Face-Character Interaction: Overcoming the Awkwardness

One of the best things about the Disney parks is that they make you feel like a kid again . . . for all the right reasons.

Not only do you oblige when an unidentified adult dressed as a duck tells you to cross your arms, stand back-to-back with him or her, and pose for a picture, but you actually enjoy it! You cheese for the camera, give Donald a grin and a handshake, and walk away admiring the memory now saved on your iPhone.

Meeting Princess Aurora inside Disneyland's main gate

Meeting Princess Aurora inside Disneyland’s main gate

But what about the face characters? How do you respond when a cute girl your age calls you a prince and asks what your favorite roller coaster is? How do you politely explain to a talkative guy sporting Thor’s helmet that Nashville is a city in a country called America when all you really want to do is take a picture and get the heck out of Asgard?

Matching muscles with Captain America

Matching muscles with Captain America

My advice? Embrace it! Enjoy yourself! Let your imagination take over for a few seconds and convince the child version of yourself that you’re actually meeting Aladdin/Gaston/Tiana/fill in the blank.

Tough guys

Tough guys

Also, have fun with them. Joke with them. See how deep into character they’ll go. You might be surprised at how enthusiastic they are about their job and how skilled they are at it. When we begrudgingly met Prince Caspian, Jeremy asked if he could borrow the prince’s sword. Caspian’s response: Are you trained in weaponry?

Posing like warriors with Mulan and our friend David

Posing like warriors with Mulan and our friend David

The Disney parks are meant to be immersive. If you want to be swept away by the magic like you’re intended to be, don’t be shy. Dive in head first and experience the parks like they are meant to be experienced, even if it means having to shake hands with a fake prince or nod and smile when a princess asks if you’re just “visiting” her kingdom.

Are you a fan of face characters, or do you shy away from them? Who’s your favorite face character to meet? What’s the best interaction you’ve had with one? Tell us in the comments!

(Editorial note: In the 20-odd years Matt has been visiting the parks, clearly the magic of face characters has worn off. I have zero pictures with him and a face character. It is hereby my goal to change that.)

– Mad Chatter Derek

Stepping in time with Mary Poppins and Bert in Disneyland

Stepping in time with Mary Poppins and Bert in Disneyland


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