Walt Disney World Proposes Phased Reopening of Theme Parks Starting July 11

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One week after Universal Orlando announced plans to reopen its theme parks on June 5, Walt Disney World has proposed a phased reopening of its attractions, beginning with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, and expanding to Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15.

Covid-19 theme park closures
The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will emerge from their pandemic hibernation starting July 11 as Walt Disney World’s theme parks begin their phased reopening.

Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations at Walt Disney World, presented Disney’s reopening plans to the Orange County Economic Recovery task force on May 27; the proposal was approved by the task force and must now be approved by the county mayor and Florida’s governor.

Walt Disney World’s phased theme park reopening will see the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom reopening to guests on Saturday, July 11, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios joining on Wednesday, July 15. Disney Vacation Club properties at Walt Disney World and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen to Members and Guests on June 22. Disney Vacation Club properties in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will open on June 15. There is no set reopening date for the water parks or remaining resorts.

The parks’ reopenings will be preceded by “soft openings” for employees and invited guests. Overall attendance at each park will be limited using an advance reservation system. Once the parks reopen, a reservation will be required before visiting the park on a particular day; details on reservations for annual passholders have not yet been released.

Enhanced safety and sanitation protocols will be implemented in the theme parks, including hand-washing stations, as well as barriers and signage promoting physical distancing. Like Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World will require all guests and employees to wear face masks and submit to temperature checks.

UPDATE 5/29: Disney has released additional details for its face mask policy.

All Guests ages 2 and up are required to wear face coverings at all times, except when dining or swimming. Face coverings should fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth, fit snugly against the side of the face, and be secured with ties or ear loops. Costume masks are still prohibited.

Contact points will be reduced by encouraging mobile ordering and tap-to-pay transactions, in addition to temporarily closing playgrounds, interactive water features, and character meet-and-greets. Parades and fireworks will also be temporarily suspended.

The Disney proposal is now headed to Governor DeSantis for approval. We’ll keep you posted on details about the reopening of Walt Disney World’s theme parks as the July dates approach.

For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2020. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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