Walt Disney World has recently seen a return of some beloved Characters Meet and Greets, and Disney Park Guests are undoubtedly lining up to rub elbows with their favorite animated friends. However, those visiting the magic kingdom might notice that the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy isn’t as full and friendly as it used to be. Because while characters like Mickey Mouse and the princesses are always readily available, the park is still missing some pretty big players.
Meeting the characters at a Disney park is one of the quintessential experiences a guest can have while visiting Disney property. All Disney Parks have their own roster of characters to meet at any given time, and some might change given the time of day Guests choose to visit. However, if there’s one place guests can truly depend on for their character Meet and Greets, it’s the Magic Kingdom. At one time, the Magic Kingdom played host to a wide variety of characters from Disney’s collection, but it feels like some interactions are still missing. Not counting characters that are primarily featured in things like parades and cavalcades, the Park arguably had the largest array of characters at Walt Disney World, but now it feels like things are slightly watered down.
Granted, this might be due to recovering from COVID-19 practices and getting back into the swing of regular Meet and Greets, but the absence of more than a few Disney friends doesn’t go unnoticed. Where Guests normally found characters like the Country Bears and Stitch roaming around freely, many of them have been reduced to “sightings” or outright cut from their regular meeting spot.
Seeing places like Pooh’s honey tree or Gaston’s Tavern devoid of the characters who call them home is definitely jarring. Many Guests might find it disheartening to find that their favorite regular characters are either no longer around or blocked behind a wall to only be seen at a distance. Needless to say, it’s one of those things at the Disney Parks that isn’t the same anymore.
Pooh, Tigger, Gaston, Marie, and a whole host of characters normally seen at places like the Main Street Flag Pole are still missing from the Kingdom, and that definitely alters the experience for many dedicated Disney Park Guests. On a certain level, the character “sightings” feel less like a proper Disney character experience and more like the company teasing Guests with what they used to have. Since attractions like Ariel’s Grotto, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Pete’s Silly Sideshow are returning, it might be a sign of upcoming change. Hopefully, this is all a temporary setback, and things will get back into the swing of things before the year is over.
Which Meet and Greet do you miss seeing at the Disney Parks? Tell us in the comments below!