Keeping character magic alive for a 6 year old

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Jessirip, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Jessirip

    Jessirip Mouseketeer

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    Need a little advice from those that may have gone through the same thing... we went on a Disney Cruise last October and our daughter (4 then) loved meeting the characters. She likes to watch the vacation videos often. The other night as we were watching one with Sofia, she got a funny look on her face and said, "Mom? Why don't their mouths or faces ever move?". I didn't know what to say and kind of changed the subject. Parenting win right there.

    We are going to WDW next April (she'll be 6 by then), and I'm sure is going to ask again, and I'm having trouble coming up with the answer I want to have ready to give her to keep the magic alive. We are going to the H&V Dine and Play because our 3 year old loves all of the Disney Junior characters so I have no doubt it will cross her mind.

    It's still special for me, so am I over-thinking this?

    Yes she's our first, case you can't tell. :rolleyes2:) Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. westie55

    westie55 Mouseketeer

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    My oldest is only 2 so I can't speak from experience as a parent, but I distinctly remember loving characters as a child long after I knew they were people in costumes. In fact, I was 5 the first time I went to Disney and I knew the truth then but still loved them. Just because she realizes the character isn't "real" doesn't mean she will lose interest. Meeting characters can be magical, just in a different way. Heck, plenty of adults love meeting characters (me included). :)
     
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  4. JustCallMeMommy

    JustCallMeMommy DIS Veteran

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    The answer is always, "What do you think?" It gives the child the freedom to come up with a reason if they want to continue to believe, and it allows them to give up the illusion if they are ready to do that.

    My DD took one look at Dora the Explorer at her very first character interaction when she was 3 and said, "That's not Dora! Dora is small like me." That was OK though - realizing that characters were costumed people didn't hinder her enjoyment of the characters. It also didn't hinder her belief in other costumed holiday friends.

    Kids believe what they want to believe!
     
  5. Thing 1

    Thing 1 DIS Veteran

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    I agree, " what do you think?" Is perfect. If she asks right out if they are real, " they will be real for you as long as you want them to be". My boys never really believed they were real and we never encouraged them to. We have however did almost all the characters meals on site and they loved them all.
     
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  6. Jessirip

    Jessirip Mouseketeer

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    These are great! Thank you so much.
     
  7. Ava

    Ava DIS Veteran

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    We did the “What do you think?” response with our oldest. When she was 6, she thought the furry characters were robots. I don’t remember what she thought about the face characters, but she was still happy to meet them all. This year, at 8, she’s figured out that they’re all people in costumes. She wasn’t upset about it or anything and still met characters on our trip this summer. We also told her that she’s in on the grown up secret now, but not to say anything to her 4-year-old sister because she’ll figure it out herself too when she’s ready.

    I think the trick is not to try to convince them that the characters are real, and just let them believe what they want to believe. That way they won’t feel lied to when they do figure it out.
     
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  8. GusGus77

    GusGus77 DIS Veteran

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    We just went on a trip with my son who is six. He kept telling us, you know those are people in costumes. But when it came down to it, he smiled big and hugged them and loved meeting the characters! My nine-year-old is the same way and quite truthfully, I was really really giddy to meet talking Mickey! Sometimes knowing doesn't take away from the magic!
     
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  9. TulipMom

    TulipMom Mouseketeer

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    Agreed! We've answered our kids honestly and they are still smitten with the characters!

    We have asked the "what do you think?" question and when they've answered that they think the characters aren't real, then we confirmed it for them. We want them to trust that we'll give them truthful answers. We then discuss how it's fun to believe and to not ruin it for other kids.
     
  10. AllEar2017

    AllEar2017 Mouseketeer

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    Exactly! My son is 7 and knows they aren't real but was still super excited to meet them
     
  11. Dis703

    Dis703 DIS Veteran

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    My kids are 6, 6, and 9. The 9 year old definitely knows that he's not really meeting Mickey Mouse, Kylo Ren, etc., but it doesn't take away from his excitement at all. I think my 6 year olds have an idea as well, but again it doesn't dampen the experience. I can't recall them asking specifically about the Disney characters, but when they ask me about things like Santa Claus I use the same suggestions above and ask them what they think and allow them to draw their own conclusions. Sometimes as adults we overthink these things, but the kids aren't nearly as concerned as we think they would be.
     

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