph book, you could bring a white t-shirt, a white baseball cap or visor, a blank mat for a frame, or a Disney book or poster for your favorites to sign. (Bear in mind, though, that Disney characters cannot sign any printed or logoed items that are not official Disney merchandise. Don't think you're going to get your Minions t-shirt signed by Pluto, or the "Diznee" t-shirt that you bought at Walgreens on 192 autographed by Ariel.)
|Bolt gets down at a dance party|
And absolutely take advantage of the services of the PhotoPass Photographers! The Memory Maker package is TOTALLY worth the money. The photogs have great cameras and capture really beautiful pictures that we wouldn't be able to snap ourselves, and your WHOLE family can be in every shot, including you! Plus, it gives you the chance to enjoy watching your kids meet the characters without having to watch the whole thing on the tiny screen of your phone, while you snap pics.
You'll also help yourself a lot by knowing where and when you can meet the characters. This is very easy to do nowadays, since right on the My Disney Experience App, you can see the list of character appearances in each park and the times that they will be there. Technology. Woah. But if you don't have the app, or don't get along with technology, you can ask a Cast Member to help you out. There's a hotline that they can call and find out the meet and greet times of any character you want to see. And ALWAYS be ready for the fact that appearances are subject to change at any time. You might want to use language with your kids like, "If Donald's not busy when we get there...", and, "I hope we get to see Doc McStuffins, but it'll depend on how many patients she has!"
|K and his favorite lady, Mulan, sharing the secrets of the Hun army. This pic|
came out SO much better than the one I took on my phone! SO glad we have
Memory Maker with our annual passes!
One of the BEST ways to see characters, and make sure you get enough time with each, is to book a character dining meal. There are options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with various sets of characters including Lilo and Stitch, Princesses, Mickey and the Gang, Pooh and Friends, and more. The awesome travel planners over at Kingdom Konsultant Travel can help you book whichever meals you'd like to include in your trip. Check out the choices, HERE.
|Squeezes from Doc!|
2. Please, Disney Fan, Don't Hurt 'Em
Try and remember that the characters have... how shall we say this???? A soul inside. All of the characters have a "soul" and that "soul" is fragile. You should never pull, push, tickle, pinch, fondle, or try to manipulate a character. You could be creating a very dangerous situation for the "soul" inside. Remember that lines of sight are limited, as is range of motion, so make sure that a character is aware that a little one is present, and standing underneath them, in order to avoid a trampling. Have a conversation with your kids in advance that they should never touch a character, other than to hug or high five them. Don't ever let them touch a character's face, honk their nose, poke their eyes, kick their sensitive areas, etc. (Yeah, I shouldn't have to say that, but it happens.)
3. Characters May Appear Larger In Person
|"Woah, Tigger, you're TALL!"|
|A rare encounter with Tarzan|
4. Put All Those Viewings of 'Frozen' To Good Use
|Mary asking K if he has|
seen Burt around anywhere.
|D and Tiana chat about where Naveen and Louis are.|
5. Don't Rain On Anyone's 3 O'clock Parade
|D and K catch up with their friend, Belle.|
Chances are, if you go to Story Time With Belle, the well-read princess may look a little different if you then go to have dinner with her at Cinderella's Royal Table. Kids remember faces, so if it's all in one day, one trip, or even if you have been to Disney recently, plan accordingly. Try not to see the same "face characters" more than one time per trip, to avoid questions from the kiddos about how Jasmine gained a few pounds overnight, or how Tinkerbell's voice changed.
Don't ever forget to do one very important thing... Have FUN!!! Let yourself be that kid that we all turn into at Disney. Laugh at yourself. Let Mr. Incredible mess up your hair. Dance with Phineas and Ferb. Don't get grumpy when Dopey steals your hat. (See what I did there?) Enjoy yourself and enjoy being among the characters. If you can't have fun at Disney, where you can hug a pants-less, honey-loving Pooh-bear, or practice your monster roar with a lime green eyeball with arms and legs, then where the heck CAN ya have fun????
Have a blast and make your day a MAGICAL one!
- Jenn aka "Tink"