Characters Returned To Hugging People At Disney World This Year And One Cast Member’s Video Is Going Viral

Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World
(Image credit: Walt Disney)

When the Disney Parks reopened following the pandemic, they did so without many of the experiences that guests have come to know and love. Slowly, those things started to be added back to the experience at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. One of the last things to come back was the ability to get close to costumed characters. And we’re seeing just how important that was to a lot of people.

Recently, a video went viral showing a young woman getting emotional after giving Goofy a hug. Now, we’re seeing a similar situation for a Disney World cast member, who visited Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon and hugged “the boss.” They shared a beautiful moment which is currently going viral both on Facebook and Instagram. Check it out. 

It’s easy to be cynical but it’s honestly wonderful to see people have moments like this. You can see the emotion in her eyes. As a Cast Member she knows better than anyone that this giant mouse is really just another Cast Member, but that doesn’t matter here. He’s Mickey Mouse.

For some, being a Disney World Cast Member is probably just a job, even though they might work hard to do it well (some Disney Parks cast members may get overzealous). For some, clearly, it feels like something more than that. These Cast Members see Disney World in the same way many guests do, as a place with special meaning. For them, Mickey isn’t just a character being played by an employee but “the boss.” Not everybody has a relationship with their boss that makes hugs feel appropriate.

This video follows on one from a woman who got emotional on video after hugging Goofy, a character she associated with her grandfather who had passed away. A lot of people became critical of that clip, and critical of the concept of the “Disney Adult” in general, but at the end of the day if this interaction is meaningful to somebody, for literally any reason, that’s all that matters. 

While both Disney World and Disneyland found ways to get the characters in the parks when they reopened, they were previously kept at a distance. Having them inhabit the parks was still pretty cool, as it makes the parks feel more alive, but for those that wanted that one-on-one moment it just wasn’t the same. While things may never be quite like they were before the pandemic, they are about as close to “normal” as possible. Characters are back, fireworks and other nighttime spectaculars are back. For those looking for their own special Disney moment, it’s now possible once again.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.