After nearly two years of Guests being deprived of hugging their favorite Disney characters, we can finally announce that up-close-and-personal character meet and greet are returning to multiple Disney Parks! Prior to March 31, the only Disney Park that was allowing Guests to get close to characters and actually touch them was Disneyland Paris. Walt Disney World’s Galactic Starcruiser was also not requiring social distancing when interacting with characters.
Disney teased on March 30 that an announcement on character interactions was coming, and now it is here! And it will be happening in just a few short weeks!
These coveted interactions are now coming back to not only Walt Disney World Resort, but also to Disneyland Resort, Aulani: A Disney Resort and Spa, as well as the Disney Cruise Line. That means that you will finally be able to give Mickey, Goofy, Donald Duck, Pluto, and more, that big hug that you have been holding inside for years!
According to Disney, traditional — AKA pre-pandemic — character meet and greets will begin on April 18! This date will be effective for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, and Disney Cruise Line. Disney Parks Blog shared more information on the exciting return:
It’s been so great to see live entertainment returning to our theme parks, resorts, and cruise ships, and today, I’m thrilled to tell you about another quintessential Disney entertainment experience that’s on the way back. As early as April 18, we will start reintroducing traditional character greetings at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as well as aboard Disney Cruise Line and at Aulani Resort in Hawaii. That’s right! Very soon, you will once again be able to hug Mickey Mouse, get an autograph from Mulan, and share a laugh with Goofy. We know many of you have missed these special moments, and your Disney character friends have missed you, too!
During the past two years, we’ve taken a very gradual, intentional approach to health and safety protocols. Recent trends and guidance have provided opportunities for us to bring back some of our most beloved magic, like character greetings and dining experiences. While not all locations will be available immediately, we anticipate reopening in phases throughout the spring and early summer.
While character hugs are returning to the Parks, the next big move would be to bring back interactions while dining. Currently, there are only some character meals throughout Disney Parks and Resorts, and those meals are modified character experiences. What that means is that the characters will come out and say hell from a distance, but are not yet going from table to table. Hopefully, the return of these close interactions in the Parks will mean that dining will soon go back to the way it was before the pandemic.
Which character are you looking forward to giving a great, big hug to?