Letters from Disney: “Big Hero 6” Comes to Walt Disney World

This past weekend has been a significant one in the world of Disney with the release of their new animated film, “Big Hero 6.” The film is based off of a Marvel comic of the same name, and it is definitely evidence that Disney is taking full advantage of their recent Marvel acquisition.

I’d rather this column not turn into a film review, although if you were wondering what my official stance on the movie is, it would be that it is fun, endearing, and awesome and you should definitely take the time to go see it. This column is however meant to describe my experiences working at Walt Disney World, and working at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) when a new animated feature is opening is certainly exciting.

DHS generally is the first park to offer meet and greets with the characters from Disney’s new films, though in recent history Magic Kingdom and Epcot got to stake their claims to some newer princesses, Merida, Anna, and Elsa. Luckily for me, my “home” park now hosts the meet and greet for Hiro Hamada, “Big Hero 6’s” young protagonist, and his huggable robot companion Baymax.

The two characters took over a space in DHS’ The Magic of Disney Animation building, which offers meet and greets with other beloved Disney characters such as Sorcerer Mickey, Minnie Mouse, and Mr. Incredible and Frozone. The space they now occupy was previously themed for a meet and greet with Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz.

In true Disney magic fashion, the space was transformed in less than two weeks from a colorful, candy-coated backdrop into the grungy garage where Hiro works on his robotics in the movie. Though, funnily enough, they were still adding finishing touches to the backdrop the morning of the first “Big Hero 6” meet and greet, as we noticed a cast member with a drill fixing part of the wall as we waited in line to meet the new characters. It was a little reminder that the Disney magic that we have all come to expect in the Disney parks is usually the product of a lot of hard work.

A few of my coworkers and I had already had the pleasure of meeting Baymax before his official debut in the parks, but we were obviously still excited to see him with Hiro and thus made sure to get to DHS early on their first day to give them a warm welcome to the park and ensure that we would be in the first group of people to meet them. This meet and greet was one of my favorites of all of the ones I have had so far, as I had been watching the park prepare for this moment behind the scenes for weeks.

Working here really just enhances the magic of the stories that Disney is so famous for telling. “Big Hero 6” is a story about friendship and trust and forgiveness, and being able to go and interact with a few of the characters that told such a heartwarming story is truly the definition of Disney magic.

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