With all the Disney characters – both walking around in the parks and on the big screen – how can a person (especially a confessed Disney addict) narrow their favorites down to just 9? I’m not sure – but I knew I’d be hard-pressed to narrow my list down – so I needed to come up with an angle. Then, it hit me --- I’ll share our 9 Favorite Character ENCOUNTERS. So, here goes . . .
I’ve shared this picture of my brothers with Japanese Minnie several times. But, it’s one of my favorite pictures because (1) it was taken on our first trip to Walt Disney World in 1988, (2) my brothers were absolutely adorable back then (they’re still kinda cute, but don’t tell them I said that!), (3) Minnie is one of my all-time favorite characters because she’s so stinkin’ cute, and (4) Minnie no longer appears in this outfit in the Japan pavilion – so this is a classic. I wish Disney would bring back some of these old favorites!
On our first family trip in 1999, we ran into Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – all together in one place – when exiting the Judge’s Tent in Toontown Fair. Looking back, I wish I had thought to get a whole group picture, but we do have individual shots of Ashley with all 8 of them – and they are priceless!
When planning our trip to Disney for January 2009, on the very tippy top of Gracie’s list was to meet Silvermist – her favorite fairy. After standing in a very, very long line to meet the fairies, Gracie was just thrilled to see that Silvermist was there! And Silvermist took time to really interact with Gracie and make her feel special. It was a very touching experience.
Most people probably don’t find meeting Lightning and Mater very exciting. I mean, after all, there is absolutely NO interaction with these two, with the exception of the occasional revved engine. But, for a little boy who was beyond addicted to the original Cars movie, our 2-year-old Ian was ecstatic to finally meet these two (and we’ve stood in line to meet them on every visit since!)
Brian had a really interesting experience with the Queen of Hearts at Disney’s Art of Animation Studio. The rest of us saw it all playing out, but he was oblivious as he was doing something with one of the interactive screens. The Queen went up behind him and started rubbing his shoulders and he never even turned around (I guess he thought it was me). Boy, was he shocked when he realized who had been behind him the whole time! LOL
On our trip to Disney last May, Gracie wanted us to buy her a Duffy bear for her upcoming June birthday. We did, and she bought several outfits for him (this year she bought a few more). That bear has been very well-loved this year – so much so that when we returned this January, Ian wanted to spend some of his Disney gift card on a Duffy bear of his own. So, the kids were all excited when we saw Duffy at Epcot – and there was NO line to meet him! Hugs from the REAL Duffy were even better than the stuffed toys!
On our most recent trip to WDW, Ian was very content to have his sisters go before him to meet all of the characters. He’s been going through a bit of a “I’m faking I’m shy” stage. But, when he saw Princess Jasmine walking out to meet us (and our family was first in line), he quickly said “Hey, I’m going first this time!” No wonder! She’s a knock-out! And she was quite taken with him too!
On our trip a few years ago, we enjoyed dinner at 1900 Park Fare so much that the girls requested a redo on our last trip. We absolutely love the interaction with all of the characters here (Cinderella and Prince Charming) but the Stepmother and Step-sisters (Anastasia & Drizella) are top-notch. They are hilarious!
On this last visit, Ian had fallen asleep in the stroller right before supper, so he wasn’t the least bit interested in interacting with them, despite a very aggressive Drizella. She begged and begged him to come up and hug her but he wanted nothing to do with her. We were almost done eating when Cinderella finally made her rounds. I’m not sure if it was her persistence or her beauty that got him to approach her; but I absolutely love this picture!
Drizella, though, who by this time had been all the way around the restaurant and had visited with table after table of people, caught sight of this encounter between Ian and Cinderella. She came RUSHING over to him and said “IAN! Did I just see you having your photograph made with Cinderella?!” Guess she got the best of him, because he broke down and gave in! And she was much happier!
I was SO impressed that she remembered his name after meeting so many others. Just more Disney magic and unforgettable memories being made!
And, I would be remiss if I created a Top 9 Characters list and left out this guy: