Granted, if your kids like the characters in the theme parks, that's awesome. And I know it's well worth every minute of waiting to see the joy on their faces when they meet these "kiddie celebrities" and get their autographs. I truly do think it's awesome, kidding aside. Disney is all about the kids, and I know anything that makes our kids happy, makes us happy.
But my kids just aren't into that, and instead of dwelling on the fact that I would never have that "perfect picture of Jake hugging Sully" or "Brooklyn gazing adoringly at Sleeping Beauty," I had a fabulous time as the kids willingly posed with as many inanimate objects as they could.
(not really inanimate, but Jake loved the hundreds of "Nemo's" in the fish tank at Epcot)
Now, I did play the Mom Card ONE TIME and saved it for the Big Guy himself. But, I didn't make them wait 40 minutes- 2 hours at the Magic Kingdom to meet the one that talks to you. (I mean, Lord, the kids would have peed their pants.) We waited just about 20 minutes at the beginning of the day at Hollywood Studios, met Mickey, got a great group picture and went on our merry way. No kids (or mice) were harmed in the making of this photo, and I was a happy, satisfied Mouseketeer the rest of the trip.