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By Cruisin’ Diva

My twin boys have been going to Disney their whole life- a whopping 7 years! They are about to embark on their 7th cruise, but have been to Disney World just as many times, if not more. Before I had kids, I took my nephew to Disney and when he was two, he was deathly afraid of the characters. He loved the rides and the atmosphere, but any character that looked “human,” such as the Incredible’s or the Princesses, he was not impressed with at all. He was downright frightened of those characters. At that point in time, I vowed to make sure that my babies (whenever I had them), were introduced to the characters early so by the time we went to Disney World or on a cruise, they would interact with all characters. Well, little did I know that we would take our twins on their first trip while they were just five months old. We took them on the Magic, the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, and they had a ball. So here are some tips in case you, like me, take your small children to Disney, whether it be on a cruise or to the parks. These are definitely not guaranteed to work, but they worked for us!!

1. Introduce the characters early

Buy your children stuffed animals or hang pictures on the wall. We have always had Disney pictures on the wall and had stuffed animals before we even had children. (I grew up going to Disney and still love it!) So when we had children, we decided to do their nursery in Mickey Mouse. We always had Mickey and pals somewhere for them to look at or play with. They had many baby toys that were Disney and pals as well.  Would you  believe that we still have Disney everywhere at our household?!?!?!

Twins in Mickey bed

2. Dress them in Disney

You can buy Disney apparel just about anywhere these days. Walmart and Target are the cheapest options where I live. You can find great apparel and not have to pay park price! My twins, to this day, love wearing Disney shirts. Mickey Mouse, Donald, Goofy or Avengers!! They love them all.  When we decided to take them on their first cruise, they wore nothing but Disney apparel. Even their swimsuits, along with Daddy’s, were Disney!!! (I have this crazy OCD thing that if we are at Disney, and we are not wearing Disney, then we are not true Disney lovers, but that’s just me!!)

Daddy and Twins with Mickey Twins with Chip and Dale

3. Interact with the Characters as a Parent

The tell tale rule that if your children see you do it, then they think it’s okay to do it as well applies with the characters. If they see you are not afraid of the characters, then there is the possibility that they will enjoy the characters as well. (Hey, you got a 50/50 shot!!)

So fast forward a year and a half, and my boys, still dressed to the nines, run to the characters!! They love them!! No coaxing, no bribing, they just love being there! (They are 12 days away from turning two in these pictures)

Twins with Lilo and Stitch  Twins with Minnie Mouse

4. Keep it Going!!

If you only take a trip every couple of years, or are lucky enough to go once or more a year, keep the Disney Magic going! Our boys still love watching Disney Junior and all Disney movies, so they can name all the characters sometimes better than my husband and I! Their favorite right now, besides Avengers, is Beauty and the Beast and can sing “Be Our Guest” better than I can!! I don’t know if I should be proud or upset that they know it better than I do!! With two trips planned in the near future, and with our new addition, I am hoping our Disney Magic will rub off on the little one as well. I am sure he will have tons of encouragement from his older brothers and he will see them loving on the characters. (They are 12 days away from turning three in these pictures)

Twins with Donald Twins with Goofy David and Minnie

The little one hasn’t met a character yet, but he’s ready!! As we are getting ready for our Disney Cruise in December and Disney World trip in March, he is going to have plenty of opportunities to meet and greet some characters!! (And yes, he will be dressed in nothing but Disney..hopefully!!) I can only hope than he will love the characters as much as his brothers, parents, and grandparents do.

Matthew as Donald


~Cruisin’ Diva