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Hugs are back… at Disneyland

After a 2-year ban, it’s once again possible to hug your favourite Disney characters


Are we out of the pandemic? How many times has this question been asked? Covid 19 has changed our lives, forcing us to social distance and to become familiar with new ways of interacting, from elbow bumps to distance learning.

Now things are starting to return to normal. Many restrictions are being lifted, and positive signals are coming from the most disparate places. One in particular originates in the world’s most famous amusement park: Disneyland.

Between March 2020 and April 2021, the park was closed for 14 months. When it reopened, things had changed. The famous Disney characters who populate the park (such as Mickey and Minnie) greeted the guests from a distance. It was no longer possible to interact with them: no hugs, no autographs, no pictures next to them. But on 18 April Disneyland announced that hugs were back!

Hugging Disney characters has been an important part of the park’s experience since the 1950s. According to The New York Times, “a lot of American families consider it a rite of childhood to hug one of Disney’s cartoon characters.”

Is this too sugary? Or is it a bit weird? Regardless, the fact that hugs are back at Disneyland surely helps us answer our initial question: “Are we out of the pandemic?” Maybe not quite yet, but if you can hug Donald Duck, then we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

(Carlo Dellonte)
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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