Mom And Son On Run
  • On Mar 29, 2010
    Kelly from PA 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.

    Heading to WDW on April 18. I thought my 5 year old was getting over her fear of costumed characters, but today we ran into the Phillie Phanatic at a children's museum and she was extremely scared and upset. What can I do or say to get her ready for WDW?

    Hi Kelly,

    It can be VERY traumatic for little ones to see their favorite characters transform from the cute, little cartoons on TV or soft, cuddly stuffed animals to full sized, walking creatures with oversize heads!  Every child is different, and they get over that fear at their own pace.  I know in my own family, my boys never had an issue with the Easter Bunny or any Disney character, but my little girl wanted nothing to do with them - you just never know how a child will react.

    I will say, that it's possible to keep your distance from characters.  They are usually only found in select locations, and you have to stand in line to meet them.  The locations and times will be listed in the daily park schedule, so be sure to grab one of those before entering the park.  As long as your child is okay seeing them from a distance, you should be okay.

    Also, character dining.  You may want to stay away from dining at restaurants featuring characters, although this is how my daughter did finally warm up to them.  If you tell a character your daughter is a little nervous, they will interact with you and your husband first and then TRY to warm up to your child.  In my experience, they are good at backing off when they see that they're not going to win your child over.  I think it took about 4 character dining meals before my daughter finally warmed up to Pluto, now she jumps for joy whenever she sees a character!

    If she loves princesses, you may want to try dining at Akershus in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot or Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom.  You won't find any large, furry creatures there, just Disney Royalty.

    Hope this helps.  Have a magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Diane, Georgia

After spending 25 years in RI, my husband and I relocated to GA with our youngest, who is now in high school. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 11 and I have traveled many times since then with all different party sizes. From creating our first itinerary as a honeymooner to later creating magical experiences for our multigenerational family gatherings, every aspect of planning a vacation has been pure joy to me.  Learn More About Diane

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