When we were young, characters wandered the streets of Disneyland with the same happy, care-free abundance that rodents wandered the streets of London before it was learned that they spread the plague. True, the analogy suffers because we like Disneyland characters but dislike plague rats, but the point stands.
All of this changed when guests realized that characters would politely sign autographs for those who requested them. Today, characters are often mobbed to the point of inaccessibility by autograph seekers, and the line to wave a pen at Peter Pan might be an hour long (or half that if FASTPASS is available).
Not long ago at the park, we witnessed a scene that made us realize that the autograph situation had completely lost control:
Yes, you can believe your eyes: Ariel is asking Aurora for her autograph.
Why, you ask, would a princess need another princess’ autograph? Particularly a princess who lives beneath the ocean and therefore can’t take an autograph book home without it becoming instantly waterlogged? And if this bizarre perturbation of roles is allowed, what next? Guests performing safety inspections? Shops staffed entirely by feral cats? Disneyland executives actually seen in the park? The mind boggles.
Please forward, Facebook, tweet, post, re-post, Instragram, Spotify, blog, pin, e-mail, link to, and share this photo as much as possible. We hope that, should it gain enough publicity, we will be able to get an official statement from Disney of their policy on character-to-character autographing interactions.