Meeting the characters at the Disney Parks is a time honored tradition that even adult Guests can’t ignore. However, while most visitors are expecting a hug from Mickey and a selfie with Pluto, others might be rubbing elbows with notorious murderers and genocidal maniacs while they visit the happiest places on earth.
DisneyParks: A Safe Place to Meet Genocidal Maniacs pic.twitter.com/wiUEGZSMk1
— Gratuitous Disney Memes (@GratDisMemes) February 17, 2023
Pop culture has always favored iconic villains, largely due to their fictitious nature. Loki might be Asgard’s dreamy goth to some fans, but he did terrible things to get his seat of power. Likewise, fans adore characters like Doctor Facilier even though he mingles with the dark forces and kills off one of the main characters in The Princess and the Frog. So why do we continuously rush to meet them at the Disney Parks?
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Although @GratDisMemes tweet above is done entirely in jest, it does bring up a very interesting question. Any normal person wouldn’t want themselves or their kids associating, let alone photographed, with infamous criminals capable of such atrocities. So why are they still so popular amongst fans?
The simple answer is that it’s all protected by the art of fiction. Characters like Darth Vader, Captain Hook, and the recently introduced Kang the Conquerer are all part of the make-believe world created by the Disney Parks. Disney’s traditional heroes and good guys like Mickey Mouse, Chewbacca, and the various famous faces at Avengers Campus are larger than life, but it’s the villains who bring out their best when they give them their worst.
Another factor to consider is that villains tend to behave far differently from their heroic counterparts. Every little girl wants to meet their favorite princess, but Princess Aurora is not nearly as memorable as Maleficent. The heroes might sell the tickets, but the villains tend to be more interesting, engaging, and interactive. We’re looking at you, Gaston.
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Disney isn’t promoting evil characters, encouraging fans to murder their brother for the throne or conquer the galaxy, far from it. What they are doing, however, is giving Guests a chance to mix in mingle with more interesting personalities. As fun and memorable as a hug from Mickey will always be, it’s not nearly as entertaining as getting riffed on by Loki.
Do you like meeting the villains? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!