Today, Disney submitted a proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida describing their approach for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks planned to begin on July 11.
Pending Orange County and state approval, Walt Disney World Resort's proposal 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. In preparing to reopen during this unusual time, they will have to manage their theme parks in a very different way from what we’ve all known before. As they begin to reach out to Cast Members and call them back to work, they will be focused on operating the parks in a responsible way that continues to give Guests the opportunity to create magical Disney memories.
This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled Guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences we know draw large group gatherings – such as 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 and delight our Guests.
Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as Guests are welcome back to the magic, they will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all Guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on Guests with existing tickets and reservations. (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; they’ll be reaching out to these Guests soon to provide additional details. They will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations 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.
Today, World of Disney retail shop reopened at our 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.
Cast Members as well as Guests 3 years of age and older will be 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.
Additional information on enhanced health and safety measures and operational changes for reopening locations will be shared soon.
These policies are under continuous review and are subject to change as they monitor conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities.
If you'd like help navigating your plans to Walt Disney World Resort, you can certainly contact me for help and to start planning your future trip.