Disney announces plans to reopen Walt Disney World theme parks from the COVID-19 shutdown

May 27, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Walt Disney World COVID-19 reopening presentation

Disney has today outlined its plans to reopen Walt Disney World theme parks from the March 16 COVID-19 shutdown.

Jim McPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World presented the plans to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force - the first step in reaching state approval to reopen.

Disney plans to reopen Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom July 11, with EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios to follow on July 15 2020. Soft openings will occur before those dates with Cast Members and other invited audiences. Notably, Walt Disney World will be the last of the Central Florida theme parks to reopen, with Universal beginning on June 5 and Sea World on June 11.

Theme park reservations will be required in advance of visiting, with details to be announced at a later date.

As we have already seen with the Disney Springs reopening, both guests and Cast Members will be required to wear masks, temperature checks will be carried out on arrival, and social distancing will be enforced throughout the park. Parades, fireworks, playground and meet & greets will be temporarily discontinued.

Social Distancing Squad Cast Members will serve to keep guests following health and safety rules.

The Disney presentation did not discuss the resort hotels or the water parks.

Walt Disney World was inspected by Orange County health officials on May 26, and their plan has been submitted to the Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force unanimously voted to approve Disney's plans to reopen.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis requires that Orange County endorse any reopening plans prior to submitting to the state for a final decision on reopening. With the Governor already approving Universal Orlando to reopen to the public on June 5, it would seem very likely that Disney's plans will also be approved.

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Article Posted: May 27, 2020 / 10:00am ET