Walt Disney World Resort theme parks plan for a proposed reopening beginning on July 11, as it submitted a proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. Walt Disney World Resort has been closed since March 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This follows the recent reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.
Pending Orange County and state approval, Walt Disney World Resort 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.
This phased reopening will limit attendance and control guest density, aligning with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences that draw large group gatherings like parades and nighttime spectaculars will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in the parks to entertain.
Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited, 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. At this time, new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations are on pause, giving priority to guests with existing tickets and reservations although 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. New ticket sales and hotel reservations will resume after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.
Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15. Plans to support required physical distancing, as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.
Also, the World of Disney retail shop has reopened at Disney Springs shopping and dining complex at Walt Disney World. And 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.
Enhanced safety protocols based upon applicable guidance from health authorities and government agencies will include cast members, as well as guests 3 years of age and older being required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas.