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  1. #31

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

    Quote Originally Posted by DARTH MAUL View Post
    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.
    A character randomly walking around probably will draw a line, at least a crowd. But I prefer the idea: "I am going to meet THAT character by chance?" It does not happen with Meet & Greet Areas.

  2. #32

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

    Let's also not forget that there are currently only three of these areas, not including character's houses, which makes thematic sense. Pooh Corner, Pixie Hollow and the Princess area. All other sections, I'd consider pretty random based on the characters that show up there.

  3. #33

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

    Darth you forgot about Repnzel she has her own spot to by Pinocchio's restaunt and his ride.

  4. #34

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

    Right now the park has a mix of both M&G styles, spontaneous and fixed, and that should please everyone.

    I don't think it takes away from the magic at all. For many kids (and adults) meeting the characters is a highlight of their Disney experience...and maybe you don't want to have to stake out Main Street all day to see if Pluto or Donald show up. Maybe it's nicer to know where and when to call on them.

    The Mickey and Minnie houses in Toontown are attractions in themselves with their elaborate theming, and Pixie Hollow is beautiful, especially after dark. The Toontown houses in particular work well IMHO: Toontown is where the 'toons live so it's only natural that Mickey has a house there; you're stopping in to say hello, as you might say hello to a neighbor in your own neighborhood.

    And even the fixed locations do often have some spontaneity: at the Thunder Ranch M&Gs, for instance, you never really know who's going to turn up. Last spring I ran into Clara Cluck and Horace Horsecollar there...no warning, they just turned up and it was a happy surprise.

    If you really feel that the fixed locations don't work for you or your family you can always see who is going to pop up in Main Street/Fantasyland/Tomorrowland.

    I remember that when I was a kid, the M&Gs were a lot more disorganized. When you tried to meet a character people would push and shove and swarm them. Having everyone stand in an orderly line seems safer for both character and guest.
    Last edited by Malina; 01-04-2013 at 08:05 PM.

  5. #35

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

    Here is the original posted photo:

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  6. #36

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

    I like a nice mix of those. I think it's fine to have some characters, like Princesses in designated areas, but I think it's fun to have some characters walk around. I think having a nice mix is fine. For example, I think Enchanted Tales with Belle is a great idea, and I'd love to see experiences with characters like the Wonderland crew, Indiana Jones, and other princesses, but some characters are meant to walk around.
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  7. #37

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

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    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.



    Agreed!



    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:





    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.
    So people are "forced" because the convenience of M&Gs are just too tempting? Or are we defending the poor folks in line who thoroughly enjoy these things? Like I said before, characters still run around the park for those that want spontaneous interactions. Disney really can't be blamed for merely putting options out there. Its the guest's responsibility to decide whether or not they partake and why. And the claim that all those people in line really don't want to be there is pure speculation.

    I think many here simply don't like the idea behind these Meet and Greets(which is a fine and valid opinion I share with you). But to argue that they affect you and your "random magic" or that those in line are actually unknowingly suffering and they need saving? I just don't see it. What I do see is Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow white, Fairy God Mother, Alice, Mad Hatter, Geppetto, Pinnochio, Jack and Sally, Big Bad Wolf, Bert, Mary, Jasmine, Aladin, Peter Pan, Cruella, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and many more scattered around the park.
    In the quest for quality, I have no problem with the characters footing the bill.

  8. #38

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Hook View Post
    I don't think it ruins the magic infact you still get random characters poping out ever so other like. Pinocchio,Fairy Godmother,Brer Fox & Bear, Mary Poppins,Capt. Hook and others like them. They don't have a area you you can see them like you do with Mickey, Tinkerbell or Snow White or Pooh. To me I think it's easyer to see who you want if they are in a location. Also you still can get characters in front of the gates when you walk in to Main St. like the Princess or Pluto or sometimes Queen of Hearts so you still have random characters poping around out of know where.
    We should all listen to Capt Hook, it doesn't ruin it for him. People spend their day at Disneyland for many different reasons!
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  9. #39

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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.
    BINGO. It kills the magic.

    As such, Disney management should definitely be placed under arrest.

    Plus, they destroyed Carnation Gardens and turned it into one of these lame Meet & Greet locations. That deserves tarring and feathering.

    Bring back the Carnation Gardens, bring back the big band jazz, bring back the dancing and good times.

    I never needed no damned Meet & Greet when I was a kid. Characters either appeared or didn't. You got your picture taken with them or you didn't. They were real.

    These Meet & Greets, those are just fake actors pretending to be Disney characters. Back in the day, the REAL characters showed up.

  10. #40

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinrar View Post
    So people are "forced" because the convenience of M&Gs are just too tempting? Or are we defending the poor folks in line who thoroughly enjoy these things? Like I said before, characters still run around the park for those that want spontaneous interactions. Disney really can't be blamed for merely putting options out there. Its the guest's responsibility to decide whether or not they partake and why. And the claim that all those people in line really don't want to be there is pure speculation.

    I think many here simply don't like the idea behind these Meet and Greets(which is a fine and valid opinion I share with you). But to argue that they affect you and your "random magic" or that those in line are actually unknowingly suffering and they need saving? I just don't see it. What I do see is Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow white, Fairy God Mother, Alice, Mad Hatter, Geppetto, Pinnochio, Jack and Sally, Big Bad Wolf, Bert, Mary, Jasmine, Aladin, Peter Pan, Cruella, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and many more scattered around the park.
    I didn't say all participants in meet & greets don't want to be there or are going to have a completely miserable time or are "unknowingly suffering"-- I was saying that the pressure to participate in them is often one of the negative consequences of meet & greet areas, not necessarily applicable in all cases, but certainly one of the problems entailed with these staged interactions.

    And yes, there are still characters that randomly wander around the parks spreading their magic and creating memories with many Guests. I don't think any of us who are arguing against organized meet & greets are trying to claim that these spontaneous encounters no longer exist, rather, that we feel that they are the truly magical ones that remain loyal to the spirit and essence of Disneyland.
    Last edited by gatheringrosebuds; 01-05-2013 at 01:24 AM.

  11. #41

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

    At disneyland Characters still do wander but its important they have a character guide with them. Unfortunately the crowds are so much larger now its a safety measure to have them in one place. they are also able to see more people in a meet/greet setting like Pixie hollow and Mickeys House. Disneyworld workers safety is magnified . If they can do it in air conditioning setting all the better. I dont think the disney magic is ruined you certainly see a kid or adult eyes light up when they see the characters and have time to interact with them no matter where the character is.


  12. #42

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

    Great thread. I love characters and meeting them, but I do remember them as they randomly interacted with you. Now my kids, well they wait to see a character and still get to MEET their hero. I DO LOVE ALICE AND THE MAD HATTER for the reason of random. They still roam the parks freely often with Wendy and Peter. This gives for some pretty funny time to interact. I can only say that when they roam you have to go FIND them. Hunt for CMs, ask if they have seen them, where they might be and go LOOK for them. My daughter LOVES Alice and has had plenty of one on one time with her but it makes for a a long hunt. So No, I dont mind the character meet and greets. They are there to protect the princesses and help the characters from being trampled. Ill wait in a line to visit the characters any day.
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  13. #43

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

    I saw stormtroopers wandering around Tomorrowland frequently last year.

  14. #44

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

    I can't remember a trip in recent history where I haven't unexpectedly run into a character. Especially on Main Street

  15. #45

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lighttragic View Post
    At disneyland Characters still do wander but its important they have a character guide with them. Unfortunately the crowds are so much larger now its a safety measure to have them in one place. they are also able to see more people in a meet/greet setting like Pixie hollow and Mickeys House. Disneyworld workers safety is magnified . If they can do it in air conditioning setting all the better.
    The safety of the actors has to be paramount - there have been too many incidents in the past of people crowding or even assaulting the characters at Disney and other parks. Those character escorts and a controlled environment make it safer for all.

    You know, that's a great point about the air conditioning, too. Those costumes are hot, and being in a climate controlled environment is probably a lot easier on the performers.

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