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Credit: Disney

“Normal” Character Meet and Greets Returning to Walt Disney World Soon!

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of the traditional magic we’re used to at Disney Parks altered.

From social distancing to the new Park Pass Reservation system, the Guest experience at Walt Disney World and other Disney Parks have been modified for the health and safety of Guests and Cast Members.

During the pandemic, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks all followed federal mask requirements and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

And one thing truly modified because of social distancing rules was character meet and greets. Hugs were not allowed at Walt Disney World or Disneyland due to pandemic rules.

Now, however, we have the news we’ve been waiting for – hugs are coming back!

Mickey Mouse sighting

Credit: Disney

Meeting characters has become a sad – and often awkward – experience for Guests with pandemic rules in place.

Ropes and social distancing were introduced at attractions like Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater and Princess Fairytale Hall, with Guests only allowed to take selfies with their favorite characters.

And a hug? Well, Guests could forget about interacting physically or having young children run to their favorite Disney characters. 

Now, though, it seems we have some great news regarding meet and greets. Scott Gustin revealed on Twitter that Disney CFO Christine McCarthy has promised “normal” meet and greets will be returning to Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California soon:

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy says character meet and greets should be returning to domestic theme parks “soon.”

This is incredible news for Disney fans in the United States, with the pandemic hopefully slowly reaching its end.

Disneyland Paris set the trend recently when it comes to meet and greets, removing social distancing completely and finally allowing children and adults alike to hug their favorite Disney characters.

DLP Report on Twitter shared photos capturing moments when Guests could finally hug Pooh, Donald, and their friends.

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Credit: DLP Report

We know we can’t wait to run up to Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and all their pals when the traditional character meet and greets return across Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks in Florida!

We’ll keep you posted on this return date will be.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book