One of the indoor character sighting locations that has not reopened since the Walt Disney World Resort closed at the onset of COVID-19 is now once again available for Guests! Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom this morning were greeted with a soft opening to the Mickey Mouse character sighting in the Town Square Theater on Main Street U.S.A. (While this character location is now reopened, as of October 28, 2021, this does seem to be a soft opening at Disney’s official website still lists the location as returning in November.)
Earlier this month, Disney quietly changed the name of this kind of experience from a “character meet and greet” to a “character sighting.” The change in verbiage is intended to imply distancing, as all of the character locations that are in the process of reopening are doing so under modifications to keep Guests and characters safe.
The new character sightings, including the one with Mickey now open at Town Square Theater, offer more individualized experiences and better photos with characters than Guests are able to have with the outdoor sightings that are even more distanced and the character cavalcades, but things like hugs with characters and autograph signings do remain unavailable during this time.
Guests meeting Mickey Mouse in Town Square Theater this morning reported that he is wearing his EARidescent outfit in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort rather than his previously worn Magician or birthday style outfits, and masks are required during the encounter as they are at all indoor locations at the Walt Disney World Resort. Orange County did recently opt to end the state of emergency that was enacted earlier this summer, however at this time we have not heard of any changes in COVID-19 policies from Walt Disney World.
At Town Square Theater, Guests and Mickey are separated as Mickey is in a roped off area, and pictures by Disney PhotoPass photographers are not available at this time. We do expect PhotoPass to return at a later date, and our best guess is that the lack of PhotoPass at the moment is likely due to staffing challenges. The current setup of Mickey’s character sighting at Town Square is likely similar to what Guests will see as other locations continue to open up, including those in Hollywood Studios that are set to return soon.
While modified, it is very exciting to see some individual character experiences return to the Walt Disney World Resort, as signs of normalcy are always a welcome sight to Guests! Be sure to stop by and greet Mickey next time you visit the Magic Kingdom, and confirm hours and availability on Disney’s official website and the My Disney Experience app during your visit.