The hugs are coming back at Disney.
Disney Parks announced today that traditional character meet and greets will resume starting April 18 at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, on the Disney Cruise Line, and at Aulani Resort in Hawaii. The meet and greets will return in phases, so not all characters will be available at their pre-pandemic locations immediately.
Disney suspended character meet and greets when its parks, hotels, and ships resumed operations following lockdowns, replacing them with distanced character appearances. Fans could pose for selfies and wave to the characters, but not get close for hugs and autographs.
That changes next month.
The phased return of character meets will proceed at Disney's U.S. theme parks, resorts, and cruise ships through spring and early summer. It's the latest step back toward pre-pandemic operations for Disney's live entertainment, beginning the same month as World of Color, the Disneyland Forever fireworks and the Main Street Electrical Parade return to the Disneyland Resort. The Festival of Fantasy parade returned to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom earlier this month, and Fantasmic! returns to Disneyland in May.
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