Thursday, April 17, 2014

Disney Character Encounters


Through out the Disney parks, the various characters come out to spend time meeting the guests and posing for photos.  Their time is limited and lines quickly form as folks are eager to get an autograph, a hug and a picture.  We had a couple of missed encounters, but there were so many available to Lyn that she was happy with what she did experience.  Some of the characters even pulled her out of the crowd for a hug which delighted her even more.

There were characters in cars who waved to the crowds.  Lyn waved back and called out to Goofy and Pinoccio.  I'm pretty sure she didn't know the names of Chip and Dale.  That's OK.  She liked waving to them.


She got hugs from many of the characters over the course of her three day adventure.  Pluto was sweet with her.  He's a big flirt!


Cruella was brusk with most visitors.  She would say things like "Hurry up, darling.  I don't have all day!"  She said nothing brusk to Lyn and patiently stood for a picture before rushing off to hunt for more puppies.  


She was much less gentle with me and I felt very anxious just trying to get a picture with her.  I loved it though.


The next day, Minnie gave her a hug before returning to the bakery to make more cheesecake.


She was also excited to see Tigger.


She was pulled out of the crowd to dance with Phineaus and Ferb.  It overwhelmed her and she froze.  Afterwards, she kept saying that my youngest would have loved that encounter.  She's right.


She was impressed with the height of Frozone.  Since she didn't know who he was, she was not interested in a hug.


She wasn't too sure about meeting Flick either but gamely posed for a picture.


Goofy appeared to conduct the music and water show at the Pier in California Adventure park.  When he was done, he bounded down from his stand and grabbed her for a hug, much to the consternation of his tender.  She was excited.


The character encounters were an important part of what made Lyn's trip to Disney so successful.  They were small moments, for the most part, but they delighted her.  She would get excited when she recognized one and loved that she could get a hug.

At one point in her trip, she wanted to see the Muppet movie experience.  So they went to that location in the park and quickly discovered the experience was no interactive and did not have characters to encounter.  The Muppet movies were played to screens.  Lyn was hot, tired and suddenly disillusioned.  This is not what she wanted at all.

Lyn spotted an employee named Chris and proceeded to ask him a number of questions, conveying her disappointment.  Mom could see a melt-down brewing and knew she needed to get Lyn to a spot where she could cool down physically as well as emotionally.  Chris asked them to wait just a moment.  He wanted to do something to try to make Lyn happier and less upset.

He took them into a gift shop where there was some air conditioning and hurried into the back.  He came out with a receipt book and asked Lyn to pick out an item that she liked.  The majority of the shop was filled with Muppet themed items and Lyn quickly spotted a shirt she liked.  Chris logged it into the shop's receipt book and the clerk bagged up Lyn's shirt.

Mom was stunned.  Chris was giving the shirt to Lyn free of charge because he wanted to make up for her disappointment.  To Mom, he had perceived that Lyn was having difficulty understanding the nature of the Muppet experience and wanted to help.  It was a kindness that was unexpected.  It worked.  Lyn was mollified and a melt-down was avoided.

If Chris should ever read this:  Thank you.  Your kindness and care for the park's guests is greatly appreciated.  I've read about some of what Disney employees have done to make customers happy.  Many of those stories touch me.  I never anticipated that we would find ourselves in such an experience.  

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