DIStracted Tip #1: Character meals are great for meeting lots of characters at once, but you will usually get more time with a character when meeting them in their “spots.”
If your kiddos have special characters they really want to spend some time with, it might be worth standing in line. Meeting Cinderella at Cinderella’s Royal Table may be enchanting, but you will get a longer interaction with her in Princess Fairytale Hall.
DIStracted Tip #2: Interact with Characters to get better, longer meets.
To get a longer, more quality interaction, play with your character! Don’t just get your picture taken, book signed and then run. Cast Members want to have some fun with you! Ask Ariel how Prince Eric is doing, ask Cinderella where she learned to dance, ask Donald where Mickey is (he LOVES that!), see if Anna will sing with you – you might be surprised by what happens!
DIStracted Tip #3: Cast Members sometimes give special attention to kids who are dressed in costume or wearing a celebration pin.
Want the chance at an even longer, more quality character interaction? Make sure to grab a birthday or celebration pin or try dressing up that kiddo! Cast Members often cannot resist having a little extra fun with the little ones in costumes. Princesses might compare how their dresses twirl, or Cinderella may ask about your Fairy Godmother. If Belle tells your daughter how much she loves the tiny red roses on her dress, don’t be surprised if your little one doesn’t spend a lot of her downtime running her tiny finger over those little red roses gushing about Belle.
During our last trip, our daughter got to meet Peter Pan without having to wait in line. His line had closed and a new line was building, but he decided he “was missing Tinkerbell” and snagged us as we walked by. She spent over 5 minutes with Peter Pan and talks about that special moment all the time!
DIStracted Tip #4: Schedule your kiddos’ most desired Character meets early in the trip, and as early in the day as possible.
Has your daughter only talked about Cinderella? Then schedule that visit with a FastPass+ time early so your kiddo won’t have bags under her eyes in her favorite picture! When you look in the mirror on day 5, you’ll understand what I mean!
DIStracted Tip #5: Have your item ready to sign.
Whether it’s an autograph book, photo mat or anything else, have it open and ready with your fat clickable retractable sharpie (a favorite among Cast Members). Want some fresh ideas? Check out this post with lots of creative ideas for character autographs.
DIStracted Tip #6: Be ready with your camera.
PhotoPass Photographers are great. But even at Disney, people make mistakes. It is good to have a backup in case the photographer was out of focus or you can catch something special from another angle.
DIStracted Tip #7: Don’t force kids to walk up to the characters.
Cast Members are FANTASTIC about getting kids to come out of their shells or overcome any temporary shyness. Characters will change their whole demeanor, and get down to kid-level.
DIStracted Tip #8: Practice fuzzy character interaction ahead of time with very small children.
Fuzzy or “non-face” characters can seem very big and kinda scary to littles. Find a Chick-Fil-A Cow, Chuck E. Cheese mouse or a grocery store mascot and see how they react. Don’t push them, but see if they will wave or shake hands with “fuzzy” characters.
DIStracted Tip #9: Did you know Characters are allowed to accept small gifts?
By no means am I saying you should give a gift to every character you see – but if giving gifts is your kiddo’s love language, this might be fun to do. Maybe your kiddo wants to draw Minnie a picture, write a letter to Cinderella or give Ariel a shell from your beach trip. As long as they’re small and of nominal monetary value, they can accept them. I wonder what Ariel would say if you brought her a dinglehopper with a bow on it?
DIStracted Tip#10: It is perfectly acceptable to
shove your children out of the way take your turn and take a picture with a character without your children.
After your children are done (of course) jump in for a picture with just you and your favorite characters. Your kids will either think it’s awesome or pretend not to know you, but either way you’ll be glad you did when you get home!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Magical DIStractions can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ so please take a moment to follow us. You can also sign up for the Magical DIStractions newsletter and watch videos on our YouTube channel. If you want to chat with the members of the Magical DIStractions team, we have a Facebook group on Facebook too! We will keep up up-to-date on all of the latest news!