The Disney parks have this beautiful thing called character meet-and-greets.
(aka the incredible opportunity to visit with your favorite characters).
How COOL is that??
After performing in the parks, I not only gained a deep appreciation for the characters, but I also learned that there is a very specific layout of meet-and-greets.
The typical layout of a meet-and-greet is:
Character meet-and-greets include the princesses, Pixar characters, and more.
Each meet-and-greet has a character or two, a character attendant (basically a body guard for the character), and a Photopass photographer who takes photos of the fun interaction.
While the characters are spread out all over the four main Disney parks, most meet-and-greets are approximately 60 seconds (sometimes less, sometimes more).
Even if you have been coming to the parks for years, you may not know that there are definitely ways in which to make your meet-and-greet a more memorable, special, and positive experience for both you and the character.
Here are 10 tips for how to properly experience meet-and-greets at the Disney parks (and to avoid characters from secretly hating you):
Prepare for your audition: It helps to do a little research about Disney auditions in general. Knowing what to wear, what to expect, and how to act will make the audition run a lot smoother for you!Be sure to read the audition description multiple times so you are as prepared as possible!
Be friendly: Be sure to talk to other people around you. Chances are you have at least one thing in common (ex: a love for Disney!) Making friends at auditions is a great way to not only network, but it will also help you feel less nervous about the audition! You may have more in common with those around you, which will help you build confidence.
“You do you” :
Don’t feel as though you have to be a ballerina or a super-star singer in order to audition, because that’s not the ONLY thing Disney looks for in a performer. Stay true to your style and stand out!
Don’t let anyone intimidate you: Be confident in yourself. I am NOT a dancer by any means and felt awkward many times during the audition. It doesn’t matter what kind of performing experience you’ve had in the past- just have fun. It may feel like you are surrounded by a million beautiful people, but you never know what kind of face/body the choreographers are looking for… they could be looking for YOU.If you feel more comfortable listening to music or reading a book before your audition begins- then do that! Just be sure to smile and be friendly when someone talks to you!
Support each other: It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let that stop you from going through with the audition!! My friends and I had to support each other the whole time (especially when we were tempted to run away!!) Encourage others and compliment those around you. I promise, everyone is nervous. Ask to practice dance moves with a new buddy and cheer on others auditioning!
Feel free to message me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below! Best of luck!
I attended a Disney Character Look-Alike/Parade Performer audition in Nashville. The audition was at 9am, and my friends and I arrived an hour early. The lobby of the dance studio was already packed with 200 young men and women exciting chattering about all things Disney.
The two choreographers asked everyone to stand in line in the main studio. I noticed more than half of the girls there had their hair in a tight bun and were styling a leotard and ballet shoes. For a second, I thought my friends and I accidentally walked into a hardcore Disney dance audition. I turned to the girl behind me:
“Are you a dancer?” I asked. “Yes!” She squealed with a smile. “I’ve been dancing my whole life!!”
Oh boy… I’m in trouble.
From the moment everyone walked in, the choreographers watched us to see if we interacted with each other, stood with (or without) confidence, and had “the Disney look.” Within three seconds, the choreographers could tell if an individual exuded confidence, joy, and spirit.
After standing in line for almost 45 minutes, my friends and I made it to the registration table where each person wrote down his or her name and e-mail address. The choreographers gave us all an audition number and measured everyone’s height. I stood as straight as I could to at least make it to 5 feet (#shortpeopleproblems).
When the last individual signed in, they told us what we were to expect for the day:
“Channel your inner child,” The choreographers advised us. I tied my hair in low-pigtails. It was game time.
FIRST ROUND: All 200 individuals learned a basic step routine (grapevine with some claps and some jazz hands) and after practicing the routine a few times, they split us up (randomly) into two massive groups. I was in the first group and after we danced 4 people at a time, the choreographers lead us into another room where we waited while the second group auditioned.
When both groups finished the first round of the audition, the choreographers called everyone back in to the main studio to announce the numbers of those who were asked to stay and continue to the next round.
“31” The choreographer announced. My heart skipped a beat. That was me.
I applied to the Disney College Program (DCP) in March 2014 after attending a WDW character performer audition.
Even though I had completed the rounds of the audition, I was almost too nervous to apply to the DCP. I forced myself to complete the application. Little did I know I was starting an experience of a lifetime…
Applying to DCP is exciting, but also nerve-racking. There are many “hoops” to jump through, and it may even become overwhelming.
Therefore, I wanted to share a few thoughts regarding the Disney College Program application process in hopes that it will encourage you apply!