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  1. #1

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    Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    The one time I visited Florida the tram spiels were, quite literally, a refreshingly short "here we go, hold on!"

    Here in the land of the hyper-litigious, however, I will do absolutely anything to avoid the half-hour of disclaimers, rules and provisos that bleat over the tram's intercoms (besides, walking is good for you).

    Given the extraordinary and absurd measures Disney goes to in order to accommodate the diminishing capacity of Southlanders' self-reliance, is it conceivable that the next measure taken in Disneyland to assuage the tyranny of the lowest common denominator might be to eliminate characters altogether to avoid further lawsuits?

    It has practically become a pastime among those who file lawsuits for a living: incite one's offspring to behave belligerently towards a character in costume, capture their reaction with a camera, and then call whichever shyster catches one's fancy via daytime television advertisements.

    The latest opportunist with dollar signs twinkling in his eyes is Manuel Carlos, who laughingly captured his daughters tugging on the arms of the White Rabbit and the character's reaction, fed the video to the network news and declared his intention to file suit. After all, who doesn't relish the chance to burnish their indignation and claim disenfranchisement?

    I know that what I propose as Disney's potential, eventual reaction is a nightmarish, worst-case scenario, but who that has followed the Park's history hasn't seen an unending trend of curbing the fun for the majority to compensate for irresponsible, criminal, asinine or downright sociopathic behavior?
    Zoe Necrosis
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  2. #2

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    This is an odd prediction/suggestion seeing as it appears Disney has overly invested in character meet-and-greets for the past 5 years.

    I also don't think "character" lawsuits are as common as you might think, generally the public is on Disney's side, and the cost to Disney (whatever that is: litigation, settlements etc.) is sure to be far from the benefit the company is reaping (considering Disney seems to be ramping up investments in character greet opportunities).
    Disneyland Wooooh!

    "You see- Everybody's got a laughin' place, trouble is most folks won't take the time to go look for it."

  3. #3

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    I think perhaps these recent incidents and subsequent lawsuits will reinforce Disney's desire to eliminate or greatly reduce the random, roaming character interactions. The meet and greets, while lacking in spontaneity and overall "magic" do present a more controlled and orderly environment for character interaction.

    I would also like to point out that for every frivolous lawsuit there is a desperate, low life attorney that takes the case on a contingency or very low retainer and hopes for a settlement from a deep pocket like Disney. The bottom feeding barrister in this case has obviously failed at ambulance chasing and has taken up costumed character chasing. I only hope the better trained Disney attorneys eat him for breakfast.

  4. #4

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    I do fear the days of roaming characters are numbered. The benefits of them are really starting to get harder to justify as much as it would pain me to see roaming characters disappear.

  5. #5

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    There have been moves toward making the meet & greets more controlled for a while. The characters can and have been hurt by guests, and it's probably a lot less likely to happen in one of the more organized M&Gs than it is with a CM who is roaming solo. Even the ones in Main Street make it harder for abuse of the characters to happen - if that White Rabbit had been next to the Opera House, for instance, one of the handler CMs would have stopped those girls from getting near him.

    If anything I'd expect to see perhaps more handlers around the characters in the future.

  6. #6

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    I'd like to see Disney prosecute to the fullest the nimrods who do extraneous activity towards the characters. All characters need to have handlers and those handlers can verify the actions and report to Disneyland security. Revoke the AP's of the entire family if they have AP's. Instantly kick them out of the parks and don't let them back for 5 years. The characters need to have some decorum as well and not retaliate back by yelling and grabbing or pushing.
    “No worries, stay calm, one question. 
Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”

  7. #7

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    I don't think we'll ever see characters go away. I do see them adding tons of cameras to meet and greets to discourage frivolous lawsuits.
    DisneyTwins
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  8. #8

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymike View Post
    I'd like to see Disney prosecute to the fullest the nimrods who do extraneous activity towards the characters. All characters need to have handlers and those handlers can verify the actions and report to Disneyland security. Revoke the AP's of the entire family if they have AP's. Instantly kick them out of the parks and don't let them back for 5 years. The characters need to have some decorum as well and not retaliate back by yelling and grabbing or pushing.
    ITA with all of this. Perhaps some of the handlers need to be Disneyland security so that they can act swiftly if the characters are assaulted. It's absolutely horrible that it needs to come to that though...these actors are out there in the heat trying to make people smile and laugh and trying to give guests "magical moments" and they have to worry about being assaulted or abused by the guests. There's something so very wrong about that.

  9. #9

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    Seeing how the Princess area is being built....yeah they're not going anywhere

  10. #10

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    Time to install "Character-Cam" in their heads... I wanna protect my Disney friends from roaming gangs of four-year-old marauders..
    "Ignore the Chihuahua behind the curtain."

  11. #11

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    No, they'll never go. The lowest common denominator of guest isn't as common at Disney as it is a Six Flags, Knott's or Cedar Point type of park. I like those parks but they have Charlie Brown characters around there all the time and a lower class of people go to those parks. So it'll stay in Disney.

  12. #12

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    Re: Next Thing To Go: Characters?

    Not sure when this whole incident went down...but I have witnessed certain characters (face and costumed) without proper backup from M&G cast members who help regulate the lines and behaviors.

    I'm sure walking on stage by yourself was no big deal...Disneyland [most of the time] has a sense of class but recently, I've seen that class slowly deterioate. I've honestly witnessed some digusting behaviors, and so have two of my friends whom overheard a father with teenagers to "cut in front of those people [my friends]" when they visited on Thursday. Mt personal experience? Some family of 16 let one of their children pee in line of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree in front of my girlfriend and I while allowing their children to run amok in line and act unacceptable.

    Now, back on topic, this is clearly a case of negligent parenting, immaturity, and a cast member who was only defending himself/herself but was unsure how to go about it.

    I do not want to see more problems such as this but I can't control people's behaviors. We will get rotten apples from time to time but should this situation possibly happen again, Disney should have a stronger reinforcement for their characters to prevent trouble as much as they possibly can...

    Just my two cents.

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