Disney parks’ “meet & greet” characters have evolved quite a bit since the parks first opened. Some have disappeared from the crowds entirely while others are only rarely seen.
Many are cartoonish, furry friends, but there are those who seem somewhat removed from their animated environment and a step closer to reality. Known as “face characters,” these enigmatic entertainers have the advantage of being able to converse with guests, making for a much more memorable experience.
Five of these famous faces are counted among my personal favorites. Either for nostalgic reasons, magical mirth, or that their villainous character coincides with the tastes of my dark heart these chosen few stand out from the . . . other faces in the crowd.
1. Alice in Wonderland
My parents reminded me of my childhood crush on Disney’s version of Lewis Carroll’s’s protagonist, Alice. It could be the golden blond hair, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wonderful Disney magic that all characters perform when greeting guests (but she talked to ME!?!).
2. Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter was not always a “face” character. Early versions of this eccentric “Alice in Wonderland” mad man featured and oversized head and much more cartoonish appearance. Though the 1971 Walt Disney World version resembled the Mad Hatter in Disney’s 13th animated film, today’s face character is much more entertaining now that he has a voice and interacts with guests.
The villain from Beauty and the Beast has been spotted in front of his tavern (new Fantasyland, Walt Disney World, FL). His self-absorbed humor and cocky demeanor has been absolutely amusing to observe.
4. Dr Facilier
With his friends “from the other side,” this voodoo villain casts his spell (along with several other Disney antagonists) around Halloween. He’s haunted Mickey’s Halloween party and has been known to manage his mischievous magic at Club Villain.
The Evil Queen may have been toned down a bit since her back story was revealed the recent live action movie, “Maleficent,” however her place among Disney’s classic villains has been well established since her first malevolent performance in the 1959 animated film “Sleeping Beauty.” Her presence in parks is prolific, from shows like “Fantasmic,” parades, and deliciously dark Halloween manifestations at Mickey’s Halloween party.
Of course these five famous favorite face characters are not the only ones to grace Disney parks, but they are the ones that have endeared themselves to my creepy cold heart.
Which face characters do you enjoy meeting most? Tell your tales in the comments below!