Anyone who has been back to Walt Disney World Resort since the doors reopened in July knows that there are new guidelines and protocols in place due to COVID 19. While everybody wishes our world could get right back to “normal”, we all understand that during a pandemic Disney is doing the best they can to ensure the health and safety of guests and Cast Members. Firework shows and parades have been suspended, and character meets are now socially distanced. I have been lucky enough to visit the parks more than once since reopening, and I am here to tell you- the magic is still there! In some ways, there is even more magic now! Let’s take a look at the new socially distanced ways we are seeing our favorite characters throughout the parks, and why they are still so much fun.
- Characters Greeting guests from the upper-level of the Main Street Train Station- This has been a fun surprise! When being among the first to enter or last to leave Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, guests are treated to special characters waving “Hello” or “See ya’ real soon”. Disney Princesses are among the most popular characters to be seen at this spot. It is such a great way to start or end your day.
- Character Cavalcades- The Character Cavalcades have been an absolute favorite of mine since they made their debuts throughout all 4 parks. From the special Halloween cavalcade to the Holiday-themed cavalcades, it’s been so much fun seeing some of my favorite characters making their way throughout the parks. Honestly, I have gotten much closer to my favorite characters and had more personal interaction with them, than normally would have during one of the large parades. It is also nice that due to the pop-up nature of the cavalcades, gigantic crowds are not formed in advance. It has also been so much fun to see the boat cavalcades at Disney’s Animal kingdom Park. The cavalcades are something I really hope Disney continues after the pandemic is over.
- Special Character spots throughout EPCOT- Whether it is Joy from Inside Out, Alice or Mary Poppins in the UK Pavilion garden, or Winnie the Pooh catching butterflies, EPCOT has some really fun socially distanced character spots. These characters are so interactive and entertaining, you completely forget that they are socially distanced.
- The Star Wars characters found at Galaxy’s Edge- Dream of chatting it up with Rey and Chewbacca while they are working in their workshop or being threatened by stormtroopers? Well, you can do both of those inside Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I have had so much fun being teased by the stormtroopers! You may even catch Kylo Ren making his way through the Blackspire Outpost. Some of my favorite character interactions of all time have been at Galaxy’s Edge.
- Special unique character sightings- since reopening we have seen some very special and unique characters that we do not normally see at the parks. I got to witness an absolutely hilarious interactive encounter with Anastasia and Drizella (the ugly stepsisters) from the castle balcony. It was a complete surprise and I just happened at the right place at the right time. The conversation between the sisters and Disney guests was completely improvised and absolutely hilarious. We have also seen Peter Pan and Wendy make special appearances in front of The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom. The wonder of what special characters may be out really added an extra dose of magic and excitement for me!
While we may not be able to hug our favorite characters right now, the personal interactions and magic are absolutely still there! Disney has really gotten creative with ways to bring out our favorite characters in a safe and fun way.