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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Best Character Meet and Greet of Our Summer 2015 Disney Vacation

Each Disney vacation a character interaction stands out and this summer was no different.  During our first day touring California Adventure we happened by the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail located in the Grizzly Peek portion of the park and discovered that Dug, from Disney/Pixar’s UP was greeting guests just inside the entrance. 

We got in line and checked with the character handler to make sure the line wasn’t about to close, readied our autograph supplies (pillow case, fabric markers, and cardboard to steady the fabric), and waited for our turn.
When it was our turn, the first thing the boy said was "squirrel" and Dug turned around to follow the boy's pointing to see a squirrel.  And, in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail it seemed realistic to see a squirrel.
Some nose to nose interaction was next.  Disney magic does exist if you believe!

Petting and hugs came next but we weren't done yet!
The boy showed Dug that he had a Dug pin on his lanyard, something Dug obviously doesn't see very often.

Poses for the Photopass photographer came next. . . first with the boy and then with all of us.
But just as we were leaving, Dug called us back for more!  Even when there were still other guests waiting!

Dug wanted us to pose like dogs for a photo and then help him look for more squirrels.

We did get Dug's autograph, too!  Ironically, when we met Russell, we were told that he hadn't learned to write his name yet so there would be no autographs.  Disney needs to get their stories straight--the dog can write but the boy who has earned numerous Wilderness Explorer badges can't?
 The only time to meet Russell is at the end of the Wilderness Explorer show/ceremony which is listed in the Times Guide.  The show lasts 7 minutes and guests can greet Russell at the end.  A Photopass photographer is on hand to capture photos.

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail area is great for kids.  It has trails, climbing, zip-line swings, and lots of information about animals and history.  It's a respite from a busy park and it's mostly in the shade! 

Note that Dug meet and greet times are not published.  Either chance it or ask a handler about specific times.  We have found that the handlers have the best information about character meets and greets.

Want to read about the best character interaction from Summer 2014?  Click here!

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