I may have gone to Disney as a child, but I don’t remember any of it. I think I went with a friend when I was five because I have a memory of a picture of us there, but again, no memory of that trip. My mascot for high school was a ship. Go Dreadnaughts! If we went to a theme park, it was Busch Gardens or Cypress Gardens, not a lot of full-bodied costumes going on there.
So when we went to Legoland a couple of years ago, I was surprised by my reaction to Emmett and Wyldstyle as we got our family picture taken with them.
In my mind I realized that there were people in those character costumes and had a mini meltdown on the inside. We moved along and I didn’t think much on it. We didn’t see any more characters after that and it was whatevs.
I wanna say that trip was 5 years ago. Last year we went to a major fundraiser for the little’s school and lo and behold, they have a mascot. It’s an adorable wolf with a pink bow in her hair. I think her name is Ivey. I saw her around briefly, but at the end of the night as we were making our way out the doors, she was standing by them saying goodbye to all of the kids. Adorable, right? I see Ivey and am sortof “on alert”, but not freaking out, just leaving the fundraiser, nbd. Until she approaches Henry whom I am walking with out the door. OMG. I freaked. I could not control my reaction which was get the crap away as quickly as possible. I shoved Henry, my then 4 year old, out of the way and hurried through the doors. Thankfully, Jason was behind us with the rest of the kiddos and acted normally while I waited for them to say their goodbyes.
I then started researching if being afraid of mascots was a thing and it is a thing! “Masklaphobia is the fear of people in masks and costumes such as mascots, full-bodied costumed characters, masquerade costumes and Halloween costumes.” (phobia.wikia.com) I’m down with regular masks. If a person has a face mask on, but I can see the rest of their body, I’m totally cool with that. If I can’t see your body and you are full enveloped, don’t come near me. I have enough rationale to deal with the mascot being —->>> over there, although I am on HIGH alert. We do plan on taking a Disney trip at some point soon, so that should be a lot of fun.
Jason took a picture of me freaking out last night and I find it hilarious now, but in the midst of that scary wolf person trying to make me five him, he actually poked me!! I cannot even describe to you the relief of the wolf walking away from me. I did read that fear of mascots and masks in kids is a developmental thing. Eventually kids realize that the wolf isn’t a bad guy and all that. This is different. I know he’s not bad, but I still freak out. I could actually go to therapy for this! There are ways to work on this fear. It just seems so silly! If kids persist in being scared, though in a crying freak out way, they could have maskaphobia or masklophobia. (That’s my PSA for the day). Go Wolves! …away…far away…