Select Disney theme parks will begin to reopen July 11
Walt Disney World had been waiting in line, hoping for a thumbs-up from Gov. Ron DeSantis after presenting its reopening plan to
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings reviewed the preliminary plans from Disney and sent a team that included inspectors from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County to examine the park to ensure that they have safety and sanitation protocols in place.
Days later, Mayor Demings announced the much-anticipated news on Twitter.
“I am pleased to announce that I have received word from Halsey Beshears, Secretary of @FloridaDBPR, that @WaltDisneyWorld Resort and @SeaWorld have received approval of their re-opening plans,” Demings said in a post.
The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks will open first on July 11, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios following behind on July 15.
Disney was among the first theme parks to begin closing on March 17. Since then, thousands of cast members have been furloughed, and the parks have since gone quiet.
When the park opens its gates, it will be an entirely new experience for cast members and guests alike. For starters, in order to enter a park, you’ll need both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park. Even those who have an annual pass to the parks will be required to have a reservation.
“During this unprecedented time, an annual pass will not guarantee park entry and Annual Passholders will be required to make an advance reservation to enter a park,” Disney officials said.
Face coverings are required for all guests ages two and up and temperature screenings will be required in some locations.
Disney’s slogan “If you haven’t been here lately, you just haven’t been” will resonate stronger now then before as the theme parks that we’re used to are replaced with socially distant experiences that are safe during a pandemic. That iconic picture with Mickey Mouse won’t be the same when you’re standing six feet away.
“It may be different from the last time you visited. But together, we can find new ways to create magical moments—and memories to treasure,” Disney said on its website.
The company already announced that guests will not be able to see parades strolling down Main Street U.S.A or nighttime fireworks, that usually draw in thousands, will be no more.
Disney also announced that FastPass+ reservations have been suspended. If you’re planning a trip down to the Sunshine State, that is one less thing you will have to worry about.
Instead, Disney will utilize the FastPass queues to help increase social distancing.
Disney officials said dining reservations that have already been made will be canceled as the company works to address capacity issues.
To get a better idea of what a Walt Disney World theme park would like with reduced capacity click here.
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World before you know how it feels to wait in line, so if you’re hoping to book a trip when the parks reopen, find your nearest queue.
Disney announced that new ticket sales will be placed on hold in order to focus on families that had reservations book during the closure. Disney Vacation Club Members can still make new reservations.
“Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold,” Disney said.
If the governor gives Walt Disney World the green light, they would start the reopening process on July 11.
Disney’s shopping district, Disney Springs, welcomed shoppers last week.
Disney officials said capacity at Disney Springs will be limited and guests will have to undergo temperature checks and cover their faces.
Of course, visiting a theme park during a pandemic does come with its own risk. Disney added a warning on its website warning of the dangers of COVID-19.
"We have taken enhanced health and safety measures—for you, our other Guests, and Cast Members. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. Help keep each other healthy."
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