One of my favorite things about Disney World is the characters. I am not talking about the Meet and Greets. Not really. I am talking about all of the other characters that make Disney World a special place. It starts with the cast members who keep the bathrooms spotless and goes all the way to the Citizens of Hollywood with many special characters in between.
As many of you might already know, I like to expose my children to new people, places, and cultures as much as I can. Disney World gives me that opportunity and allows us to all learn about new things together.
We have learned about people through music at Epcot with performances by Mo' Rockin and Mariachi Cobre. My daughter is interested in dance and fashion so Mo' Rockin is one of her favorites and my son plays guitar, so Mariachi Cobre is right up his alley.
The characters of Main Street in Magic Kingdom led into a good discussion about history, women's rights, voting, and how times have changed. They can be quite a hoot. One time we were there when an empty wheelchair was sitting in front of us. They were having a full out discussion about the invisible man and how hurt he must be that one of them sat on him.
The Piano Player at Casey's Corner is always ready to play ragtime and oldies and let the guests join in. He has extensive knowledge of music and can play just about anything. He is one of our favorite characters.
The characters in the Trolley Show make getting to Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning worth it. They typically are out in the mornings and sometimes at other parts of the day if it is not too busy. I don't care who you are or how old you are, that song is catchy and gets stuck in your head.
The Chef is just one of the MANY Citizens of Hollywood. We ran into him right after we entered Hollywood Studios. We have not seen him out since then but we don't make all of the performances.
The Citizen of Hollywood that rides around in the carriage is so sweet and talks in a cute high-pitched voice. She is a fan of beautiful shiny purses. Just ask my daughter. Boy, that made my daughter's day!
The Citizens of Hollywood are very entertaining. They perform regularly even though the times are not posted on the Time Guide.
They appear on Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. They tell jokes, poke fun at guests, and carry on their own conversations.
The Public Works guys are hilarious and are a refreshing encounter on a hot summer day. In general, all of them are quite comical and are worth tracking down. Sometimes I can hear the horn from the little car and I make a run for the performance.
Of course, during Star Wars Weekend, a lot of new characters are out and about. Storm Troopers walk around and even guard the entrance first thing in the morning. My favorite is still Chewbacca!
Now for the characters that you might not think of as “characters.” The Disney World Cast Members are very diverse in their backgrounds, languages, and experiences. On one visit to our favorite sweets shop in Hollywood Studios, the cast members help my daughter make a marshmallow treat FOR FREE! It was so unexpected and such a wonderful experience.
One cast member taught us about the Chinese New Year and how to write “school” in Chinese. I brought back my Duffy to use as a “tour guide” for my classroom. Not only did my children get to learn about the Chinese culture, she passed it to my students as well by spending time with us.
I have so many pictures and memories of the wonderful characters we have met at Disney World.
They all have taught us something, whether it is how to write our names in Thai or about the customs in their country.
I love to take my children to the parks after we have learned about a country and then have them talk to cast members about their favorite foods or places to go back home. What we learn at home does not hold a candle to what they learn at the parks.
They actually remember what they learn at Disney. I guess it is like sprinkling a little magic on education.