Disney Park To Do Away With Roaming Characters After Crowds Swarm Galaxy’s Edge

in Disneyland Resort, Star Wars

Boba Fett and Fennec at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

In the age old debate of Disneyland versus Walt Disney World, it often comes down to a couple of things: Walt Disney World is physically the larger park, with four individual parks and two water parks for guests to enjoy whereas Disneyland is the only park Walt himself worked on and often provides more unique and exclusive experiences for guests.

Another major sticking point for Disney fans is that Disneyland still offers roaming characters, or characters that can be found throughout the park, making interactions all the more special once you’ve found the character you’ve been looking for. Disney World, in comparison, only allows guests to meet most characters at specific areas throughout the parks, requiring long wait times for minimal interactions. So although you’re guaranteed to be able to meet the character, you’ll be waiting a good amount of time to do so.

A girl meeting Ariel from The Little Mermaid at Ariel's Grotto in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, enchanting Disney experiences
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Guests Don’t Understand Roaming

Recently, the argument for Disneyland versus Disney World was out of this world as Din Djarin and Grogu from The Mandalorian were unveiled at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland before eventually being rolled out at Hollywood Studios at Disney World. Compared to most other places in Disney World, the characters in Galaxy’s Edge are the only characters allowed to roam throughout the area, allowing them to add to the overall ambiance and storyline of Batuu.

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Unfortunately, the popularity of Mando and Baby Grogu caused insane crowds the day he was introduced to Disney World, with guests blocking cast member entrances and exits and walkways, taking to social media to complain about not being able to have an interaction with the beloved character after waiting for his appearance.

The Mandalorian and Grogu at 'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

While many Disneyland locals blasted the actions of the Disney World guests for swarming the character and not understanding the concept of roaming meet and greets, the same recently happened with the announcement of Ahsoka now roaming throughout Batuu at Disneyland. In a video shared to X/Twitter, Ahsoka is filmed having a heartwarming interaction with a young guest as dozens of phones and cameras are practically shoved into her face from the surrounding crowd. She can’t walk more than a couple feet before being stopped by another guest (or influencer) and asked for a photo.

Ahsoka Latest Character To Be Swarmed by Guests

The video was reposted by @hecallsmePP with the caption, “As cool as it is to see ahsoka, it’s really disturbing to see her just surrounded by people with their phones out recording her like that. Especially when she’s trying to have a moment with a child.”

The comments are full of people decrying “first culture,” in which everyone feels the need to be one of the first people to experience or share their experience of something new. “Theme park influencers ruin everything,” complained @Nomanszoo. “They are the paparazzi of Disneyland,” compared @BryDisney. When watching the video, it’s clear that at least a few of the people in the crowd are some sort of influencer, with tripods, recording cameras, and microphones. And the phenomenon certainly isn’t just due to “Disney influencers.”

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Other comments recalled recent visits to Disney World, where Mando is still getting mobbed by crowds, and sharing their disappointment with the continued use of roaming meet and greets. “idk why they ever switched m&g to roaming it’s virtually impossible to interact with the character and i feel bad for them cause they’re always swamped,” shared @alderaansben.

Credit: @hereforwalt, via TikTok

When Mando was first introduced at Hollywood Studios, many fans complained that it was easier for roaming characters at Disneyland due to smaller crowds and the prevalence of locals who understand the unspoken rules and culture required for those types of interactions. However, it’s becoming clear that as crowds continue to grow at both Disney parks (despite the increasing ticket and Annual Pass prices) stationary meet and greets may be a smarter option.

Not only does it guarantee that every guest waiting will be able to have an interaction with the character, but it also ensures the safety of everyone: guests, character attendants, and the character performer without any concerns for swarming an area. It’s possible that between the popularity of Mando and Ahsoka, and the resulting crowding issues, that Disney may reevaluate its character policy and move towards less roaming characters and more stationary meet and greets in the future.

Do you think Disney should stop roaming meet and greets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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