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4 Ways to Honor a Loved One at Disney… WITHOUT Breaking the Law

3. Have something special created by a Disney caricaturist.

Disney artist

Image: Loren Javier, Flickr (license)

Something you may not know about the artists that work in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, Disney California Adventure’s Pixar Pier, Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, Downtown Disney, and elsewhere throughout the Disney resorts, is that they don’t always work exclusively with live models. While most guests pose for their own caricature drawings, you can usually bring a photo to an artist and ask them to sketch it for you. If you’re looking to create a special Disney tribute to a late family member or friend, this is one of the most personalized (and relatively inexpensive) ways to do so.

Granted, artists at the Disney Parks are best-known for the goofy, out-of-proportion caricatures you’d typically find at your local state fair, but there are a few who offer more traditional portraits in pastels or charcoals, if that’s more your style. You can also request custom airbrushed name signs that incorporate a variety of Disney characters, from Tinker Bell to Aurora to Winnie the Pooh. Currently, pastel portraits, custom Disney Parks landscapes, and airbrushed signs are all available at New Orleans Square and Fantasyland in the Disneyland Resort.

4. Pass on the Disney magic.

Mickey balloons

Image: Disney

There’s no one “right” way to grieve the major loss of a beloved person in your life. Even the act of riding their favorite attraction or bringing along a special photo can trigger strong emotions, and not everyone is in the right mindset to process those feelings while spending a day at the Disney Parks. If you just can’t bring yourself to relive past memories in these ways, consider doing a good turn for someone else in their honor.

This can be as simple as passing along a FASTPASS voucher (for those who use the free paper FASTPASS tickets at Disneyland, at least) or buying a Dole Whip for the person in line behind you. You can share your coveted parade spot, leave a compliment for a cast member at City Hall, make a point of congratulating those with birthday or anniversary buttons, or give an extra-generous tip during your next meal at Be Our Guest. It doesn’t matter how elaborate or expensive your good deed is, as long as it’s steeped in kindness—and the act of doing it in memory of a family member or friend can make the experience even more meaningful for you, too.


What have you done to celebrate the life of a loved one at the Disney Parks?

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