Travel tips: How to meet and greet a theme park character
Written by Robert Niles
Published: January 19, 2011 at 12:21 PM
For many parents, the highlight of their theme park visit is to snap a picture of their children with Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man or some other theme park character.
As soon as a character emerges from behind backstage wall at any theme park, a crowd inevitably will materialize, as parents gather to queue for their chance to get that keepsake photo.
But character meet and greets can turn ugly when certain parents and children fail to show the proper manners. I've spoken with several "good friends" of Mickey Mouse, Goofy and other theme park characters, and am happy to share their advice on how to meet and greet their "friends."
- Wait your turn.
- Don't be mad if a character is leaving. Generally that character will be back in five minutes.
- Have cameras, autograph books and pens ready. Not just because it moves the line but it gives your family more quality time with your favorite character.
- Stay in the character's field of vision (never approach from side or behind - if the character is on the street ahead of you, go around to approach it from front. You can try calling their name to get their attention, but still will have to go around if he doesn't stop and turn around.)
- Follow the character's cues. Watch for it to motion where to stand, etc. The characters know what it takes to get a good photo. Follow their lead.
- Talk politely to the character, and politely direct your child if he or she seems intimidated or confused.
- Don't touch the character. If you want to shake hands or hive five, put out your hand and let character touch it.
- Say thank you when done.
Where are some of your favorite places to meet characters in the parks? Tell us in the comments.
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