Open Your Arms, Mickey Mouse, ‘Cause I’m Coming In For My Hug!

Open Your Arms, Mickey Mouse, 'Cause I'm Coming In For My Hug! The DIS minnie-mouse-character-chef-mickeys

Welcome Back Character Meet and Greet Hugs & High Fives – It’s Been A While!

It’s been a really long time, but slowly, step by step, we have reached a significant milestone with character meet & greets at Disney Parks & Resorts. Since April 18th, 2022, guests have been able to approach characters, hug them, request autographs, and take pictures without a mask requirement or physical distancing measures. Indoors or outdoors, we can visit our favorite spots to be close to our beloved characters.

As my Walt Disney World vacation approaches, my mind is swirling with thoughts of which characters I will visit, and I’m reminding myself of what it will be like to be one-on-one with my old friend Mickey Mouse! For old, young families, multi-generations, and solo travelers, this experience is for everyone and truly makes your Disney vacation special.

There is a lot to see and do with characters; let’s take a deep dive into what’s in store for us:

What To Bring

Autograph books are back! Bring your favorite ones or purchase a new one on Walt Disney World property. Don’t forget a pen/permanent marker!

Alternative items to write on: I had the characters write on a white tote bag one year. Another thought is a T-shirt, hat, or backpack.

Hug and Smile! Bring your warm arms and camera-ready smile for the big day!

Technology: Bring your phone for great pictures or your camera and remember Disney’s PhotoPass will be able to help you along with those forever memories!

Think & Prep: What will I say? What pose will I choose? Should I do a thumbs up? Where will my hands go? It’s been a while, and my social cues may be rusty!

Location: Where are my favorite characters anyway?! Check out your Disney park maps or the My Disney Experience for any updates.

Disney Cruise Line and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, have also been reintroducing character presence and closer meet and greets, so keep up to date with the rollout, as I’m sure many more will soon be introduced.

Open Your Arms, Mickey Mouse, 'Cause I'm Coming In For My Hug! The DIS IMG_6265(1)

It’s been two years since we have been able to participate in this type of experience, and Disney will slowly phase it in. With Walt Disney World’s Festival of Fantasy parade being reintroduced, we can also see our characters in these types of venues as well. And don’t forget character meals!

It’s been too long; I’ve missed you, friends. I can’t wait to see you up close and in person. Who are you super excited to meet, greet and HUG?! For me, it’s Mickey Mouse. Let us know below in the comments section!

Shari Kessler loves the Disunplugged and all things Disney. She has imparted her passion for the parks along with her husband of more than 25 years to their three young adult children. Their family vacations have included Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Aulani but their home base is Walt Disney World as she resides from New Jersey. Shari also loves her cats Ricky and Lucy(RIP Lucy 2021). As a former early childhood educator she is now assisting at an animal hospital in NYC. She enjoys the Disunplugged community and hopes her articles connect with the Dis family.
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