One of the most stressful parts about a Disney World vacation actually has nothing to do with the booking, travelling or actual vacation itself. It’s my opinion that waiting in line to meet your favorite character, be it Mickey or any other friend brings levels of anxiety and butterflies that no other experience will do.
Quite simply, it’s an unknown situation.
- Do you go for a hug or do you do a handshake?
- Do you ask a question that will allow for a conversation?
- Where do you put your hands?!
All of these are situations that I’ve had plenty of experience with and it’s my job during this article to share a few tips that will make your character meet and greet as seamless and stress-free as possible!
Here are my Tips for Character Meet and Greets
Bring a Valentines Card / Holiday Greeting
Are you visiting on a specific holiday? Well maybe this is a great excuse to head to the dollar store before your trip and get a few valentines or holiday cards prepared and give them as a little momento. We did this on Valentines Day and all the characters that we met (Anna and Elsa, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel and Tiana) had a blast with this added fun little keepsake.
Make movie-specific conversation
This is important – characters live within their own world. Tink knows about Peter Pan, but she doesn’t know about the Mad Hatter…so going in and asking about movie-specific topics will actually help your meet and greet.
Start by saying something simple like “I loved your adventure where you….” and let them take it from there. It’ll be so much fun:)
Ask where their sidekick is
Ask Aladdin where Abu is…or if you can see the Genie’s magic lamp. Ask Snow White where the Seven Dwarfs are…and who’s her favorite? 😉 When you focus on a sidekick, it actually allows for great conversation that will bring out a bigger smile in the photos!
Do a unique pose
Everyone wants to get a photo with Mickey…but if you do some research on Flickr or Instagram (location), you’ll be able to come up with some fun poses that aren’t just the “SMILE” pose.
Curtsey / Bow to Royalty
This is 100% integral to the experience if you’re meeting Royalty. Knowing how to properly greet Princesses and Princes will make for a really fun and authentic time. Plus it’ll get you completely brownie-points with your friends if you get everyone to bow to the Beast at Be Our Guest! I’ve actually had the PhotoPass photographer ask us to hold the pose for the PERFECT photo!
Side hug vs full hug – Photo-wise
If you want to do a full on hug because you’re sooo excited…do it! BUT ask the photographer to also get a photo of a side hug with your face in view. You’ll thank me later:) The number of times that I’ve had to say “that’s me…I think” lol!
Decide ahead of time who’s in the photo
OMG…you’re standing in line for an experience…so decide who’s going to be in the photo and if there are specific poses that you want to get. Start with solo photos and then end with a group photo. If you’re there with your family, start with the kids and then do a family photo. Just know ahead of time and let the character attendant in on your plans, as they’ll probably have a tip or two to help out with the conversation. They’ll also share that information with the character, so that’s a huge bonus!
Photopass Photographer will take a photo with your camera
Do you want a photo on your phone or for social media? Did you know that the Photopass Photographer can use your camera to get the image for you? Just make sure that you have your camera ready to point and click AND your phone already on the camera function.
Know when to leave
Don’t rush the experience, but once you have a chance to meet the character and get a photo and autograph (if you’re collecting them), then thank them for their time and make your exit. I’m a huge fan of asking for a final hug before leaving, as it’s a great way to end the experience!
Those are my tips for a seamless Character Meet and Greet! If you have any addition tips, please feel free to leave them below!