Alain Littaye Andy De Maertelaere (Oops) of the MouseKingdom blog compares two type of character encounters and wants to know which you prefer: an orderly queue or the flash mob.
Orderly queues have been the ‘modis operendi’ for the domestic parks for many years now. One advantage is you’re sure that if you get in the queue before it’s shut down you’ll get at least an autograph. It does count down on the spontaneity a bit, however.
But overseas you’re more likely to encounter something like this:
One day we entered the Walt Disney Studios in Paris. There was Mickey, walking on the street. It was the last hour before closing time and at that time the Studios wasn’t as kid’s friendly as it is today (with the addition of the Toons), so there weren’t any children in that park any more. My son walked up to him, Mickey got his hand and they walked around the park together. He was picked up by Mickey, they played together and we had enough time for extra pictures. He might have been to young to remember this, but I will never forget this.
Which do you prefer?
It’s not that simple. Those sorts of encounters really only happen when the park is less busy. They’re not at all practical during the midday. Those meetings tend to end up in a circle of kids surrounding the character each trying to get their attention. Often, despite the characters best intentions some kids dreams are squashed.
There’s a better solution somewhere.
There has to be a balance between the two. We went to Disneyland in early February and in order to meet a princess there, you either have to wait in a 45 minute line for princess skid row (aka fantasy fair hallway) with anyone’s guess as to which princesses will be there when you round the corner, or you have to pay the big bucks for a character meal.
My three year old really wanted to meet Mulan, but the only chance would be that 45 minute line over and over again hoping to get lucky. Could you imagine how much fun that would be? A 45 minute line during the slow season; I can only imagine how long that line would be during regular or peak season.