Theme Park News: Disney Character Hugs Return and HHN Rumors

Hello and welcome to another week of theme park news! Things are finally getting back to normal as character greetings and explosions in the sky return to the Disney parks, while Halloween draws closer and closer. Whether it’s a new celeb joining the ranks of pre-show rides or making Darth Maul’s dreams come true for the kids, here’s everything you need to know from the past week:


Blink and you’ll miss it – a return to form, that is. Over the past week, Disneyland has brought back almost all of its classic nighttime entertainment, while it and Walt Disney World have granted permission for anyone who wants to hug good ol’ Mickey Mouse.

Yes, after two long years, the real character greetings are back. Throughout the pandemic, Disney parks have hosted remote get-togethers, but now princesses, everyone’s favorite characters and yes, anthropomorphic mice are once again able to create memories and greet guests with a proper hug.

It sounds trite, but I didn’t realize how much it changes a person’s experience when you’re able to converse closely with a character. Standing ten feet from Winnie The Pooh is cool, sure, but having a rare The life of an insect the moth reminds you to take a special photo behind its wings or Goofy magically appears at your resort hotel ready and willing to smile for selfies is a nice touch that makes the world normal again and even my cynical self is glad to see you again.

At Disneyland Resort, it’s not just the characters that have made a comeback, as nighttime entertainment is back in full swing. Disneyland Forever fireworks are up and running again – I had forgotten how good this show was during the pandemic! – just like World of Color at Disney California Adventure and, my favorite, Main Street Electrical Parade. While some (dumbs!) may see the parade as an almost irritating throwback, I’m absolutely in love with it. From the small vehicles that buzz and crawl down Main Street, USA, to the big new final tank, which spotlights films such as Moana, Encanto and coconut, it’s so good to find him. (And… not just because I flew all over the country, from Walt Disney World to Disneyland, just to see its debut.) And also? The merchandising couldn’t be better. Couldn’t be better!!

There’s more to come, though – Fantastmic!, Disneyland’s impeccable waterfront nighttime spectacle, will return on May 28.


It’s not even May, but don’t worry, the Halloween theme park is never too far away. Disney’s Halfway Halloween promotion is about to hit with full force…even though we haven’t gotten to summer vacation yet, let alone fall vacation.

Revelry includes a Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas popcorn bucket and specialty cupcakes – both only available this weekend – but more special announcements coming this Thursday, April 28. Mickey’s not-so-spooky Halloween party is more than likely going to be part of this upcoming news, so we’re confident assuming the party is back in its traditional form this fall – but for the actual announcements later this week. , stay tuned to the Disney Blog and TikTok for any nightmarish news to come.

Chainsaws spinning out of context don’t fit quite so well into the spring months, but that hasn’t stopped the Halloween Horror Night rumor mill from spinning on both coasts. Rumored maps have been released for universal parks in the two Orlando and Hollywood which, again, are rumors – as much as we like Universal Orlando’s rebuttal has a grain of truth. From their irreverent twitter account ill will towards Mardi Gras, however, we can already feel the fear-filled season blowing down our necks. (Hypothetically, of course.)


Universal Hollywood’s Universal Studio Tour has launched four new electric streetcars that will take guests through Hollywood history and across the expansive expanse of the neighboring movie studio. The Studio Tour, which winds past Universal Studios soundstages, through sets and visits to two King Kong and Fast and Furious respectively, will now do so with some of the largest battery-powered vehicles of their kind in the country. Incredible!


  • Epcot’s Connections Cafe — and more importantly, its permanent Starbucks location — has opened.
  • Terry Crews is in Disney’s new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction? OK!
  • Wow, this title gets me.
  • Who needs to look back to the pre-pandemic years when you can go back all the way to your high school graduation with the new Disneyland event?
  • Finally, intricate face painting has arrived in Disney’s Star Wars-themed Galactic Starcruiser.