Walt Disney World is officially reopening. The resort has been closed since March due to COVID-19 concerns, but after a phased reopening of the Disney Springs shopping district, they’re moving to the parks. Shanghai Disneyland opened its gates again on May 11th, but Walt Disney World is the first U.S. based park to release its plans. Pending approval from Orange County and the state of Florida’s approval, the Walt Disney World Resort proposes to open Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11th, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.
It’s a huge milestone for the global tourism industry. But what will it be like? The Disney experience will be a little different, even if guests can once again walk down Main Street. Let’s review exactly how Disney is changing operations to attempt to keep guests safe.
As outlined in a press release from Disney Parks:
- The phased Walt Disney World reopening will impose limits on attendance and controlled guest density. Theme park capacity will be “significantly limited.” They will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system. All guests will have to make a reservation for park entry in advance.
- They are pausing new ticket sales and hotel reservations.
- Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold.
- Cast members and guests three years of age and older are required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels.
- All guests will undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park. (Cast members will too).
- They’re increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures in high traffic areas.
- They recommend cashless transactions.
- They will be enforcing physical distancing.
- Experiences that draw large group gatherings will return at a later date. This means no parades and nighttime spectaculars. So, no fireworks.
- “High-touch” experiences will remain unavailable, too. This includes “as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets.”
They have not discussed how they’ll handle queues for attractions yet. In Shanghai, they used markers to indicate appropriate physical distancing.
All of this paired with enhanced cleaning measures and protocols is encouraging, but it’s definitely going to be a different park experience. They emphasize guests need to do their part, too. And remember, everything is subject to change based on the latest government guidelines. You can get the most current information from Disney Parks. Disney has not yet stated if ticket prices will fluctuate given the altered park-going experience.
Featured Image: Disney Parks