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  • [Question] Winnie the Pooh is Mean

    Ok, so my wife and I went to Disney World yesterday for my birthday and we had a great time. We stayed for the MNSSHP, which was incredibly fun (aside from the HM line, which was to be expected, though I think the posted wait time of 5 minutes was a little off from the line that extended past the riverboat, which is now closed for renovations by the way).

    Anyway, the real point of this post is to ask anyone if they have ever seen any of the characters act in the following manner. Winnie the Pooh was headed out from a meet and greet. Tigger had already bolted past everyone, but did stop to greet people quickly while on his way to the CM area. Winnie the Pooh and his handler were making their way across the large open area from the meet and greet. A child saw the character and, after being prompted by their parent, ran over to Winnie the Pooh with great excitement. Now, here comes the part that has dumbfounded (and angered) me a bit. As the kid got close to hugging the character, Winnie the Pooh pushed his hand out like a football player stiff arming an opponent. Now, he obviously didn't hit the kid in the face, the kid stopped before that, but he definitely halted the child. Then the CM helping Winnie the Pooh told the kid not to touch the character. Even a lame excuse, such as "I'm sorry, but Winnie the Pooh is late for [insert poor excuse here]", would have been better than just telling the kid to move.

    The child looked very upset. This made me mad, and I'm certain if Walt was still alive, that would not have been tolerated. I am amazed at this. I mean, Disney is for kids (of all ages, but definitely for small kids). The moment it took to stop and hug the kid would not have been a problem. And even if they were worried about a mob of kids rushing to hug and meet the characters, isn't that what having the characters out in the park is for? I just couldn't believe that they handled this situation that way.

    Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong?

  • #2
    Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

    I'm sorry but I am 40 years old and to this day I cannot STAND the characters because of something similar that happened to me at Disneyland when I was a small child. I ran to Mickey Mouse wanting to say hi to him but he was in the process of what I now realize of going on his break. I was so happy that there were no others in sight, but to my disappointment he brushed me off and went backstage.

    I was crushed. To this day I don't particularly care for the characters. I still love Disney but it is mainly for the rides and shows. Characters - I can take them or leave them.

    I'm sorry this happened to your child. But Disney has so much more to offer than just characters so he'll be just fine. Take it from someone who's been there.

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    • #3
      Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

      I can understand a character wanting to hold kids off. I mean, if he had stopped and hugged the child, you can bet that that's the spot he would be in for the forseeable future, what with the mob of kids that would crush on in. If that spot was in the middle of a crowded walkway, what a mess. And then he wouldn't be able to appear at the spot where schedules say he was supposed to be. And characters have to take a break sometime. I'm sure that they have parents who are incredibly rude in insisting that the character stay and spend time with little Johnny. They've probably just gotten used to tucking their head down and almost running for backstage.

      That said, I completely agree with the OP that there are good ways and bad ways to accomplish the same thing. Pooh could have waved and then just kept on walking, while the handler moved in to politely urge the child to come on over to the viewing area, and then making sure that this child got to the front of the line. Just blowing him off like you said is kinda rude.

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      • #4
        Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

        Originally posted by Figment Fan View Post
        Ok, so my wife and I went to Disney World yesterday for my birthday and we had a great time. We stayed for the MNSSHP, which was incredibly fun (aside from the HM line, which was to be expected, though I think the posted wait time of 5 minutes was a little off from the line that extended past the riverboat, which is now closed for renovations by the way).

        Anyway, the real point of this post is to ask anyone if they have ever seen any of the characters act in the following manner. Winnie the Pooh was headed out from a meet and greet. Tigger had already bolted past everyone, but did stop to greet people quickly while on his way to the CM area. Winnie the Pooh and his handler were making their way across the large open area from the meet and greet. A child saw the character and, after being prompted by their parent, ran over to Winnie the Pooh with great excitement. Now, here comes the part that has dumbfounded (and angered) me a bit. As the kid got close to hugging the character, Winnie the Pooh pushed his hand out like a football player stiff arming an opponent. Now, he obviously didn't hit the kid in the face, the kid stopped before that, but he definitely halted the child. Then the CM helping Winnie the Pooh told the kid not to touch the character. Even a lame excuse, such as "I'm sorry, but Winnie the Pooh is late for [insert poor excuse here]", would have been better than just telling the kid to move.

        The child looked very upset. This made me mad, and I'm certain if Walt was still alive, that would not have been tolerated. I am amazed at this. I mean, Disney is for kids (of all ages, but definitely for small kids). The moment it took to stop and hug the kid would not have been a problem. And even if they were worried about a mob of kids rushing to hug and meet the characters, isn't that what having the characters out in the park is for? I just couldn't believe that they handled this situation that way.

        Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong?
        I agree with you figment fan if I was the child it would probably have broken my heart. I also don't see the point in the chracter walking across the park and expecting people to stand back and watch and not want to try and say hello or get a quick hug or photo. I think a lot of what goes on generally at Disney as a whole...Walt would not like...

        On another note, how was the Halloween Party? I wanted to go next month...but I don't know if I will...

        Oh and Happy Belated Birthday !!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

          Thank you heffalumpy. I really enjoyed it. We missed the Villains Mix and Mingle, but we had been there since just after opening, and after the fireworks we had an hour and a half drive home, so we chose to head out instead. We skipped the earlier Villains Mix and Mingles to hit some rides while people were distracted. I have to say, it was a great birthday because we walked onto every ride that day. Absolutely no waiting.

          DisneyIPresume, the child was not mine. We have not gone down that road yet, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth to see it happen to the child in question. And I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience.

          danyoung, I see what you are saying about the characters needing to be somewhere, and about needing breaks, and even about the mobs. However, I do have to say that scheduling should account for the mobs. A character should never be at a meet and greet and not leave early enough to handle any potential mobs that could occur (by the way, the open area was pretty empty, maybe 10 kids who didn't even notice Pooh, other than the one child). Breaks are important, but the person in the suit, and the person escorting them have the job because of the children who want their pictures taken with them (aside from being in parades and shows). I know in jobs I've had before, I had to forego a break until a later time because there just wasn't time. Sometimes I've missed my break due to an influx in customers. I do agree with you though, Pooh could have waved and the CM could have explained the situation. Also, Pooh could have gave the child a quick hug (it would have taken as long as it took him to stop and halt the child), and then started walking again and waved. The CM could have explained they had no time for pictures though. And the parents handled it quite well, not getting upset or anything. I think they were more or less shocked.

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          • #6
            Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

            That's really sad. If I was that child I'd be devastated

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            • #7
              Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

              I'd say it was ruder of the handler than of the character. The character might have had an issue (sudden wave of nausea, maybe?) where they needed offstage - the handler should have smoothed it over.

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              • #8
                Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                Now that is very true, and I never thought of that. Something like that would have necessitated a quick exit. Though, Tigger had just made his way from the same meet and greet, so I'm not sure if it was a case of nausea. Never know though.

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                • #9
                  Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                  Sorry, but it's the parent's fault. They shouldn't have prompted their child to run up to a character when they are going for their break. As Danyoung said, the second they allow that, they will never get breaks, and they definitely need it when they swelter in those suits in the Florida heat.

                  Yes the handler could have done it better, explaining to the child, etc. But parents are the ones who know that this is a guy in a suit, and should know that he badly needs his break. It is very irresponsible to encourage your child to run up to the character after the scheduled meet and greet time.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                    Well, all the parents would have seen is the character appearing from behind some trees, as the meet and greet was not in our line of sight. I don't think it is irresponsible for a parent to see a character and tell their child they should go give them a hug. That is a major part of the Disney experience for children. Yes, it is hot, and yes those people need breaks, but a quick hug would not have cause any problems. I was surprised at the character shoving their hand out forcefully like that, and I put most of the blame on the CM for the way they handled the situation. They should have explained things to the child, and possibly the parents. That's what they're there for. To escort the characters, be the voice of the characters, and diffuse any issues.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                      I wouldn't necessarily blame the parents... people on vacation aren't going to be aware of things like the CM's inside a costume needing a break. But I do agree that Pooh handled it a bit badly, he should have at least waved and kept walking. Doing what was described by the OP is rude.

                      I saw this video on Youtube... it's a similar thing, and Mickey handles it much better. He could have easily just kept going and ignore the girl, but he took a second to motion her over and give her a hug. THAT'S a much better way to handle it!


                      [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3JprnU2ucs"]YouTube - little girl sees Mickey Mouse for the 1st time[/ame]
                      ----------------------------------------

                      Jennifer

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                      • #12
                        Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                        winnie the pooh gets MOBBED at that particular location walking to and from his meet'n'greets. Like mobbed. It's not to say that all kids running up to say hi to him are mobbing him or that you were about to try and tackle him, but on the majority throughout the day winnie the pooh gets attacked from all sides by people trying to see him. They then pull, push, poke, etc him trying to get a picture or an autograph and he's taken a defensive stance over it. It's innocent enough because many are surprised to see him and don't realize there's a line across the way but WDW is very strict with how their meet and greets operate and there's no such thing as a roaming character, so people shouldn't really ever expect to be able to see a character just walking around and be able to walk up to them for a quick meet'n'greet. It never happens at WDW.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                          I think that video was worth a thousand words. Kids will completely lose their freakin' minds when they see a character that they love. Forget lines, forget parents - the kid is on the move! The dad in that video did the right thing in holding his daughter back to wait her turn. But many won't do that - the concept of a line just doesn't register with a child (and unfortunately many parents!). Still, I don't blame the original confrontation on the parents in any way. There's just no way that the average park visitor is going to know as much as us uber-Disney-geeks. All they know is that there's a character - "hey, honey, go give Mickey a hug!" Completely understandable, but also understandable that the character will want to get into the proper location before slowing down and acknowledging the kids. So again, the handler should have done a nicer job at detouring the child, rather than just brushing him off.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                            That video is from Disneyland, where it's pretty much a free-for-all with the characters, who pretty much just roam around freely and stop here and there to pose for a few photos and then keep on. WDW has organized meet & greets in specific locations, so I think it was bad judgment for the parents to encourage the kid to go running up to Pooh. And like danyoung said, Pooh always gets mobbed going to/from his meet & grret location.

                            And I personally have never seen Pooh act like that and I always visit the Pooh meet & greet areas at MK and EPCOT to see Tigger.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Winnie the Pooh is Mean

                              I've never seen any character almost push a kid in the face. I was shocked.

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