I was a fur character at Disney World. Here are 5 things guests should never do to them.

 I was a fur character at Disney World.  Here are 5 things guests should never do to them.


I’ve worked as both a character attendant and a fur character.Jenna Parkany

  • I worked as a fur character at Disney World for 4 months during my Disney College Program.

  • Treating a character like a toy or interacting with them in the wrong place can be a safety risk.

  • It’s not fun to get pointed questions or interact with uncomfortable kids who clearly don’t want to.

While performing as a fur character at Disney WorldI often got asked about mistakes people make during meet and greets.

There are many ways to ensure a great guest interaction, but you might want to consider avoiding these things next time you’re at the parks.

It’s stressful to be scrambling for autograph books and pens when you’re meeting characters

The character attendant, the non-costumed employee who’s stationed with each character, will probably announce at least five times that you should have all pens and autograph books ready throughout your wait.

But for some reason, people just don’t seem to get it.

Having everything ready allows more time for you, or your family, to interact with the character, which can create a more genuine interaction that isn’t rushed or transactional feeling.

Touching or treating characters like toys is a big no

chip and dale kissing jenna on the cheeks at disney world

It can be dangerous to mess with performers while they’re in costume.Jenna Parkany

Inappropriately interacting with a character could mean a one-way ticket off Disney property if you’re really acting out.

I’ve seen so many interactions, with kids and adults alike, that consist of pulling on Pluto’s tail or Mickey’s ears. There was even one time when a guest pulled a piece of fur off my costume and a part of my neck was exposed.

After that interaction, the guest was told they wouldn’t be meeting any more characters for the day.

Disney does a lot to uphold character integrity and keep its performers safe, so think twice before trying to mess with a performer at the parks.

Don’t ask characters for a photo or autograph when they’re clearly walking somewhere else

It’s very rare at Disney World to see a character “roaming” or not placed in one specific spot to meet guests. So if you see a performer walking around, they’re probably trying to get somewhere.

Stepping in front of them or grabbing onto them can become a safety issue for you and the performer — who is either trying to get to their meet-and-greet location or head backstage for a break from the heat.

It’s important to listen to the attendants and other park employees when they tell you when and where you can interact with a character.

Purposefully asking questions that the character can’t answer isn’t fun for anyone

winnie the pooh standing at meet and greet spot in disney world

The characters in the fur costumes can’t speak.Jenna Parkany

Fur-character performers aren’t allowed to speak when in the big costumes, so asking them an uncomfortable question — such as “Is it hot in there?” — can really make the interaction awkward and weird.

disney performers are trained to keep the interaction moving, so they’ll dodge questions they aren’t able to answer through movement or with the help of their character attendant and photographer.

If you don’t know what to say to a character, try asking them what they’ve been doing recently or what their favorite ride is.

Don’t force your child to meet characters if they’re uncomfortable

Just like any other attraction, performers and park employees know you’ve waited a long time for a meet and greet.

If your child is clearly upset, scared, or uncomfortable meeting the character when they get closer to them, please don’t force your child to give them a high-five or a hug. The photo you’re seeking isn’t worth traumatizing your child.

Plus, it makes the performer just as uncomfortable when they can see that they’re scaring a kid. I always tried my best to just not make things worse.

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