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We Need to Talk About Character Meet-and-Greet Etiquette

Walt Disney World Resort is known as the Most Magical Place on Earth, and it takes a lot of moving parts to create that one-of-a-kind Disney magic.

Some of those moving parts are more visible than others, such as the character performers. Sometimes the magic is so convincing, Guests can forget actors and actresses are portraying that face characters.

Ariel meet and greet

Credit: Disney

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Whether visiting Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or EPCOT, character meet-and-greets can be found at each theme park. The same goes for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

When it comes to Disney character meet-and-greets, there are no rules or warnings given to Guests before the Disney experience begins (as opposed to the notices given before shows or attractions). As a result, Guests can say or do nearly anything under the guise of not knowing the theme park rules beforehand.

Mandalorian meet and greet

Credit: Disney

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That being said, each performer has a character attendant or a Cast Member accompanying them who can act as an advocate without breaking the magic. It goes without saying that the performer cannot put an end to inappropriate behavior without breaking character, which is not allowed.

If the Cast Member notices the performer’s signal or inappropriate behavior on the Guest’s part, they can put a stop to it, move the interaction along, or cut it short then and there. One recent exchange called for the character attendant to step in…but the fans watching the video are mainly on the Guest’s side, and many call the Cast Member a “Karen” for doing her job.

@thecelyvazquez

thats crazy

♬ original sound – Celybird

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In this video, a Star Wars fan pressures the Kylo Ren face character for a kiss on the cheek, despite the Star Wars character audibly and openly saying “No.” Still, the Guest persists and asks again. The video cuts off right as she faces the Kylo Ren character attendant, who is repeatedly saying “No” as well.

Concerning Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, preserving the magic is of utmost importance. But unfortunately, we at Disney Dining will have to go behind the curtain for this friendly reminder: each face character Guests interact with is a person behind the mask, wig, and makeup, doing their job to make the Guests’ day better. It’s essential to treat each actor and actress like another employee performing a service for you.

That is to say, asking someone for a kiss while they are working is wholly inappropriate at best and harassment at worst. So please, no more asking Disney characters creepy, weird, or uncomfortable questions during meet-and-greets.

Mickey Mouse

Credit: Disney

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In times like these, it never hurts to ask yourself, “What would Mickey Mouse do?” Although we can’t speak for that lovable mouse, we can undoubtedly assume he’d do the kindest thing possible in each situation.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.