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Old 10-11-2011, 09:03 AM   #1
Jen413
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Trying to keep the magic alive one more time

This is completely ridiculous I know, but we are about to go to DW for the fourth time in four years because we love it so much. My girls (5,7,7) are obsessed with all of the characters, and while I know the two older ones get that Mickey etc. are in costumes, I'm so scared that this is the year they are finally going to figure out that there is more than one person playing a specific princess. This makes me incredibly sad because they love them so much. They draw them pictures and write them letters and really think of them as real people living at Disney World. Obviously they are going to figure it out one day, but I don't know if I'm ready for it...Actually I know I'm not. So my questions are...
1. Is there a way to avoid this???
2. Do I tell them the truth if they notice that one looks different from the next? (say at dinner and then in a line) Or is there some "Disney Magic" answer you can think of? I'm not above fibbing just like we do for Santa-lol. After all, they are only this young and naive once.
Any thoughts (except if you want to tell me they already probably know, because trust me, they don't-haha)
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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What do you mean it's just a guy in a costume? Mickey is definatly real!
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen413 View Post
1. Is there a way to avoid this???
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen413 View Post
2. Do I tell them the truth if they notice that one looks different from the next?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen413 View Post
Or is there some "Disney Magic" answer you can think of?
No.

Have a great trip!
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:09 AM   #4
Tiffany Z
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I have always told my kids that Disney is a magical place and things can happen there and be real there. That you know, ANYTHING can happen. My kids are 10 and 8. This will be their 4th trip as well. I'm sure they know that the characters are in costume but they still have the awe and wonder when meeting them. I'm sure your kids will still be completely awestruck no matter what.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:13 AM   #5
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My then 7 year old said before our last trip "Mom, I know they're just people in costumes." I feigned shock and took him into his room for a little talk. I told him he was correct, but that it's still a lot of fun to meet the characters, and please don't ruin it for your little sister. To his credit, he has never brought it up again, and had a great time meeting and interacting with characters. So, I wouldn't "fib", just be prepared to have a quiet little one-on-one chat if the issue comes up. They're smart kids, they'll figure it out.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen413 View Post
This is completely ridiculous I know, but we are about to go to DW for the fourth time in four years because we love it so much. My girls (5,7,7) are obsessed with all of the characters, and while I know the two older ones get that Mickey etc. are in costumes, I'm so scared that this is the year they are finally going to figure out that there is more than one person playing a specific princess. This makes me incredibly sad because they love them so much. They draw them pictures and write them letters and really think of them as real people living at Disney World. Obviously they are going to figure it out one day, but I don't know if I'm ready for it...Actually I know I'm not. So my questions are...
1. Is there a way to avoid this???
Nope. Sorry. Kids will eventually grow up and figure it out. Although you can take heart in the fact that I know plenty of adults who still leave milk & cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve "just in case". Remember that just because you've figured it out doesn't mean you can't believe any more.

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2. Do I tell them the truth if they notice that one looks different from the next? (say at dinner and then in a line) Or is there some "Disney Magic" answer you can think of? I'm not above fibbing just like we do for Santa-lol. After all, they are only this young and naive once.
Any thoughts (except if you want to tell me they already probably know, because trust me, they don't-haha)
The best course that I've found is to let the child lead the discussion. We've all heard the story about the little kid who asks his parents "where do I come from?" They go into a long and awkward discussion of where babies come from and all that, after which the kid says, "Oh ... because Johnny comes from Cleveland."

If your kids say, "Mom! That's not the same Cinderella!", answer with, "Oh my gosh -- I don't think it is either. What do you think happened?" And see what they say. If they say, "Mommy -- are the Characters real?", answer with, "I think they are -- what do you think?" Kids will surprise you with the way they will figure things out. They won't "go there" on their own until they're ready. No reason you have to push them along.

I had my 10YO nephew and the younger son of my friend (5YO) at WDW once. I had arranged a special meet & greet with Aladdin for the 5YO because at the time he was obsessed with the movie. Well, because it was a special, the Characters called the 5YO by name when they met him. He thought it was very cool at the time, but about two hours later, he came up to me and said, "How did Aladdin know my name?" You could tell he'd been thinking about it. Before I even had a chance to try and form an answer, my nephew looked at him and said, "Well ... duh. Santa Claus probably told him." The 5YO looked at my nephew and totally bought in. "That makes sense", he said, happily going back to his Legos. I looked at my nephew and he just shrugged and walked away. It was perfect.

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Old 10-11-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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I am also a big character lover and it was important to me that my kids also liked them and they do.

After our last trip to WDW (January 2009) my then 5 year old DD was looking at the pictures of her with Mulan and Mushu. This is what she said, "Mom, that's just a person in a costume, right? But that's the real Mulan." All I could say was "yes, it is."

I think the fact that I still get excited to see the characters and get pictures, etc. makes it okay for them to also "believe."
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
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Thanks! I will just keep my fingers crossed that they don't ask and try to avoid seeing the princesses up close more than once. I totally get that it will still be fun to see them even if they sort of know what's up because I still get excited myself-lol. I hate worrying about silly stuff like this, but I can't seem to help myself...
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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Kids grow up. Sad, but true.

Besides, you want your kids to be smart enough to figure out that Mickey isn't real, don't you?
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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Kids grow up. Sad, but true.

Besides, you want your kids to be smart enough to figure out that Mickey isn't real, don't you?
Someone could have a PhD in quantum physics and still believe in Santa Claus. Being "smart enough" doesn't really matter here. The two things hit a very different part of your brain.

Personally, I'd like my kids to be smart enough to believe Mickey is real even when all evidence points against it.

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Old 10-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jen413 View Post
Thanks! I will just keep my fingers crossed that they don't ask and try to avoid seeing the princesses up close more than once. I totally get that it will still be fun to see them even if they sort of know what's up because I still get excited myself-lol. I hate worrying about silly stuff like this, but I can't seem to help myself...
Don't feel bad for worrying. It's so natural. Just trust yourself that you'll know what to say when the time comes. You know your kids and the best things to say to them. You'll keep the magic going for them, even after the "age of innocence" wears off. I'm over 40, and I still gush and giggle when I talk to Mickey Mouse.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #12
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My daughter is 11 now and I'm still trying to sqeeze in "one more trip" where it's still magical. Sure she knows all the "secrets" about characters. She even knows there's more than one room full of princesses at the Town Square Theater........ But we're still having a ball. And we both act like kids when we walk up Main Street toward the castle for the first time each trip.

The magic will change with each year passed, but you will discover more magic each time you go.

Learning the "secret" will likely make them feel very grown up. They will probably cherish the opportunity to help keep the magic alive for little sister.

My daughter is now fully "out" on the whole Santa Claus thing. I never thought I'd say this....... but thank HEAVEN! I'm so tired of getting up at 2 AM every Christmas Eve then being exhausted all day on Christmas! And I finally have someone to help me wrap the presents!

I decided to never tell my 16 year old about Santa. I still deny it as a joke wheneve he asks. Unfortunately he then reminds me about the year I had the flu and he had to wrap all his sister's presents........

My point is....... there is life on the other side of knowing, and loads of fun to still be had. Don't sweat it.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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DS7 is on the fence about the 'people' in the costumes. He knows that the Elmo or baseball mascots you see walking around are just people dressed up, but when it comes to Disney he always gets the biggest smile and runs to meet the characters and get an autograph. Sad thing is...I don't know if he's doing it to humor me, or if it's just something about Disney that makes him 'believe' in the magic. I'm just going to tell myself it's the latter of the two. Cause heck...even I like to 'believe' in the characters!!
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:29 PM   #14
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Wow, first I learn there's no Santa, then they tell me that Milli Vanilli didn't record their own stuff, now you say there's no Mickey? I'm devastated.

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Old 10-11-2011, 01:33 PM   #15
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Wow, first I learn there's no Santa, then they tell me that Milli Vanilli didn't record their own stuff, now you say there's no Mickey? I'm devastated.

Bill From PA
No Toothfairy....and most of the parts on the playboy bunnies aren't real either!!
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