Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Top 10 Ways to have a great Character Interaction!

Character Interactions - Top 10 Tips!

So, you've arrived at Disney and one of the biggest Must Do's is to meet the characters. You're ready to go and all excited, but, how do you create the best experience? It's all good just walking up and having a photo, but if you do it right, you can have a really unforgettable experience. 
So, here are my top 10 tips for a really great character interaction!

10. Have an autograph book and pen ready before you meet them. 
Personal Photo - Meeting Baymax - Taken by Disney Photopass. 
This might seem like a pretty simple thing (especially if you're going with children) however it's a great keepsake. You don't have to buy the ones in the parks, you could make your own before you go, or take a sharpie and photo frame (if you're happy to carry it around) or even a scrap book. Have it ready before it's your turn - it makes the experience much smoother!

9. Be prepared to wait!
This is the inevitable part of most interactions. There will be a queue. Some will be short. Some will be long. Very long. If you're meeting Mickey or a Princess (especially Anna and Elsa) be prepared. Take something to do when you're in the queue, especially if you have children. If you have a phone, I recommend the 'Head's Up' game. It got us through many long queues on our last visit. You might also find that when you're at the front, the character needs to go away for a while. Don't get upset. They'll be back soon and hey, you're at the front now! Besides, when they come back they will be full of energy and ready for you.

8. If you're visiting with children (or adults) who are frightened, don't force them.
Same goes for rides. They just won't enjoy it and the whole thing will be awkward. If you have taken children and Mickey or Donald scares them, maybe ease them in with a Princess or a character they can talk with who is the expected size, as opposed to a 'fur character'. You can always build up to that later. 

7. Have some questions ready!
You should have time to think of some questions while your waiting. If you have kids, maybe talk to them about what they want to ask. 'Face Characters' like the princesses will be able to answer properly, so you can ask better questions. The 'Fur characters' will answer everything with mime, so maybe keep it a bit more simple. Here are some of my favourite face character questions:
Ask Elsa if Olaf gives warm hugs.
Ask Snow White if she likes apples.
Ask Alice how she might spend a golden afternoon.
Ask Rapunzel about her best day ever.

The characters can only refer to things in their Disney world, so Tiana doesn't know Thor, and he doesn't know her. So ask them things related to their movies as well as photos. I find talking about side-kicks also works too.

6. Relax!
This might seem like an easy one, being on holiday and all, but last time we went my sister (who is 20) totally froze up when meeting Tinkerbell and Eeyore. She was really star struck. She found herself just nodding in shock when she met them. The experience can be overwhelming, so, before you go in, take a few minutes to think about what you're going to say. 
Talking to my bear backpack with Snow White - Personal Photo - Taken by Disney Photopass

5. Wear something related to the character.
I'm not talking about a princess dress (we'll get onto that later). I mean something 'related'. I had a wonderful conversation with Alice about the flowers on my shirt and my sister talked to Rapunzel about her love of the colour purple. If you're meeting a princess, wear a tiara, be a princess too. It makes great conversation. If you're meeting a fur character, do you have something with their face on? Something they can reference? If you're meeting them that day, it's a good idea to wear it.

4. Come out of the real world.
Make sure you treat the characters properly. Are they royalty? Did you curtsy or bow? Talk to them about things that you wouldn't say in every day conversation. We told a character we were English and she asked if we we the king and queen. My partner said yes and the character ran with it. They talked for about ten minutes with us, treating us like royalty as well. It's a lot of fun to get caught up in role play and if you're an adult it means you can have a lot more fun if you can think on your feet. Talk to children about this before they go in and make sure they know they are meeting the real Aurora or Cinderella so they know how to behave.

3. Be polite.
This is simple. If you're rude then your time with the character won't be as good, if you get to see them at all. Most are escorted by guest services representative, so if they don't like how you're acting, they can take you away. The nicer you are, they better it will be.

2. Be photo ready!
Photos will be taken. Not all of them will be posed. So make sure you're ready for this, whether you shirt looks how you want or your hair is fixed, make sure you look how you want in the photo so when you look back it represents how you felt meeting the character. And be ready from the get go, if you're using a photo pass they'll start taking photos right away.

1. Dress as the character - or someone from their film!
Fun with Rapunzel - Personal Photo - Taken by Disney Photopass
If you have a child, dress them up. You don't have to buy the costumes from Disney shops (though the quality is usually better), you can get great costumes from all over, and if you're handy you can make your own. Adults can only dress up at Halloween (and some go all out!) but for the rest of the year, why not wear Disney inspired outfits? Dress as a modern day version of the character, do your hair and makeup, make some effort and then you'll really have something to talk about!

Do you have any character tips? If you do let me know and send me a photo!