Vote of the Week: Character meet-and-greets - yes or no?
Written by Robert Niles
Did you stop to get a picture with a character the last time you visited a theme park?Tweet
Meeting Princess Tiana in Disneyland's New Orleans Square
Meet and greets have become wildly popular, especially at the Disney parks, where meet-and-greets with Mickey and Minnie Mouse or with the Disney princesses have moved into permanent attraction buildings of their own. You can even get Fastpasses to meet those characters now.
Even the so-called "minor" characters can draw huge lines. And they're often slow-moving ones, too, as families take their time with the character, often fumbling around with a camera, coaxing a reluctant child forward, or lingering trying to get that perfect shot. A while back, we offered some advice on How to meet and greet a theme park character, to help make the experience as rewarding as possible for everyone (including that hard-working cast member portraying the character!)
But not everyone takes time to meet Mickey, or a Minion, when visiting a theme park. For some fans, the characters are simply a distraction. For those park visitors, the best thing they can say about character meet-and-greets is that they pull other park guests out of the ride and show lines they're running toward.
What do you think about theme park character meet-and-greets? Do you make them a regular part of your theme park visits, or do you usually skip 'em? Don't think that this is simply a "thing" for families with small kids. Plenty of grown-ups meet the characters, too! (See photo above.)
Got a great character meet-and-greet story? Tell us in the comments! And thank you, as always, for being part of the Theme Park Insider community.
Update: Here's my story: My now-teenage daughter loved Buzz Lightyear when she was a toddler. She carried a little Buzz doll pretty much 24/7 for over a year when she was four and often demanded that her mother and I "talk like Buzz" so she could have a conversation with it.
So when we moved to Southern California and I started taking her to Disneyland, of course, she wanted to meet her hero. We went one Saturday, waited in line in Tomorrowland, and finally had our turn. But when my daughter faced Disneyland's five-foot-tall Buzz, she crumpled. She wouldn't look at Buzz, buried her face onto the ground, sobbing, and refused to move until I agreed to carry her away. She just couldn't reconcile this gargantuan Buzz with the little five-inch doll she carried around and saw, as the same size, on her TV screen.
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