I haven’t met as many characters as I would have liked to in DLP, but the ones I have met have all been fantastic! So here are a few tips for getting the most out of your character interactions
(No pictures in this post because I don’t have my laptop at the moment but I’ll be able to find some at a later point)
Using your Extra Magic Hours
If you are an AP holder or staying in a Disneyland Hotel you are able to get into the park from 8am onwards, a whole 2 hours before the park opens to other guests. During this, the park is so much quieter and the Mainstreet Characters are usually out dotted around their usual meeting spots. One morning we arrived at Disney at 7:30am and were one of the first guests inside the park at 8am. Stitch, Chip and Dale, and Pluto were all on Mainstreet as soon as we got in and there were no lines for any of them. We were able to walk straight up to Stitch for autographs and photos and because of this, we got to spend a lot more time interacting with him.
A few days later I got to see Pluto during EMH, and while I was taking a picture with him, Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly was playing through the speakers, and he grabbed my hand and started dancing with me. It was honestly the purest moment I’ve ever had, it was just so lovely!
Now I’ve never been on a character dining because I usually blow my budget on other things, but I’ve had plenty of friends go to character dinning and their photos have been great. There is the character breakfast, Auberge de Cendrillon with the princesses, and Inventions that often has a range of themed character dinners. Generally, the way they work is they have a series of characters who move around the room meeting guests as they eat, allowing you to take pictures, get autographs, have a chat, etc. They’re an expensive option but if characters are your main focus they can be totally worth it.
I am totally obsessed with pins. Typically I’ll wear 2 lanyards covered in pins – one for trading and one for all my favourites/pins I bought in the park. Having pins related to your characters is wonderful because usually they notice them and point them out.
Face characters will usually talk to you about your pins. Moana talked about all her friends on my lanyard, and Jack Sparrow asked were they my treasure and even the CM taking pictures started talking to us about them.
Disney bounding is such a huge trend in the Disney parks, in America more so than Paris but even at that, it’s a great way to dress up as your favourite character and characters will love anything on your outfit that is related to them or one of their friends. If you can’t Disney bound, then a Disney themed t-shirt or jacket is a great conversation topic. Meeting Jack Skellington for the first time, I had a jacket with his face on it, which I actually found on sale in the World of Disney in the Village. It was a great way to interact with him, as face characters can often be a little more intimidating to chat to, especially if you don’t know what to say to them!
These are a great memory maker and a constant reminder of your trips to the parks – I have two complete autograph books from my trips to WDW when I was 6 and 8 and I met so many good characters that I don’t even remember!
You can buy autograph books inside the parks themselves; I tend to use a notebook I have on hand at home (I collect notebooks from museums whenever I can get to one), or it’s pretty easy to find custom-made autograph books on places like Etsy; all you need after that is a bunch of different coloured sharpies or pens and you’re good to go!
Just Embrace It
The last thing I would absolutely just embrace the magic that Disney has to offer and roll with the whole situation. Like I said, interacting with characters can be scary sometimes, especially because you’re either having a one-sided conversation with fur characters or the fear of not knowing what to say to face characters.
The great thing is that most of the face characters are great at keeping up a conversation and thinking of great things to say to you. Make the most of every character moment you have; give them a hug and have a chat and say silly things and take a photo with them! Don’t worry about feeling silly either because to be honest characters are some of the best moments I’ve ever had in Disney and I can never get enough of them!