I'm so bummed....my 5 yr old *knows* about the characters


DIS Veteran
Jan 4, 2001
The other day, while on the way to school my 5 yr old DS (will be 6 in May, going to WDW in June) out of the blue announced to me that he "knows about the charaters". "What do you mean, you KNOW about them?" I say. He says, "I know that it's just a real person wearing a costume." I paused for a minute, not quite sure what to say. Then, I just told him that it's still fun to meet them, and not to spoil it for his almost-3 yr old brother. Sigh, I really thought that he would still think that they were real! I just couldn't wait to see his face when he met Donald Duck at Breakfastosaurus - his absolute favorite character.

Now, I'm worried about what's next. Easter Bunny? Santa??????? :( I guess they all grow up someday.....

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Our Walt Disney World Trips

Me: 1974 - 1982 ~ Yearly Off - Site
DH: 1975 - 1992 ~ Yearly Fort Wilderness

Our first trip as a family:
June 15-22 2001 ~ Off-site HGVC
June 22-25 2001 ~ Caribbean Beach Resort
We are lucky that our 8 and 5 yo still believe in Disney characters (Chuck E. Cheese, Bugs Bunny, and the like ARE dressed up, only Disney characters are real), especially the face characters. My 8 yo mentioned something about them not talking last year, I gave some inane response that in the movies someone has to do the voice over since they don't really talk (she saw this on the Disney channel), and she accepted it.

She saw a face character in the park one day, I think it was Wendy. The next day we saw her at breakfast. My 8 yo claimed it wasn't the same person. Hmmmpf, I argued as vehemently, she sure looked the same to me. :(

My point here is that we can "explain" most of our children's doubts away, or if we feel it's gone on long enough we can enlist the older child's help in making the experience wonderful for the younger one, as you have. Bravo, now you have a co-conspirator, who probably can think of way better explanations than you can! LOL
My 6 yr-old DS knew all about the characters last August and tried very hard to explain to his little sister (4) that they were just people dressed up in costumes. My daughter was still scared of all the characters (except Pooh and friends and Donald) and my son couldn't get enough of meeting, greeting and picture taking with the characters. It made no difference to him - he sort of forgot they were real people. :rolleyes:
dd is 7 yo and the other day told me that the characters are just people in costumes. I just denied it. She's wise to it, but I told her that I still believe in Disney Magic. She's still very happy to go to WDW ~ she still thinks (KNOWS) that the face characters are real! Now, we worry and Santa and the Easter Bunny!

SandraC, visit our Disney family web site www.angelfire.com/on/disneyfun
1975 - off site (11 years old),
1977 - off site (13 years old),
1987 - Indian Rock Shores (23 years old with hubby, b/f at the time),
1990 - Holiday Inn International Drive/Daytona Beach (26 years old, with hubby, six month after wedding),
1998 - KIDS VILLAGE, GIVE KIDS THE WORLD, Make-a-Wish trip with 4.5 year old daughter born ill),
2001 APRIL - CBR - ON SITE FIRST TIME! YIPPY! With dd 7 years old, ds 15 mo

Our DS age 5 told me the same thing recently. I was so sad. I know they are growing up but I am not quite ready. Where have the last 5 years gone? Hopefully, DS will want to keep his secret and maintain the magic for younger DS age 3.
My 2 older children, ages 7 and 9 know that the characters are not real... However when they see them in person, they forget all about that and want to give hugs, etc... Its just the magic... We were at six flags last week and they had to go hug Tweety bird! Even though they know its just a person in a costume..

Now the Easter Bunny, Santa and the tooth fairy are another story!! :) They still believe in them.. You wouldnt believe the stories I have told my son about the tooth fairy!! lol.. I told him she is a pixie and she flies in the key hole at night... :D


I just returned from WDW with my 6 y/o, just turned, he knew that Winnie was in a costume prior to going there because he said the real Winnie is on TV. However when he saw Winnie, Tigger and Eeyore, his eyes lit up and he forgot all about the costume. It was the highlight of the trip. That is all he talked about the rest of the trip. I would not worry about it.

My oldest DD at 6 noticed at DL that Donald came back from a short break a little shorter. :rolleyes: Our last trip to WDW 9yo DD wasn't interested in characters much but 6yo DD loved meeting them. Before the trip they both talked about how they were just people dressed in costumes but when they are there you would never know these are the same skeptical kids. They also know Santa is not real but the closer to Xmas the more they believe. They are real in their imaginations and that's what really matters. :D


Offsite ? - 1976, Vistana - 1988
Vistana/Contemp - June 2000, OKW - Feb 2001
BWV - DIS Convention Nov 2001
Disneyland - 1998
DD who is 7 knows they're just persons in costumes and it doesn't effect the fun that she has. Other DD who is 3 also knows, but she's still petrified in most cases.

BTW, yesterday DD(7) made a comment to the person cutting my hair that she knew the tooth fairy was "just your mom or dad". And she hasn't even lost a tooth yet!!

Kids these days are smarter than you think, too smart sometimes !!!

:D :D :D ;)
My 6 year old knows, too, but that still didn't diminish the fun she had meeting them and getting their autographs. In fact, she says when she grows up, she wants to be a character at WDW :D

Have a Wonderful day, Eeyore
After our first trip, DD, then 5.5, was thrilled with the Princesses and characters. After our third trip, at age 6y4months, she said, "Mom, they're just people in costumes, like Halloween, ya know?" It made me a little sad, but she still loves meeting the characters, at 7.5! BTW, best explanation I've heard for the "why can't they talk" question is that the characters are just like Ariel- she had to give up her voice to become human, and so do the others!
The bad news is that my DD (7 years old) no longer believes that the 'real' princesses all live at WDW. The good news is that now that she knows they are actresses playing characters she has decided that this is what she will be when she grows up....a Disney princess character !!! :D
My husband knows that they aren't "real" either, but he always has a picture made with Winnie the Pooh.
I'm 35, and sometimes when I get caught up in the WDW excitment, I forget they are not real! I swear! Disney eyes are different than regular eyes, you know.

...It's such fun to enjoy this magic through our childrens eyes. Ahh...I remember those days. Children have such an innocent ever flowing trust and belief in what they see...then they start to "think about things" and childhood starts to wane. :(

...I don't recall trying to stop it from happening, but I do remember how sad I felt the day my son discovered Santa could never fly over roof tops in a sleigh and deliver presents to millions of kids all in one night. "That's impossible!" He said. My son was learning how to put 2 and 2 together and use logic. So proud of himself whenever he'd make these discoveries, while his Mother (me) would have this tug of war going on inside her that to this day still exist, (he's now 32).:rolleyes:

...They will always be our babies! ;)

"Tootles", uneamie,creator of:"Poetry Parlor", a romantic poetry reading room...come see!

when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, but if ya wanna discount ya better live in Florida!

[This message was edited by uneamie on 04-09-01 at 12:18 PM.]
My 5 yo also announced that the characters aren't real. He figured this out because they don't talk! But he knows that the Real Buzz & Woody live at DisneyWorld somewhere and they can't come out and greet the people all day because they are working!

We leave in 11 days for him to meet B&W for the first time. We'll see how "real" they are then!

BTW: He was the Easter Bunny at the mall and told me it was a guy in a costume. I asked why and he said he could see his eyes through the eye holes! LOL

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DxL'95,PO'99,ASMo'00, Riverside 2001</font></font></font>


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