Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Top 10 Ways to have a great Character Interaction!

Character Interactions - Top 10 Tips!

So, you've arrived at Disney and one of the biggest Must Do's is to meet the characters. You're ready to go and all excited, but, how do you create the best experience? It's all good just walking up and having a photo, but if you do it right, you can have a really unforgettable experience. 
So, here are my top 10 tips for a really great character interaction!

10. Have an autograph book and pen ready before you meet them. 
Personal Photo - Meeting Baymax - Taken by Disney Photopass. 
This might seem like a pretty simple thing (especially if you're going with children) however it's a great keepsake. You don't have to buy the ones in the parks, you could make your own before you go, or take a sharpie and photo frame (if you're happy to carry it around) or even a scrap book. Have it ready before it's your turn - it makes the experience much smoother!

9. Be prepared to wait!
This is the inevitable part of most interactions. There will be a queue. Some will be short. Some will be long. Very long. If you're meeting Mickey or a Princess (especially Anna and Elsa) be prepared. Take something to do when you're in the queue, especially if you have children. If you have a phone, I recommend the 'Head's Up' game. It got us through many long queues on our last visit. You might also find that when you're at the front, the character needs to go away for a while. Don't get upset. They'll be back soon and hey, you're at the front now! Besides, when they come back they will be full of energy and ready for you.

8. If you're visiting with children (or adults) who are frightened, don't force them.
Same goes for rides. They just won't enjoy it and the whole thing will be awkward. If you have taken children and Mickey or Donald scares them, maybe ease them in with a Princess or a character they can talk with who is the expected size, as opposed to a 'fur character'. You can always build up to that later. 

7. Have some questions ready!
You should have time to think of some questions while your waiting. If you have kids, maybe talk to them about what they want to ask. 'Face Characters' like the princesses will be able to answer properly, so you can ask better questions. The 'Fur characters' will answer everything with mime, so maybe keep it a bit more simple. Here are some of my favourite face character questions:
Ask Elsa if Olaf gives warm hugs.
Ask Snow White if she likes apples.
Ask Alice how she might spend a golden afternoon.
Ask Rapunzel about her best day ever.

The characters can only refer to things in their Disney world, so Tiana doesn't know Thor, and he doesn't know her. So ask them things related to their movies as well as photos. I find talking about side-kicks also works too.

6. Relax!
This might seem like an easy one, being on holiday and all, but last time we went my sister (who is 20) totally froze up when meeting Tinkerbell and Eeyore. She was really star struck. She found herself just nodding in shock when she met them. The experience can be overwhelming, so, before you go in, take a few minutes to think about what you're going to say. 
Talking to my bear backpack with Snow White - Personal Photo - Taken by Disney Photopass

5. Wear something related to the character.
I'm not talking about a princess dress (we'll get onto that later). I mean something 'related'. I had a wonderful conversation with Alice about the flowers on my shirt and my sister talked to Rapunzel about her love of the colour purple. If you're meeting a princess, wear a tiara, be a princess too. It makes great conversation. If you're meeting a fur character, do you have something with their face on? Something they can reference? If you're meeting them that day, it's a good idea to wear it.

4. Come out of the real world.
Make sure you treat the characters properly. Are they royalty? Did you curtsy or bow? Talk to them about things that you wouldn't say in every day conversation. We told a character we were English and she asked if we we the king and queen. My partner said yes and the character ran with it. They talked for about ten minutes with us, treating us like royalty as well. It's a lot of fun to get caught up in role play and if you're an adult it means you can have a lot more fun if you can think on your feet. Talk to children about this before they go in and make sure they know they are meeting the real Aurora or Cinderella so they know how to behave.

3. Be polite.
This is simple. If you're rude then your time with the character won't be as good, if you get to see them at all. Most are escorted by guest services representative, so if they don't like how you're acting, they can take you away. The nicer you are, they better it will be.

2. Be photo ready!
Photos will be taken. Not all of them will be posed. So make sure you're ready for this, whether you shirt looks how you want or your hair is fixed, make sure you look how you want in the photo so when you look back it represents how you felt meeting the character. And be ready from the get go, if you're using a photo pass they'll start taking photos right away.

1. Dress as the character - or someone from their film!
Fun with Rapunzel - Personal Photo - Taken by Disney Photopass
If you have a child, dress them up. You don't have to buy the costumes from Disney shops (though the quality is usually better), you can get great costumes from all over, and if you're handy you can make your own. Adults can only dress up at Halloween (and some go all out!) but for the rest of the year, why not wear Disney inspired outfits? Dress as a modern day version of the character, do your hair and makeup, make some effort and then you'll really have something to talk about!

Do you have any character tips? If you do let me know and send me a photo! 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Top 10 For Women!

I think that Disney World is sometimes pushed more towards women than men and whilst it's easy to find things to do as a family you might not know some of the things that women could enjoy.
So, without further ado - here are my top 10 things at Walt Disney World, just for women :)

10. Shopping - Downtown Disney.
I'm not going to lie to you, shopping is on here more than once. But it's different places so that makes it okay. I swear. Downtown Disney has a lot of shops - and - over the next few years it's going to have even more. Sure, they have the world's biggest Disney store which is great for all your Disney needs (clothing, stuffed animals, homeware) but the area also features some amazing jewelry stores, high end boutiques, a cooking shop and my personal all year Christmas shop. I mean come on, if you need it you can buy it in Downtown Disney. If the Disney feel isn't for you, head over towards the West Side where you can find some slightly different things and Disney have recently confirmed Pandora will be in the area soon with new charms just for Disney. How great is that!?

9. Hotel Pools/Water Parks
Me with my favorite Duck in Chef Micky's.
So yes, you can sunbathe. It is the Sunshine State after all. There are sun loungers in abundance and most hotel stores and water park stores sell sun cream if you forgot it. Head to the bar, grab a cocktail and just do nothing. There's slides and entertainment to keep other people amused so you don't need to worry when you're relaxing.

8. Shows.
There's a few to choose from. The one I can't go without in Hollywood Studios is Beauty and The Beast. Why? It's like a mini Broadway production. You have the story, the songs, the costumes and a pretty big audience. They aren't quite the three hour spectaculars but they're pretty amazing and really get you geared up to sing along. The Little Mermaid is a close second in this park but the best of all is Festival of the Lion King over at Animal Kingdom park. If you're looking for something a bit less musical have a look at the Stunt Spectacular with Indiana Jones or for a bit of a mix there's always Philharmagic in the Magic Kingdom (though there are no live actors in this one.) Other shows include; Finding Nemo the musical, American Idol, Mo'Rockin, Off Kilter and La Nouba (extra cost) to name a few.

7. Characters
OK, so this is probably going to be in the list for just about anyone. The guys seem to like Pixar. The girls? Well, to be honest, it varied. Some girls loved meeting the Princesses. Some loved meeting classic characters like Micky and Eeyore. Some just like meeting anyone and everyone around. I can't like, it's a great experience meeting a character and I have my favorites just like everyone else. If you get the chance to, why not meet your favorite childhood character? It'll stay with you a while.

6. Pirates of The Caribbean.
There are a lot of rides in Disney that women enjoy. Splash Mountain, Soarin', Terror Tower. To be fair, nearly all the women asked enjoyed all the rides. So why has Pirates made the list? I got two words for you, Jack Sparrow. Yup. The anamatronics on this ride are first class, it's amazing. If you like Johnny Depp, you'll love this ride. You can hear him, you can see him and best yet, you are inches from him. I mean come on, how is that not something to enjoy!?

5.  Shopping - Epcot!
Tables and counter filled with perfume bottles at La Signature in the France Pavilion at Epcot
La Signature - Epcot (France) - Image from
I told you shopping would make a come back! Now this is something a bit different. You've been to the malls and the downtown area. You've shopped in the Magic Kingdom and maybe had a browse around MouseGears. It's all blown out of the water by the shopping on world showcase. You have 11 different counties to shop in. 11. How about some perfume from France? No? A Kimono in Japan? Glass from Italy? Mountain gear from Norway? Tea in the UK? Okay so the shops sell much more than the obvious items but there is some seriously amazing stuff here. I could spend forever in the China pavilion (the store is huge!) and I'm equally as bad in Germany and Italy. Especially in the evening. Grab a wine passport and walk around slowly as the sun goes down. It's a real treat.

4. Food, Glorious Food!
There are a lot of places to eat in Disney World. You want something themed? Head to Rainforest Cafe! Something fancy? Why not try Foultons? Characters? The Crystal Palace! There are plenty of places to eat and drink but again, Epcot tops the list. 11 different countries not only to shop in, but also to dine in. Treat yourself to some French pastries outside Les Halles and maybe wonder around with some chocolates and wines from Italy. It's probably the best food you'll get in WDW.

A woman lounges on the steps of a whirlpool spa with lit candles rimming the bath
Senses Spa - Saratoga Springs. Image from
3. Spas.
What could be more relaxing? Disney have a couple of spas on property and they have a huge range of treatments for prices you might be pleasantly surprised by. Everything from massages to mani-pedis, face masks and body wraps. Pop by The Grand Floridian or Saratoga Springs and make a booking. You are on holiday after all!

2.  Movie Night In.
Well, not so much in as out. Movies under the stars happen at most Disney resorts and if you ask your receptionist they'll tell you the time and place. Grab a jacket, some snacks and enjoy a classic Disney film under the night sky. It's so relaxing and peaceful and hey, if it's cold, most rooms (on and off property) have cable TV, so you could always move your night to your room and chill out there. Not everything has to involve going out for the day :)

1. Fireworks
Like the rides and characters, this is something that everyone really needs to experience. The best show for me will always be Wishes, especially with the view from the Tomorrow Land Terrace. It's beautiful, it's colorful and it's emotional. There's music from your childhood, bright lights in the sky and a view that's to die for. It doesn't matter who you're watching with, you will love it and you will remember it forever and ever. I promise.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Top 10 For Men!

Top 10 For Men!

First of all, let's look at the top 10 for men. Men can be reluctant to go to Walt Disney World, it might be too childish, or for girls or just not for them. So, here is the top 10 for men!

10. Meeting Pixar Characters
There are lots of characters to meet around Disney, but the one that comes out on top is the Toy Story characters. Whether it be saluting the green army men or posing with Buzz, big boys, especially those who grew up with Andy and the toys seem to love meeting these guys. 

9. Surfing Lessons in Typhoon Lagoon
This isn't something most people think about when booking a holiday to Disney World, however it is something that is available. It costs about $150 and you spend the morning in the water park with about 9 other people and two instructors. You start early at 6am and have an hour lesson before you hit the water. If you have park tickets you can then stay in the park until it opens and grab a good sunbed too!
My partner and I after our surfing lesson in 2011.

8. Themed Restaurants
 Ok, so a lot of restaurants in Disney are themed, but we're talking about those really, over the top ones. So the top two are TREX and Rainforest Cafe. The cool decorations and massive portions (of mainly meat) seem to be something guys are a fan of. You can find both of these restaurants at Downtown Disney (and on the Disney Dining Plan) as well a Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom park.

7.  Germany Pavilion
Quite a few places in EPCOT world showcase got a mention but this came out top, especially with guys over 21 who were able to get a beer (or two...) in the parks.  The stores are interesting too and the restaurant has an amazing atmosphere if you fancy a meal with your beers.

6. Space Mountain
This rides tops out at one of the best rides for guys in Disney World. It's a classic and one of the most famous rides. Also up there with the most mentions is Test Track, so space rides and car rides. About right.

5. Water Parks
The water parks are a firm favorite. With massive slides to play on and a relaxing, laid back atmosphere men have consistently voted Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach as one of the best ways to spend time.

Germany Pavilion -
4. Monster Inc Laugh Floor (MILF)
The acronym alone seems to amuse a lot of guys but the comedy and easy going atmosphere is popular with guys. The show is full of banter and random dancing, which is interactive and enjoyable regardless of age.

3.  Agent P's World Showcase Adventure
This one might come as a bit of a surprise to some people, however it's really popular with guys in their 20s, which you might not imagine. Once you know what your looking for you'll see young men everywhere with old fashioned mobile phones acting like James Bond. It takes up a fair portion of the day but guys seem to find it exciting looking for concealed treasures and fighting crime throughout the World Showcase. It's free to do and you can do one country or all of them.

2. Lights Motors Action
This one ranks quite highly. It's a car stunt show. Its has explosions. It has fire. Guys who like Top Gear will enjoy this show featuring motor bikes, cars and boats. Need I say more?

1. Disney Quest
Don't get me wrong, Disney Quest seems a bit outdated at times, however the classic arcade games are a massive favorite among men. To make it better there are 5 floors of these arcade games, and they're free. No coins necessary. Guy spend hours trying to hit high scores on the games that include race car games, fighting games, basket ball, skeeball, motorbike racers and some virtual reality games. It's all indoors in the Downtown Disney area and it has a few food options. Plus you can leave guys there and pop off shopping to the Disney Marketplace which earns it's number one spot.

Looking skyward at the futuristic structure of the Disney Quest building
Disney Quest - Image from

So, what are your top 10 for men? If you've been, did your number 1 make our cut? Let me know in the comments!