Great news Disney fans – the character meet and greets that we once knew are returning! We will now be able to hug Mickey and friends and get their autographs again! When the parks closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, character meet and greets were paused. For just over two years, we have not been able to hug our favorite characters. Here is what we know about character meet and greets returning!
Back to Normal
With normal character meet & greets returning, it finally feels like pre-pandemic Disney days! Disney announced that on April 18, 2022, we will be able to hug our favorite characters again and get their autographs! Guests will also be able to pose next to characters for a photo without being socially distanced. The official press release from Disney says “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. Very soon, guests 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!”
Modified Meet & Greets
When the parks reopened in July 2020, Disney knew how much we needed to see Mickey & his pals, so Character Cavalcades were introduced. Every so often, we would see our favorite characters float by on a large cavalcade and wave to us! It eased the pain for most guests, but it just wasn’t the same. Once health and safety guidelines allowed it, we got one step closer to normal character meet & greets by doing “modified meet and greets” which were socially distanced. In late 2021, guests were allowed to meet characters inside again if they wore a mask. Once Disney started easing the restrictions, we all knew that normal meet and greets were just around the corner!
Although traditional meet & greets at the park will be returning to normal, not all character dining locations will be following suit just yet. Disney, however, has hinted that character dining will be making some major changes soon as well. At most character dining locations right now, meeting characters is done from a distance as the characters dance around the restaurants and stand near your table for a picture. Disney did not specify which character dining locations will return to the normal meet & greets but it is possible that it will start on April 18 and gradually return over the course of this spring and summer.
It will be so nice to hug our favorite characters again while visiting the parks. It just makes a Disney trip that much more memorable and special when you’re able to hug Mickey! Once character dining returns, it will be even more fun now that we can hop up to take a picture with our favorite characters and get their autographs again. This news just added a little more magic to everyone’s day. Which character are you most excited to hug again?