Walt Disney World plans to reopen July 11, according to a presentation the company made to an economic recovery task force Wednesday.
Disney’s Florida theme parks have been closed since March 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and their reopening will follow its Florida rival, Universal Orlando, which is set to reopen June 5.
Existing ticket holders, annual pass holders and those with Disney Resort hotel reservations will be able to make reservation requests before new tickets are sold.
As with other theme parks that have announced their reopening plans, Disney World visitors will undergo a temperature check and be required to wear face masks. The parks will provide masks to people who do not bring their own.
Social distancing markers will be visible throughout the theme parks. Disney’s cast members will enforce the rules, including the mask requirement, as part of a “social distancing squad.” Park capacity will also be limited, and not all attractions will reopen right away.
Officials in Orange County, Florida, unanimously approved Disney’s and SeaWorld’s plans Wednesday. The Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, must also approve.
SeaWorld will limit capacity, offer contactless payment options and will increase cleaning and sanitation of high-contact surfaces. Plexiglass barriers will go up between visitors and employees.
What will theme park-goers nationwide experience during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Many theme parks nationwide are getting ready to reopen. Six Flags Frontier City in Oklahoma City is set to reopen June 5, becoming the first Six Flags park in the country to reopen. The Drive Thru Safari at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey will reopen Saturday, though the theme park will remain closed for now.
It isn’t clear when Disneyland and other California theme parks such as Knott’s Berry Farm can reopen. The state is taking a more cautious approach to reopening its economy. It will likely be months before mass-gathering events can take place.
Legoland Florida will be reopening Monday.
Rides, restaurants and retail will maintain social distance, with signs and markers showing visitors what’s expected. Hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will be installed. Contactless forms of payment will be preferred, though some places may still accept cash.
Park operators promise more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of touch points and surfaces. Park employees will get temperature checks, wear face coverings and maintain social distance.
The reopening of big attractions such as Disney and Universal parks is expected to help jump-start travel and related business, including airlines, hotels and car-rental companies after consumer travel plummeted in recent months.
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