20 Photos Of Disney World's Reopening After Coronavirus Shutdown
After four months of being closed to guests, Mickey Mouse and the rest of the gang were welcoming people back to the Happiest Place on Earth and these photos of Disney World's reopening give a bird's eye view of just how different things look in the midst of a pandemic.
On July 11, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida reopened Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom to the public after closing in the middle of March due to state lockdown efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. EPCOT Center and Disney's Hollywood Studios are scheduled to reopen on July 15. Despite the fact that Florida has seen increased numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in recent weeks — the state saw a record one-day total of 15,000 new COVID-19 cases, as Reuters reported — Disney World carried on with its planned reopening.
Ahead of the park's reopening, Disney laid out extensive plans to protect visitors and cast members, including working with a reduced capacity, requiring face masks on every guest, physical distancing, and mandatory temperature checks at the entrance as well as having hand sanitizing stations throughout the park. And these precautions are requirements as Disney states on its website that "you must follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World Resort." Disney also notes that anyone who visits the theme park "voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."
And based on photos of the reopening from over the weekend, it doesn't appear as though too many people felt deterred by the new safety measures and potential risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Cars Lined Up To Get In
As the gates of Disney World opened on Saturday, there were plenty of cars lining up to get in for a day of fun at the park. According to the WDW News Todays, guests with reservations were called on Saturday morning and told not to come early to avoid overcrowding.
There Were "Densely Packed" Lines To Get In
Guests were required to wear protective face masks, have their temperatures checked of all visitors, and maintain physical distancing by staying six feet apart at all times.
One journalist covering Disney World's reopening, Carlye Wisel, reported that there was a "densely packed line for guest services" and that "social distancing began to be enforced" after some time. "This is not good, this is too many people in too tight of space," Wisel said in a follow-up video. "This is not good, this is not good."
And More Lines
People wearing face masks and iconic Mickey Mouse ears waited to get inside the park.
And A Bit More Waiting
Although Disney World reopened with a reduced capacity, but there was still plenty of lines. Shorter lines, for sure, but lines and waiting nonetheless.
Disney Fans Got Decked Out Even While Wearing Masks
Everyone loves a Disney princess costume, but one guest took it to a whole new level by matching her required face mask to her Princess Tiana gown from Princess And The Frog.
College Grads Donned Masks
Two college students celebrated their graduation with caps, gowns, and masks at Disney World on Saturday.
Temperature Checks Were Required
Everyone entering Disney World was required to have their temperature taken before they could get on with their day.
Disney World Cast Members Got Creative
Cast members got creative with their face masks by holding up a Mickey Mouse smile. You know, just in case someone thought they might be secretly frowning under there.
Cast Members Model Physical Distancing
Disney World shared this photo before the reopening to show employees modeling safe physical distancing at the Magic Kingdom.
Mickey Mouse Was Everywhere
Matching t-shirts, matching face masks, matching Mickey Mouse ears. Safety can be fashion, too.
Families Snapped Selfies
After months of following stay-at-home orders, families took selfies at Disney World.
Indeed, Selfie Season Is Back
One family stood in front of Cinderella's Castle at Disney World to take a selfie while wearing their protective face masks.
Physical Distancing Was Practiced Inside The Park
One Disney World cast member appeared to model physical distancing for a young guest.
A New Kind Of Parade
The traditional Disney parades of characters down Main Street USA have been put on hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic due to an "inherent risk" of exposure to COVID-19 in big crowds. But beloved characters like Goofy were showing up all over the park in special pop-up performances to engage with guests in a different way. Still no meet-and-greets though, so don't get too close.
The New Normal
Restaurant choices might be limited, but there is one serious perk to visiting Disney World right now — crowds are smaller. And that means you can snap some souvenir photos without any photo bombers.
Cast Members Are Required To Wear Masks, Too
Guests weren't the only ones required to wear face masks; cast members were donning them, too. In fact, CNBC reported that Disney has employed special cast members to go around the park to ensure everyone is wearing their masks.
Disney World Still Looked Magical
Even with physical distancing and face masks and temperature checks, Disney World is still looking pretty magical. Especially after a four month break.
Kids Could Still See Their Favorite Characters
Disney parades might not be happening, but this little girl looked pretty pumped to be wearing her Cinderella dress and waving at Daisy Duck in the Mickey and Friends Cavalcade nonetheless.
The Monorail Is Running With New Safety Precautions
The monorail that connects all of the Disney theme parks in Orlando continues to run with safety measures like Plexiglass barriers to keep people apart.
Mickey Mouse Broke Safety Protocol (Not Really...)
Mickey Mouse kinda, sorta broke safety protocol at the park when when he was photographed not wearing a mask as he waited to greet guests. Well, hey, Daisy Duck wasn't wearing one either.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.