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The Dos and Don’ts of Meeting Characters at Walt Disney World

The Dos and Don'ts of Meeting Characters at Walt Disney World mulan-wdw

This topic is near and dear to my heart because I was a character performer at different theme parks in Orlando. As social media continues to grow, influencers are starting to show their character interactions and weigh in on what’s right and wrong in these settings. I wanted to join this conversation not just because I used to be a performer but because I love meeting characters, and I want you to be fully informed on the best ways to meet these characters.

Let’s start with the don’ts.

All performers undergo training, which typically ends with a lengthy test to ensure each performer knows all the rules and regulations. These rules and regulations also break down what they can and can’t do while on stage or meeting guests. The primary rule is to stay in character and only do or say things your character would know. This essentially means that if a guest were to ask a performer to do a trending dance from social media, they would not be able to perform that dance. This also goes for questions that could throw the character off and potentially get them to break character.

Another significant rule is that the performers cannot hold babies. Performers or attendants would kindly let you know that holding a child is not allowed. This is for the safety of the child and performer. It is essential to respect each performer that you come across and understand that if a character says they can’t do something, it’s because if they were to do it, it could lead to them losing their jobs or hindering their safety. 

Other rules include not accepting gifts with monetary value. I am not 100% sure about the value price, but when I performed, we couldn’t take anything that cost more than $20. Awareness of arm/hand placement is also very important when meeting characters. In training, it is said to try to make sure that both arms/hands of the guest are always visible. These are all standard rules among the surrounding theme parks.

The Dos and Don'ts of Meeting Characters at Walt Disney World DAK characters

Now let’s move on to the dos. This part is easy.

Talk to the characters about their movie or characters within their universe. For example, if you meet Belle at EPCOT and ask her about a Marvel character, she would not know about that universe, but you could ask her about her princess friends like Jasmine or Snow White. As a performer, one of my favorite things was when guests would tell stories about how the character impacted their lives. These are the stories that stick with the performers for a lifetime.

If you want to show a character your creative side, bring them a painting or drawing you made. Those personal gifts are things that characters cherish. I used to pull out different character pages from my coloring books as a kid, and having the chance to hand the page to the character or their attendant are memories I have always held on to. When I was a performer, I received a drawing from a guest that was about five years old, and I still have that drawing displayed.

The Dos and Don'ts of Meeting Characters at Walt Disney World mickey-mouse-wdw

Meeting characters was very different due to the pandemic for a while since we had to stand at a distance. During that time, the proper photo etiquette was to ask for a selfie and move along. I have noticed many guests still ask politely for a selfie because that is the experience they are most comfortable with.

Some characters still meet at a distance, so start practicing your selfie poses. Most of the meet and greets have returned, which is fantastic. As I mentioned earlier, I love meeting characters, so having these traditional meet and greets makes me so happy. I make it a point to try to meet one character each time I visit the parks, but I know not everyone is the same way. Even if you don’t like those interactions, be sure to share this information with someone who does.

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Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.


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