Beloved Disney Character Finally Able to Give Hugs

Ariel giving hugs, Winnie the Pooh giving a hug, Elsa, Anna hug
Credit: Disney and DisneyDining

When Covid-19 hit Walt Disney World, the Disney Company had to make changes quickly. The goal was to keep guests and cast members as safe as possible while they enjoyed the magic of Walt Disney World. One of the experiences that had to be adjusted was meet and greets.

As social distancing was enforced, traditional meet and greets were not offered throughout Disney parks. Guests could see their favorite characters during cavalcades and through distant meet and greets.

Traditional meet and greets slowly returned throughout Walt Disney World as procedures adjusted. Guests could once again hug their favorite characters in the parks; however, one meet and greet remained distant until now.

winnie the pooh face character

Credit: Disney

Winnie the Pooh Returns

One meet and greet that remained distant this whole time was Winnie the Pooh at EPCOT. Guests loved seeing Winnie the Pooh catching butterflies and playing on the large grassy area between EPCOT’s World Nature and World Celebration section.

Right next to the Imagination Pavilion, Winnie the Pooh would spend his time enjoying nature. From playing hide and seek to catching butterflies and chasing squirrels, Winnie the Pooh was adorable even from a distance.

This meet and greet, although distant, has become a fan favorite at EPCOT. Guests love spending time seeing Winnie the Pooh and interacting. Although the interactions are magical and fun, they couldn’t replace the joy a big hug from Winnie the Pooh brings.

Luckily, guests will now again be able to get hugs from Winnie the Pooh while visiting EPCOT. On the My Disney Experience app today, a new experience was discovered. “Meet a Friend from the Hundred Acre Wood”  now lists times for meeting Winnie the Pooh in Christopher Robin’s room in the UK Pavilion.

Winnie the Pooh will begin meeting Guests at 9:00 a.m. when EPCOT opens to them. He will continue to meet throughout the morning every half hour, taking a break for some honey following his appearance at noon. After his lunch break, it looks like he returns to visit with guests with this last appearance at 3:40 p.m.

This meet-and-greet setting is adorable in EPCOT’s UK Pavilion. Taken right out of the storybook, Christopher Robin’s room is exactly what we all imagined as kids. We love that we can get a massive hug from the adorable, silly bear again.

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Meet and Greet

Credit: Disney

Where Else to Find Winnie the Pooh

If you can’t make it to EPCOT during your Walt Disney World vacation, you can still get a big hug from Winnie the Pooh. Over in Magic Kingdom, guests can meet Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too.

Guests will find the meet-and-greet location next door to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasyland. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger meet guests throughout the day in an adorable Hundred-Acre Wood-themed area. With a cute storybook backdrop, this location is perfect for a family photo.

If you happen to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or plan to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party later this year, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are joined during the party by Piglet and Eeyore making it a must-do meet and greet for many guests.

Winnie the Pooh UK Pavilion

Credit: Disney

We are thrilled that Winnie the Pooh will again give out hugs at EPCOT. It has been a long time waiting for them to return.

Related: Disney Finally Introduces the New Meet and Greet Fans Have Been Begging For

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.