Walt Disney World theme parks will open beginning July 11 for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. To lower the risks, visitors and employees will have to wear masks and undergo temperature checks, and the resort will not hold parades, fireworks displays and other activities that draw crowds.
On Saturday, Disney will welcome guests back to its flagship theme park in Orlando, Florida, and reopen a cornerstone of its business.
Walt Disney World is opening this weekend in Orlando, Florida, beginning with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on Saturday and followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Unlike its West Coast counterpart Disneyland, which was forced to delay its opening from the planned July 17 date, Disney World is reopening right on cue. It comes almost four months after Disney World closed its gates March 15 due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Disney says it's drawing on the experience it gained in reopening Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, as well as Disney World's shopping and dining district Disney Springs. It's putting in place policies using the guidance of health experts, government agencies, industry groups and research universities.
"Aspects of a Disney theme park day have been reexamined in light of the new global environment," Disney says.
Everything in the parks and resorts is affected, from lining up for rides to dining, retail, monorails and even scanning your ticket for entry. These are the COVID-19 requirements you can expect if you're planning to attend the parks.
Capacity is being strictly limited in Disney World, requiring you to reserve your place online using the new Disney Park Pass system.
"Our deliberate and phased approach at Walt Disney World Resort emphasizes multiple layers of health and safety measures," said Dr. Pamela Hymel, Disney Parks chief medical officer.
Face masks: Must be worn by all guests age 2 and up, and all cast members, apart from some performers. You can take your mask off while eating or drinking and in certain rest areas where you can take a break from wearing it. Otherwise, it must be worn over the nose and mouth -- including while on rides.
Social distancing: Ground markings will help guests to maintain physical distancing in retail stores and attraction queues, and physical barriers like plexiglass have been placed along lines that snake around as well as on larger attraction vehicles like the boats on The Jungle Cruise. Caps will also be placed on how many guests are allowed in stores, dining locations and rest areas.
Temperature screenings: All guests must undergo this before entering a park. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher will be taken to another location for re-screening. If they clock the same temperature again, they won't be permitted entry -- and neither will anyone in their party.
Security: To avoid physical contact at security checkpoints, guests will carry their personal items and bags with them through a metal detector instead of the traditional bag search. Some locations will require things like metal objects and aerosol cans to be placed in a bin before walking through the detector.
Transportation to the parks: Disney World relies on a range of different transport options, including the monorail, boats, Skyliner, buses and parking lot trams. Guests will need to wear masks at all times while on Disney World transportation. Monorails and buses will have physical distancing including barriers to separate parties. The Skyliner will only load one party per gondola once it starts up again on July 15. The parking lot trams are currently not running.
Entering the parks: Guests will scan their ticket, phone or MagicBand for entry. Biometrics like the fingerprint sensor are disabled for now.
Cashless purchasing: Guests are being asked to use cashless forms of payment when dining and shopping. This includes credit cards, mobile payment and MagicBands.
Cleaning: High-traffic areas in the parks will be cleaned more frequently, and hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the theme parks for guests and cast members to use. Ride vehicles will be wiped down frequently.
Incredi-Crew: A new category of cast members will be wearing brightly colored clothing. They're available to help with any questions about new procedures.