You came to Disney World for a very specific reason- to immerse yourself in the magic. Die-hard Disneyphiles keep coming back year after year even as adults, because at Walt Disney World, everyone’s a kid. No detail is left behind. All around you the magic of your favorite stories comes to life and you are allowed to believe in the impossible again.
In this magical place, some of the world’s most recognizable faces have gathered and they are genuinely excited to meet you. It’s not everyday a person meets royalty, or troopers of the First Order, so your encounter should feel special. The key to it all is remembering that once you pass under that purple archway, it’s not just that Cast Members want you to believe, it’s that this is reality here. The conventions of your world and this one are not the same, but that’s what you came for so enjoy it!
I think little Judy put it best in The Santa Clause when she explained, “seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.” And nothing could be truer at Walt Disney World.
All around the parks, those famous faces take up locations to greet the families that visit each day and make them a part of their story. Like us, they are from worlds outside this park. Most of you have probably seen their stories, and they hope you’re willing to wait in line to meet them and become a part of it. From dance parties with the Incredibles, to sharing wishes with Snow White at the well, this is such a special part of the Disney experience for any age.
Of course most kids can hardly believe their luck to meet their favorites, but I’ve seen more than one adult who couldn’t stop the tears from coming. Some have waited their whole lives to just get a hug from a friend who has meaning to them, and it’s really quite a beautiful, magical moment to share.
When it is your turn, make sure you enjoy it! Talk with them, catch up, ask questions- they love that. Don’t just stand there to snap a picture. These are living, breathing characters who are thrilled to meet you. However, if a character needs to step away briefly (which will happen more than once) just hang out for a bit. The CM helping with their line is always going to be communicating how long they’ll be gone. Typically it’s only a few minute, but if they’ll be away for an extended period of time, that CM will close the line and let you know exactly when they’ll be back. Make note of that time, and try to return as close to it as possible to be sure you get a turn as well.
Generally, if a character has to go, they have a pretty important reason. Remember, that like us, they have many responsibilities outside of the parks. And if a Cast Member explains in detail what they are going to do, please (I’m begging you), don’t turn to a child and say, “they have to go potty.” I don’t have enough fingers to tell you the number of times I hear that in a day. And frankly, it makes me cringe. I can feel that glow of pixie dust dimming in my soul every time.
Children are so much smarter than grown ups seem to give them credit for. We read them stories, we share movies and television with them, and they soak it all up. They know these characters.
If Princess Sofia needs to find some blueberries for her friend, Clover, they know exactly what we are talking about. Clover LOVES food (and blueberries are his favorite)! They usually respond with a giggle, thinking of her silly friend, and it’s as simple as that. A beautiful, detailed, magical world exists and thrives in their minds. Why would you ever want to take that away?
Yet over and over, Cast Members explain exactly where our friends are going only to be ignored, talked over, or even yelled at for letting them go. Help us help you. Let your kids be kids. But more importantly, let yourself be a kid; believe again. You’ll have a lot more fun. Trust me on this one.