A sprinkling of magic has finally returned to Pixie Hollow. After only appearing as a "character sighting" for months, Tinker Bell has returned to Disneyland's Pixie Hollow for meet-and-greets with guests, albeit with a bit of a change. According to Disney News Today, Tinker Bell, the beloved Peter Pan character, began once again greeting guests at her Pixie Hollow home in Disneyland on Tuesday, March 15. However, amid the ongoing pandemic, "she is still greeting guests at a distance," with "a giant comb and mirror" separating the iconic character and guests.
Despite the separation, guests can still get individual time with Tinker Bell to chat and take photos during meet-and-greets. According to Disneyland, guests will "have to 'shrink' down to the size of a pixie for this enchanting encounter. When you reach the heart of their wee world, you'll be greeted by Tinker Bell herself!" An average meet-and-greet with the fan-favorite fairy lasts five minutes, and Tinker Bell can be found at Pixie Hollow from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. local time.
This marks the first time Tinker Bell has been back at her home since Disneyland reopened following its closure amid the pandemic. When the park did reopen, Tinker Bell was not doing meet-and-greets. Instead, she was listed as a "character sighting," and guests could spot her hiding in hedges and causing a bit of mischief. During this period, guests could still char with the character and take photos, though they were separated by a much larger distance.
In April 2021, as Disneyland Resort was still closed, a handful of guests were treated to a magical experience at the "A Touch of Disney" event at Disney California Adventure. During the special event, guests got to experience a life-size tiny Tinker Bell meet-and-greet playtest. Disney News Today reported at the time that Tinker Bell appeared in her lantern before flying around the room, eventually landing "in a device of her own invention that allowed her voice to be amplified so the guests could hear her." The outlet reported that the life-size Tinker Bell "was fully interactive and addressed the children by name," and "many projections were utilized, including "writing" in a book and butterflies flying around the room."
The life-size Tinker Bell meet-and-greet was simply a playtest, though. Playtests are a crucial part of the development process used by Imagineers and are carried out after regular testing. Playtests allows Imagineers to gauge guest interest and receive feedback from their intended audience. The life-size meet-and-greet with the character has not been used since the playtest.