Disney Character Shoves Toddler, Parent Raises Stink Online

in Disneyland Resort

Donald Duck pushes a small child away after hugging her, violating the so-called Disney hug rule.

Credit: @natjmoy via TikTok

A disappointed mother spoke out online this week after Donald Duck allegedly violated the “Disney hug rule.” Dozens of viral videos in the last year claimed that Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort boasted an unspoken policy requiring Disney characters to hug children until they let go.

The Disney hug rule is technically real but isn’t a hard-and-fast guideline. Disney character performers still have the right to revoke consent for physical touch at any time. Not letting go of an emotional little one is common among entertainment cast members, but doing otherwise isn’t necessarily a punishable offense.

Donald Duck on a boat-shaped float at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Credit: Disney

TikTok user Natalie Moy (@natjmoy) recently shared this video of her toddler meeting Donald Duck in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park. The Disney Park guest claimed that “the Disney hug rule [didn’t] go as expected.”

@natjmoy

When the Disney hug rule doesn’t go as expected 🥴🤔 it’s okay we still love Donald Duck 🫶🏼 #disneyland #disneylandpark #californiaadventure #dca #magickey #magickeypass #mickey #minnie #disneyduo #pixarfest #disneyday #happiestplaceonearth #ohnono

♬ Oh No – Kreepa

In the video, Moy’s daughter runs to hug Donald Duck. He embraces her for a second and gently pushes her away to pose for a photo. Luckily, the little one doesn’t appear distraught by the incident.

While this interaction might seem unusual, it’s typical for roaming Disney characters to spend less time with individual guests. Unless you reserve a Character Dining experience or wait in line for an official meet-and-greet, getting photos and autographs from your favorite Disney characters isn’t guaranteed.

Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse on Main Street, U.S.A. at Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Roaming characters explore a set section of a Disney theme park for a scheduled time slot. Intended to immerse guests further in the magic, they’re likely to play a game with a group of kids, interact with props, or even hop on the Mad Tea Party. Most roaming characters and attendants avoid letting lines build up for photos and autographs.

Disney Parks fans were split on Donald Duck’s interaction with Moy’s daughter.

“Unfortunately in [Toontown] all the characters are forced to be quick & I hate it,” @yillis_nails commented.

Mickey Mouse in front of his house in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

“Roaming characters don’t stay too long with any [one] person…. Got to go to meet where you wait in line they have longer interactions,” @210bubbles replied.

“You want a grown man / [woman] to hug ur child for 1+ mins… in the hot *ss sun in a huge furry costume?” @kimkardashiansexhusband2 asked. “It’s their job yes but jeez.”

“What’s wrong with what he did?” @89analopez echoed. “You guys seriously make something little into a big deal.”

Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, two Disney Characters, pose in front of a tea set in Mickey's Toontown.
Credit: Disney

In the end, Moy and her daughter weren’t upset by the incident.

“It’s okay,” she wrote. “We still love Donald Duck.”

Has a Disney character meet-and-greet ever gone wrong for your family? In the comments, share your funniest stories from Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort with Inside the Magic. 

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