When Is Disney World Reopening? Here's What To Expect
After closing down operations for several months, a date has finally been proposed for when Walt Disney World plans to reopen after coronavirus shutdowns. Although the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continue to grow, summer vacations planned at Walt Disney World in Orlando could resume soon, though the experience will likely be different than visitors are used to.
After Disney theme parks temporarily closed in mid-March, there is now a plan in place for opening doors again. Disney plans to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom located inside of Walt Disney World on July 11, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios will follow and reopen on July 15. An executive from Disney submitted plans for reopening to Orange County's Economic Recovery Task Force earlier this week for approval, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
If approved, there will be a limit on how many guests can be at the parks and guests will have to reserve park entry in advance, according to Wesh News 2. Once visitors are inside, they will have to practice social distancing, have their temperatures taken, wear a mask at all times, frequently wash their hands, and limit interactions with cast members. Visitors will also be encouraged to order food through an app and have "cashless transactions" when purchasing something inside of the parks.
New rules will be enforced by a "social distance squad," a group of Disney cast members who will encourage visitors to stay safe and keep their distance from others, as People reported. All employees will also have their temperatures taken before work and be required to wear face masks.
While the legendary rides, food, and attractions remain, some aspects of the parks might be absent for the time being. Jim McPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations told the Orange County Economic Task Force in a video obtained by Wesh News 2 on Wednesday that character meet-and-greets will be temporarily paused. Parades and fireworks will also be temporarily eliminated to avoid creating crowds and large groups of people in one place.
Guests will also be encouraged to educate themselves about new protocols before they arrive and while in theme parks using the My Disney Experience app. "Together we hope everyone will do their part to bring the magic of Walt Disney World back into this new environment," McPhee said during the meeting.
Disney World's shopping and restaurant district, Disney Springs officially reopened on May 20. Like the plan to reopen Disney World, guests who enter must have their temperature taken and wear a mask — anyone with a temperature above 100.4 will not be allowed to enter. Disney Springs is also encouraging social distancing, limiting guest attendance, encouraging contactless transactions, and increasing cleaning in high traffic areas.
Once the plan to reopen Disney World is approved by the county's task force, it will be passed on to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for approval. In the meantime, families can still experience some Disney magic by riding a few virtual rides at home.
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