Get Ready to Hug Your Favorite Disney Characters Once Again

Our arms are already outstretched for an impending Mickey hug

Picture of Mickey waving from a hot air balloon

Courtney Kiefer / Walt Disney

Disney kids—and adults—rejoice! You'll soon be able to hug and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters once again.

"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," Shawn Slater, the senior communications manager of Disney Live Entertainment, posted on the Disney Parks Blog. This change comes with the steady reintroduction of some of the parks' other pre-pandemic entertainment norms, along with the 50th-anniversary revivals of popular shows like "Mickey's Magical Friendship Faire" and the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular" in Orlando.

The traditional character greetings don't just consist of hugs (although that's what we're most excited for), but it also includes autograph signings and the up-close and personal meet-and-greets with the company's many iconic and beloved characters, like the Disney princesses and the cast of "Star Wars." (Fingers crossed they'll soon introduce Mei from the newest Pixar film, "Turning Red.")

This and some of the other reopening steps might not be available in all locations right away but the company is working in phases to roll out these changes fully before fall. This spring, guests can expect the revival of Disneyland shows like "World of Color" and "Fantasmic!" for Disneyland's 50th anniversary and the return of fireworks and "Broadway-style shows" on the Disney Cruise Line.

As reopenings across the Disney properties roll out, the brand remains dedicated to keeping its guests safe. Each of the Disney properties currently has its own COVID-19 masking and vaccine rules. At Disney World Orlando and the Aulani Resort in Hawaii, masks are optional for vaccinated guests outdoors and indoors but are required indoors for the unvaccinated. In Disneyland Anaheim, face coverings are only strongly recommended indoors, except for Disney shuttles or near the First Aid station, where it is then mandatory. The Disney Cruise Line does not require masks for adult passengers but requires all passengers to either be vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to three days before sailing.

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  1. Walt Disney World Resort. "Disney Character Greetings Returning to U.S. Sites This Spring." March 31, 2022.