A comprehensive guide to meeting your favorite Disney characters
1. Be Ready
Have your cameras on, pen ready to use (clicked, twisted, cap off), and books open to the page you want signed (and not closed with the pen marking the page). This will give you more time to interact with the characters.
2. Two Cameras MAX please
You don’t need a million devices to take pictures, you’ll just end up with the same pictures a bunch of times. Try and limit yourself to one camera and one cell phone and then just send the pictures to the rest of your party. Remember Photopass is usually there to take pictures for you too.
3. Limit your poses
Please remember that this is not your own photo shoot. If your in a small group try for individuals and maybe a group photo. For larger groups, a full group photo and then split it up into two or three smaller group shots. As annoying as it is characters are usually only allotted about 45-60 seconds to spend time with each family. Remember you can always get back in line for more pictures
A character’s favorite thing to write with is a standard-size/clickable sharpie or the Mickey/Princess/Fairy pens sold in the parks. They are the easiest to write with and for the furry friends with larger hands, easiest to grasp. Anything too small or too big is very difficult to hold.*and please NO GEL PENS!!!!!!
Same goes for things you want signed-too small or too big is too hard to sign. Standard size autograph books are best. If you want a tiny scrap of paper signed you’re not going to get a very good signature unless you also provide a hard surface to write on. On the other hand large items, like the big princess autograph book are hard to hold and sign so offer to hold it for them while they sign.
Disney characters can NOT endorse other companies, brands, etc so please don’t ask them to. This includes holding flags, making sorority/fraternity hand signs, and signing items that have other brands logos on them
They can hold up signs saying Happy Birthday, Wish You Were Here, etc.
They love signing things other than paper and can sign just about anything provided it doesn’t have another brand’s logo and you aren’t wearing it. Just be nice and make it easy for the characters to write on.
For pillow cases, t-shirts and other soft items, its easiest if you stretch them tight and then attach it to a clipboard to sign.
the exception to the “no signing while on your body” rule is casts
8. Use your time wisely
Other guests have been waiting just as long to see these characters as you have so be nice and don’t take forever when meeting the characters, it just holds up the line more. You can still have a quality interaction in a short period of time
Parents please, please, please listen to the conversation your child is having with the characters. You need to be there to fill in the blanks and answer their questions if they ask something that a character can’t easily animate so a child can understand. It will make the meet and greet so much more fun and interactive for everyone.
10. Be gentle
Don’t tug on the characters hair, noses, tails, ears, arms, etc. Don’t cover their eyes or stick your hands in their mouths. Most importantly DON’T hit/kick/punch them or laugh if you see your kids doing it. If it would hurt you or discomfort you in any way, then there’s a pretty good chance the character feels the same way
11. The eyes have it
Most characters have pretty limited vision, so if they miss you waving or don’t sign a book it’s not on purpose. Just kindly bring it to their attention and they’ll fix it. Also watch your small children because if you can’t see them running around under your much smaller nose, neither can they. We don’t want anyone to get hurt.
The characters are there to have fun with you! Talk with them, make jokes, show them cool stuff you bought, if you can’t think of a cool pose for a picture ask them, they are experts after all.
13. Don’t force it
Some kids are afraid of the characters and you’re not going to get a good picture by forcing them to hug right away. Some tips:Have an adult hug them first Try for a high five For softer characters like pluto, have them try petting the characterLift them so they are taller than the character, it’s a little less scaryHave them watch interactions of other familiesIf they still aren’t having it, put them on the shoulder away from the character, have multiple people between them and the character, or have the character stand further back so the child can’t see them.Sometimes they just aren’t ready though and all you’re going to get is a bad picture and a frightened, crying child if you try and force it
14. Don’t be a spoil sport
Don’t try to get them to break character. It’s not funny and it doesn’t make you cool. All you’re doing is ruining the magic for people around you. This also goes for the people who stand in line and loudly proclaim that it’s just a person in a costume. Do you also go around and tell kids Santa’s not real?
Most of all characters love hugs and they love you, so go on up and show them how much you love them too! (just remember be gentle)