Disney Completely Drops Distancing, Meet and Greets Return to Normal

in Disney Parks

Kids Disney Coronavirus Reports

Credit: Abigail Nilsson, photographer

It looks like meet and greets are returning to normal at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland!

Kids Disney Coronavirus Reports
Credit: Abigail Nilsson, photographer

During the pandemic, things have been slow to return to normal at both of the American Parks, but now, it seems that hugging Mickey Mouse may just be days away. Disney did give Guests the opportunity to have socially distanced “character sightings” which allowed Guests to take distanced selfies with Disney characters such as Pooh, Chip and Dale, Minnie, Mickey, and more. But now things are changing.

peter pan disney world
Credit: Disney

Disney Parks has now taken to Instagram to share a video of the rope that separated Guests from meeting Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom being removed with Mickey doing a large hugging motion. In the comments, Disney did note that more information would be available tomorrow on Disney Parks Blog. In the post, we can see Disney World and Disneyland are included in the hashtags as well as Disney Cruise Line and Aulani, so it seems that both Parks will be announcing the return of meet and greets tomorrow. Check out the video here!

Although Disney did not announce a date in their post, it seems some on social media are predicting April 18 as the grand return. Take a look here!

This will be a massive step for Guests who have not been able to hug their favorite Disney characters for over two years now!

Mickey Mouse Greet
Credit: Disney

Most recently, the Disney Resort debuted Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and the new FastPass+ replacement attraction entrances, Lightning Lane, meaning Guests can now skip the standby lines at rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for an additional cost.

More on Meet and Greets – Disneyland Paris 

At the moment, COVID-19 changes are still very present at Disneyland Paris. We have seen Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disneyland Resort both shut down again due to the ongoing pandemic, however other Resorts like Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are beginning to look like a much more normal theme park experience with crowds filling the Park’s once again. As of April 1, 2022, meet and greets with 0 distancing will return!

Disneyland Paris Show
Credit: @DLPReport

The Park that started as Euro Disney and then transformed into Disneyland Paris with Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studio Park has grown so much over the past 30 years, and now as the Park continues to expand we are finally able to kick off the amazing celebrations of the 30th anniversary. Sleeping Beauty Castle is now lit with LED lighting, the decor is in place, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the rest of the gang have their outfits ready, Illuminations returned, and there is an all-new song for the celebration that sends a party down Main Street, U.S.A.! And that is just the tip of the iceberg, we haven’t even discussed the new drone technology that lit up the night sky.

More on Disneyland

Plus, there is so much to see and do at Disney California Adventure Park! Guests can enjoy Buena Vista Street as they walk the roads Walt had in Hollywood, enjoy a hand-dipped corn dog at Award Wieners, Head to Cars Land to enjoy the neon signage and Radiator Springs Racers, check out the new Marvel-themed land in Avengers Campus, where they can meet Spider-Man, Loki, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, and so many more characters. And of course, you have to ride WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: MISSION BREAKOUT. Rock on the Silly Symphony Swings as well, and go catch Jack Jack on Incredicoaster! The list of rides and attractions never ends!

Disney Characters
Credit: Disney

At Disneyland, there is so much for Guests to enjoy! Now that the mask mandate has dropped for fully vaccinated Guests, Guests can enter buildings without a face covering if they so choose. Walking up to Sleeping Beauty Castle is always a dream, especially when you get to go inside and relive the story of Aurora and Malifecnet. Riding classics like “it’s a small world”, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and more will have you feeling the magic, and craving a churro! Toontown is currently gearing up for a massive change which will be revealed in 2023 with the reopening of the land, and the debut of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Plus, now at Disneyland, Guests can enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run.

More on Walt Disney World

At the moment, EPCOT is now celebrating the International Flower and Garden Festival, and tons of construction is going on! Spaceship Earth now has the new Beacon of Magic lights illuminating the sphere and Future World is on the road to completion. Club Cool and the new Creations Shop is open to Guests as well as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the France Pavilion! Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will also debut this year! Plus, you can enjoy the stunning Harmonious show each evening!

World Showcase will soon also be joined by World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. The construction on these three lands has been ongoing, and now, we are beginning to see certain aspects of the theme park taking shape.

character meet and greets return
Credit: Disney

While you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can enjoy Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith on Sunset Boulevard. By the Chinese Theater, Guests prepare to ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. In Toy Story Land, Slinky Dog Dash always boasts a long line with others shooting their shot on Midway Mania or spinning their brains out on Alien Swirling Saucers. Of course, you have to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run!

If you want to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there is a ton to see and do! You can head over to Expedition Everest in Asia (when it is not under refurbishment) to visit the terrifying Yeti. Pandora will bring your Avatar dreams to life with Flight of Passage bringing Guests into the world of the Na’vi. DINOSAUR is still filled with giant dinos at every turn, and over at Kilimanjaro Safaris, you can take a ride on a real safari, and if you are lucky, a giraffe might even step in your way! A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King is now running, and the show is not one you should miss.  

disney world characters
Credit: Screenshot via Disney Parks Blog

At Magic Kingdom there is so much to see and do! Cinderella Castle is decked out for the 50th anniversary and now, Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire have returned. You can ride the three big mountains: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain, or calm things down on Peter Pan’s Flight. Rope drop the Park to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then enjoy a mid-day snack with some Dole Whip. Be sure to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy the firework show, Disney Enchantment!

Are you excited to see meet and greets return to normal? Let us know in the comments below.

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

View Comments (33)