Disney fans rejoice, Walt Disney World will begin phased reopening this summer. The COVID-19 global pandemic lead to all Disney theme parks being closed by mid-March and staying closed for the longest period in history. While these closures have been in place, Disney has been trying to find ways to entertain fans who are missing the magic including releasing Disney Parks recipes, stars reading Disney stories, and drawing tutorials by actual Disney and Pixar animators.
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While it has been months since most people have been able to visit Disney parks and resorts, there has been success in the first reopenings. Shanghai Disneyland and Disney Springs shopping and dining complex have both managed to begin phased reopening processes and it looks like Walt Disney World in Florida is up next.
Walt Disney World Reopening Plans
Walt Disney World will begin a phased reopening in July with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom set to open first, July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. The plan was presented to the Orange County Economic Recovery Force, headed by Mayor Jerry Demings, and it was unanimously approved. The plan is similar to how Shanghai Disneyland has reopened which makes sense given it has been successfully open since May 11.
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A number of guidelines will need to be followed by guests and park employees including temperature checks before entrance into the parks and required face coverings, except when eating or for guests under three years of age. The parks will be opening at a lower capacity which will comply with social distancing guidelines, but an exact number has not been disclosed.
Social distancing policies will be in place for all lines including park entry, attractions, and food. Hand sanitizer stations will be throughout the park and high traffic areas will be constantly cleaned and disinfected. Cashless transactions will be highly recommended to keep both guests and employees safe.
Sadly, some key Disney experiences will not be available when the parks first reopen. These include parades, fireworks, character meet ups, and other situations that will draw large crowds to a single place. However, characters will be throughout the parks to bring bring some entertainment and Disney magic to guests. If you are missing out on parades and firework shows Disney Parks has made some of these available for fans to watch on the Disney Parks YouTube Channel.
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In order to keep park capacity at a safe number, which will allow for social distancing, tickets will need to be purchased in advance, similar to what they are doing at Shanghai Disneyland. Even with all these new restrictions getting people to visit will likely not be too difficult given Shanghai Disneyland sold out their reopening, May 11, on the first day tickets became available for purchase, May 8.
Shanghai Disneyland and Disney Springs have both been a success so far in their phased reopening, which is a good sign that Disney World will hopefully follow in the same manner. Disney Springs has also begun the next step in their phased reopening which included reopening the first domestic Disney Stores on May 27.
The responsibility and thoughtfulness that is going into these reopenings will hopefully continue to keep people safe while also allowing people to get back to some of the Disney magic that has been missing. All of this looks to be good news for Disney and given the fact that they have been losing money every day their parks are closed, hopefully other parks will be able to follow suit and reopen safely soon. More details on Walt Disney World’s phased reopening and guidelines are available on the official Disney Parks Blog.
Are you excited for Walt Disney World to reopen? Will you be going back to Disney World this summer? What have you missed the most about Disney theme parks? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.
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Source: Disney Parks Blog