Disney Cast Member Turns Away Little Girl From Pooh Hug Amid COVID-19 Protocols
For children and adults alike, one of the best parts about visiting any of the Disney parks is the opportunity to interact with classic characters in real life. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made those interactions a little more distanced than they used to be.
A mom named Dani Reeves went viral on TikTok last week after capturing a video that showed just how distant meet and greets have become in an effort to protect everyone involved.
Reeves, who posts on the app using the handle @iamdanireeves, shared the moment her daughter made a mad dash to hug Winnie the Pooh after they spotted the character out and about while at Disneyland. A cast member gently intercepted the child before she could go in for a hug.
"Sorry, I didn't know she was gonna run up on him," Reeves said as she rushed to catch up with her daughter. Pooh (who looked like he may have been going in for a hug, too) instead blew the child kisses, while the cast member looked on empathetically.
In the caption Reeves said her daughter was "embarrassed and upset" about the situation. However, she seemed to understand the need to keep everyone safe and was respectful of Disney's policy.
Watch it all go down below:
At the time of publishing, the viral video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times, and Disney fans have rushed to the comments section to weigh in.
"This is so sad, especially because Pooh was... wearing his mask," one TikTok user said.
Another pointed out that characters shouldn't be out if they can't directly interact with park-goers. "Children don't understand," they wrote.
Disney resumed more direct but still socially distanced meet and greets late last year. They opened up about the decision in a blog post on their official website.
"Although the environment is not right just yet for hugs and autographs, you’ll soon be able to have individualized time with some of your favorite characters, getting to visit with them in a themed location and snap a photo or two," they wrote.
More recently the company updated their official mask policy. Vaccinated park-goers are now able to choose whether or not they wear a mask in most areas. Check out the company's updated policy here.
Despite apparently being a little shaken by her encounter with Pooh, in a follow-up TikTok Reeves assured her followers that she and her daughter had a wonderful trip.
"We had a beautiful time together," she wrote in a caption that accompanied some additional footage. Watch the heartwarming video below:
"We couldn’t let one incident ruin our trip! We had a beautiful time," Reeves wrote in the comments section. "More smiles than sad faces for us at Disney."
With any luck, Reeves and her daughter will both be able to hug Pooh and all his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood next time they're in Disney!