Getting Kids Used to Characters


We are taking DD to WDW next year (she will be almost 2 years).

I’m nervous that she may be scared of the characters. Yes I realize this is a big possibility and it’s not the end of the world if she is, but I thought I would ask for some tips.

Any tips on ways to get her used to the characters or ways to get her excited to meet the characters, before we go? Thanks.


There is a great Disney Sing-a-long that my kids used to watch. It’s called Disneyland Fun (yah, it’s disneyland but they won’t notice the difference). It’s kids singing along with the charachters and will let your DD see that kids are MUCH smaller then the characters! It’s a fun video, you can probably find it on amazon. I think they just released it recently on DVD.

Also, the disney planning video is a great video for kids to see all the different rides!


We started taking DD to Disney when she was 7 mo old. We always watched the Disney Channel and she loved seeing the characters on there. I think that helped. My DS loved them and then one trip screamed and cried. The next trip he loved them again.

Just make sure she is happy, not tired, and has a full belly. That might make things easier on you.


By the way, we went to WDW over DS second bday and he was scared to death of the characters (even the face characters like Belle and Cinderella). DD loved them from the first time she saw them at 9 months old. You never know how they’ll react!!


Let them make the first move. My son wasn’t comfortable with them until he was 4. And that happened because my 2 year old daughter went up to them. Seeing you with them might help. If they don’t want to go, don’t try to force it, just go with the flow.


Do you have a chuckie cheese near you? Chuckie cheese is the same size as the characters and would be a good way to introduce her to “larger than life creatures”. 2 is a funny age…it will be hit or miss. She’s either going to love them or scream her head off. That being said, I wouldn’t schedule that many character meals.


That’s a good idea about Chuck E Cheese. DD was always afraid of the characters and would warm up by the end of the wee.


Several years ago, my one GD was not quite 2. She HATED the human characters. Peter Pan, Cinderella, Snow White, Mr. Smee, etc. She would have nothing to do with them at all! But, she adored the characters like Pluto, Chip & Dale, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck. She would reach out or run to them & love on them. I think, in her eyes, they were just overgrown stuffed animals.

I assume your young one has some of these Disney stuffed animals. Does she cuddle with them? Do you call them by name. ‘Here, Sweetie, is your Mickey Mouse. Give Mickey a hug.’ (etc) If you do the same in the park, she may associate the larger animal characters with her stuffed ones.

If she doesn’t like the human characters, don’t force them on her. What we did was have our picture taken with the character on one side of us while holding DG on the other side of us. She felt safe and we still got a nice picture.


We took our DD the day after her second birthday and she LOVED the characters!!! She just didn’t understand why she had to wait in line to meet them!!!

We watched alot of disney channel. went to the disney store alot and watched disney movies!

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on playhouse disney would introduce her to alot of characters!


It will be hit or miss for your DD. Like mentioned, have her make the first approach to the character and see how she reacts. Our DS has loved all of the characters since his first trip at three years old. Our DD was scared to death of the characters when she was 2. Her first trip she was only 3 months old. She had seen most of the Disney movies by the age of 2 and We used to watch the Disneyland sing a long video everyday before going on our trip. Her first character experience was with Minnie Mouse and she did not want anything to do with her. We ate at The Garden Grill in The Land and she was terrified by the character interaction (even with our DS hugging the characters). She really liked the face characters though. She loved hugging them and blowing them kisses. It didn’t take long on the first day to see what she liked and didn’t like. I am sure you will sense it with your DD too. She was only scared of the characters on that trip. She has loved all of the characters ever since.

All of the characters are also trained to respond to the child’s reaction. The characters would come up to our DS and hug him but when they saw that our DD was scared they would just wave to her.


We took DD at the time 17 months and told the servers that she was knew & might and once we knew…was afriad but liked them at a distance. We sat her next to me on the inside of the table. We would discuss that we wanted to Charecters to come to our son and she slowly got use to them. So I would ask that they go to you or your husband to spent time together before testing her ground by them coming right to her. The charecters are trained for things like that to test the water and see how the kids react before crossing boundaries. Don’t feel bad if she screams, we’ve all been there and seen the video on AFV. I felt like I was making everyone meals horrible if she freaked but you kow what, they’ve all been there once.


Thank you for all the great tips. I’m going to look for the Singalongs this weekend, just so we have them on hand. My mom has been itching to get them for DD anyway.

Judging by her outgoing personality now, I think she will be ok. We watched an episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 where they took their kids to WDW. She started squealing with glee when she saw the princesses.

And yes she does have stuffed Minnie & Mickeys. She loves them. She gives them kisses on the nose multiple times a day.

Thanks for all the tips, and keep them coming.


We took a family trip to WDW in July '07 and my 2 year old niece was a little unsure of the characters (which was funny since 10 years ago my DS was 2 and he’s always loved the characters…he secretly still does too!). We let her hang back and didn’t force her to get too close. Eventually she would let someone hold her while standing next to a character. Finally, we found the character meals worked the best to help her get over her uneasiness. She noticed that everyone else was sitting at the table and that seemed to help her relax. Of course eating at the same time may have also helped. In the end, she ended up actually talking to the characters and even posed for a few pictures.

I guess, following a child’s lead is the best way to go. Offering to go up with them may help them get over their shyness. But ultimately, it’s about having a memorable vacation and not forcing the issue seems the wisest way to go!


We found what worked with our kids and now grandchildren is:-

Watching the Disney world planing DVD showing and telling the kids how big the characters are.

also show them any photos you might have with characters again showing them how big they are next to mummy and daddy - pointing out that they will not hurt you.

get them exited about kissing Mickey & Minnie on the nose:wub:

show them photo’s of other kids with them (look on allears)

book a character meal on the first couple of nights so they can see them up close and having fun with other kids. (we Love Chef Mickey’s for this, but it can get loud)

Hope this helps:heart::heart:


We found there is no way to judge. Each kid was different and they had different reactions to specific characters. My little one loved Goofy, but freaked when we saw him in person. He saw the Chicken Little movie a few times and ran to Chicken Little & Abbie for a hug. He wanted nothing to do with anyone else. :confused:

For the daugher, all princesses were good. Mickey was OK, Minne was bad. :confused:

Just roll with it. Expect a few tears, maybe some screaming. But also expect some of the warmest moments too:


I think it really just depends on the child. I exposed my son when he was little to the Disney Channel and all of the Disney characters but when we took him to WDW for the first time (just over 3 years old) he about flipped out with fright when he saw Tigger for the first time; and that was he favorite character :ohmy:. I guess going from just inches on the TV screen to over 6 feet tall in person can really scare the little ones. He’s now 14 and we don’t let him forget!! My DD, on the other hand, was the same age when we first took her and she didn’t have any problems at all.


OK, here we go. Let them decide. If they do NOT want to visit, then you DO NOT push them up there for a picture. Every day I work and see people force their children to do an action with a character they don’t want to I cringe. It ruins the family photo with them crying anyways, so why push them into it and make things worse? Every child has a character they will love to meet. Gotta be patient. We’re specially trained to handle smaller and more timid children so please don’t worry about us. If they say no, DON’T GO.


I definitely wouldn’t force it. I just wanted tips on ways to perhaps prepare her.


[QUOTE=BDavis932;865898]There is a great Disney Sing-a-long that my kids used to watch. It’s called Disneyland Fun (yah, it’s disneyland but they won’t notice the difference). It’s kids singing along with the charachters and will let your DD see that kids are MUCH smaller then the characters! It’s a fun video, you can probably find it on amazon. I think they just released it recently on DVD.

Also, the disney planning video is a great video for kids to see all the different rides![/QUOTE]

OMG this is EXACTLY what I was going to suggest!! :laugh:

The Disneyland Fun video really helped my little sister get used to the idea of those big characters, and after seeing them on TV they were much more familiar to her by the time we got to the parks.

Also, do you have a Chuck E. Cheese or Red Robin near you? Either of those places (or any place with a costumed character) is a great way to see how your child will react. Alice has only met a costumed character once and I was a little mortified that she tried to rip Red Robin’s beak right off! :laugh: :blush: But alas, she was just trying to be friendly so I think we’ll take her a few more times before we give the Disney characters a try.


Well, My DD is one that was scared of all costumed characters when she was younger!!! :pinch:
It started at age 3 when we went to Sesame Place and when it came time for the parade and all the characters were walking around and up to her stroller she kind of hid herself in her stroller with this strange look at her face and I turned to my DH and said “what is wrong with her”? … “She is scared of the characters!!!”
She HATED Chuckie Cheese too. She would hide underneath the table when they all came out. We went there several times for birthday parties and I would talk to her all the time, saying there is nothing that is going to hurt her and I had to tell her that it was a person in a costume and she still hated him! :laugh: We finally went to WDW when she was 6 and I had many conversations with her and we started our first character meal at 1900 Park Fare and Pooh was the first to visit our table and she was about to duck underneath our table :ph34r: when I told her: “How can you be scared of Winnie the Pooh?” “Look how friendly he is!” “you know there’s a person in there”. I told her to give him a hug and she did and she was CURED!! YIPPEE!!! :laugh: She wasn’t scared of any other costumed characters again… Well there was still Chuckie Cheese (which she eventually outgrew) and till this day she’ still hates Clowns and gets scared at Halloween of Scary costumes. She knows its all fake but dont like how they look.

It’s hard to tell, just keep talking to them, reassuringly, that’s what helped us! :happy:

I have a neighbor who took her DD who was 2 or 3 at the time and she even cried for the Princesses! :confused:
I know my one and only trip as a child was when I was 2 and I cried for Minnie when she tried to hold me! :wub:

Oh my DD was not too fond of the Easter Bunny either at the Mall! :laugh:
And she was leery of Santa too for little while!

Just dont force her if she seems scared, they come around eventually! :happy: