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Oh No! How To Overcome Your Child's Fear of Characters
With a little preparation and a lot of patience, you can get those once-in-a-lifetime pictures and memories, too!
Timid children can be tough in daily life, but at Disney they can be downright frustrating!
If you met Hannah today, you'd never be able to imagine how shy and scared she was, when she was quite small. She hated any extra attention outside of our little family and circle of friends. She often hoped aloud in her baby voice that no one would tell her she was cute, pretty or smart when we were out, because then she'd have to do the one thing we required of her and say "Thank You" aloud. To her, that was absolute torture! All three of our kiddos were extra tiny when they were small - barely making it onto height charts during pediatric visits. There is something sweet and special when you have a little trio of tinies and to Hannah's chagrine, she was noticed everywhere she went and constantly needed to say "Thank You" to strangers. It was a trying time for our little girl.
When we were planning our first visit to Walt Disney World, we knew this would be an issue. How could we prepare? What would we do?
We prepared our ittie-bitties by watching videos online, talking about how exciting it would be and even practicing meeting characters! That's right. We practiced! We ordered an autograph book ahead of time (in following years, we made our own, which was even more fun!) and made a game out of meeting characters. By the time Joshua, Noah & Hannah visited Walt Disney World for the first time, they knew to greet a character and hug them if they wanted to, then offer their autograph books, then pose for a photo. We even practiced telling them goodbye as one of the steps.
And it worked out great! We had a happy girl posing for pictures everywhere she went. She "recognized" characters from online videos and excitedly ran forward to see what they'd do. We did learn one tough lesson the hard way, though. We didn't realize it could happen, so didn't prepare our littles if a character needed to take a break while we were in line. Hannah was distraught when she was waiting for Jessie from Toy Story & Jessie had to leave. It soon became a part of our recommended plan!
With a little planning and patience, you can have great experiences & pictures with your littles, too!