84ºF

Here’s how you can meet your favorite characters during Walt Disney World’s phased reopening

Forget about up-close meet-and-greet sessions

ORLANDO, Fla. – Families are gearing up for the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, which starts Saturday.

With the phased reopening, guests will notice that the theme parks look a lot different than when they left in March.

From new cleaning procedures and requirements to changing the way people interact with characters, Disney has pulled out all the stops to help ensure everyone is safe inside the park.

Everyone dreams of that perfect picture with Mickey.

However, when the parks reopen, you may have to tweak your vision.

For its phased reopening, Disney will be putting normal meet-and-greets on hiatus -- and instead, implement new ways for families to interact with their favorite characters.

“From cavalcades down Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park to sailings down Discovery River at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and much more, characters from dozens of favorite Disney stories will surprise and delight guests across all four theme parks,” Disney officials said.

Below is information provided by Disney on where you can meet your favorite Disney characters.

Magic Kingdom Park

  • “The Royal Princess Processional” – Several times daily, favorite Disney princesses travel through the streets of Magic Kingdom. Princess Merida leads the way on her steed Angus, followed closely by a gazebo float and crystal castle carrying Cinderella, Tiana, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Rapunzel and others.
  • “Mickey and Friends Cavalcade” – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their pals pop up throughout the day, inviting everyone to “Get Their Ears On” as they wave to guests along the park’s parade route.
  • Cinderella’s Evil Stepsisters – From time to time, guests in Fantasyland may spot the dastardly Anastasia and Drizella and can interact with them from afar while they’re perched on a balcony of Cinderella Castle.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • “Donald’s Dino Boat Bash!” – Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Launchpad McQuack wave to guests from their party boat as “Donald’s Dino Bash!” moves from DinoLand U.S.A. to Discovery River.
  • “Discovery River Character Cruise” – Throughout the day, guests can see Timon and Rafiki or Pocahontas with Meeko, who will set sail on the parks’ waterways.
  • “Discovery Island Drummers” – These high-energy percussionists cruise along Discovery River, entertaining guests on the shore with an energetic beat.

EPCOT

  • “Mickey and Friends World Tour” – As guests travel around World Showcase, they may come upon Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Goofy all out sightseeing and waving to their friends.
  • “Frozen Promenade” – Queen Anna and Elsa venture into the unknown around World Showcase, journeying from country to country, waving hello to guests along the way.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – While living their own adventures in a galaxy far, far away, guests are likely to come across some familiar faces as they explore Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu:
    • Heroes of the Resistance, including Rey, Chewbacca and Vi Moradi, may be spotted on platforms above the garage in Black Spire Station or surveying activity around the spaceport where the Millennium Falcon has landed.
    • A contingent of First Order Stormtroopers join Kylo Ren in patrolling the landing platform at Docking Bay 9 beneath their TIE Echelon assault vehicle.
  • “Pixar Pals Motorcade” – Some of the biggest stars from Pixar Animation Studios’ films arrive on Hollywood Boulevard, from The Incredibles to Toy Story pals and more. They’ll wave to their fans as they head down the avenue accompanied by a celebratory musical score.
  • “Disney Junior Stars Motorcade” – Throughout the day, Disney Junior stars including Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins and Vampirina will cruise down Hollywood Boulevard waving to fans from colorful custom convertibles.

Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen Saturday, July 11, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot will open July 15. The parks were closed in mid-March as coronavirus cases increased in Florida.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to this coronavirus newsletter and go here.


About the Author: