Mom With Kids After Run
  • On Jan 8, 2010
    Paige from NC Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hello to all. We are heading to Disney World the week of 4/25/10. My questions is this... my youngest son (age 4) has never been and I would like to prepare him for all of the "large" Disney characters. Any ideas how? Thanks.

    Hi Paige!

    How exciting to take your son on his 1st trip! Be sure to stop by Guest Relations located near the front entrance of every park & get a "1st Visit" button. Later mark the date & his age on it with a Sharpe - a cool free souvenEAR. I also mark the Guide Maps to the parks with the date & kids' ages & highlight what we do on each trip.

    The characters can be much larger in real life & very intimidating for some kids. Watch shows featuring the characters & talk to your son about how big Mickey & the other characters will be when you see them in person. Be very enthusiast & say "Did you know that Mickey is this big (use yourself as a model) in person? He's not small like he looks on TV. Won't it be super cool that Mickey is big enough to get you a big hug?" Stress how much fun it will be to meet them. If you have any pictures of yourself with any characters, pull them out as a reference so he can see the comparison. If not, there are pictures of people & characters all over the internet.

    Once you're in the parks, let him look at characters from a distance so you can see his reaction before you try getting up close & personal. If he has a favorite character, start with that one as he may be more excited to see them. Sometimes the face characters (i.e., Peter Pan) are less scary than the fur characters (i.e., Mickey). Let him make the decision to get close or not. If his first reaction is to back away - go with that. You don't want him to be traumatized & never want to get close. 

    If things aren't going well, you can try again later in your trip after he warms up to the idea.  If he doesn't - you can try again next trip when he's older. We've been going to Disney since before my boys were one.  It went it cycles - some years they loved the characters & the next year were scared to pieces. Follow your son's lead & watch the magic from his eyes. 

    Have an incredible trip!
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Meet the Panelist: Allison, Georgia

I'm a Disney-fanatic! I made my first trip to Disney World the year it opened and have grown up crazy for all things Disney. As the Mom of a son with Cerebral Palsy, I love providing recommendations for families traveling with a special needs member. Learn More About Allison

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