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Disney in a Minute: What is a Character?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

At the Disney theme parks and on Disney Cruise Line, a characters live versions of the animated creatures and people found in the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies and television programs. While some of the characters appear to be just inches high on film or TV, in the parks they are all adult human size or larger.

Characters fall into two categories. “Fur” characters are those wearing an oversized mask serving as their entire head. The fur characters are primarily animals or aliens such as Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, Stitch, and Chip & Dale. There are some human-like fur characters, notably Captain Hook, Vanellope, and the Incredibles, but these are less common. Fur characters do not speak directly to guests, though they may be voiced with a pre-recorded track when appearing in a parade or stage show. Fur characters communicate with guests via gesture and body language.

“Face” characters are those that appear as fully human, with nothing obscuring their eyes, nose, and mouth. The essence of the character is communicated with wigs, makeup, and costuming. Face characters include the princesses, their princes, Jack Sparrow, Peter Pan, many Marvel characters, and more. Face characters generally have the ability to talk and will communicate directly with guests using words.

Characters appear as part of schedule meet & greet opportunities, unscheduled popup meet & greet opportunities, at character meals, in parades and cavalcades, in stage shows, and on the race routes at runDisney events. Not every character interacts directly with guests, some may only be seen in parades and shows.

Common characters may appear wearing different outfits in different situations.

A few of the hundreds of characters you might encounter include:

Have a question about a Disney term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming Disney in a Minute segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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