Meeting the Big Cheese - The Basics

Dancing With Goofy
It is mandatory.  Children or not.  You simply must meet Mickey.  Ok, that may be a little dramatic, but for my crew, no trip to Disney would be complete without meeting lots of characters. I thought I would share a few tips to help you get the most out of your character experience.

Be Prepared
As the family in front of you greets the character, that is your cue to get yourself ready:
  • Have your stroller or other gear ready to move. 
  • Have autograph books (or whatever else is being signed) open to an empty page. 
  • Un-cap your pen, so it is ready for action.
  • Find your PhotoPass card....Yes, it is there...somewhere!
  • Take your camera out of the case and turn it on.
  • "Fluff" your kids.  You want to remember the experience, not the crusty nose!
Watch the Time
When it finally is your turn, take your time to enjoy the experience.  I am a bit guilty of rushing my kids through, often to the point that they characters themselves are trying to get us stick around a bit longer.  Yes, there are other people waiting, but if your child wants to take a moment to make sure Donald is ok after flying into the wall at Mickey's Philharmagic, let him!  If he feels the need to lauch into his life story, then it is time to move him along. I always try to be mindful of the crowd, but getting an autograph, a picture, and taking a moment to tell Tigger that he is your favorite is ok!

Snuggling Pooh
Play Along
Ask Belle if she has a suggestion for your next book club.  Call Captain Hook a codfish.  Let the gentleman in the group kiss Minnie's hand for a cute reaction.  Ask about their movie, or their friends.  You can have a wonderful impromtu conversation that is somehow completely real and total fantasy at the same time.

Be Nice
Not to sound like Miss Manners, but I am amazed at how many people forget their manners when they are on vacation.  It can be hot, which can make folks very irritable.  Pleases and thank-yous go along way.  Remember, no matter how hot you may be, under all of his fur, Pooh is MUCH hotter!

Be Gentle
(No matter how much your little guy thinks Hook deserves a kick in the shins!)  I was shocked that I had to remind my otherwise staid husband of this on our last trip.  He was so excited to see Tigger that he gave him a big bear hug.  Even with his giant head, my hubby was a good bit bigger than his orange friend.

Be Patient
Sometimes your favorite character might be called away for a moment.  Snow White may need to slip away to check on the dwarfs, or Pooh may have a rumbly in his tummy for some honey.  While it really stinks if you are the next person in line, understand that everyone needs a little break.  You can ask the attendant when they will return.

Be Creative
When you are taking your photo think of a creative pose.  Drink some tea with Alice or try out your best snarl for Lady Tremaine.  One of my favorite pictures is of Snow White and my reluctant husband.  My then 4 year old daughter "assigned" Snow White to be her dad's favorite princess (we were all required to have one and they had to be different.)  When Snow White approached our table my little darling loudly announced "Snow White, you are my Daddy's FAVORITE!"  Seeing the blush creep up his neck, Snow White proclaimed in the breathiest of voices, that she "Simply MUST  have a picture with this prince!"  She made him stand up and do the "Prince Pose" while she sidled up along side him.  I smile everytime I see that picture.  I would share it with you, but I fear the repercussions.

Just Ask
If you would like to have a separate picture with each child, or if you want to do something a little different, ask the attendant.  They will accomodate you if they can.  Also, if you are not sure where to find your favorite pal ask an attendant.  They should be able to find the information for you.

I hope you enjoy meeting your favorite characters.  Be sure to blow Mickey a kiss from me...and tell Snow White that she can borrow my Prince anytime!
The Whole Gang

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