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Bringing a puppet to visit Disney

Discussion in 'WDW Tips' started by jw5288, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. jw5288

    jw5288 New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    New to this and I had a quick question. First let me explain I am an aspiring puppeteer/ puppet maker. I have a little puppet character I would love to take along with me on my next trip to do a few little fun photos around the park and possibly with characters. Does anyone see any kind of legality or safety issue with this? I am not trying to make any money on this, just a fun little character.

    Feel free to check out Opie's Page on Facebook. We would love to see more fans:
    https://www.facebook.com/Opie-203725796676881/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
     
  2. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine that having the puppet with you would be an issue (particularly since the puppet is a non-Disney, non-Muppet character) from a legal or safety standpoint, especially if you don't mind running Opie through bag check when you enter the park. Kids walk around the parks with toys, stuffed animals, etc. all the time, so the mere sight of a puppet wouldn't be all that unusual by itself.

    As for how cast members might react to a grown man with a puppet, I suspect you may have to put up with a few raised eyebrows and confused looks (especially if you don't take time to explain what you're doing), but if you've been out-and-about with Opie for awhile, you're probably used to the whole gamut of possible reactions. :)

    If you're still concerned that it might be an issue, you can always contact WDW directly to make sure that there are no policies that would impact your plans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  3. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't use the puppet to interact with other guests. Disney doesn't like it when guests make themselves an attraction.
     
    Weather_Lady and MinnieM123 like this.
  4. CAPTAIN HOOK

    CAPTAIN HOOK Well-Known Member

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    As an aspiring puppeteer / puppet maker, I can see no reason for you taking it to Disney other than for self promotion - this will land you in trouble with Disney.
    Leave it at home or don't go.
     
  5. Matt_Black

    Matt_Black Well-Known Member

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    Unless they've changed things, yes you absolutely can. Behold- Uncle Teddy.

     
  6. jw5288

    jw5288 New Member Original Poster

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    Thanks for the input everyone. Yes I've seen and love Uncle Teddy, that's what gave me the idea. I don't plan on interacting with other guests. I think I may leave Opie's arm rods at home for safety and traveling purposes. The one good thing with Disney is you will never see the people around you again so I don't mind looking silly with a puppet taking a few photos, if anything I hope I could brighten a character's day with a unique meet and greet. Not going til late August so lots oftime to think about it.
     
  7. Figments Friend

    Figments Friend Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago, 1985 actually now that in think more about it ...I brought one of my own handmade puppet creations with me to Walt Disney World.
    It was a marionette /string puppet I had built of my own design of the character 'Gizmo' from the film 'Gremlins'.
    I was 14 at the time, and me and my Mom visited MK and EPCOT Center over a couple of days time with 'Gizmo' walking right along with us.
    He was even wearing sunglasses and a Mickey Mouse 't-shirt' I had made for him wear during the visit.

    We had a good time with 'Giz'...folks reacted to him but I was very used to that at that point ( been working with marionettes since I was 6 ).
    A couple of standout memories from that visit -

    While standing off to the side watching some traditional Mexican marionette performers in World Showcase, I was approached by what appeared to be a high level Disney employee.
    He had a unique name tag and years later I swore it might have been Marty
    Sklar.
    When I saw photos in a book of a young 80s Marty, I was immediately reminded of this gent with the golden mouse-eared name tag.
    No way of knowing for sure...

    He complimented me on my marionette, and asked if I would like to go and meet the Mexican marionette performers after the show.
    My Mom had gone off to get some refreshments, so I was not really comfortable leaving with this man and her not knowing where I had gone.
    After I explained this, the man smiled in a understanding way, said a few words, and departed.
    I always wondered what would have happened if my Mom was around and we had been able to go off with him together.
    Was he really legit, or just some creep trying to lure a teen away who was not with a parent...?
    The 80s at WDW, or any public place that attracted kids, was a notorious time for such goings on.
    But I digress...

    Another day, my Mom and I had walked around the Magic Kingdom enjoying various things.
    Eventually we decided to head back to our hotel on I-Drive for a break.
    When we arrived at our hotel and started for the entrance, we were approached by a man who had followed us from the MK.
    Our 'stalker' was a father following us to find out where I had bought the 'Gizmo' marionette as his son had seen it 'walking' around in the Park that day and desperately wanted it!
    I remember him even offering a decent sum of money for it right there in front of the hotel.
    I of course declined, as it was unthinkable to me at the time to sell something I had made.
    He left disappointed, but understanding.


    Yeah, the 80s were a very different time period.

    Those were some of my experiences in the Park with my own puppet creations.
    I say go ahead and bring your friend and have a little creative fun.
    As long as you are not disturbing other Guests with your antics, or draw a large crowd around you, I don't see there being any issue.
    Just keep it low key and make some memories for yourself!

    Hopefully you won't have Dads 'stalking' you back to your hotel room...!
    ;)

    -
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
    Courtney6682 likes this.
  8. jw5288

    jw5288 New Member Original Poster

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    Thank you for sharing what a great story and experience. I would love to see what your marionette looked like if you had a picture. I love gremlins/mogwai, I've been toying with the idea of building my own soon. I just want to take a few fun pictures with my character. I plan on being very discreet about pictures and I absolutely don't want to disturb antics or create crowds
     
    Figments Friend likes this.
  9. Figments Friend

    Figments Friend Well-Known Member

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    Sure, I have a photo somewhere......might take me a couple of days to get it up here.

    I've been building and performing with my own marionettes since 1977, but the mid 80s is when i went really went crazy and made a lot of characters ( both famous, and my own originals ).
    I made a living professionally performing my own traveling for-hire marionette shows starting in the mid-80s up until the early 2000s.
    Still have all of them around, mostly stored away now.

    I will dig up a few photos and get them uploaded at some point soon.
    Thanks for the interest!
    :)

    -
     
  10. graphite1326

    graphite1326 Well-Known Member

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    My thought exactly
     
  11. Figments Friend

    Figments Friend Well-Known Member

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    Here are a couple of photos of my handmade 'Gremlins' marionettes.
    I made these myself by hand out of styrofoam balls, wire, and various fabrics back in the 80s when i was a teenager.
    They both have moving mouths as well as all of there limbs for animation purposes -


    [​IMG]






    And here is another, just for the heck of it....

    Three of the many Disney Characters i made into marionette form from the mid 80s to the late 1990s.
    Roger Rabbit and two 'Wuzzles' ( Butterbear in yellow, Bumblelion in orange ).
    I also made these by hand with the same self taught process i used to make the 'Gremlins' characters above.
    These also have moving mouths and The Wuzzles have moving wings and tails as well -


    [​IMG]

    -
     
  12. jw5288

    jw5288 New Member Original Poster

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    those are absolutely AMAZING! The fact that you made them as a teenager is even more impressive. I can totally see why someone wanted to buy Gizmo off of you. I love Roger, he's one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing
     
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