For those of you who have visited any of the Disney Parks, you’ve probably seen them. I’m talking about the Cast Members who stand near the exits with tablets in hand. They might have even approached you with questions about your stay and if you’d like to participate in a survey in the near future.
Disney surveys give us a little peek into what the folks at Disney are pondering or planning for the Parks in the near future. Keep in mind, what you see below is just a survey. There’s no guarantee that anything discussed in Disney surveys will ever come to fruition.
My friend visited a few months ago and agreed to be contacted to complete a survey. She just got an interesting survey this past week and knowing that I am a Disney nerd (a title I’m proud of), she shared screen-shots of some of the survey questions. While I’m glad she shared them with me, all I could think was, “Why didn’t Disney send this to me?” I’d gladly answer a survey about Disney characters!
Perhaps like you, I get just as excited about completing my daughter’s autograph book as she does. And who doesn’t love posting fun pics with your favorite characters on Facebook? Though, after visiting the Parks several times in recent years, I’m starting to find I have the same photos, over and over again. So I might have done a little “squee” when seeing this survey. It looks like Disney is considering modifying and enhancing the character experiences at Walt Disney World Resort! The survey is clear to point out that they are asking about the meet and greet opportunities, not about the characters seen in “an attraction, show, or parade.”
My friend was first asked about the characters that are currently seen at the Parks and character dining, to include limited time experiences such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Star Wars Weekends. From the list, she picked who she would personally want to meet.
After this page, she was asked to name all the characters she wished she could meet while visiting Walt Disney World regardless if ever there before or not. Again, I can only think of who I’d list if given the chance. The Orange Bird? Oh, yes. The Three Caballeros? Claro. My favorites from The Muppets and Star Wars? Duh! And bringing back Jiminy Cricket? That’s a must!
Following that open-ended question, she was asked to pick from a selection of characters she’d want to meet. She had over 160 characters to choose from! Here are some examples:
I noticed that the proposed list included Disney characters who are currently in the Parks, recently ‘retired,’ or we haven’t seen in years save for the Limited Time Magic promotion from a few years back. This huge list featured characters from the Star Wars franchise, Jim Henson’s The Muppets, Inside Out, the Marvel universe, as well as “coming soon” characters like Nick Wilde and Moana. There were also several classic characters who’ve never participated in meet and greets. I might have pumped my fist in the air upon seeing the Cantina Band on the list. Perhaps they might have a prominent spot in the soon to be built, Star Wars Land?
After receiving some specific questions regarding the characters she’d selected, Disney probed further about the characters currently represented at the Parks and their appeal to certain age groups and genders. I found those questions were rather interesting since I’ve seen people on various Disney message boards often express a desire for more gender-neutral character meets and themed dining (i.e. less focus on princesses).
The remainder of the survey asked about my friend’s opinion on various meet and greet experiences and what she most enjoys when interacting with a character.
It’s in these series of questions, we get a peek into what we could possibly see more of at Walt Disney World. Most notable, questions pertaining to “exclusive, limited attendance character events at an additional cost,” “interactive experiences” such as dancing or drawing with a character, and utilizing FASTPASS+ to reserve character meets. Also of interest, the survey asked about whether Guests prefer more spontaneous sightings of characters. For those who visited Disney Parks back in the “olden days,” you might recall random sightings were once the norm. Could there be a return to a practice of the past? Lastly, while the My Disney Experience mobile app already offers information of where and when characters are available in the Parks, it appears Disney might be considering enhancements to this feature.
While this is only a survey, it’s exciting to see Disney assessing Guests’ interest in the variety and broad appeal of characters in the Parks as well as the types of meet and greet opportunities. If there are several new characters in the Parks soon, I’ll definitely be purchasing a new autograph book for my daughter.
What characters would you love to see?