Overcoming Costume Character Fear

Regan for years had such a phobia of costumed characters. I can’t even begin to describe how hysterical even seeing the mascot at a Friday night football game she would become. Her fears made things pretty tough for us. We could not go to local sporting events. Santa Claus we had to promise would not enter our house. We had to negotiate a corner at Chuck E Cheese that the mouse would not come near. She sat inside her classroom during fire prevention week because the local fire department had their mascot “Sparky” coming to school with them. It has made a lot of things that should be fun, well, not!

That being said we had planned a huge Family Vacation to Disney World two years ago, the quintessential costume character location. The first night we were there, we attended a dinner for the company my husband worked for, and wouldn’t you know it, Mickey and Minnie were invited guests. Regan watched them from afar, and after several minutes asked if we could leave. The next day at Magic Kingdom, we saw many characters from a distance, and she began to wave at them, but was definitely not willing to approach them.

The 2nd day we went to Animal Kingdom and much to my horror Pluto came up to her from behind and patted her arm. Regan froze at first and I was fully prepared for her to have a panic attack, but instead she started to pet his furry arm. She was so excited to conquer her fear, and face it she just couldn’t stop hugging Pluto. Well for the rest of our time spent here, we got autographs and took photos of every single character we could find. I am always proud of every accomplishment that Regan makes, but for her to conquer her fear shows true strength of character, and a willingness to overcome.