When Disney Parks first reopened after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a lot of things that were different. Many of the dining options were unavailable, Park capacities were significantly decreased, and characters were nowhere to be seen. All of these new changes were meant to keep both Guests and Cast Members safe. As COVID numbers have declined, more and more things have been brought back to Parks, to the delight of many Guests.
Characters have slowly made their way back to Disney Parks, but Guests have been unable to get up close and personal with them. At both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, all character meet and greets are still being done from a socially safe distance. While masks were required for months at those meet and greets, recently both Disneyland and Disney World dropped those facial covering mandates.
Now, Walt Disney Company CFO Christine McCarthy is giving fans another update on character interactions. During the Q&A portion of the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, she was asked about the return of face-to-face character interactions. McCarthy said that Disney has been monitoring the COVID situation at all of its Parks and said that the close interactions will return “soon.”
“With the trending of COVID, we’re definitely going to see some of those face-to-face interactions come back.”
Both Disney World and Disneyland have seen a steep drop in COVID-19 cases in their areas. These decreases have allowed Disney to drop its mask mandates for vaccinated Guests, open more restaurants, bring back buffets, and bring back nighttime experiences like World of Color and Fantasmic!.
Right now, there is only one Disney Park that is allowing up close and personal interactions between Guests and characters. Disneyland Paris requires all Guests to provide proof of vaccination before entering the Parks — as is the law in France. Because Guests must prove that they are either vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID, Disneyland Paris is now allowing Guests to see the characters and even hug them.
McCarthy also stated that Disney is looking forward to bringing back these types of interactions because they help balance the crowds in the Parks. Neither Disneyland Resort in California nor Walt Disney World requires Guests to provide proof of vaccination. Disney is watching to see if the numbers keep going down before they allow close character interactions.
Are you looking forward to being able to hug your favorite characters again?