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2/9/2011 2:48 PM
Shiva
Chip 'n' Dale
Shiva

Posts: 91
Hello,

Overall, I am a fairly shy person, so it has sadly taken me a solid 33 years to finally realize the fun (& great memories) of actually taking pictures with the Disney Characters, as opposed to just taking pictures of them. I have seen through the wondrous pictures delivered by sites such as Charactercentral.net that interactions with the characters can definitely be more than just a simple: "Hello," Take A Photo, and "Thank you." However, I just don't really know how to go about getting more than that.

So my questions to everybody are:
1.) What do you personally do to make the most of a Character Experience, so that you don't feel like you're just another person standing in a queue? (Typically you only have a couple of minutes to make it count, so what do you do? -- Personal accounts would be great!)
2.) What strategies do you employ to get more than one or two pictures with a Disney Character without being demanding or inconsiderate to the other guests waiting behind you?

I have personally worked in the customer service industry for quite a while, so I always try to be considerate of the people around me, which sometimes results in my own loss.

Thanks!

--
"You have to live your life spherically--in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way." - Lindsey Duncan in Under the Tuscan Sun
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2/9/2011 4:24 PM
Vectron
Chip 'n' Dale
Vectron

Posts: 57
I just make conversation. Even if some characters don't like to talk (vocally), they say so much without even saying anything at all, and it can be quite fun for both you and them. I show them I care, and they do appreciate it.
You can ask them something about their story, how their day is going, or share something cool and portable like an iPhone.

Guests are often there only for a picture/autograph anyway, and don't really care much about interaction, so as a result I don't see anything wrong with spending a little extra time to show appreciation and have friendly conversation. Not like forever, but a little longer than a typical "Hi -> picture ->thanks ->out" kind of thing.
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2/9/2011 6:14 PM
PeterPanFan
Sorcerer
PeterPanFan

Posts: 1062
A great topic! glad you like our site and pictures!

A few things we do

- Try to know a little bit about the character... if you ask them things about their movie they love it! For example ask Peter Pan how the lost boys are doing or if he has had any recent run ins with that smelly codfish Hook. This works best for the "face" characters but it apples to all of them! For example asking Stitch what his badness level has been recently is bound to get a reaction from him
- If you get their autographs you will normally get a little extra time to take pictures while they sign
- If you can afford it get a camera that is fast to focus and take pictures... if it only takes a second to take a picture you can get a few extra without taking a lot of time

--
Visit the Disney Character Central Blog for all the latest character news and information!
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2/10/2011 7:35 AM
DisneyDan
Sorcerer
DisneyDan

Posts: 2912
Hi Shiva,

I actually blogged about this last year. You may find the following article really useful.

http://www.charactercentral.net/Blog.aspx?BlogEntryId=40

Dan.

--
Check the Character Central Blog for all the latest news and rumours!

Dan.
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2/10/2011 9:04 AM
Shiva
Chip 'n' Dale
Shiva

Posts: 91
Thank you for the great tips Alex, Jon & Dan!

I think the biggest obstacle I will have to overcome is simply being able to engage in character small-talk comfortably. Perhaps having a set of key words in mind for a particular character would be good? I am pretty confident in my character knowledge, but for some silly reason I get all tongue-tied when I'm face-to-face with them. Disney Characters really are celebrities, even through the wonderful efforts of the performers, so I guess I get a little star-struck! Well, practice makes perfect!

Thanks, Dan, for the great blog article, as well. It will help immensely!

--
"You have to live your life spherically--in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way." - Lindsey Duncan in Under the Tuscan Sun
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2/11/2011 2:40 AM
Chiyo
Mickey Mouse
Chiyo

Posts: 2
I think, you'll get used to it.


I remember my first encounters with characters: I was so shy and didn't know what to say.
But I had the chance to visit them so often, so they became my friends. And then it was so easy to interact with them - especially when they remembered me

So, this is my advice: Imagine, that the characters are your best friends, and you are visiting them. What would you ask a your best friend, when you haven't seen him (or her) for a while? What would you say to him/or her?

That makes the interactions a lot easier, because, they ARE actually our best friends - our best friends at a Disneypark

Greetings
Chiyo ^^
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2/11/2011 6:00 AM
Loren
Peter Pan
Loren

Posts: 313
This is a great conversation topic because, I think, for adults without children visiting a character, we can feel a bit self conscious. But, the thing I've learned to get out of my mind is that you deserve as much time with a character as anybody else. I often think to myself that I have to rush through there because of the line. But, the truth of the matter is that it doesn't really take any longer than somebody asking for autographs or having the character engage with a child for awhile. You deserve to be there, too.

I think many of the suggestions have been made are ones that I employ, but there's one I think I didn't see (and, I apologize if it was said and I missed it), but, another thing to do is get friendly with the hosts as well as they will help make sure you can make the most of your character experience. For example, one thing that I've noticed is, when I'm by myself, there is inevitably children behind me who wander up to the character because I have gone to the photographer's position. If you know the host, they'll generally help make sure the character is clear of other guest. Another thing that I've seen them do is help communicate with the character that you'd like to take multiple photographs and poses. Hosts are great and I've enjoyed getting to know them over the years.

--
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2/12/2011 7:54 PM
Shiva
Chip 'n' Dale
Shiva

Posts: 91
Thanks Chiyo & Loren for the additional insights and tips.

I totally agree that an added factor to my shyness is that I am an adult without children at Disneyland, and it is kind of intimidating when you're surrounded by family groups with children (especially at the Princess Fantasy Faire, which I have skipped every time in my past visits for this very reason). But Loren is completely right that the Disney Parks are for everybody, regardless of age or who is in your group. Goodness knows that the price of admission for a Disney vacation should dispel any sense of self-restriction.

--
"You have to live your life spherically--in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way." - Lindsey Duncan in Under the Tuscan Sun
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2/26/2011 4:45 AM
Belleboy Alex
Minnie Mouse
Belleboy Alex

Posts: 50
Excellent topic - Character Meeting Strategy is a very important thing to consider when visiting a Disney park.

To answer your second point of concern first: to be honest, you don't really need to take several pics with the Characters. All you really need is one REALLY GOOD pic which captures the Meet, and on top of that, you'll have a lot of great memories of the rest of the Meet attached to that one photo. One tip is that if the Disney Park uses Photopass, make sure you do use this - you don't have to buy the hi-res pics, but can just see the low-res ones for free online. Often the Photopass photographers will take loads of snaps of you enjoying your Meet.

I think you should always try to stand out when you Meet the Characters. Most people are just there for a pic or autograph, or are kids, so when the Characters see someone a bit more interesting lining up to Meet them, they'll probably be quite excited to Meet you! The more you put into a Meet, the more you'll get back.
Definitely try and know a fact or two about each Character. Maybe bring props - an apple (for a Snow White Character) or even photos of previous Meets / other Disney Characters. Ask them questions - for instance, the Tremaine Stepsisters are always looking for future husbands, so feel free to offer them your hand in marriage. Just have a laugh/joke with them, and you'll stand out from everyone else in the line, and the Characters will enjoy Meeting you as much as you'll enjoy Meeting them!

Obviously, you can get tongue-tied / 'starstruck', but try and forget about this, and just do something outlandish - nothing bad's going to happen! Try to get out of the mindset that you're meeting an actor or performer - this is not true! - you are actually Meeting a Real Disney Character! And yes, they are your friends!!

There are loads of other great Strategial ploys you can use when Meeting Characters too, to get the most out of your experience. I'm not sure if they're best discussed in this topic - maybe a new thread is required for tips on queue-saving or grasping every possible opportunity? - but for instance, a Parade is a great time to get Character Interaction!! When a villain (like Hook) walks past, make sure you BOOOO him vigorously. When Mad Hatter passes, doff your hat to him. Make actions toward Characters; for instance an Atlas / 'strongman' pose at Baloo or Mickey, and see if they'll mimic it back to you. Scream their names! Be loud, be proud!
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2/26/2011 7:01 AM
Loren
Peter Pan
Loren

Posts: 313
Belleboy Alex brings up some VERY good points.

I admit, I do love to take a lot of pictures of the characters in different poses, but, I think what Belleboy Alex says about interacting with the characters as if you are meeting the characters themselves and not as people who are actors underneath. I know that the characters really appreciate when you interact that way. And, it just makes it fun for you as well. We may all be adults, but, we meet the characters because we're children at heart. Tap into that.

Great advice, Belleboy Alex!

--
Visit Castles, Capes & Clones for discussion about the entire Disney Universe - from Disney (Castles), Marvel (Capes) and Star Wars (Clones)!

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2/27/2011 8:24 AM
DisneyDan
Sorcerer
DisneyDan

Posts: 2912
Great tips everyone, keep them coming! Big Grin

--
Check the Character Central Blog for all the latest news and rumours!

Dan.
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2/27/2011 10:55 AM
Belleboy Simon
Mickey Mouse
Belleboy Simon

Posts: 17
I think we've all been there in our early inexperienced days of Character Meeting when we've been a little shy and unsure of how to approach the Characters! Most of the best Strategies have already been listed, but I'll just add a couple of other thoughts!

The fact that you are older than 80% of the people in the queue is in fact a huge advantage! Never be ashamed that you are 'not a kid', as this will in all likelihood just lead to an awkward Meet. We all have as much right to Meet Characters as kids do! But the fact that we are older provides an advantage in that it represents a different kind of Meet for the Characters involved. Most of the time, Characters will just be signing autographs and posing with kids, and I'm sure this must get a little repetitive! When they see someone a little older come along, they don't think 'this person is a bit old to be Meeting me' - which is what you can wrongly think in your early Character Meeting days - they are in fact delighted that a different kind of Meet could potentially happen. For example, if Meeting any human Character, you are bound to provide more unique Chat than a 5-year-old, and thus the Character is grateful that you've come along to see them, as you've given them a bit of variety in their day!

Just go all out and don't be afraid of them in any way. As has been mentioned already, the more you give, the more you'll get back! I recall some of my first Meets when I would just get the photo and move on, and whereas you can look back at the photo and smile, you can't attach a brilliant memory of something epic that happened during it. After developing confidence (which only comes through trying!), I have now not only a great set of photos, but also fantastic memories of Meets, including kneeling before Princess Jasmine, Tinker Bell asking for (and then getting) a kiss on the cheek, or dancing with Chip & Dale! (There have also been many many other incredible Meets, of which details are bound to surface on here eventually!)

As regards to the fact that you are concerned that you may be delaying other people in the queue - this should not be too great a concern either. Firstly, you have as much right as they do to be there, but if you can provide an entertaining Meet, then you will find that most of the crowd are laughing away at you too! The Characters are there for great interaction, and everybody understands this! The prime reason the Characters are there is to provide entertainment, and all you are doing is providing additional entertainment!

So in conclusion, never be ashamed or concerned, go all out as if you are greeting a famous person or a really good friend, and you'll come away with a great Meet full of fantastic memories! Big Grin
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1/8/2012 3:17 PM
Maleficent Freak
Chip 'n' Dale
Maleficent Freak

Posts: 98
What i think is a great way to interact with a character is to talk to them about their movies. Like ask Belle what book she has been reading, stuff like that. Also, have them sign something that you will keep forever. Some characters cant sign though, so do a funny photo or something. Hope this helps!

--
Connor
Follow me on Instagram for Disney pictures!
connor_rudolph
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4/28/2012 6:44 PM
sehudson2006
Mickey Mouse
sehudson2006

Posts: 10
Love these tips! I'm going to try to come up with a lot of fun things to say to characters when we go next month.
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4/29/2012 11:49 AM
rebray10
Minnie Mouse
rebray10

Posts: 50
I have trouble interacting with the non-human characters myslef, I think its because I'm afraid that they won't hear me lol.
But I've found that boith the human and non-human characters LOVE it when you're wearing or holding something with them on it.
For example; the last time I meet Mickey Mouse I was wearing an "I heart Mickey" tee, and he FREAKED out. lol
He gave me a HUGE hug and even blew a kiss on his name when he was signing my book.
A little effort on your part goes a long way in making for a memoable interaction.
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5/1/2012 3:34 AM
Rune
Angel
Rune

Posts: 403
rebray10 Wrote:
I've found that boith the human and non-human characters LOVE it when you're wearing or holding something with them on it.
For example; the last time I meet Mickey Mouse I was wearing an "I heart Mickey" tee, and he FREAKED out. lol
He gave me a HUGE hug and even blew a kiss on his name when he was signing my book.
A little effort on your part goes a long way in making for a memoable interaction.


That's a really good point! Also, if you know you're going to be meeting a specific favourite character, wearing a t-shirt, hat or even just a pin with them on can get you a great reaction, for example wearing Fab 5 pins to Chef Mickeys is enough to get the chars going. My daughter has had Pluto and Donald quite literally competing against each other for her attention when we've done this out in the parks too, so don't be afraid to draw attention to yourself by showing your loyalty to a charrie.

Similarly, if you're just wandering around meeting characters at random you can still create a lot of great moments for them by wearing something unusual or at least not commonly seen in the parks, for example at MNSSHP last year I wore my Genie hat and had some amazing reactions, Genie himself went absolutely hyper when he saw it - and he first saw it when we were about 12 people back in the line so he was mega-hyper by the time we got up to him and Jasmine! We had the most crazy meet and greet, he had to try it on himself and Jasmine and I had a really fun conversation. Later when we got to Jafar we had another great meeting, he was not impressed at all and we were able to play this up for all it was worth with the handler & Photopass guys joining in with the fun too. Cruella was very impressed with my 'skinning skills' and later on even Jack Sparrow wanted in on the act and we ended up actually wearing each others hats for a short while (what a moment!) These were just some of the fun moments, there were many more, so again, don't be afraid to be a little different if you want to get great one on one time with characters.

Also, if you're out wandering and meeting characters randomly you can create good opportunities by showing them different things, asking their opinion about something, 'do you like his hat' / what do you think of this shirt / do you like his gun? and so on. We've found Stitch will very often want to try your headgear on if you draw attention to it (a pink princess one with a veil went down very well with him) or have a go with your Buzz Lightyear 'blaster' or light up spinning toy, and the Chipmunks are great for this too and kids love seeing it.

Also, Belleboy Alex & Loren are absolutely right in their 'talk to the character as if they really are that character' approach, this gets you the best interactions from both face and fur characters and although you might feel a bit foolish initially, you soon get the hang of it and the characters love it. Don't forget that for so many of the little kids in the parks, these ARE the characters so don't miss the chance to get in on the magic yourself, you're guaranteed some great memories. Face characters like to talk, ask Mary Poppins how your husband / girlfriend measures up, kids love seeing their dads being told to stand up straight and stop slouching! Ask the Princesses what their most romantic moment was or their favourite dessert or animal or if they could have any pet what would it be (again if you have kids this gives them a chance to respond and tell the Princesses about their favourite things.) Get Peter Pan to have a 'who can crow the loudest' contest with you (always fun) and if you don't have kids never forget you're as welcome to get stuck in as everyone else and it's absolutely okay to spend quality time with the characters. Furs aren't difficult to 'chat' with either, ask Marie to show you how to clean behind your ears or Tigger to show you how long he can stand still without bouncing.

And if photos are what you really want you can still create a great moment, ask the Queen to give you a smile (you're likely to get a very haughty stare) or get Tink to 'pull a face' for the camera. If there are 2 chars together ask them to strike a pose (the Tremaines are really good for this), the opportunities are endless.
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5/1/2012 12:02 PM
Belleboy Alex
Minnie Mouse
Belleboy Alex

Posts: 50
^ Great advice, agree with it all.
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5/2/2012 7:47 AM
Amz785
Minnie Mouse
Amz785

Posts: 23
There are some really good tips on here. I especially agree with the tips in regards to wearing something with the characters on to get a reaction. If you have a favourite its good for getting a good response from them (especially if they are a face character and can chat about it with you.) Last time I went to Disneyland Paris I wore a T-shirt that had "I love pirates" on, it provoked some good responses from Hook, who kissed my hand, and led to a really good interaction with Jack Sparrow questioning who my fav pirate was (him of course, to his agreement it turns out lol)
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5/6/2012 4:02 AM
DisneyDan
Sorcerer
DisneyDan

Posts: 2912
Amz785 Wrote:
I wore a T-shirt that had "I love pirates" on, it provoked some good responses from Hook, who kissed my hand, and led to a really good interaction with Jack Sparrow questioning who my fav pirate was (him of course, to his agreement it turns out lol)



I remember that! Was very funny! Lol.

--
Check the Character Central Blog for all the latest news and rumours!

Dan.
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