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  1. #16

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    I don't pay attention to them, so to me they do not ruin any magic.

  2. #17

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by choco choco View Post
    I also think these designated meet and greets make for bad photos. Princess photos would look so much better with the sunlight and smiling crowds and Fantasyland architecture behind it, rather than whatever sort of bland indoor wall with fluorescent lighting they'll eventually end up with.
    I think Disney realizes some truth behind this statement and is trying to rectify it by creating the Fantasy Faire. I don't understand why you're talking about fluorescent lighting when most of our meet and greets are done outdoors...with sunlight.

    I feel the meet and greet locations are kind of a necessary nuisance. So many people want to see the princesses because they idolize them. So many people want to see Mickey and his friends because they're icons and lovable characters. There is still a huge following for the characters who roam around, especially Alice and the Hatter, Peter Pan, Mary and Burt, the villains, etc.

    I still remember seeing those characters around and remembering how amazing they were. Like Cruella told me her coat was made out of my dog and if you listen to the sleeve carefully, you might still hear some barking. That being said, I still remember my meeting with Merida in Florida because she shouted for Angus and I embarrassed myself when I shot the arrow. It's really not hard to keep the magic in tact, regardless of where you meet them, but it does require some work on your own part now, which I realize can be a burden, I guess.

  3. #18

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    I think Disney realizes some truth behind this statement and is trying to rectify it by creating the Fantasy Faire. I don't understand why you're talking about fluorescent lighting when most of our meet and greets are done outdoors...with sunlight.
    The Princess Fantasy Faire meet and greets will be indoors. Here is Lutz's description of it:

    The main attraction of Princess Fantasy Faire will be the meet ní greet pavilion taking up the western half of the space where the patio tables are located now. The concept here is simple; the building will basically be a long narrow hall split into two passageways. Once you enter the lobby, themed as a palace reception hall with high ceilings, a Cast Member will split the line into smaller groups and send them into one of the two identical passageways. Each passageway will be set up with three greeting rooms where you will meet three separate Princesses before you exit out towards the gift shop.
    They have already built a version of this in Paris. Here are some pictures of the Meet and Greet rooms, pulled randomly from a google image search.



    And honestly, that looks really sad.

  4. #19

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by choco choco View Post
    The And honestly, that looks really sad.
    Especially if you compare it to the quiet charm that the Plaza Gardens had.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  5. #20

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    I think the meet and greets are good if that's what you're into. I'm not. But kids are. And as for characters randomly walking around the park, I still see it sometimes, but then they always seem to get swamped by kids and BAM! Now they're just randomly stuck in a three-foot tall crowd with no crowd control. Park guests don't know how to handle characters just walking around, so now they pretty much have to be organized into meet and greets. Also it sucks up people that could potentially be standing in front of me in a line.

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  6. #21

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by choco choco View Post
    They have already built a version of this in Paris. Here are some pictures of the Meet and Greet rooms, pulled randomly from a google image search.
    And honestly, that looks really sad.
    ...well. I'm still going to be optimistic about it. I think it's odd that they're building such wonderful buildings with ornate details on the outside and only having mural backdrops, but I can see that this is obviously more comfortable than standing outside for hours, especially in SoCal Summer weather. Not to say that I prefer it this way.

  7. #22

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    I'm pretty sure that the Fairy Tale Hall at Disney World's New Fantasyland will be similar to Disneyland Paris' as well.

  8. #23

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    That's a sad replacement for having Disneyland itself as the backdrop. And at the same time, Disneyland has lost very popular characters from its population (outside of the meet & greet areas). It's all such a waste and misuse of resources--deficient in synergy and atmosphere. These are huge tradeoffs being made for scheduling convenience.

  9. #24

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by clara View Post
    I was going to ask the origin of that photo. I think I read an article that someone dressed like Snow White couldn't be let into the park so she caused a raucous?
    I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the photo was taken from when the hotel staff was picketing on Harbor Blvd and blocking street traffic. You can see some of the picketers in back.

    The guest that was dressed that caused a ruckus was a guest dressed as Tinkerbell and it was a really good costume and could have easily been an official Tinkerbell so they did not let her in so as to not confuse the guest.

    And I agree with the comment about using that photo. It really isn't necessary.

  10. #25

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    ORDDU: I think what really spoils the magic, most, at any Disney theme park are the heavy crowds, rude guests, rude cast members, long lines, poor quality merchandise, over priced food items and drinks, bad weather and broken down attractions when they break down. The character meet and greet issues fade by comparison to all the other potential problems that can occur...

  11. #26

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitestrat View Post
    For me, I liked the random nature of how it used to be, you never new for sure if you were going to see the characters, and it added to the excitement and magic of the whole experience. The fact that it wasn't a given, definitely made it more special.

    Sadly this seems to be another example of the current Disney machine at work, pandering to guests (not in a good way imho) creating a homogenized and unified experience, while spoonfeeding the magic to guests.

    The "everyone gets everything all the same across the board" mentality, robs the Disneyland experience of another part of its charm and uniqueness.
    Ummm....no. First off, they've created a pretty good balance. Characters still wander around, there are just a few places that give you a guarantee. For people who don't go to the parks on a regular basis, who have small kids, this is quite considerate. It's hardly "spoonfeeding" or "pandering" from the machine. Like, really??! Kids bring their autograph books and it's nice to know they'll leave with at least a few additions. People are reading WAY too far into this. I mean, seriously...

  12. #27

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    I've never been to Disneyland or WDW, yet - March is coming! But my sister has been to WDW. She was a 15yo but did take the lines for meet and greet for countless characthers. She doesn't talk about them.

    The only one she talks about is Belle, the one she cared about and met at random when she was about to leave the park. It is a cute silly story. But it is a memory of her. She has no stories about Mickey, Minnie and all other characters though. I think DisneyMagic is about memories too.

    About me: I went crazy when she told me about Meet & Greet areas. I like Mickey, but I am not going to take a one-hour line to meet him. There is no magic on standing in a line. Even though my whole family is saying: "You have to stand in the line, you don't know when you'll be back to the parks and meet him again. Say hi to him." Sorry to say, no way.

  13. #28

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by clara View Post
    I was going to ask the origin of that photo. I think I read an article that someone dressed like Snow White couldn't be let into the park so she caused a raucous?
    not sure. but that photo is disturbing..

  14. #29

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by EricaLA View Post
    I've never been to Disneyland or WDW, yet - March is coming! But my sister has been to WDW. She was a 15yo but did take the lines for meet and greet for countless characthers. She doesn't talk about them.

    The only one she talks about is Belle, the one she cared about and met at random when she was about to leave the park. It is a cute silly story. But it is a memory of her. She has no stories about Mickey, Minnie and all other characters though. I think DisneyMagic is about memories too.

    About me: I went crazy when she told me about Meet & Greet areas. I like Mickey, but I am not going to take a one-hour line to meet him. There is no magic on standing in a line. Even though my whole family is saying: "You have to stand in the line, you don't know when you'll be back to the parks and meet him again. Say hi to him." Sorry to say, no way.

    I'm very confused about all of that. But I think you're under the impression that a character randomly walking around, as opposed to being in a pre-planned place won't draw a line? That's obviously not true.

  15. #30

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    Re: Character Meet & Greet Areas: Does This Destroy the Disney Magic?

    I've never understood the appeal of planned meet & greets. They seem so staged and insincere, so absent of the magic and the memorability that the spontaneous interactions bring. Those encounters seem real, spirited, and genuine. Those sightings of characters wandering around the park make them seem less like actors and actresses in costumes and more like actual characters that live and breathe inside the park's gates. It gives them a beautiful sense of life and believability that really doesn't exist in any pre-planned environment in Disneyland.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post
    That's a sad replacement for having Disneyland itself as the backdrop. And at the same time, Disneyland has lost very popular characters from its population (outside of the meet & greet areas). It's all such a waste and misuse of resources--deficient in synergy and atmosphere. These are huge tradeoffs being made for scheduling convenience.
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinrar View Post
    Lets see...no one is forced to go to meet and greets, characters still wander and occasionally bother you with their silly antics(Chip once took my pin lanyard because all my pins were of chip and dale lol) and other people are enjoying the meet and greets...so what is the problem?
    To answer this I turn to the post that Wiggins quoted (which was also the exact post that popped into my mind as I saw the thread's title!) and another from the same thread which addresses this question and really hits home on the consquences of these staged meet & greets:

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Meet & Greets are popular because the guests have NO choice now. This isn't the past where meeting a character was completely random and part of the magic. Now it's completely scripted into your schedule with no guarantee of them being open later; thus guests grudgingly wait in those lines to get that "memory". But there is no real memory anymore, just a photograph. When I look at my old photos with characters, I still remember the story that went with it. "Oh that's when Big Bad Wolf came up from behind and stole our slushee and pretended to eat it! Remember that?" Now the magic is manufactured. "Remember when you met 'Tangled'?" "Yes, we waited an hour and a half and the thief guy left right before we got to the front." They don't even know their names... just the brand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    There's lines for these meet & greets. But in the past, there were no meet & greet! It was a random fun thing that you couldn't predict. Oh you met Big Bad Wolf? Last time we met Scrooge McDuck (possible if you're NOT in Disneyland). This kind of chance thing made the Disney experience more fun and random.

    Yes, I hear the argument. There are long lines so they must love it right?. But do they really? Who is it for -- The kids? Does this really make the family happy? I'd argue that it doesn't. They do it because they have to.

    I'm pretty sure if there was no "meet & greet" the family would be out DOING something and maybe BUYING something and making REAL experiences and memories happen. Not this forced fake "magic".

    Okay yes, I hear the other argument. They got a lot of complaints from people because they didn't get to meet X, Y, and Z. Well... tough. They just have to come back another time to get that memory won't they? And spend another fortune doing so!
    A consequence of staged areas is that families feel obligated to participate in these M&G's because it's a guarantee of seeing these characters, and if their child really wants to see a fairy or a princess, they can't pass up the opportunity for the fear of not having an adequate reason for disappointing their child. So they wait in an hour long line for a few fleeting moments of interaction that are often easily forgotten and they do so because they feel obligated to provide the opportunity for their child, turning Disneyland into a place that is not that so much enjoyed parents and children alike, but is tolerated by the parents because their kids like it and they want to see them happy.

    Whereas with spontaneous character interactions, the pressure isn't on the parents to wait in an hour line for this staged "magic" and feel guilty if they don't do so. True, there are no guarantees that they will encounter their favorite character, but the lack of certainty and the surprise of spotting a character randomly in the park makes the entire experience of seeing said character more exhilarating, more memorable, and more magical.
    Last edited by gatheringrosebuds; 01-04-2013 at 05:11 PM.

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