How would you answer this question from your child?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by kniquy, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. ols386

    ols386 I want to live at Disney World!!

    Jan 29, 2008
    These little kids are so smart. They figure things out.

    I’d hate to ruin the magic, by telling them the whole truth, so I’d probably say what an earlier poster said, and that is: what do YOU think?
  2. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Don’t be sad. It’s awesome that’s she’s thinking critically, like someone else said.

    Ask what she thinks. Take the conversations slowly. And don’t be surprised if she still loves the characters.

    My son had quite the (quiet) convo with me while in line for Mickey as he noticed the zipper, then when it was his turn he RAN and hugged MM.
    kboo and kniquy like this.
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  4. tcufrog

    tcufrog DIS Veteran

    Jul 18, 2012
    When I'm not sure how much a child knows or is ready for "What do you think?" is what I start with. If your child is definite that it's someone wearing a costume ask him or her if he or she enjoys wearing a costume for Halloween. If they say yes tell them that the cast member loves bringing joy and magic to visitors by wearing a costume and pretending to be _____. After all, it's fun to pretend to be someone else.
    YawningDodo likes this.
  5. Hisgirl

    Hisgirl DIS Veteran

    Apr 8, 2011
    I would say that the Disney characters we love in books, tv and movies need a human to bring them out into the real world, and that's part of the magic of make believe.
    tcufrog likes this.
  6. kniquy

    kniquy DIS Veteran

    Dec 15, 2014
    OP here!! This is what i am hoping for- despite her knowing it is just a costume i want her to still be excited. She is very smart and aware and really thinks through things. So much so that she has only visited Santa once when she was 6 months and had no choice - any other time it was a flat out NO!! This year we were close (second person in line) and she just calmly said she didn't want to see or talk to him. She didn't explain why so we left and just told her that before we leave the store she can change her mind. She is already a very hard headed individual and once she has her mind set on something -- it better happen the way!! Very different than my 12yo twin boys - we took them to WDW when they were 9 - i was amazed at how much fun they had with the character dining - one DS was totally in love with the fact that he was able to meet pooh (had a pooh stuffed animal since a baby - still has it on his bed today) with his brother telling pooh that he was his brothers favorite -- you could tell by the pictures that they were enjoying themselves despite knowing they were costumes.

    Every child is different and i think we will have to adjust some of our plans (meet and greets) based on her signals. I just hope for some glimmer of magic.

    This is a really good way to explain it!!
    YawningDodo, kboo and tcufrog like this.
  7. tinkerjo

    tinkerjo Crazy Disney nut

    Nov 25, 2005
    my kids have never asked and some of them are in their 20s lol. Seriously, they figure it out on their own but the magic is just the same. Disney is an experience and the best thing any of my kids ever said was in front of the magic kingdom park opening, I think DS was 4, he turned to me and said " now I know why they say this is the happiest place on Earth" I shed a tear or two!! The magic will still be there, I wouldn't worry.
  8. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2016
    My kids have always known they were people in costumes, it never took away any of the magic of WDW for them.
  9. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2003
    We were in Goofy's line waiting our turn behind a couple on their honeymoon. Our youngest decided to question why "big people" were in line, "don't they know it's a real person in there mommy". I had no idea that she knew they were only costumed characters but it definitely did not ruin the magic. The sweet couple must of overheard us because when we handed goofy her hat to be signed he wrote our daughters name(misspelled). It surprised our daughter and for the rest of our trip she concluded the only "smart" character was Goofy as he knew her name. Kids!!!!
  10. hsmamato2

    hsmamato2 <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad

    Mar 28, 2005
    Agreed. Just because you're being honest doesn't mean you can't still have fun getting into the fantasy of the story.When mine were little(3) he asked the same,b/c he's an intelligent logical person. I told him that his instincts were correct, but it's really fun to pretend the cartoons are real while there,and he agreed.The stories are a blast,and living in your imagination is what kids do best anyway- We still had fun hugging Mickey when we saw 'him'.... it never stopped all the fun we had over the years
    BriLovesDisney likes this.
  11. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

    Feb 13, 2009
    She might be an in in-between stage. Mine pointed out the zipper (or something like that) on a character costume, goes on about which "voice actress" she enjoys most from the movies/shows, and then was awestruck when she met Sofia the first.
    AllthingsDisMom likes this.
  12. KenHutch

    KenHutch DIS Veteran

    Jul 7, 2005
    When my daughter was 5 and informed me of this I looked at her horrified and told her there was no way she was going to trick me. She just wanted me to do something stupid and the Captain Hook would cut off my hand. She still laughs about that.
  13. kboo

    kboo DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2014
    A lot of good points and insights here. As you (OP) noted, to some extent it doesn't matter, and she's probably figured it out already. I just wouldn't bring it up again unless she does. My ODD said as much when she was 3 - she's been every year since then, and meeting characters is still tops on her list. She knows Idina Menzel in Enchanted played the voice of Elsa, so she knows when meeting Elsa at WDW she isn't even meeting the Elsa from the movies, but somehow that doesn't matter one bit.

    She also (this Christmas) told me that she doesn't believe in God, but that Santa is real, and cited evidence to support her beliefs. I love it.
  14. kboo

    kboo DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2014
    One example of this fluidity with imagination is the conversations kids have with Gaston, about how the Beast is going to kill him, he's not going to get Belle to marry him, etc. Or, for that matter, meeting the Beast at BOG. At the end of the movie, he was human already!
  15. Happyinwonerland

    Happyinwonerland DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2014
    My DDis very opinionated and decided on her own when she waa 4 that the costumed characters are just people wearing costumes, but the ones like Cinderella and Tiana, who don't wear a mask, are the real, actual princesses. She got frustrated that Cinderella didn't remember at dinner that she had already signed our book earlier that day at a Princess Fairytale Hall.

    I'd say ask your child what they believe and go with that.
    kboo likes this.
  16. chicagoshannon

    chicagoshannon DIS Veteran

    May 9, 2008
    I say yep you're right, can't fool you. My kids both love meeting characters anyway. It won't make the trip any less magical or fun.
    Hikergirl likes this.
  17. enchantingodin

    enchantingodin You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself

    Jul 7, 2008
    I haven't read all the comments - but try to explain it like dress up.

    Most small children (both boys and girls) like to play some kind of dress up. Be it a favorite princess, fairy, hero, or service member. Say something like, "Yes there is a person in there. And he or she loves dressing up just like you do in your (whatever is applicable) costume and helping family's smile and be happy on their vacations." I think this is a train of thought most kids would be able to understand, plus it's being truthful.
  18. MaryLovesPoohBear

    MaryLovesPoohBear DIS Veteran

    Sep 27, 2014
    I'm almost 52, and I still feel the magic when I meet Pooh Bear. And I can't wait to meet Sadness. And I, of course, no that they are people in costumes.

    I always would say to our son, "Is that what you think?" Or "what do you think?"

    They normally don't need to be told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (Now, I am sure that there are children out there that want a 10 page dissertation when they ask a question. But most children don't need that. )
  19. AllthingsDisMom

    AllthingsDisMom These moments you can never get back...

    Jan 20, 2016
    I agree with the above poster. Additionally, children have such imaginative minds that some seem "real" and others are the humans in costumes.

    I always try to embrace the magic LOL, and just go with it. Have fun!! :flower1:
  20. fifthdimensiondweller

    fifthdimensiondweller DIS Veteran

    Jun 21, 2016
    I remember being about your DDs age on my first trip, and feeling a human form when I hugged the costumed characters. It's odd, because I knew they were people, but I didn't care, and at the same time part of me believed anyway. Heck, part of me still does. There's a reason I paid $35 per person for my Crystal Palace breakfast way before I had kids :P

    I would be honest with your DD, absolutely. I'd just tell her it's all part of a story, a game if you will. The best part of Disney is being able to use your imagination. Just because she has to use her imagination doesn't mean the character aren't real.

    This remind me of something Dumbledore said in the last Harry Potter book: " Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?"

    Have fun on your trip- 4 is a wonderful age for a first visit!
  21. Meglen

    Meglen Mouseketeer

    Jul 16, 2016
    My son was terrified of anything in costumes for along time till I just told him they were people inside doing there jobs. Now he can go up and take photos and loves to be around them. He was 5 when we told him about xmas and costume ppl

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