Character Hugs Return to Disney Parks!

“Recent trends and guidance have provided opportunities for us to bring back some of our most beloved magic.”

ABC's "The Chew" Hosts And Celebrity Guests At Walt Disney World
Photo: Getty Images

Who needs a hug?

After nearly two years of social distancing and waves from afar, guests will soon be able to get close to Mickey, Minnie, and other Disney characters for photos, autographs, and even hugs at Florida's Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California.

Disney Parks announced Thursday that traditional character greetings are returning "as early as April 18" to both parks, Disney Cruise Line, and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii.

"Very soon, you will once again be able to hug Mickey Mouse, get an autograph from Mulan, and share a laugh with Goofy," Disney Live Entertainment Senior Communications Manager Shawn Slater wrote in an official Disney blog post. "We know many of you have missed these special moments, and your Disney character friends have missed you, too!"

"Recent trends and guidance have provided opportunities for us to bring back some of our most beloved magic, like character greetings and dining experiences," Slater continued. "While not all locations will be available immediately, we anticipate reopening in phases throughout the spring and early summer."

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Social distancing has been required for nearly all character interactions since Disney World reopened to guests in July 2020 and Disneyland reopened in April 2021 to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Both parks have been slowly scaling back health and safety protocols in recent months, removing indoor mask mandates for vaccinated guests in mid-February and resuming beloved pre-pandemic activities like parades, fireworks, and shows.

So, who's first on your hug list?

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