Traditional character meet and greets have been unavailable at Walt Disney World since the parks reopened from the COVID closures back in July of 2020.
Instead of meeting your favorite characters in their daily meeting spots indoors, Disney has been staging characters around the parks outdoors — both in cavalcades that quickly pass by and a waving from a distance fashion.
Disney recently announced that character meets would be returning, not exactly as they were before but in a modified capacity.
Let’s take a look at which character meets are returning and what we can expect from these experiences now.
Modified Character Sightings at Walt Disney World for 2021
The first thing to note is Disney is now calling these character meet-and-greets “sightings.”
I think Disney is trying to make it clear that these will still be physically distanced character interactions. You will not be able to hug the characters or have autographs signed.
I do still think bringing back indoor character interactions in any capacity is a step in the right direction!
I’ll be curious to see how these play out — will masks be required for photos or will guests be able to temporarily remove their mask?
What I experienced on the Disney Dream cruise in August of this year, was that Princesses were unmasked, they were physically distanced and had ropes up that ensured guests kept a distance as well. There was also a character handler and a photographer as well as a place to stand marked on the floor.
The guest could interact with the princess while masked, then remove mask for a quick photo, and then re-mask before saying farewells.
My best guess is this will be the same kind of situation at the parks for indoor character sightings.
Here’s the characters we know will be returning for sightings in November.
- Mickey Mouse
- Town Square Theatre
- I’ll update this post once we know for sure which princesses will be returning.
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Minnie Mouse
- Red Carpet Dreams
- Disney Junior Stars
- I’ll update this post once we know for sure which Disney Jr. characters will be returning.
- Animation Courtyard (outdoors)
And that’s what we have confirmed as of now. I do assume that more character sightings will continue to be rolled out over the next 2 months as we approach 2022.
As soon as we hear news of additional character sightings returning, I’ll update this post.
Be sure to follow along on Instagram @brbgoingtodisney if you don’t already do so. I share stories LIVE from the parks each week as well as my top tips for visiting Walt Disney World.