Characters out and about

Over the last couple of weeks we have been investigating which of the main COVID-19 changes that have had to be put into place at Walt Disney World you think should become permanent. 

So far in our mini series we have explored the cancelling of Fastpass+ and recently the changes to the obtaining of boarding passes for the enormously popular Star Wars: The Rise of the Resistance. Both of these polls are still active so don't forget to vote if you haven't done so already. 

The last debate in this mini series looks into the changes that have come about to character meet and greets across the Walt Disney World Resort. For many guests these encounters are the highlight of their trip to Disney. Hours often waiting in line to get the chance to meet Mickey and Minnie or favourite princesses and characters is usually the norm.

At a time when COVID-19 is still present, these meet and greets are inevitably impossible but to avoid the expected disappointment Disney have had to get creative. 

Instead of having to wait an hour or more to see your favorite characters inside an indoor meet and greet or at a specified location, characters can now be seen around the parks, greeting guests from rooftops, floats, stages, and other areas where they can remain socially distant. 

Characters Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

It is the best anyone can hope for in the current climate and is definitely better than no characters at all. Guests can do their best to snap a photo with Mickey mouse behind them, the actual act of getting the photo can be very memorable in itself.

It would be ridiculous to even float the question, do you think this change will become permenant? It is an iconic thing to do at Disney to meet Mickey Mouse, there is no way they would surely ever live that one down if they were to cancel character meet and greets permenantly. That's not to say that it wouldn't be great for the current increased presence of characters that are seen around the park and definitely add that extra magic spark to become a change that should be kept for the future.

So, our question for this debate is...

The Big Debate - When Do You Think Character Meet and Greets Will Return to Walt Disney World?

Princess Tiana, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

I know there will be some readers who can't stand speculation and to those I apologise now. If you haven't already take a quick diversion to our News or Features Page and check something more to your liking.

For those of you who like to speculate and like to voice your opinion, this is for you. So, right now in Florida COVID-19 cases are very high, while thinking about that, when do you think it will be feasible for Disney to bring back character meet and greets?


Frozen sing a long, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

Have you made a decision? Have you got a date in your head? Here are your options for the question, When Do You Think Character Meet and Greets Will Return to Walt Disney World?:

  • September 2020
  • October 2020
  • November 2020
  • December 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023 or beyond 

CLICK HERE to vote and don't forget to share this with your friends and family. We always love to hear your comments and are proud of our community on Theme Park Tourist so we ask you to be respectful of all other readers views. You can leave comments on our Facebook Page or below.

A selection of comments from each side of the debate will be shared in our The Big Debates RESULTS article which will be published soon.

On a separate note but one that links to characters, unfortunately due to the continuing dispute between Disney and the Actors’ Equity Association union, stage shows such as For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Festival of the Lion King, and Finding Nemo The Musical at Walt Disney World have remained dark. The only exception to this is Up! A Great Bird Adventure which was reworked to be performed without actors and renamed Feathered Friends in Flight to avoid any further disputes. 

Hopefully Disney and the Actors’ Equity Association union will come to an agreement in the near future so these much loved shows can once again be seen and enjoyed by the parks guests. For now, Disney Continues to Reimagine Shows as Actor Dispute Continues.

Beauty and the beast live on stage
Image: Disney

A few readers have commented that these polls are pointless because it won't make any difference anyway, which is inarguably a valid point in most situations. For those that see no value in taking part, that is of course your choice and be sure you check out our News or Features Page for other articles.

To read two of our top articles this week, click on one of the links in the content box below, and if you click on page 2, you can find out what else Theme Park Tourist has to offer to help you plan for your next theme park trip. We have also included links to the results article for our most recent Big Debates and listed our new featured articles for you to check out... 



I have found out yesterday by a YouTube video that Chef Mickey's is back to character dining. I am not sure about the meet and greets although they might be close to restarting that daily tradition, but I do know that due to the reopening phases that Walt Disney World Resort restauronts both in and off the theme parks are slowly restarting their character dining.

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