BREAKING: Traditional Character Meet-And-Greets Are Returning to Disney World SOON

It’s been a long road to the return to “normal” since Disney World closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and, while masks are no longer required for vaccinated guests in most locations and most distancing measures are gone, guests longing to hug Mickey Mouse (or any other character for that matter) haven’t been able to just yet.

Mickey Mouse Character Sighting at Town Square Theater

When the parks first reopened, character meet-and-greets were suspended and replaced with opportunities to take a photo with them from afar (and usually outdoors). Since then, Disney has brought back the ability to have individualized times with characters in what they call “character sightings,” but, there are still no autographs or hugging allowed at these distanced meet-and-greets. Though, that is now set to change soon!

At the beginning of March, Disney’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, shared that these should be coming back “soon” and, today Disney announced that traditional character meet-and-greets will officially return to Walt Disney World as early as April 18th. 

You’ll soon get to HUG characters again!

This means that you’ll once again be able to hug characters, get autographs, and take up-close photos (something that we’ve really only seen available on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to date) both in the parks and at character dining experiences.

Disney notes that “While not all locations will be available immediately, we anticipate reopening in phases throughout the spring and early summer.”

We can’t wait to hug Mickey again!

One thing to note is that, at the beginning of the year, select character sightings were added as an option on Disney Genie+, meaning that guests are able to use the Lightning Lane for these spots and bypass the standby line to see their favorite characters if they make a reservation. Disney hasn’t shared whether these new traditional meet-and-greets will be available as a Lightning Lane option on Genie+, but this could very likely be an option.

Lighting Lane reservations have been available for character sightings with Mickey at Town Square Theater, Cinderella and a visiting princess at Princess Fairytale Hall, and Tiana and a visiting princess at Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom along with Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’ll be keeping an eye out for what meet-and-greets might be added to Genie+!

Lovely, Minnie

So, be sure to pack your autograph book for your trip after April 18th, and stay tuned to AllEars for more of the latest Disney news and updates!

Check out What the NEW “Normal” Looks Like in Disney World HERE!

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Are you excited for the return of character meet-and-greets? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “BREAKING: Traditional Character Meet-And-Greets Are Returning to Disney World SOON”

  1. Thank you Disney! Thank you for not saying 22nd! That’s my bday and I will be home by 19th.
    I’m bringing my 7year old son named Anakin and my 1 year old. This really is gonna make our experience that much more memorable.

  2. This is frustrating news… we leave tomorrow for my kids first Disney trip… and we will be home before this starts :/