So as we sat in the hotel one night we had turned the television on but had never changed the channel. After a few minutes we realized we were watching the “things to do at Disney” channel. That is when we saw it, one of the newest character visits at the park was Merida from Brave. She has become important to my family. When I was in the hospital, Frank and the girls went to the movies and saw it together. It was one of the first nights while I was still in the ICU after the prophylactic mastectomy. The girls got a bit emotional as they drew connections between struggles with Merida’s mother and their own.
According to the television, Merida was in Epcot. We had already been to Epcot and did not see her. We tried to look it up on the internet but found a wide array of stories. Seems she is so new that as they tested the character and first put her out with crowds she moved around a bit. We were able to find some cast members who told us exactly where to find her, in Magic Kingdom.
Thursday morning we had plans for breakfast at Cinderella’s castle. Merida was right down the path from there so right from breakfast we went. It was 25 minutes before she was even due to start her day the line was forming. We took our place and patiently waited. AT 9:15 the door opened and in the line moved. They have set her up in an area that was being used for Rapunzel the last time we were at the park. From what we are told during the initial roll out kids were allowed to shoot an arrow with her but it seems that has stopped. I can only assume that it took too long. For those wondering what happened to Rapunzel, it seems that she will join the new Princess Fairytale Hall currently under construction.
The visit was excellent! She chats with the kids and is very playful. She stole the hat of one of the cast members at one point hiding it behind her back. They all play along looking around for it as she places it on a father in line. She then is the one to “find it” announcing that “he took it!”. With others she takes children and hides with them or tells silly stories. It makes for a much longer line, but a much more fun and interactive visit.
When it was time for Meg and Madi to visit, Merida came over to the line to meet them. She immediately took their books and signed talking the entire time. The girls walked with her over to the picture spot. They posed and then both gave her a hug. Frank and I were starting to move along when we noticed Merida and Madi sneaking off to the side of the stage. They hide and snuck around for a few seconds until “found” by other cast members. She then gave Madison a hug and we were on our way.
I know this sounds ridiculous but it brought a small tear to my eye. It made Madison’s day! Well worth the wait!