How to properly meet characters


Being a “helper” to our Disney character friends, and being that at the close of this week EVERY SINGLE ROOM on Disney property will be booked and hundreds of thousands of people will be around, I wanted to take a few to post some of my suggestions on what to do and not do when meeting characters, especially with so many people who will be anxious to meet. This will help move things faster and make your personal meeting all the more enjoyable and more magical. Here’s just a few but what I consider top priority.

1: Books open and pen ready when it’s your turn. If you’re waiting to get the autograph, don’t hand the character your book closed. Most of them have a lot of trouble opening books. This is a huge timesaver and others waiting in line will like you better for it. This is also extremely important in restaurants with characters.

2: Talk to the characters. Don’t just walk up expressionless, take a picture and go on! Talk to them! Interact with them! Ask them questions! Do something. This makes a character feel really good and worth something, and tells them you’re not just wanting an autograph or a photo, but you’re really excited about meeting them. If you’re not, then don’t wait in line to meet them, because there are A LOT MORE who really are excited to meet the character.

3: Play along! This kind of goes with number 2. Go off of what the character is animating to you, or telling you. Makes the experience even more fun and makes you believe in the magic more. Children are very good at this. Meeting characters is for EVERYONE and not just them. Don’t EVER be embarrassed about meeting a character, especially a villain, for they may draw EVERYONES attention to you and really play with you. Also, NEVER tell someone a character is NOT real. Because THEY ARE real, AND NOONE HAS YET BEEN ABLE TO PROVE ME OTHERWISE. (yes that’s a challenge there’s not a question you can ask me that would cause doubt about the characters existance) :tongue: So even if you don’t believe in the magic, millions more do. So have fun and play along!

4: Do not, AND I REPEAT DO NOT, force any children up to meet a character that they are afraid of. I don’t care if it’s the must have picture of the day! If your child doesn’t want to see the character, then YOU go up and see them. But don’t force them. I’m so sick of children being scared and the parents make them go up anyway. When they cry harder, some parents even pop them on their bottoms! The nerve! It’s your own fault! Let the kids decide. Maybe they’ll see other kids go up to the characters all happy and they’ll warm up. JUST DON’T FORCE THEM!!!

5: When taking photos with a large group of people, don’t be surprised if due to time you won’t be able to take individual pictures. If there’s not a long line, that’s fine, but especially in restaurants, if it can be avoided with a group of 6 or more people, only group pictures please!!

6: When the last family in line has been announced, don’t whine and complain, even if you would have been the very next person in line. It’s not fair to others if the attendant says last family, has to turn away everyone else but let you go up because you were next. More than likely the character will return shortly. Just give 5 minutes unless the attendant announces another time the character will return.

7: Be patient. You won’t always find the character you’re looking for. And when you do there may be a huge line waiting to see them. Just relax. You’re at WDW to have fun, and there’s a LOT more to do than just meet and greet characters. Be patient when they have to leave. A character’s job is EXTREMELY HOT AND PAINFUL at times, and they MUST refresh themselves or it could leave to health trouble. Be patient with other guests. They’re as excited to meet the characters as your are and that’s why they’ll wait to meet the characters they grew up watching and learned from. So again, BE PATIENT. It will pay off.

Those are just a few of my suggestions. If you have any more questions about characters and meeting and greeting, feel free to post or PM me. Thanks guys.


Good tips! Thanks…I’m on your side with the characters are real deal…I’m getting my 2 1/5 year old nephew SOOOO hyped up to meet the REAL Ariel!!!


I think guests often feel rushed to get their pic/autograph and move on for the next person. That’s why I love finding characters when no one else is around.

BUT, even though I always WANT to get silly with characters, my first character encounter as an adult was with Shang from Mulan. When we walked up to them, he said, “Oh, big kids,” in such a way that Lil’ & I were embarressed we had asked for a picture. It set a tone with us that continues to this day when it comes to meeting characters. (At least now we have kids as a reason to do the meet 'n greets.)


RowdyRaider hit the nail on the head! We were at MK last week and a parent actually spanked his child for not going up to Mickey to get his picture taken with him. Talk about making a jerk of yourself! We were always patient waiting in line. It made it all the more fun when it was actually our turn. I think Goofy and Tigger are the best to play along with. But, I always feel like I should go up to Eeyore because he always looks so sad and lonely. We were also able to ask a CM where a character would be and she was glad to call and find out for us. It made our daughter’s day to meet Peter Pan.


Of course they are real!

I met Mickey back in Toontown (no line for Mickey? What is WRONG with people?) and it was absolutely magical. I said hi, I was obviously so excited, but what I did not expect was to get a HUGE hug from Mickey! He made me feel so welcome. I mean, I’ve always known that Mickey loves me, but it was just so wonderful that this particular helper of Mickey understood my excitement and responded to it!


Thank you for the tips! I have run into some really pushy parents and they tend to forget that there are others who want an opportunity to meet the characters!


LOL That’s cool Cavey. But rest assured, every adult that comes up to meet characters, we refer to them as “Big Kids.” I’m sure they meant it in playful jest and not to make you uncomfortable. But you’re not alone, and you’re never to big or old to meet characters. You don’t need kids to have an excuse I promise.

And I also agree that if a character’s all alone you should take full advantage. I personally hate what we call “love and shove,” where a character has a mile long line and is forced to put off “playing” and only has time for pictures and autographs. It erks me because I can’t get more personal and make the experience more fun. So finding them alone is great when you can.

But again, don’t worry bout being a Big Kid! You came to have fun, by golly bring out that kid in you!


All of this and I still have no clue what a ‘helper’ is.

Oh, and I really don’t enjoy interacting with the characters. I don’t even enjoy having my picture taken with them. I just want a picture OF them, then leave. That’s just me though.


I just enjoy watching the little one’s meeting the characters.

At MVMCP last monday night I just stood there for about 10 minutes watching kids meeting Santa Goofy. One little girl of about three was so excited she was about to jump out of her skin.

When it got to be her turn she ran up, gave Goofy a hug, then spun around in a dance that just pure emotion. Of course Goofy did danced along with her.

It was the highlight of my trip. Just pure Disney magic! :biggrin:


I have to admit, I had butterflies in my stomach when I met Cinderella and Aurora, and Ariel and…:wub:


Those are great! Especially #4!


Great advice rowdy! I am with you…of course they are real :heart:


I always felt like we were rushed when we were meeting the characters. That’s why I like the character meals. Much easier on everybody.


I love meeting the characters. I’m 35 years old. DW is just as bad. Most of time when there were Character greetings in the parks it was just DW and I who would go up to the characters along with DD who was only 13 months old. DS (3 1/2) would not go anywhere near them. Though if the child who dosen’t want to go up to them sticks close enough to the parent, the character will make an attempt to at least acknowledge him/her.

A few weeks ago we went in to meet Stitch, The Incredibles and Buzz Lightyear. DS wouldn’t even stand in line with us. So I went up to each character with DD and DW took the picture. By the time we got to Buzz, DS was standing with DW. DS also just got a new Buzz Lightyear Laser Blaster and was shooting Buzz with it. Buzz totally played along with it. To the point of taking the blaster from DS and “showing” him how to properly use it. It was priceless. Buzz was shooting Mr Incredible. Mr Incredible would pretent to be shot. Everyone was laughing. Even the people who were waiting behind us. Luckily the line wasn’t real long. Though I did still feel a little bad that we took up more time than others. We didn’t get any pictures of DS posing with Buzz, but we did get a bunch of pictures of the 2 of them playing.

Another experience, at Morocco. There was a short line to meet Genie. I had my mother and my DD (who was sleeping). The family in front of us was telling my mother how their son (who was about 4 or 5) was excited to have his picture taking with Genie. My mother said the same thing, then pointed to me (all 35 years, 6’ 265 lbs of me) We had a great time.

I did feel bad that DS wouldn’t go up to the characters. He didn’t have the enthusiasm DW and I had. However at the character meals it was a different story. It made a big difference when the characters came up to us as opposed to us going up to them.


Seems many of you feel the same way. Never feel rushed. Take your time. Of course, have everything ready, but don’t feel you’ve to just get a picture and an autograph and leave. That’s why I suggested playing! You paid good money for the time you have, why not make the most of it? An attendant that tells you to keep moving is not doing his or her job correctly (hence be patient) LOL :happy:

I’m just a performer but I call myself a “helper” because the characters “need help” to come to life and meet everyone and do shows. Now do you got me? I can’t say I AM a character because ONLY a character is a character LOL :wink:


My biggest pet peeve whenever I go to the parks is how just because I’m older (only 19, but I’m not 4) I find alot of the parents to the little kids just assume I’m not in line for my chance to meet Mickey or Hercules and they shove in front of me. I have to (very kindly) remind them that I’m just as (or more!) excited as their child to meet the character.
Of course when it’s that sweet little 3 year old princess who runs in front of me I can’t say anything because they are so so cute :wub:


Highlight of my last trip! I, at 19, was the oldest one in line to meet Aladdin. (he was so cute… I couldn’t resist) He called all the little girls in front of me princess and had them do princess poses for their pictures. I figured I’d just get a hello and a picture and be on my way, but he had me pose like a princess too!! :wub: I just thought it was great that he gave me the same attention he gave a cute little 4 year old in a Jasmine costume.


These are all great tips,Rowdy!! Thanks for starting this discussion.


I always enjoy reading your posts Rowdy. One day, DW and I will finally get to meet you!

Thanks for the tips!


I was amazed at how little Jasmine was wearing when my kids met her. 4yo DS was just becoming “aware” that women’s bodies are different, and he just kept staring at her cleavage. :rolleyes: