Top 5 Disney Characters That Should Have a Meet-and-Greet

Children just love this part of the Disney Park experience! Although you can’t get them to wait 5 minutes for anything else, they’ll gleefully wait 2 hours to hug Belle or pose with Pooh. Too precious!

But even we adults have been known to covet the Character Meet-and-Greet experience. Are we really waiting in line for our children, or for ourselves? We’ll keep the answer to that question to ourselves, shall we?

So in the spirit of wishful thinking, I give you my Top Five characters that should have their own Meet-and-Greet opportunity at Walt Disney World:

Hello No. 5: Princess Kidagakash “Kida” Nedakh

Atlantis is one of my all-time favorite Disney animated films. But its main character, Princess Kida, just hasn’t gotten her royal due. She is a real princess, but isn’t considered one of the official Disney Princesses. What a rip! Adding her to the line-up would also extend the ethnic diversity of the face characters in the Parks.

And any of you guys who love to pose with Jasmine know why I want Kida there too! There, I said it.

Hello No. 4: Basil, the Great Mouse Detective

Another great, but perhaps under appreciated, Disney animated film is The Great Mouse Detective. As a lover of all-things Sherlock Holmes I’d just ‘geek out’ for the opportunity to pose with my favorite sleuth! And if Professor Ratigan should show up too, well, that would be a bonus. And adding never-before utilized characters to the Meet-and-Greet system would freshen things up a bit, don’t you think?

I’d follow them. They’d follow me. We’d be like each other’s shadow for a while.

Hello No. 3: Emperor Kuzco

Boom baby! This one is just a no-brainer. I mean, it’s all about the Emperor anyway, right? So why is Disney the only one who doesn’t get it? Just how natural Kuzco would be for the Mexican pavilion in EPCOT is beyond discussion. It’s a perfect fit!

He could be obnoxious, sarcastic, and a laugh-riot! And it wouldn’t hurt if everyone were encouraged to break out into a little bit of River Dance either. Getting into the Emperor’s new groove would be too much fun!

Hello No. 2: Humphrey the Bear and Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore

First you pick it up (bump bump) then you put it in the bag (bump bump) then you pose with Humphrey and Woodlore (bump bump). Humphrey the bear is another under utilized character from the Disney pantheon. He has a cameo presence at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, but even there, it’s hard to find good merchandise featuring him.

Obviously, having Humphrey and Woodlore appear at DWL would be genius positioning, but it hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge. But seeing them in Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be a perfect fit as well. Just imagine Woodlore leading us all in song as Humphrey dances and encourages us to pick up the trash. I’m so there!

Hello No. 1: Princes

I’ve asked it before but I’m going to ask it again: Why aren’t there any Prince meet-and-greets?

The latest ousting of Flynn from Fantasyland is just another example of cost cutting overriding the guest experience. After all, what Princess doesn’t want to pose with her Prince Charming? It would just make sense to have a Prince pose op positioned close to the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique, but then, I’m not a marketing genius. But it seems like a good idea!

Also, it’s not like they’d have to do a big casting call. Every parade features a Prince on the arm of the corresponding Princess. It would just be a matter of having them show up for a few extra hours in the day at the Meet-and-Greet location.

So we come to the end of another Top Five list. Did I miss your favorite character? If so, be sure to list them in the comments section. And who knows? Maybe Disney will consider giving them a two week contract!

Where Have All the Disney Princes Gone After the Movie?

The camera pans to a large leather-bound book. It has gold leaf edges complete with a hand-painted scene on the cover. It depicts a beautiful maiden in the arms of a handsome Prince. The music swells as the cover of the book is opened to reveal the immortal fairy tale words: ‘Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far, far, away, lived…’

You know the rest. Snow White; Sleeping Beauty (above); Cinderella; they all got their start this way. Along with just about every other cartoon soon-to-be Princess! But this storybook opening isn’t the only constant to be found in feature-length animated fairy tales.

The other constant is the minimal role of the Prince himself. Usually he is a handsome young man (unmarried, this is very important) who just wants to find true love. He happens upon a peasant girl who sings beautifully, talks to animals, and is drop-dead gorgeous! Oh, and some very powerful person hates her and is bent on destroying her. If I was a Prince looking for my lady fair, I’d want to know this going in, but that’s just me.

Next comes the duet (how do they both know the words?) the loss, the chase, the harm/death sequence, all concluding with a kiss. Oh, and a marriage with the obligatory ‘Happily ever after’ tagline! But this entire plot manages to take place with the Prince getting about 10 minutes or less of screen time. When all is said and done, the Princess is in our hearts and the Prince is all but forgotten.

Until Disney decides to include the Princess in a parade or stage show in the Parks. Then she needs some eye-candy on her arm and our Prince is resurrected for a brief cameo. When a new Princess appears, her Prince fairs a little better. He gets to stick around for the Meet-and-Greet, but only for the first few months. Then he is ‘fired’ and sent back to the pages of the storybook he came from.

          Enjoy it while you can, boys!

Why does Disney DO this?!?

I first started to ponder on this when I heard about the ‘firing’ of Flynn Rider from the Rapunzel meet-and-greet. When that happened, I tried to remember if there were any real Prince meet-and-greets. Answer: None. Nada. Zip. Not even one.

Well, Aladdin manages to hang on over at EPCOT, but usually on the arm of Jasmine. So we’ll call him Mr. Exception for now (but that’s still Prince Ali A Bu Bu whatever-whatever to you).

Aladdin was posing alone at Disneyland in 2013

With the popularity of the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique and it’s propensity for pumping out little Princesses by the carriage-load, am I the only one who sees the marketing and photo-op potential of a Prince meet-and-greet right next to the exit? And I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to believe that a few of the little Princesses’ mommies would get a kick out of snuggling up to Prince Eric or Prince Charming themselves = Girls Day Out at the Prince Meet-and-Greet!

Come on Disney! Give the old Princes a new lease on life. Let them have their day in the sun. After all, some of them had to fight long and hard to get their lady fair (albeit, mostly off-screen), so the least you could do is give them some face time! OK, it’s true the ladies can find some beefcake to pose with while running the Princess Half Marathon, but making women run for miles until they’re hot and sweaty before you let them pose with gorgeous men might not be as appreciated as you think!

Of course, I’ve never heard a Prince complain about this. Maybe they’re at home in their Man Cave in the basement of the castle enjoying Pay-Per-View wrestling events and drinking mead. Maybe they’re laughing at how their Princess is out there getting mauled by long lineups of strangers for nothing but a ‘Thank You’. Maybe they’re thinking to themselves: “It’s good to be the Prince!