Disney Meet and Greets Are For Adults Too!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Mouse Greets Guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Credit: Disney

Along with giving guests the opportunity for some incredible theme park experiences like the World of Avatar, the EPCOT world showcase, and many more, the Disney Parks are also places where fans of all ages can mix and mingle with their favorite animated characters. From pirates and princesses to Mickey and all his friends, places like Walt Disney World and Disneyland give their visitors a special kind of magic by bringing their favorite characters to life.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Notice how the key phrase in this concept is “fans of all ages.” Disney doesn’t have an age limit, nor was it ever meant to. Walt Disney himself often claimed that his Parks and films were for the young and the young at heart, something both kids and parents could enjoy simultaneously. To say that it’s just for one group or just another unfairly goes against the man’s original design. Especially when it comes to the characters.

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A recent article was published on DisneyFanatic that stated that“grown men” who visit the characters at the Disney Parks come off as “just plain weird, and kinda creepy.” However, while this idea definitely comes with a certain stigma, a better argument can be made that it’s much more strange to go to Disney Parks and not have a character interaction. We’re not saying that all adults need to go running to the nearest princess, but meeting Disney’s cast of characters isn’t just encouraged, it’s inevitable.

chip and dale aulani
Credit: Disney

While most have their own venues and Meet and Greet areas, some just outright pop up. Chip and Dale seemed outright to follow this writer on his most recent trip, and their presence gives the Parks life. The characters serve as a huge reminder that Guests have left their realities behind and entered a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. As demonstrated by the aftermath of the 2020 pandemic, a Disney Park without the presence of Mickey and all his friends takes away a huge element of the Disney experience. There’s something equally sad and eerie about an empty honey tree devoid of Pooh and Tigger beneath it.

The article goes own to list reasons adult men should and shouldn’t visit the characters, mainly referencing the princesses as a prime example. While that can certainly come off as off-putting, how is it any different from the legions of fan girls that throw themselves at Gaston, Captain Jack, and Peter Pan? In some cultures, that’s what’s called a double standard, and one standard is enough for everybody. Even with the face-characters out of the picture, is it so wrong to visit characters like Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and all the rest? Why shouldn’t adults who have grown up with these famous faces want some time with them, even if it’s just for a hug and a selfie?

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on their Festival of Fantasy — Disney Parade — float
Credit: Disney

At this point, it’s practically a tradition to get a hug from Mickey any time a Guest visits the Parks. Visiting Mickey while visiting the Magic Kingdom is as traditional as apple pie and Sunday dinners, and there’s definitely no age limit on love for the mouse. Adults can list off reason after reason why they won’t go to the princesses are other characters, but it’s almost impossible to say Mickey’s cheery smile doesn’t have a lasting effect. To take a quote from Saving Mr. Banks, the mouse is family.

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Walt Disney intended his Parks and films to be enjoyed by both kids and adults. Having that core Disney experience as an adult has been a sort of inner child healing for many Guests, and the characters definitely play a large role in that. The idea that adults need a reason other than just to get the full Disney vibe has been created by harmful stigmas and stereotypes. No matter what age, gender, or whatever Guests are, there’s always going to be love for the characters that bring the Parks to life.

Do you enjoy visiting the characters as an adult? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!



in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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