After three years, guests at all six Disney Resorts can finally hug characters at meet-and-greets, with Tokyo Disney Resort lifting its restrictions today, May 8.
Starting today, guests meeting characters at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are finally allowed to hug characters when they meet, as well as stand next to them for photos. This change comes as Japan reclassifies COVID-19 as a disease on the same level as the flu rather than tuberculosis or plague. With this change by the government, the industry-created COVID-19 safety rules for theme parks around Japan has also been abolished.
When the parks reopened from their COVID-19 closure on July 1, 2020, guests could only stand 2m (6ft) away at all times, with yellow tape on the floor demarcating where they could stand, and masks had to be worn during photos. These rules were gradually relaxed, first by allowing guests to shed their masks briefly during photos, then allowing a single high five and autographs from last September. The distance with characters was reduced to 1m (3ft) earlier this year, but guests still could not hug or stand next to characters for photos until today.
With this change, Tokyo Disney Resort has become the last of the Disney Parks worldwide to resume character hugging. Guests were able to hug characters at Disneyland Paris from last March, Walt Disney World and Disneyland from last April, Hong Kong Disneyland from January this year, and Shanghai Disneyland from early March this year.
How do you feel about being able to get a hug with Mickey Mouse at every Disney park again? Let us know in the comments below!