Saturday, July 24, 2010

Disney: July 11 - 13: Meeting the Stars

Alright.  Who do I complain to about the lack of pertinent information in the "What to do with Kids" literature?  Yes, I appreciate that all the ride height requirements were mentioned (poor Chi, we've discovered you are only 47 inches tall - just one inch shy of every major thrill ride), but there were things that were very necessary to know right at the gate.  So I've got a bit of a list in my head that has to be recorded for the next Disney adventure (when Ya is seven, I guess).

Treasure (aka Character) Hunting
  1. The map isn't to scale, nor are characters really located where the Mickey hand suggests they are... it's a guesstimate at best.
  2. Intermittedly is just that - - they may or may not have character in the Character Meeting Spot between the hours listed.  It works kind of like delivery and service people, ya know?
  3. If you have more than one child and more than one adult, split up.  If every adult stands on a different line, you get to the front of all of them at about the same time and shave of hours on your wait time.
  4. Get an autograph book.  The one sold at the park is about $7, but any large, unlined book works.  The characters can't see well (and none wear glasses) and most have huge hands.  A big ink pen (no markers allowed) and wide open space is ideal for signatures.
  5. Bring your best camera.  The photopass is great, but every picture they took, I took as well.  I saved a theoretical $150+ by not purchasing the collection of professional images and copyrights as a CD.  And most of the Disney folk will take a picture using your camera if you ask nice - - a big plus for the always missing in photos photographer.
  6. Make a list of must meets.  There are a lot more Disney characters than I remember there being.  Some I never liked.  Some I adored.  If I could remember every movie that ever was created and the animal/human classification of the characters in it, I'd have faired a lot better on the scavenger hunt that is the Character Meeting.
  7. If the attendant says the character is scheduled to arrive at 1:30, be there at 1:10 at the very latest... because the character is likely to take breaks every 10th person and that extends the wait in line.  Oh, and some characters are "switched out" after awhile for others... if you have to meet a particular character, get in line QUICK.  Lines "close" at unannounced time and it kills the kids to be turned away.
  8. Take advice if it's backed up by at least one other park goer... people have "sightings" and can send you on a wild goose [character] chase that never results in anything except a disgruntled PopPop and tired (or disappointed kids.  We never did find Ariel!
  9. Check the name tags for country of origin before you ask for directions... chances are that if it doesn't say USA, they've no idea where to send you.
  10. Have patience.  Most of the day is spent in line waiting for your grand introduction. Get a Fast Pass to the ride you have to try before getting in line for a character's autograph.  Chances are that after two character lines, the Fast Pass time will be quickly approaching.
Notes for next time, I assure you!

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