Over the past few months, the Walt Disney Theme Parks around the world have been shut down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you know anything about the Walt Disney Company they do not shut down unless sh*it is getting real. Just in case you think I’m being dramatic, even after 9/11 Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts closed for half a day. Central Florida is known for hurricanes. The parks did not close until the last minute and re-open as soon as the rain and winds stop and become “safe”. Even after some serious seismic activity last year, Disneyland didn’t close their parks, they just closed a couple rides to make sure they could still run safely.
That being said, knowing that the Walt Disney Theme Parks never close for an extended period of time, this closure means this pandemic serious enough to protect their guests. Even if you don’t believe in science, best believe that this company would not willingly hemorrhage this kind of money for no reason.
What is open now for Disney?
So far, Shanghai Disneyland is the only Disney Park around the world to have reopened with new COVID-19 safety precautions. Early last week, Disney Springs reopened with their own safety precautions and it seems with the announcement today, Walt Disney World Resort Parks aren’t far behind.
Disney’s opening proposal
The Walt Disney Resort has submitted a proposal to the Orange Country Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida. This proposal will detail their approach for a phased reopening of the Walt Disney World Resort beginning on July 11th. Here are the details.
- The Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to open July 11th
- EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.
- Limited Attendance to all parks in order to follow physical distancing guidelines
- No Parades or Nighttime Spectaculars at this time.
- “High-Touch” Experiences such as makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, character meet and greets, and playgrounds will not be available at this time.
I know many people will be upset about the character meet and greets being closed, they are also my favorite thing to do in the parks. However, there will still be characters throughout the parks to “entertain and delight” guests.
Reservations will be required to enter
One of the biggest changes for guests will be the new theme park reservation system. Guests will now be required to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. There are no other details about this reservation system yet. But if it’s anything like the Flex-Annual Pass at the Disneyland Resort it should be pretty simple.
As far as safety precautions required of guests when coming to the Walt Disney World Resort are as follows:
- ALL GUESTS 3 years of age and older are required to wear a face-covering while in the parks and common areas of the resort hotels.
- ALL GUESTS will undergo a temperature screening prior to entering the theme parks
- Cashless transactions are recommended and preferred.
Be nice, this is hard for everyone
These precautions should come as no surprise, but I’m sure will be upsetting to a handful of guests. However, just like with most things in life, you don’t like it DON’T GO. Please DO NOT show up at the resort full of entitlement and cause drama for the staff. They have enough going on as it is without having to deal with your bullsh*t.
Personally, I’m excited about the proposal and appreciate Disney Parks taking this entire issue very seriously. They understand how many people come through their resorts and are trying to make it as safe as possible. While at the same time still delivering a magical experience for their guests. The parks reopening gives me a sense of hope. Hope that our new normal is on its way and that we as a people, as a country, are close to being able to take a breath.
How do you feel about the Walt Disney World Resort proposed reopening? Will you be there on July 11th or will you wait it out? Let me know in the comments below!