A new trend: Superheroes and princesses for hire

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Fairytale characters and superheroes are becoming increasingly popular. Character Bookings (pictured above) and other companies are making it a business. Photo by John Lund.
Fairy-tale characters and superheroes are becoming increasingly popular at parties and events. Character Bookings (pictured above) and several other companies are making a business out of renting costume characters. (Photo by John Lund)

Fairy-tale characters and superheroes have been a large topic in the media and Hollywood. The recently adored “Batkid” has gone viral, and fantasy television shows like ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” are viewed by millions each week.

Some Utah businesses have begun showing their love for superheroes and princesses by booking costume characters for parties and events along the Wasatch Front.

Pirate and Princess Parties owner Kendalyn Harris said there are two reasons to book a character for a special event.

“One, it just makes everything more exciting. When these characters walk in and you see the look on the child’s face, they are just enthralled,” she said.

The second reasoning she gave is the convenience for parents when booking parties, leaving it up to the company, as an event planner, to take the stress away. Harris’ company, located in Bountiful, provides characters for events throughout northern Utah.

While companies like Pirate and Princess Parties may not be able to provide copyright characters, like those belonging to Disney, they can take timeless characters like Cinderella, Rapunzel or a superhero and transform an event into a rare “meet and greet” activity.

John Lund, cofounder of Character Booking in Provo, said their characters are professional and do not take their task lightly. On Halloween, Lund was seen on BYU campus in character as Batman, complete with a Kevlar suit and his best impersonation of the “Batman voice.” The suit alone was an investment worth thousands.

Both Lund and Harris said movies and Hollywood affect their business, specifically what characters people are looking for.

“When a new movie comes out, the year and a half after that movie you will see more of the character,” Lund said.

Superheroes and princesses have been around for years and seem to keep growing in popularity. New movies and shows continue to come out, and characters once popular are resurfacing.

Disney’s “Frozen” was a hit at the box office over Thanksgiving Break, and Pirate and Princess Parties even held an event with a version of the Snow Queen.

With that in mind, will these characters appear at more birthday parties and special events? The craze seems to say yes, and these Utah businesses and others seem to be the ones to book.

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