It's been over a month since I got here, and since starting work, I have put together a list of tips for a good interaction with a fur character, and tips for a good autograph from said character.
1. Approach the character head on. If there is a large group of people meeting the character, try your best to make the character aware of how many of you there are. Once he or she knows how large your party is, you can approach in a group. Doing this will ensure you don't get whacked in the face by the character, and usually means everyone will be included in the picture.
2. Some parents will encourage their little ones to stand as close as humanly possible to the character at the beginning of their interaction. With characters like Goofy and Donald, they can't see below their mouths, so kids have the ability to disappear in certain areas. If your child goes and stands really close to the character, tell them to back up a bit so they can see them.
3. If your kid punches, slaps or grabs hold of a character's face,tell them or make them let go immediately. It's not cute. It's also not good for the characters. It hurts, and the characters do not appreciate it.
4. If you have a Sharpie for the character to use to sign the autograph books, try telling the character that. Here's and example, "Here, Mickey, we have a Sharpie for you to sign with!" or simply, "Here's a Sharpie, Mickey". That way, the character knows the pen could stain their gloves or skin, and will take extra care in taking the pen from you.
5. Stop with the tiny pens! You can't be serious, people! Have you seen the character's gloves? If the pen is smaller than the palm of your hand, don't give it to a character. If the pen has a sticky gel grip, don't use it either. It gets stuck on the character's gloves and they have a hard time twisting and gripping the pen.
6. Pretty, pretty please hand the autograph books to the character open to the page you want them to sign on. Characters don't have fingernails or fingerprints, which means turning pages is incredibly difficult for them. When characters put the palms of their hands together, then open them up like a book, they are telling you to open the dang book for them.
7. Be prepared ahead of time. Have your books open, your pens uncapped or clicked open, and your camera turned on and ready to take a picture. Always check that the camera isn't set to record.
8. Last, have fun with them! Tell a joke, do a funny pose, anything! Kids that walk up, take a picture and leave aren't taking advantage of all the training these characters have gone through.
Have a Magical day!