Walt Disney World wants to begin reopening its theme parks on July 11, the company announced today.
In a presentation to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force Wednesday morning, the government body that needs to approve the plan, Disney proposed a phased reopening that will first begin with Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11 and will be followed by Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.
The process will begin with soft opening preview days, including one for employees, earlier in July.
When the parks reopen, guests will be required to make a reservation to visit the park ahead of time. Disney will be managing the attendance demand through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance, according to Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations for Walt Disney World.
Disney will also be “reducing capacity on attractions, in restaurants and in retail stores, as well as on methods of transportation.”
Fireworks shows, parades, and character meet-and-greets will all be temporarily suspended.
Disney World visitors will undergo a temperature check and be required to wear a face mask. The park will provide masks to people who do not bring their own. Disney's cast members will encourage these rules among guests. Disney will also have hand sanitizing and washing stations, as well as an increased push behind contactless payment.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings will have to sign off on these plans before they can be approved by Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis. The mayor's committee and governor's office both recently gave Universal Orlando the green light to reopen Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay on June 5.
Disney Springs, the shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, opened for business once again last week. The NBA has confirmed that it's negotiating with the media giant to play the rest of the pro basketball season at Disney World's Wide World of Sports starting later this summer.
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.
Disney World has been closed to the public since March 14 in response to the coronavirus health crisis.
Shanghai Disneyland was the first of Disney’s theme parks to reopen earlier in May, with capacity capped at 30%, or about 24,000 visitors a day. Other measures included temperature screening and the use of the government-issued Shanghai Health QR code, mask requirements, and queues will be structured and ride vehicles will be loaded to promote social distancing.
California-based Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney all remain closed.