Disney castle
Unsplash | Alyssa Eakin

Adult Disney Fan Spent $800 On Tickets To Celebrate The Return Of Character Hugging

For many people, Disney World is the most magical place on Earth. Some individuals spend the vast majority of their lives wrapped up and immersed in all things, Disney.

They spend their childhoods watching movies and TV shows, falling in love with storylines and characters. And, when they become adults, this doesn't always leave them. Many adults still love and cherish Disney as much as they did when they were kids.

Disney is a special place for many reasons.

disney world castle
Unsplash | Jayme McColgan

For some, Disney World is the place that they go to with their parents and family. For others, it's the magic of the amusement park that brings excitement into their lives. And, then, for many people, the characters hold a special place in their hearts.

One "Disney adult" recently opened up about why the theme park is so special to her.

Minnie Mouse
Unsplash | Joseph Stalin

Casey Clark, who self-categorizes herself as a "Disney adult" spoke to Yahoo! News about her love for Disney World and the magic that comes with it.

According to Clark, "I feel no shame in enjoying the Disney parks without kids, but lately, something's been different."

During the Covid-19 world shutdown, Disney World changed immensely for everyone.

Buzz Lightyear
Unsplash | Ashley Van Nuys

Clark shares that prior to Covid-19, people went to Disney World and enjoyed their time there without fear or hesitation. People would wait online to hug characters, shake their hands, and take photos. But, when Covid-19 hit, things changed.

Social distancing made it harder to truly enjoy the park.

social distancing
Unsplash | Nick Fewings

"In March 2020, as coronavirus spread through the U.S., Walt Disney World's theme parks, located in Florida, closed for over a year following Disneyland's closure in California a few days before. That's right: no hugs, rides, Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, or sparkly mouse ear headbands," Clark said.

Clark shared that social distancing with characters was painful for many.

mickey and minnie mouse
Unsplash | Héctor Vásquez

From July 2021—when the park reopened—to April 2022, guests could only see characters during the park parades or from behind a velvet rope that left enough space for social distancing. No hugs, no photos close by, and no interaction.

People shared how truly sad it was.

Mickey Ears
Unsplash | Joel Sutherland

Many on social media shared how hard it was to plan an entire trip to Disney World, but not get that meet-and-greet time with individual characters. They shared how it wasn't the same waving during a parade and not getting to truly see them close-up.

On April 18, 2022, Disney World reinstated character interactions for guests.

disney world characters
Unsplash | Joseph Stalin

The change sparked excitement in many individuals, but Disney adults specifically. People shared online that when the social distancing was disbarred, they planned a trip specifically to see their favorite cast of characters.

One Disney adult said it was the best day of his life.

disney world
Unsplash | Tyler Nix

"I ended up hugging and cheesing with 31 different characters that day and had the absolute best time of my life. Giving my favorite pal, Goofy, the biggest hug absolutely made me cry. It had been 785 days since my last one," Disney fan Michael told Yahoo Life.

One Disney parkgoer shared that the magic comes from a rough early childhood.

disney castle
Unsplash | Brian McGowan

"I had a pretty rough childhood but always found a safe haven within Disney. Imagine someone took away the stuffed animal you had since you were little — wouldn't you notice it was gone? Wouldn't you miss it? That's what it felt like without character hugs over the past two years. My security blanket was gone," shared Robin McGrath.

Many adults paid high prices to get back to the place that makes them feel at home.

disney statue
Unsplash | Jose Mizrahi

With the pandemic restrictions winding down in Florida, many people paid high prices just to get back to Disney World and hug their favorite characters again. However, some said the pandemic has taught them a lot about the way in which Disney operates.

Everyone was in agreement that boundaries are something to take note of.

Disney castle
Unsplash | Jorge Martínez, instagram @jmartinezz9

Many said that the pandemic made them realize that sometimes, not everyone respected the character's boundaries or remembered they are humans in there, as well. The pandemic has offered a slight reminder to respect everyone, even on the job.