Seven tips for having great character interactions

As we're going to Disneyland Paris soon, I thought it would be a great time to write about some of our tips for having great Disney character interactions.

It is almost impossible to have a bad interaction; the characters are all so lovely and go out of their way to make you feel special. However, we've found that you can get some fantastic interactions by following some of these tips.

1. Know a bit about them

Knowing a tiny bit about the characters you're meeting can help. It will make some of our other tips way easier to pull off!

Most characters have designated places they like to meet people, and you can find this ahead of time. If you know you're hoping to meet Explorer Minnie later that day, you might approach that differently if you were meeting Darth Vader!

Speaking of Explorer Minnie, here is Elaine and Toby meeting Explorer Minnie and Explorer Mickey
Speaking of Explorer Minnie, here is Elaine and Toby meeting Explorer Minnie and Explorer Mickey

Lots of characters have sidekicks and friends, brush up on their names and stories a little bit as it can help with the interaction. A great time to do this is when you're queuing in line!

2. Talk to them!

The only reason this isn't number 1 on the list is that I think you might need to do a tiny bit of research first, but this is such an important point.

Don't make the character do all the work! Don't get me wrong, if you're shy, they will certainly put the effort in but if you want an A++ character meet, talk to them!

Most of the characters will know English and the language of the park you're in (so characters in Disneyland Paris will know French), but do you know what? The characters are so intelligent. Many of them know other languages; we've seen videos of characters speaking in ASL as well.

Ask the characters how they are, how their friends are. Tell them if their dress is pretty or you like their hat. They love it and will certainly respond.

3. Wear something themed

Characters love a bit of theming. Theming could be as simple as wearing a Rescue Rangers shirt when meeting Chip and Dale (oh, and bonus tip, here is how you can tell Chip and Dale apart!), or it could be wearing a jungle-themed dress when meeting someone who lives in a jungle, or of course, you could go the whole hog, and Disney-bound!

Most of the time, the character will pick up on this, and you'll get a better interaction as a result.

4. Are you celebrating? Let them know

Your Disney friends love to celebrate anything remarkable happening in your life, but they can't do that if they don't know it is happening!

In Walt Disney World, you often get given a big "I'm Celebrating" button, which lets the character know if it is your birthday or if you're celebrating a special event.

On one of our last trips, Minnie saw it was my birthday, and she made me a cake, made me blow out candles and even cut a slice for me to give to Mickey in the next room! It was so adorable, and it would never have happened without me wearing a birthday button!

Minnie making me a cake!
Minnie making me a cake!

Just don't let the Evil Queen know that you're celebrating an anniversary; she doesn't think anyone should love anyone else but her!
The Evil Queen making us laugh way too hard
The Evil Queen making us laugh way too hard

5. Wear something unique

There is a lot of folk wearing shorts and T-shirts in Disney parks. This isn't some backhanded remark I wear shorts and T-shirts when I'm in Disney parks. But folk who wear something different or unique tend to get noticed by cast members and characters alike.

Elaine loves wearing lovely vintage dresses, and most of the time, this is what she will be wearing around the parks. The number of princesses and characters who go out of their way to dance with her or comment on her dresses is unreal.

Sometimes, she will wear a nicely themed dress (maybe a green leafy dress in Animal Kingdom), but most of the time, they are simply nice dresses that make her look a little different to the rest of the folk in line.

Stitch thinking Elaine looks like a fruit
Stitch thinking Elaine looks like a fruit

I don't think you need to go and buy an entirely new wardrobe, but I've also found little things like wearing my pin lanyard or having my tattoos on display helps conversation. It is something different than the character can pick up on and use to interact with you!

5.1 Bonus unique pin tip

We wouldn't be Pin Trader Club if we didn't bring pins into this article somehow! If you're wearing a lanyard or have pins on you and you happen to have a pin relating to the character you're meeting - SHOW THEM!

I know for a fact Chip and Dale love seeing themselves as pins and I remember Edna Mode being devastated that I had a tattoo of Minnie Mouse on my leg but not her!

If you want proof that characters love seeing themselves on pins, go and read our interview with Clair who had such an adorable interaction about this!

6. Get PhotoPass

PhotoPass is an addon you can get with your holiday package where professional photographers will take pictures of you in the parks at different locations. They are often at the character meets.

There are a few reasons I specifically think for character meets, letting a PhotoPass photographer do all the photographs is best.

They will know the characters and the best way to get great shots of you interacting with them.

The PhotoPass photographer captured Russell pointing out my 5 year anniversary celebration button
The PhotoPass photographer captured Russell pointing out my 5 year anniversary celebration button

Everyone in your party will be able to meet the character at once, which will make for much better memories than everyone taking turns taking photos of each other.

No matter how good your camera or photography skills are, letting a professional do what they're great at should always give excellent results.

7. Don't ask them to do something off-brand

This final tip is almost an anti-tip; it is something you shouldn't do. Don't ask characters to do something they are almost certainly not going to do.

This includes most things that are currently memes. In the queue to meet Dug one time, we heard some teenagers talking about wanting him to dab. Dug ain't dabbing!

Darth Vader likely isn't going to hug you, just like Chewbacca isn't going to force-choke you. Focus on on-brand interactions, and you'll have a much better time!

Share your character tips

Do you have any tips for having great character interactions? Let us know in the comments below or on this Twitter thread!

If you found this article useful, please consider sharing it with your Disney-loving friends!

Written by tosbourn - Tuesday 28 September 2021

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