Orange County

Here’s how soon you’ll be able to hug, get autographs from characters at Disney World

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Guests will soon once again be able to hug Mickey Mouse and get an autograph from Goofy.

Disney officials announced Thursday that traditional character greetings will return to U.S. theme parks, resorts and cruise ships as early as April 18.


Disney paused up-close character interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Recent trends and guidance have provided opportunities for us to bring back some of our most beloved magic, like character greetings and dining experiences,” theme park officials said on the Disney Parks Blog.

READ: New York firm buys resort on Walt Disney World property

While not all locations will be available immediately, officials said they anticipate reopening in phases throughout the spring and early summer.

Photos: Central Florida students chosen to attend Disney Dreamers Academy

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.