Meet and greets with Disney characters is something guests haven’t seen in some time at Walt Disney World. But new details and work ongoing at Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom make us believe Disney is nearly ready to bring a form of meet and greets back soon.
UPDATE – 10/13/21, 5:07 p.m. EST: Walt Disney World has confirmed that more entertainment offering are coming back. At Magic Kingdom, the Disney Princesses will return to Princess Fairytale Hall, and Mickey Mouse will hang out backstage at Town Square Theater in his new EARidescent look.
Note, this is based off of rumors and speculation, this information has not been confirmed by Disney and thus should be taken as a rumor for now.
Recently, we wrote about how even after a year, the entertainment at Walt Disney World has been held back. Recent spikes with the Delta COVID-19 variant explain why hugs cannot return yet. But we believe Disney is working towards a return of their beloved princesses at the Magic Kingdom sooner than later. As of this time, the easiest way to see Disney Princesses is during the cavalcades.
First off, something we can see. The entrance to the Princess Fairytale Hall has refurbished its golden look. The gold work is immaculate and shimmers beautifully. But many new attractions in Fantasyland have gotten a new gold update or refresh, so this is not enough.
The next big hint is World Princess Week. According to Disney, “On Aug. 23, 2021, Disney will take the celebration to the next level with the first-ever World Princess Week – a weeklong celebration aimed at inspiring a million acts of kindness around the globe.” While new merchandise is already being offered, and stories of brave and inspiring real-world princesses have already begun to be shared, this specific week is important.
This celebration will be highlighted by “Disney Princess Remixed – An Ultimate Princess Celebration,” a 30-minute special released on Disney Channel Aug. 27, 2021, and soon thereafter on Disney+. This week-long event is the beginning of a year of celebrations for all things Disney Princesses. If there was ever a time to have a push to bring princesses back to Magic Kingdom, it would be during this event. But the Delta variant causes issues.
While it may have been Disney’s intention to bring back a form of meet and greets, we believe the Delta variant has caused them to change their plans. They may have even originally just done socially-distanced meet and greets. Which would be easier to bring back. But the behind-the-scenes work is what messes up these options. Even if the princesses can be socially-distant from guests, the backstage areas of Walt Disney World would need to be compliant with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as well.
So while Tiana could wave at guests safely, where would she go when she isn’t outside waving hello? The same goes for all the other princesses, their character attendants, PhotoPass cast members and more. You need room for all of these people, and you need to be able to do it safely. While many are vaccinated in Orlando, not all are. Therefore, Disney has to stick to the guidelines as if no one was.
It could have been Disney’s intention to manipulate the queue indoors to allow distanced or modified meet and greets for princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall. And that could still be the case. But the Delta variant has almost certainly stopped that from happening in time for the Aug. 27 World Princess Week celebration.
Instead, Disney may be aiming for the return of some of their most iconic characters by the 50th anniversary, Oct. 1, 2021. This date is quickly arriving, and the positive test rates of those with COVID-19 will certainly determine if this is a possibility. But, entertainment is still coming back, even if its taking longer than we had expected.
For now though, you can see Cinderella’s Evil Stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella, outside under the Princess Fairytale Hall signage. These pop-ups happen daily, but Disney has not disclosed exact times when this duo shows up.
On the Princess section of the Walt Disney World website, it would appear all the princess meet and greets are back. But you have to know to click on the individual links to see “temporarily unavailable” for each experience. There are still Disney entertainment performers displaced to other positions. Others still wait on furlough. And, the vast majority of season and part time were laid off.
That means that there are workers ready to pickup these positions at a minute’s notice. World Princess Week and Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary are coming soon. We are hopeful changes are being made behind-the-scenes to make way for the return of more Disney Princesses in the parks.
Do you take this as a hopeful sign for more princesses to return? Have you heard any other info or rumors in regards to the return of Disney characters? Let us know in the comments below.