Updated: May 28, 2020
THE WORLD'S MOST VISITED THEME PARK IS BACK!! Following Disney Shanghai, which reopened on May 11th, the Walt Disney World Resort has announced it will start its Orlando theme parks reopening on July 11th.
The amusement park in China was the first of the Disney parks to close at the start of the Corona Virus pandemic, and was the first to open in a phased reopening that is serving as a model for other parks and large people gatherings all over the globe.
In an official note, Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks, says that:
"Our Walt Disney World Resort proposal plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15."
Thousands of people had their planned vacations to Disney parks around the world impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and have been anxiously waiting for any indication that the parks might reopen still this year. Here's what's known so far:
Health and Security Measures
The reopening of the Disney Parks is only viable based on a series of new and enhanced health and safety measures that will be in effect from reopening date, in collaboration with local health and government authorities.
Before guests can enter the park, they'll have to go through temperature screening, and the use of masks or facial coverings will be required during the entire visit, except when dining.
Employees will be given PPE, and because cast members won't wear masks, physical interaction such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable - no more hugging Mickey for the foreseeable future.
Extra areas for washing hands and disinfection stations have already been installed and hand sanitizers will be distributed at the entrance and exit of attractions.
The new maximum operating capacity has been reduced and attractions, rides and restaurants will also operate at reduced capacity, as well as adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Experiences known to draw large group gatherings – such as parades and fireworks – will return at a later date.
Attendance will be managed through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.
Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold (more details on this are yet to be revealed).
In the coming weeks, Disney stores will begin a phased reopening of operations globally, beginning with a select number of stores in the United States, in addition to stores in Europe and Japan.