Long-Awaited Character Hugs Are Back at This Disney Resort

donald duck character hug
Credit: Tokyo Disney

Over three years since its temporary closure due to COVID-19, Tokyo Disney Guests have had to keep their distance from characters—until now. As of May 8, 2023, the masks are off, and the characters’ arms are open to the hugs that make the Park feel like magic. This update comes over a year after Walt Disney World Resort lifted character hug restrictions in the US. 

Related: Beloved Disney Characters Who First Appeared in Disney Parks

The Japanese Government downgraded COVID-19 beginning May 8, 2023, and precautions around transmitting the virus are now in individuals’ hands (and arms). With more flexibility within the Tokyo Disney Resort walls comes lighter travel restrictions and reduced border measures. Travelers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or take a COVID-19 test to enter the country.

How Disney Tokyo Handled Character Hugs During COVID-19

Disney fanatics would argue that the characters and Cast Members make the Park experience like no other. Hugs bring the characters to life, and a morning could turn magical with a Minnie Mouse or Donald Duck sighting. 

mickey mouse character hug

Credit: Disney Tokyo

While nothing could shake Tokyo Disney fans’ loyalty, the absence of character hugs impacted the overall Park experience. High fives and passing waves have been the extent of character interactions in the Parks, leaving kiddos and Guests of all ages missing the meet-and-greets of years past. Now, Tokyo Disney park-goers will notice the removal of distance markers with plenty of opportunities to embrace Mickey Mouse and other favorite Disney characters.

What Guests Can Expect with Tokyo Disney Resort’s Lifted Restrictions

After three years of restrictions, Tokyo Disney character hugs might be the last puzzle piece to return the Park to normalcy. A few weeks ago, news broke that beloved dinner shows are returning to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Starting September 1, “Mickey’s Rainbow Luau” at Tokyo Disneyland’s Polynesian Terrace Restaurant will be available to Guests along with a new dinner show called “The Diamond Variety Master” at The Diamond Horseshoe.

disney tokyo monorail

Credit: Disney Tokyo

Related: Disney World’s Marathon Runners Enjoy Surprise Visit From Rare Characters

With no masks, more character interactions, and dinner shows back in the mix at Tokyo Disney; Guests can enjoy their Park experiences with open arms again. 

Which Disney character are you hugging first? Let me know in the comments!

About Kaitlin Morelli

A Disney World Guest since before she could walk, Kaitlin is a Jersey girl and former Virginia Tech Hokie. When she's not listening to the 'Moana' soundtrack on repeat with her baby daughter, she's writing, singing, and strumming the ukulele. Kaitlin is passionate about finding the best Disney Park tips n' tricks and moments when pop culture and Disney collide. She's looking forward to eventually taking her first Disney trip with her favorite fan in the making: her daughter.

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