Problematic Characters End Disney World Experience

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Cast Member dressed as Mickey Mouse at a Disney Park

Credit: Disney

Meeting Disney’s colorful cast of characters is practically a mandatory experience at Disneyland, the Walt Disney World Resort, or any of the other Disney Parks, but recent events could take some of them off the roster.

Stitch disney character meet and greet at Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

Few sensations are more delightful than getting a hug from a Meet and Greet version of your favorite animated friends at the Disney Parks. Whether it’s the nine-year-old girl encountering her favorite Disney princess or the 29-year-old guy getting a hug from Goofy at the EPCOT entrance, the characters help bring the magic to life on a massively different level.

Related: Magic Kingdom Area Closes, Completely Unavailable to All Guests

Disney’s lovable characters have evolved far beyond the typical mascots found at other theme parks, and some have even gained features like articulated heads and features to make them more interactive. That said, some of the company’s newest additions have led to a few problematic encounters in the Parks.

Disney World Characters Pose Persistent Problem

Ariel ready to meet Guests at Ariel's Grotto in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Whenever most guests embark on a Disney trip, characters can be found in one of three places. They are either in their own themed encounter area (i.e., the Main Street Theatre at the Magic Kingdom), on a parade float, or simply walking about for a surprise visit. Because this third option is seemingly at random, it can cause confusion, delay, and congestion in the flow of Disney Park traffic.

Related: Comparing Disney World’s Disney Springs and Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

It was only a few years ago that Disney realized that characters play a considerable role in the environmental storytelling of their theme parks, resulting in the application of more Walk-Around characters for certain lands like the streets of Hollywood, the original layout for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. However, it seems like they are beginning to negatively affect the experience for other guests.


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♬ original sound – Benny the Cab

These characters are definitely something to behold, but they are one of the primary causes of overcrowding at the parks. @benny_the_Cab on TikTok makes an excellent point about these interactive characters, as well as what Disney needs to do in order to stimulate better crowd flow.
While it might be a bit outside of canon to incorporate multiple R2-D2s, characters like droids, stormtroopers, and dinosaurs are certainly an option. Especially given the amount of technology the Disney Parks have at their disposal.
The Mandalorian and Grogu at 'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney
Disney is capable of some truly inspiring feats of Imagineering, as seen by the examples in the video above, but they are still a work in progress in terms of putting it into practice. These characters would be great if they had their own designated area for photos and other fan interactions, but humans tend to be the one element Disney can’t control.
As impressive as these characters are, they’ve proven to be a problematic element when introduced to large crowds, making already congested areas borderline impossible to navigate. If this phenomenon continues with the recently introduced BD units at Galaxy’s Edge, The Disney World Resort might have to trim their character count for future park events.
Have these characters caused problems on your Disney trip? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!

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