I may not be remembering correctly, but I seem to recall that in Disneyland in the ’60’s and in the early years of WDW character meet & greets were much more informal and structured. Characters would pop up in different places and times and wander the paths of the parks. It was really magical; you never knew who you’d see when and where and when they did appear it was a wonderful surprise.
I can understand why Disney has moved to the more structured character appearances and interactions. But I have to admit that my last visit to WDW in 2017 with our 6, 8 and 10 year old great nieces who wanted to queue up, sometimes for an hour or more, to meet their favorite princesses left me nostalgic for the “simpler times”.
Yeah, I get it: “OK boomer!” But still, there’s something really special about coming around a corner and seeing a character strolling down the street, stopping and taking photos and giving hugs (can’t do that now, but maybe someday soon). I really made those moments exciting and magical.
I remember those times (and I’m a millenial) and they in fact (or did prepandemic) still happen occasionally. But with the way people of every generation behave it simply isn’t safe for that to happen often. Characters get mobbed and harassed, other guests get pushed out of the way, and if you’re a young woman who is a princess, forget it with all of the creepy guys trying to grope you. When you do see them wander, it’s typically side characters and less popular characters.
Its dangerous now…kids are rough and some are down right mean….as well ad the parents….sadly simpler times are a thing of the past….
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