A lot of information has been released about the reopening of the Walt Disney World theme parks. I thought that it might be helpful to get the facts from the plan and put them all together in one place. We are still waiting for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to sign off on the proposal. Once he does, I will add an update to the top. Here is what we know so far. I’ve also included a few things that we do not yet know.
The reopening dates are as follows. The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will reopen on July 11. On July 15, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will reopen. The water parks were not mentioned in the proposal, but they do currently have hours listed on the Walt Disney World website, starting on July 11. The NBA Experience does not have hours listed. I am not going to post hours here because a lot can change before the middle of July.
Parades and Fireworks
Parades and fireworks are canceled, at least for now. Character meet and greets, as well as children’s play areas will also be closed. There will still be ways to see characters, but how they plan to handle it has not been announced. You can pretty much assume that if something might gather a crowd, it will not take place for a while. The shows such as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! were not mentioned in the announcement. It could be possible to stagger seating, so there is a chance that some live shows will go on.
Walt Disney World will limit capacity for the foreseeable future. The numbers have not been given. I’ve watched two different interviews with Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek in the past few hours, and he refuses to give a percentage. He does say that the number will allow for social distancing.
Theme Park Reservations
Reservations will be required to enter the theme parks. They have been using a reservation system in Shanghai and it seems to be working so far. We have been told that we will learn more about the system once we get closer to the dates. Make sure you have your current email address on file with your My Disney Experience account, because that is probably the fastest way to learn the information once it is released. No new tickets are being sold at the moment. Reservations will initially go to existing ticket holders, as well as Annual Passholders.
New Resort Reservations
Except for DVC members, new resort reservations have temporarily been put on hold. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. If you are a DVC member, you can still make new reservations.
Face coverings will be required for all guests who are three years old and older. The covering will need to cover your mouth and your nose. They will need to be worn in all public areas, including at the hotels. The face coverings can be removed to eat. Yes, it’s hot in Florida, but this is not negotiable. Any comments against face coverings on the Disney Over 50 Facebook or Instagram accounts will be removed. (Thanks for being the best group of Disney fans around!) From what I have heard, the ADA does not cover face coverings, so Disney will expect this rule to be followed. Costume masks are not considered face coverings.
All guests will have their temperatures checked before entering a theme park. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed in. A touchless, handheld device will be used, like the ones that they are currently using at Disney Springs. It’s a fast and easy process. A third party will handle the screenings. At Disney Springs the third party is Advent Health, I’m assuming that they will handle things at the theme parks as well.
While Walt Disney World will not be totally cashless, guests are encouraged to use another form of payment. Payments from mobile wallets will be accepted. You will also be able to use debit, credit, and Disney gift cards.
Special Ticketed Events?
One thing that has not been mentioned is whether or not special ticketed events will be canceled for the next couple of months. Both Early Morning Magic and Disney H2O Glow Nights are still on the Walt Disney World calendar, but that doesn’t mean anything. Disney tends to quietly cancel these types of reservations, so there might not be a public announcement.
We are sure to learn more about what to expect in the coming weeks. Thanks in advance for trusting me to share this information with you. It’s good to be able to talk about returning to the parks!