Disney magic

Mickey Mouse Is Going To Start Hugging Again

Disney has announced that ‘character greetings’ will be phased back in to parks and cruises.

Minnie and Mickey share a hug at Disneyland Park in France -- soon, all Disney Park characters will ...
David Nivière/Sygma/Getty Images

After two long years without fan interactions, Disney characters will be able to hug, sign autographs, and take selfies with everyone again.

The Walt Disney World Resort blog announced that it will begin phasing in character greetings as soon as April 18, across Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resorts, and the Disney Cruise Line.

“That’s right! Very soon, you will once again be able to hug Mickey Mouse, get an autograph from Mulan, and share a laugh with Goofy,” the post reads, with a large number of exclamation points. “We know many of you have missed these special moments, and your Disney character friends have missed you, too!”

They also shared a short montage of kiddos meeting their favorite characters, which will melt the hearts of even the most hardened and jaded moms.

Disney parks were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic like everyone else; the parks closed in the spring of 2020 and re-opened again in July 2020. The company has also dealt with extensive layoffs and a plethora of safety and distances measures — which have often fallen under criticism for not going far enough. Since last fall, characters have returned to their stations, but haven’t been able to interact with fans except in a distanced manner.

The announcement comes as many large organizations — from schools to workplaces — lift COVID restrictions amid low infection rates and after the Omicron spike. The company did not discuss a plan for what will happen to character greetings in the face of another COVID variant or outbreak.

This spring, which is Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, will also see the return of other traditional crowd-pleasers that have been on pause during COVID, including, “World of Color,” “Disneyland Forever,” “Fantasmic!” and the “Main Street Electrical Parade.”