How to Have An Awesome Character Interaction at Disney

Meeting characters is one of my favourite things to do in the parks, I'm probably the biggest kid in that way.
My character interaction has certainly improved over the last few years and it makes it even more enjoyable to meet these cuties.
You have to be in the right mood to meet a character, and let go of anything you think or "know" when you meet them. You ARE meeting Mickey Mouse! If a quick snap is all you want, fine, but if you're looking to actually interact with these characters then I have a few tips to help. Believe me, you're get such a buzz from it and even your photos will be a lot better, let a lone the amazing memories.

Say hello to them and ask them how they are. A lot of the characters really appreciate this and it's nice to show you care about them too.
I usually follow with "I love you, you're my favourite" this seems to come out automatically for me and although Donald is my true fav, it's still great to let them know you actually want to meet them.
Other wise you can mention it's wonderful to meet the main man himself [if you're meeting Mickey] or let Daisy know how pretty she's looking today.
It's also great if they have a partner but they're not together [Mickey and Minnie or Buzz and Woody for example] to ask them how that person is or what they're doing today.
Something to keep them interested really works, and in return they'll give you more time.

If you're meeting a face character [such as one of the Princesses] then they'll usually have a few lines to keep the conversation rolling, because they can obviously talk. When we recently met Tiana and Naveen they were great as they were chatting amongst them self meaning I could join in more easily. It also opened up questions and I asked [the gorgeous] Tiana what it was like to kiss a frog.
It's always nice to ask the princesses to show you how to pose or mention how beautiful their dresses are. I also like to mention their Princes, and some times they tell you great stories of why they aren't there.
There's a great website here that gives you ideas on what to say or mention when you meet characters, both fur and face. If I'm stuck with some one I'm meeting, don't know their story as well or have never met them before I usually have a quick look through this to give me inspiration. It can be a huge help!

With "selfies" becoming a lot more popular, it can be fun to ask to take a photo on your phone with the character you're meeting. Hopefully the photopass photographer will catch it too, so it makes for a great selfie, perfect and fun photo to remember and the characters never seem to mind squishing in for a snap.

Show them photos if you've ever done cosplay as the character, or maybe if you've met them somewhere else. I like to show Donald and Daisy the photo of them at our Wedding. Donald almost always comments on how great he looks and that he had a top hat on that day. 

Wear something relating to the character. It doesn't have to be full on Disney bounding, if that's not your thing. But they do usually mention items of clothing, even if it's a Princess print skirt or Minnie on your tshirt.
I recently wore a "Team Donald" tshirt, with a blue skirt and custom Donald ears. He obviously loved it and so even that alone made it worth while. It also helps as the assistant and photographers know straight away that you're a little character mad so they'll give you more time if they know how important it is to you.
I have a Woody/Buzz bound-type outfit in place for September and I'm hoping to "twin" with Donald in his Christmas outfit if we go in December.
If ears is all you can manage, then why not bring a tsum-tsum or plush toy you relating to the character instead. They seem to love this and you can get some really fun photos.

Character dining can be a good way to meet characters in a more relaxed setting. For our September Disneyland Paris trip we're having lunch at Inventions, which I'm super excited about trying. Crystal Palace is a big fav at Walt Disney World as is Tuskers for breakfast. The photo may not be set up so well, but you still get to meet lots of characters in a short space of time without queuing
The most important thing is to just have a good time, make the most of the few minutes you have with the character and make sure you enjoy it. I always thank them for having photos with me or meeting me and I always tell Donald I'll see him again soon....which is never a lie!
What are your top tips for meeting Disney characters in the parks?