The last time we came to Disney, I was not one bit interested in meeting up with any characters and getting our pictures taken. After all, it seemed a bit like a waste of time. Why stop to wait in a line for a person in a suit, when I could be riding a ride. I’m sure plenty of people think like this and maybe they can’t be swayed. Yet, this trip has changed my perspective. I’ve been shown the light. Meeting the characters can, and may very well be, more magical than the rides themselves.
The important thing to remember is that you aren’t meeting a person in a suit. I mean, you are, but that is much too simple a way to put it. These folks play the characters. You don’t just walk up, pose, snap and move on. There’s a feeling to it. The characters play to you and that’s what’s really key to keep in mind. You are meeting a character. They play the role and they do it a little bit differently with everyone so each person feels special. The movements bring the character to life and you have this overwhelming sense, for just a moment, that you really are meeting this character.
Disney characters are split into two group, Fur and Face. As you might guess, Fur costumes are any that involve a head being put over yours. This means that Pinocchio would also be considered Fur. Face means that the guests can see your face. You always wear a wig, even if you have the best Cinderella hair that ever did Cinderella. The Fur characters have special movements that are all choreographed, partially for our amusement, but partially so that they can see you. Most characters can only see out of their mouth, which means they have to make big movements in order to see who they are talking to or what they are grabbing.
Theses movements are also unique to each character. Pluto moves like a super peppy dog who is crazy excited to see you and he acts like a dog very often. Mickey, on the other hand, has slow calculated movements, which make him seem calmer and more regal. That’s the really special part. You can tell the characters are different by more than just their costumes. It’s in how they move and interact with you as well. A child will feel different meeting Goofy than they’ll feel meeting Rafiki.
In my other blog posts, I’ve also mentioned how much I love the way that the fur characters sign the autograph books. In order to see what they are writing, they put it to their eyes atop their noses and sign the name of the character. It is absolutely adorable and keeps the character fun for the entire time you are interacting with them.
This all comes to make the point that the characters are special. They’re sacred. You’ll never see two Winnie the Poohs in the same spot. In our minds, there is only one. Their interactions with children are tear inducing but they also know how to make a group of grown ups feel young again and they all do the best they can to make every moment you spend with them, fleeting as they be, truly special.
Here’s the deal, if you are like me, and strayed from the characters for the fact that you thought them silly or just for kids, I urge you, I BEG you, to give it a shot. These talented actors will change the way you perceive the idea of a costumed character and I guarantee your day will be that much more magical.
I want to add a side note that while we are taking the day off, I will not get to watch the 60th anniversary Disney Special, but I will make sure to write about it the first chance I get. In the meantime, no spoilers!
We’re off to Epcot tomorrow to learn all about the world. Also, my Mom apparently thinks that all of the park is “Inside that big ball.” So I’m excited for her reaction to the truth.