Walt Disney World Announces Planned Reopening Dates
Walt Disney World is ready to reopen ... in July.
Disney gave their reopening proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida this week, with the following timeline of theme park openings:
- July 11: Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom reopen
- July 15: Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
According to Variety, the company plans numerous changes to the parks to try to ensure guests’ safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic:
A reopened Disney World would include temperature checks upon arrival, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, hand-washing and sanitizing stations and “limited-contact enhancements,” such as contactless payments, mobile orders at restaurants and the temporary suspension of high-touch experiences such as character meet-and-greets and playgrounds, according to Disney World senior vice president of operations Jim McPhee.
There will also be no parades in the short-term to prevent gatherings of crowds in the parks, and each park will also operate with reduced capacity.
July 11 is a Saturday, a little over six weeks away. Disney’s competition at Universal announced their own reopening plans last week, which called for similar safety measures on a more accelerated timeline: They plan to reopen their theme parks in a little more than one week’s time, on Friday June 5. Both companies closed their parks in mid-March due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney has more theme parks and staff to mobile than Universal, and certainly a more valuable reputation as a vacation destination for families that is both fun and safe. The extra time would theoretically help them ensure the best possible safety standards for guests and staff. They key word, of course, is best possible.
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