MK and AK Character Experiences

Curious what character experiences have been highlights for little ones at MK and/or AK. My niece is not fully indoctrinated yet to the world of Disney movies (going to strategically introduce her to movies over the next 6 months leading up to our trip). So she doesn’t have a particular character that she must must see with the exception of Mickey. (I’m thinking this will be a blessing)

Character experiences were also not top priority on my last trip since it was just my husband and I.

So, for a two year old. Which interactions have people found particularly engaging, adorable, exciting, worth the potential wait, and magical? Open to suggestions on character meet and greets and character dining (although with only two days we may forgo the character dining this time).

We’d never done a single Character Meet and Greet until our fifth child. At our Disney trip, we did Chewbacca in HS. It was the only one our DS6 would agree to. When we finally got up there, he just asked Chewbacca where he could find the Red light sabers. Chewbacca made his Chewy sounds, and my son smacked his head and said, “I should have asked someone who could speak English!”

This year, at Universal, my wife convinced him to meet Spider-Man. He agreed and got up to him. All he wanted to know was how his Webslinger worked. Did it stick in the rain? Does it ever run out? He didn’t care two hoots about Spider Man himself.

So, yeah. No point in Character Meet and Greets in our experience!

Having said that, the most entertaining meet and greets we’ve WATCHED (while standing around waiting) was Gaston interacting with the little kids. The kids get so mad at him and actually verbally fight back. It is so funny.

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To go with what @ryan1 said: it really depends on the crowd.

My 3-year old niece and I went to see Winnie and the gang.When we got to Eyore, she could see he was sad, so she asked me, in French: why is he sad? So I asked the CM. This crazy charade game started, which was great for my niece. CM added some details, I translated. My niece then hugged Eyore, kissed him on the nose, and Eyore faked he was fainting. People were laughing in the line.

Another time, my whole group (6 adults, no kids), decided to see the princesses because the wait was like 5 minutes. Upon seeing the men in our group (all 6.2 feet and above), Snow-White chuckled and said: wow, I really feel like one of the dwarves now! It was hilarious.

For good character interactions, you need to have a group that is willing to have fun. When I am with little ones, I usually ask them while we are waiting: what will you ask the princess or character? So that way we have a little chitchat.

And, sometimes, the princess is ready for her break and the interaction is blah, no matter the group.

So, if meeting Mickey is really the only character she knows or is interested in meeting, I would not force any other meetings.

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For a two year old, I’d say Mickey as well as Minnie and Daisy at MK. Tianna and Rapunzel are great for the princesses Gaston was hilarious but don’t know that a 2yo would get his humor.
In AK we enjoyed Pocahontas quite a bit. Have fun!!

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I do have to throw in that my oldest son was very excited to meet Mickey during his first trip to DLR at age 3. Excited about it right up until he saw him for the first time and then wouldn’t get within 20 feet of Mickey or any of the “big head” characters! Mickey was much smaller on TV and it freaked him out to see that Mickey was as big as Mom and Dad. He enjoyed waving at the characters from a safe distance and they always respected his shyness.

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My DS was the same on our first trip; he must have been about 2 or 3. The characters used to wander around freely then but he gave them a very wide berth, even his favourites. He was truly terrified when Rafiki approached him.

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I guess that is my message, don’t be surprised if you don’t get a “magical” interaction from the 2 year old. If you set the bar low for your expectations you have a greater chance of meeting or exceeding those expectations.

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I’m going to have to agree with the last few responses that for a 2 year old, I would hedge your bets. My son loved the characters at just under 1 year old, but by closer to 2 they were a big no-go. He loved talking about them and even waving from afar, but would definitely not “interact” with them in any meaningful way. You should see our Santa picture…

How about planning to see the parade and “wave” to all of the characters there? I think it would save you a lot of time and potential anxiety. And maybe grab a FP+ for Mickey and Minnie at AK just in case and then you won’t have waited a while if she wants to bail.

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Thank you all so much for the feedback. Characters are not usually at the forefront of my mind, and with this feedback, it sounds like I can keep it that way for this first trip with her. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t committing Disney blasphemy! It’s the first trip I’ve planned for a kid that wasn’t me when I was a kid!

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Story time! Ok so I have to share this experience my DD had in AK at age 2. I took my family to AK the day before Irma and the park was pretty much empty which was an experience in and of itself(Rode FOP twice without FPP and waited maybe 30 minutes). So my party included me, my wife, my 2 DD’s and my mother in law. My youngest DD was 2 and she didn’t get to do a lot of the rides we did, so my mother in law would skip rides and entertain her while we did the rides with height restrictions. While we were in line for FOP my MIL and DD were walking around discovery island. My DD wasn’t overly excited about characters. She wanted to meet Pluto(who she calls “Hotdog”) but other than that she wasn’t really into characters. According to my MIL, while they were walking around Discovery Island, my DD spotted Flik from a distance and started running towards him with her arms raised up to hug him. There was a long line of people waiting to interact with him but he saw her coming and stopped what he was doing to interact with her. We have never seen that movie and there is no way she knew who that character was but for some reason she absolutely loved him. I had to google his name for this post. We had memory maker so we got pictures of all of it. He got down on her level and hugged on her and she loved it. I am sorry I didn’t witness it myself but it is one of my favorite memories of her on the trip.

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That is absolutely adorable! I’m so glad that the CM saw her coming and was able to make that interaction happen. I think it’s one of the reasons we all love Disney!

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