To Character or Not. That is the Question.

Our favorite newlyweds are back with more He Said/She Said, Disney-style!

Our last newlywed battle seemed to go pretty well, so we have found another Disney experience we disagree on to share with you! We will let the Pro side go first.

Captain HookCaptain Hook

Caitie Says
One of my favorite things about Disney is getting a chance to meet some of the characters from my favorite movies. It was fun as a kid, but I think it is even more fun now that I am an adult. The characters will be silly with you and really have fun with it!

I am not as big of a fan since you have to wait in line and they don't just wander, but I still think it is cool and there are always certain characters I want to find. I was disappointed that we didn't get a picture with Mickey and Minnie the night we wore our bride and groom ears at the Magic Kingdom. I know there was a line, and we didn't wait because it was long, but I wish we had. I saw them interact with another newlywed couple and it was SO cute!

We also saw Belle and the Beast out, but didn't stop because we had an ADR. We should have. It was the first Disney movie we watched together and we have a sculpture of them.

I think meeting the characters adds some great memories (not to mention some awesome pictures you can add to a calendar) to the trip! The more I think about it, the more I think it is worth the wait. I think about the two character meals we did on our first trip and how much fun it was to have them around. The princesses all asked if I found my Prince Charming, and at Crystal Palace we got some great pictures with some of my favorite characters! I think we enjoyed some of it more than the kids!

It is also just something Disney does better than anyone else. I still enjoy looking at the photo book my parents have from when I was three.

To me, meeting at least some characters is a must-do of every trip!

Jason Says
It's not that I don't like the characters. I think they add a unique touch to the park that would be sorely missed if they were gone. I also think that it's undeniable that the characters are awesome for kids. That said, as an adult, I have two reasons why I don't really consider them a big part of my experience in the parks.

One, I don't like the idea of the "meet and greet" areas. On the one hand, I like that parents can take their kids to see the characters they want -- that's fantastic. However, part of the magic of the parks for me as a kid was that the characters were just wandering around like they lived there. That was special to me -- you never knew who you might run into or what could happen at any given moment. Caitie has a picture of Captain Hook holding up her pigtails when she was a kid that she loves. That picture wouldn't exist today because she wouldn't wait around for Captain Hook. However, because he was just walking around, she has a memory she cherishes. I think I would be a little more pro-character now as an adult if that magic was still there.

Second, as an adult, I have a hard time getting past the idea that those are kids younger than me in a costume. It seems a little -- weird -- interacting with them. I don't like interactive theater to begin with, so this is just another layer of that. It's even stranger when they're "face" characters. Am I really supposed to have a conversation with Snow White? I have a pretty good imagination, and I am nothing but a big kid in the parks, but I just can't get myself to buy into that little bit of magic.

Let me make it clear -- I think the characters are essential as part of the parks, and even more essential for kids. I even enjoy pointing out the characters (though the surprise of the finding them is less now) and it's GREAT when you catch them improvising. Unfortunately, as an adult, that little piece of magic just isn't quite as strong as it was for me as a kid.

In the end, it seems inevitable that when we get to the World, we will visit with some characters. The truth is, despite Jason's pleas to the contrary, he's a big kid and will hug Winnie the Pooh just as much as Caitie will.

What do you think of the characters now that you're an adult? Do they still hold the magic for you?

Estelle wrote on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 15:13:

Estelle's picture

Ha! It's quite funny because I was never a huge character fan. In fact, after my sister got old enough and we stopped doing the breakfasts, I was relieved. I felt super silly. Then I started going with my boyfriend (who is now my husband), and he LOVED the characters so much that we booked a last-minuted breakfast at the Cape May Cafe. Since then, we do a breakfast every time we go, and even stand in line for characters. He sort of brought a whole new magic to the experience, and now I can't wait!

I can understand where Jason is coming from - the kids in costume are younger than us - but I really don't think of it this way. I kind of block that out, and even if it does come up later, I think it's funny and move on.

Thanks for writing this!

Wayne Brown wrote on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 15:59:

Wayne Brown's picture

One word: absolutely!!!

gaylin wrote on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 00:23:

gaylin's picture

I love the characters, going for lunch at Crystal Palace for Pooh and friends is great. I try to get my photo with Tigger at every opportunity.

The Wicked Step-mother and daughters Anastasia and Drizella are really fun as adults, just tell them the man in your group is a prince and single!

Chip 'n Dale at the International Gate at Epcot often don't get a big line-up so will take the time to play.

Love the characters!

worldfanatic wrote on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 20:30:

worldfanatic's picture

I agree 100% with every word Jason said.

JeffC wrote on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 01:25:

I'm with Jason on this one. And I love the randomness that used to be of possibly running into a character as if they were strolling through their town.

teacherdrama wrote on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 22:00:

teacherdrama's picture

I wonder if there's a divide amongst men and women on this issue...I mean, I know it can go either way, but I would suspect more men would agree with me, more women with Caitie. True?

Cyndi R. wrote on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 02:37:

Cyndi R.'s picture

I love the characters, but I will say that I do miss them just walking around the parks and/or showing up in random places. I am a parent and neither of my kids cared enough to stand in a line that was longer than 15 minutes to meet any characters, especially if you couldn't see the characters from the line ( like the ones in the buildings). When they were young enough to really care about the characters, they just couldn't understand that at the end of this 2 hour line, in that building was someone that they wanted to see.

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