Children just love this part of the Disney Park experience! Although you can’t get them to wait 5 minutes for anything else, they’ll gleefully wait 2 hours to hug Belle or pose with Pooh. Too precious!
But even we adults have been known to covet the Character Meet-and-Greet experience. Are we really waiting in line for our children, or for ourselves? We’ll keep the answer to that question to ourselves, shall we?
So in the spirit of wishful thinking, I give you my Top Five characters that should have their own Meet-and-Greet opportunity at Walt Disney World:
Hello No. 5: Princess Kidagakash “Kida” Nedakh
Atlantis is one of my all-time favorite Disney animated films. But its main character, Princess Kida, just hasn’t gotten her royal due. She is a real princess, but isn’t considered one of the official Disney Princesses. What a rip! Adding her to the line-up would also extend the ethnic diversity of the face characters in the Parks.
And any of you guys who love to pose with Jasmine know why I want Kida there too! There, I said it.
Hello No. 4: Basil, the Great Mouse Detective
Another great, but perhaps under appreciated, Disney animated film is The Great Mouse Detective. As a lover of all-things Sherlock Holmes I’d just ‘geek out’ for the opportunity to pose with my favorite sleuth! And if Professor Ratigan should show up too, well, that would be a bonus. And adding never-before utilized characters to the Meet-and-Greet system would freshen things up a bit, don’t you think?
I’d follow them. They’d follow me. We’d be like each other’s shadow for a while.
Hello No. 3: Emperor Kuzco
Boom baby! This one is just a no-brainer. I mean, it’s all about the Emperor anyway, right? So why is Disney the only one who doesn’t get it? Just how natural Kuzco would be for the Mexican pavilion in EPCOT is beyond discussion. It’s a perfect fit!
He could be obnoxious, sarcastic, and a laugh-riot! And it wouldn’t hurt if everyone were encouraged to break out into a little bit of River Dance either. Getting into the Emperor’s new groove would be too much fun!
Hello No. 2: Humphrey the Bear and Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore
First you pick it up (bump bump) then you put it in the bag (bump bump) then you pose with Humphrey and Woodlore (bump bump). Humphrey the bear is another under utilized character from the Disney pantheon. He has a cameo presence at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, but even there, it’s hard to find good merchandise featuring him.
Obviously, having Humphrey and Woodlore appear at DWL would be genius positioning, but it hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge. But seeing them in Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be a perfect fit as well. Just imagine Woodlore leading us all in song as Humphrey dances and encourages us to pick up the trash. I’m so there!
Hello No. 1: Princes
I’ve asked it before but I’m going to ask it again: Why aren’t there any Prince meet-and-greets?
The latest ousting of Flynn from Fantasyland is just another example of cost cutting overriding the guest experience. After all, what Princess doesn’t want to pose with her Prince Charming? It would just make sense to have a Prince pose op positioned close to the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique, but then, I’m not a marketing genius. But it seems like a good idea!
Also, it’s not like they’d have to do a big casting call. Every parade features a Prince on the arm of the corresponding Princess. It would just be a matter of having them show up for a few extra hours in the day at the Meet-and-Greet location.
So we come to the end of another Top Five list. Did I miss your favorite character? If so, be sure to list them in the comments section. And who knows? Maybe Disney will consider giving them a two week contract!