Disney Park Seemingly Removes Physically Distanced Character Meet and Greets

in Disneyland Paris

Guests hugging Donald Duck (L) and Winnie the Pooh (R)

All Images Credit: DLP Report Twitter

Two years since the global pandemic shut down theme park operations worldwide, Disney Parks have slowly been removing the restrictions put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Now, just days after changing face-covering rules, one Disney Park has seemingly welcomed back close interactions with characters. Hugs are back!

disneyland paris characters
Credit: Disney

From plexiglass at dining locations to physical distancing markers in attraction queues, Park-wide mask mandates to suspending entertainment, it’s safe to say Resorts like Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and Disneyland Paris, have continually altered their pandemic-level restrictions, managing Guest experience in relation to government guidelines.

As of now, all but one Disney Park is currently open (Hong Kong Disneyland remains closed until April) with each operating differently in regards to health and safety regulations. For Disneyland Paris, though, Disney has taken a huge step forward when it comes to their character interactions.

disneyland paris parade
Credit: Disney

Earlier this week, Disneyland Paris removed their mask mandate for all Guests aged six and above, meaning that Guests entering Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney Village, or their myriad of Disney Hotels, can go maskless for the first time in years. This, of course, is only for those with a valid “Vaccine Pass” (for Guests 16+) or “Health Pass” (for Guests 12-15), which are essential requirements for those wanting to purchase a ticket for Disneyland Paris. Official guidance can be found here.

big thunder mountain disneyland paris
Credit: Disney

Now, just days after, and only days before the Park’s 30th anniversary celebration, Disneyland Paris has seemingly welcomed back close character interactions. For many Disney Parks, character meet and greets have either been suspended or altered considerably — as seen in Walt Disney World Resort where meet and greets were officially rebranded as “Sightings”, last year.

Sharing to Twitter, DLP Report (@DLPReport) revealed the moment some Guests were captured hugging Disney characters after years apart.

Character hugs and closer contact are once again allowed at Disneyland Paris

Another image shows another Guest hugging one of the Fab Five:

Hugs with Donald are back!

Related: Disney Park Replaces Iconic Food, Removes Mickey Waffles With Immediate Effect

These interactions with characters mark a momentous occasion for Disney Parks, and are surely a sign that more meet and greets could return to semi-normal operations sometime soon in various other theme park locations throughout the world.

It is worth noting that the official Disneyland Paris website has not made a clear announcement about whether all characters are allowing hugs and photos, or if it is just certain situations that allow for these closer interactions. At the time of publication, the website states:

Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

Traditional Character meet and greets, and makeover experiences will remain temporarily unavailable.​

Many Disney, Pixar, Star Wars Characters or Marvel Super Heroes will appear in the Parks and offer guests memorable photo opportunities. From unexpected appearances to new Selfie Spots, there’s never been a better time to see beloved Characters. Close interactions, including hugs, will be temporarily suspended.

If you are visiting Disneyland Paris, it would be wise to check with a Cast Member what is and is not allowed. As we have seen from situations in Disneyland Resort, Guests including children, are still unable to interact closely with characters.

disneyland paris 30th drone show
Credit: Disney

Hugs returning to this Disney Park come just days before Disneyland Paris begins its 30th anniversary celebration on March 6, 2022. The occasion sees the new Disney Illuminations drone pre-show, Disney D-Light, debut, as well as an original show including 30+ different characters take to the Castle stage.

During the celebration, Guests will still be able to ride popular attractions like Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Phantom Manor, and Big Thunder Mountain — which they can also experience using Disney Premier Access. Also slated for opening during the 30th is the second Avengers Campus at Walt Disney Studios Park.

disneyland paris parade
Credit: Disney

At this time, Disneyland Paris still recommends that Guests wear face-coverings while experiencing the nighttime spectacular, Disney Illuminations, at Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Do you think more Disney Parks should follow suit and bring back close character interactions? Let us know in the comments down below!

View Comments (3)