Character dining worth it?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Imoutnumbered, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

    Oct 27, 2011
    I understand what OP is trying to do. The kids don't want the direct interaction, however they will be present (it's not like they aren't on the trip with mom&dad). They will have the "memory" of seeing the characters, seeing mom or dad meet the character and get the autograph for them. Meanwhile, the child stands back (next to the picture-taking parent) to watch and avoid direct interaction.

    My DD does not have an ASD diagnosis but has many similiarities. It's how their brains are wired, she just loves photo albums and discussing who/what/where/when about each picture, whether or not she was directly involved.

    Good luck to OP. Yes, adults may stand in line and get autographs and pictures taken with characters. If you point out your children, the characters will wave to them and not force them to participate. Enjoy your vacation!
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  3. Mom2six

    Mom2six DIS Veteran

    Feb 17, 2011
    Exactly. Just because the kids don't want to risk being touched by the characters, and feel somewhat overwhelmed by direct interaction, doesn't mean that the indirect interaction/observation isn't just as enjoyable for them. They may love the characters and love seeing how the characters interact with people - just not them. If they can be a part of the experience by being there, but not have the pressure/fear of having to go up to the character, they can have a fond memory of it. And enjoy reliving that memory. I understand completely because my son is sometimes the same way. He was afraid of the animals at the petting zoo part in AK...but he didn't want to leave, he just wanted to see away from them and watch.

    I didn't really like the character meals. They were loud and a bit stressful. You were always waiting for the characters to come over, and worried about leaving the table etc. The kids didn't eat. My son, 4, ended up LOVING characters. He adores them so much. (I was relieved and shocked). But, he didn't always want to see them at the restaurants. We took his stroller into all the restaurants and he stayed in it, so if he wanted to get out and interact he could. But he doesn't really eat, so that might not work for other kids.

    When we first got to WDW, we'd stand and watch the characters from the sideline (many are outdoors, so you can see the people waiting in the queue and the characters). Then as he watched them (and imitated them, as he likes to do), he got comfortable enough to go in line and meet them. Sometimes it took awhile...but as long as he was enjoying watching, that's what we did.

    I wouldn't bother with the meals. Find some characters outside and watch the interactions, then if the kids want to do it, great. Another spot to watch Mickey is at Hollywood Studios. You can see him from outside the line. You can also get fastpasses for Mickey at the Theater in Magic Kingdom.

    Good luck. Enjoy your trip, and I'm sure you'll be able to get them the autographs and pictures for the photo album. Maybe they would like some pictures of Mom and Dad with the characters!
  4. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

    Aug 26, 1999
    OK, now I understand, thank you. It will be more like "this is when Daddy met Snow White and got her autograph". I thought the OP was going to try to have the kids think they got the autographs.
  5. kirstenb1

    kirstenb1 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2010
    Totally agree!! Our younger dd has ASD and has always been afraid of the characters. When she was in preschool, her teacher wrote her a social story, about how she could just wave at them and move on. We don't do character meals with her. I lose my appetite when I'm anxious or scared, and I just don't want a meal to be a major stressor for her.
  6. Imoutnumbered

    Imoutnumbered Earning My Ears

    Oct 6, 2012

    Yes, thank you for understanding. I don't want to trick the kids, but have them involved as much as possible. Even if that means telling dad or I they want a autograph and we get it while they watch. It's still a memory and they don't have to get stressed making it.

    I think we are going to skip the meals, maybe try the princess one since it is not a masked character. I want everyone to enjoy this trip and of course if that means we won't get any photos, signatures or anything else, that's fine.

    Thanks for the understanding.
  7. Earstou

    Earstou <font color=336699>The Tag Fairy sends you pixie d

    Feb 18, 2003
    If you are going ahead with the princess meal, I would recommend you do it near the end of the trip. This way you have time for your kids to get used to the characters before the meal. Also, if they don't get used to them and react badly to the characters during your trip, you still have time to cancel the dinner.

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