ORLANDO, Fla. — After the coronavirus pandemic pushed character meet and greets to be distanced, Disney is nearly ready to bring back the beloved experience.
The theme park announced character greetings will start to be reintroduced at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, aboard Disney Cruise Line and at its Aulani Resort as early as April 18.
"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. We know many of you have missed these special moments, and your Disney character friends have missed you, too!" the Disney Parks Blog reads.
The decision to return to non-distanced meet and greets after two years was due to recent COVID-19 trends and guidance, according to the theme park.
Disney says not all locations will be immediately available for guests to interact with their favorite characters, but that it anticipates reopening the experience in phases throughout the spring and early summer.
"This exciting milestone continues the recent, powerful momentum of returning entertainment across the Disney parks and resorts," the Disney Parks Blog reads.
Walt Disney World is currently celebrating its 50th-anniversary with new shows, character costumes, food, merch and experiences across all four theme parks.
Guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks at Walt Disney World in both indoor and outdoor locations, while those who are not fully vaccinated are still expected to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor settings.
Masks are still required for all guests 2 and up while on enclosed forms of transportation at Disney, including buses and monorails.
For more information on Disney World's health and safety guidance, click here.