From our summer at Sea World last year we knew that Abby loves characters! She knows they are people in costumes (because I am overly logical!) but she still loves to talk to them and take her pictures with them. Thank goodness since we did TONS of character pictures during the cruise!
We bought an autograph book at The Disney store ahead of time and I carried it with me diligently. It has a blank page for signatures on the right and the left page has a 4x6 photo slot on each page. We filled all 14 pages of our book on the cruise.
The newsletter, called the Navigator, that was delivered in our room each night had a whole section devoted to who would be appearing where. The characters were all throughout the day. We saw many of them at 10 PM after the evening show and were in our jammies! (We did dinner at 5:45 then did bath and jammies and then the 8:30 show.)
People on the boat want character photos, so there was always a line! Marcus would get in line about 20 minutes before the character was scheduled and I would do other things with Abby like change clothes, go potty, etc. It made it much more pleasant!
I would stock up early on cute Disney clothes for these pictures! I love seeing Abby with Minnie in her Minnie jammies! The characters also would always make a big deal about your clothes with them on it.
Since many of the characters appeared daily, they had various outfits for different days. I think it made it more "real" for the kids also.
The professional ship photographer would take their shots and then allow the parents to take pictures with their own camera. I brought my nice camera with me which was helpful as the ship lighting wasn't always iPhone ideal. You can buy all the photos of your family at the end via a USB, printed photos or even a photobook.
Pluto was a late night shot and girl was spent! I am lucky I got a smile on this one!
Chip and Dale were hilarious! Abby loved them so much she bought the stuffed animals of them 10 minutes later. Above all other souvenirs, she wanted to remember them!
Marcus got in a few shots and since Abby was on his back, Dale tried to get on Chip's back!
As much as Abby loves Disney's traditional characters, she really loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates people. Peter Pan was an exciting picture to get! Finally, a character not in a big mask that could talk to her!
We love love love Captain Hook and Mr. Smee!
Abby was dressed as Izzy, the girl pirate from the show since we had the costume left over from Halloween last year. Hook took her hat off and ran with it!
It was pretty amazing how personal they got with the kids. There would be a long line, but they listened to Abby tell stories and interacted with her each and every time.
By far, the biggest hit on the cruise were the princesses. Little girls were all kinds of dressed up for the Princess Gathering on the 2nd day.
The princesses all come out together on the 4th floor and wave down to the girls on the third floor awaiting photos with them. Royal music plays and they perfectly wave and then come down the stairs for photos. It was a fun thing to see!
Abby is a big fan of Snow White and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. This picture Marcus grabbed on his iPhone shows the wonder and excitement she had seeing them all. A little bitty girl looking up in amazement at a real life princess!
One cool thing about the princesses, they know kids want to see them and they would just show up at random times unannounced. We were really lucky and found them numerous times. Abby sat down with Tiana and told her all about the princess video game she plays. In the game she is Tiana and does princess work to earn jewels. It was funny to hear Abby explaining this game to Tiana who was clueless but trying to play along!
We saw Snow White another day and she took Abby's hand and let her walk with her down the hall. I am telling you- magical!
Finally, while waiting in line one night, Marcus snuck off to the restroom and found three princesses along the way dancing on the ballroom floor. He quickly grabbed Abby and she danced with Ariel.
I would take the cruise in a heartbeat for the characters alone! We haven't done Disney World with Abby, but I just can't imagine getting so many characters and so much individual attention as you would on the cruise. It was by far a highlight for us!
To see more Disney Cruise recaps, click here.