Sunday, June 19, 2011

344...One More Point About Character Meet and Greets

First, a big shout out to IzzyTru for his guest posts.  Thanks and looking forward to the last in his three part series about meeting the characters.

I wanted to add just one thing about how parents/adults interact with the characters.  I am reading a book by Jeff Kurtti entitled Since the World Began.  It is a great book and looks at the first 25 years of Walt Disney World.  In one section he pulls out a quote from the WDW employee handbook...

"Imagine yourself as a guest, bringing your family to vist Walt Disney World.  You walk down Main Street, pass through Cinderella Castle, and suddenly you come upon a Disney character at a table, chatting with a supervisor over a cup of coffee and a cigarette.  Doesn't sound like Disney, does it?  And if you were that guest, you wouldn't be very happy with our show, would you?  Remember that regardless of where you work or what your role is, anytime you are in a public area, you are 'onstage.'  Your attitude and performance are direct reflections on the quality of our Walt Disney World show."

Walt Disney World does an amazing job creating a World that is truly magical.  You won't see cast members from Frontierland walking in Tomorrowland.  They will not place the same character at two

different locations within a park and you will never see a character half dressed.  I was watching the afternoon parade in the Magic Kingdom once and one of the broomsticks from the Sorcerer's Apprentice fell down.  Cast members came and helped him up and it was obvious that the poor little broomstick had overheated and was not feeling well.  In fact at one point you could see him trying to take the top part of his costume off but the cast members around him would not let him do it until they got past the gate at the end of Main St, well out of sight from us, the viewers.

Disney does a great job creating magical moments but you also have a role to play.  As you and your kids meet the characters please interact with them as if they were the real thing!  Now is not the time to ask them how hot it is in there?  Don't ask them what their costume is made of or what time they get off. That is the one and only Mickey Mouse (or Peter Pan, or Cinderella) you are talking to.  One of my favorite character meets we had as a family was with Mr. Smee and Captain Hook.  At the time my three-year-old daughter loved Captain Hook.  He was her favorite character in Peter Pan.  When I told that to Captain Hook he played it up so much with my daughter, it was great!

One of the illusions Disney works so hard to create is that you have just entered the movie.  You are not a spectator but a part of the show.  Enjoy your role and your kids will enjoy theirs.

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