Meet and Greets Could End at Disney

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse character meet and greet at Fantasyland in Disneyland Paris

Credit: Disney

Disney Imagineering has always been at the top of the game when it comes to creating unforgettable theme park experiences. In fact, it wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that they are the industry’s gold standard. However, their recent developments at SXSW could drastically change how we experience their classic Meet and Greets.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on their Festival of Fantasy — Disney Parade — float
Credit: Disney

A visit to the Disney Parks is incomplete without a hug from Mickey Mouse at the bare minimum, and the Meet and Greets have been a staple of the overall Disney experience since the Parks opened. To say that the characters have come a long way since the early days of Disneyland would be an understatement, look at Disney Dan’s channel, but they might be getting a massive upgrade very soon.

What’s Happening to Disney’s Meet and Greets?

Tinker Bell on stage at SXSW
Credit: Disney

Disney revealed  a small sampling of the new technologies being developed to better enhance experiences at the Parks at this year’s SXSW. Many of their new projects involved attempts at more screen-accurate character interactions through the use of robotics, articulated costumes, and technological advancements, but all are quite remarkable even in their early stages.

Related: Disney World Character Saves Man’s Life

That being said, this could be the first step in completely reimagining the iconic Meet and Greet process. While most of us are used to seeing characters like Tinkerbell as character performers, Disney might be looking to change them into something more advanced.

Will All Character Meet and Greets be Changed?

As impressive as these new technological developments are, some fans are asking what this could mean for the Meet and Greets we know now. Does this mean the days of character performers are numbered in favor of these upcoming upgrades?

Although the technology used to create the impressive Judy Hopps robot is certainly an exciting feat for Disney, @AliciaStella makes a very sobering realization in the tweet above. The new advances might mean the end of a massive era for Disney Park fans.

What About the Character Performers?

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

It’s likely a safe bet to say that we are still at least a decade or two off before Disney finally perfects its animated androids, but this new development is definitely going to put some on edge. In creating a more screen and size accurate representation of their animated characters, Disney is sacrificing a cherished experience. There’s a distinctly human element in a Meet and Greet performance that simply cannot be replicated by a machine.

Related: Disney Changes Limited-Time Meet and Greet

In the end, it’s not about costumes, mascots, robotics, or experimental technology, but what is going to make a more emotional connection with the audience. The characters displayed at SXSW might be only a small part of something bigger, but they also might be the next step in the evolution of character Meet and Greets at the Parks.

Do you think Disney is making the right call with these new projects? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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