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
Posted: Wednesday May 27, 2020 10:00am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

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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JohnDOct 26, 2020

Yep. I was there all last week. Most of the time, the PA announcement is from the familiar announcer you hear on buses. However, from time to time, I would hear the recording of a British woman making the same announcement. And don't think you won't hear it in Galaxy's Edge or Pandora to preserve theming. Nope. Announcements are park-wide.

wdwmagicOct 26, 2020

Yep these have a bit out for a couple of weeks now. They have definitely had to make it clear that it isn't optional.

Sweet ThingOct 26, 2020

I visited Animal Kingdom yesterday and noticed new signage and announcements stating that guests who do not follow the mask rules will be asked to leave. I did notice more cast members firmly asking guests to stop while eating, make sure their masks were covering their noses, or put their masks back on while taking photos. I spoke to a few cast members and every single one said they just want things to return to normal as quickly as possible and these rules are the only way. I witnessed a couple of cast get ignored by guests when enforcing the rules. Those cast members contacted their supervisors to give descriptions of those guests not complying. I can't remember ever seeing the company take a firm stand like this before.

Giss NericOct 18, 2020

I'm just kidding. It's all lies. I just wanted to switch the topic for a while.

GimpYancIentOct 17, 2020

Ok, so a guy wore a mask with some wording on it. He Wore A Mask properly! No one care's what was written on it.

drizgirlOct 17, 2020

You were about to report someone wearing a mask correctly?

LilofanOct 17, 2020

Easier to fire third party for a poor job.

LilofanOct 17, 2020

If third party crews get hurt on the job, Disney doesn't have to pick up their medical / injury costs. That could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more depending on the severity of the injury.

Giss NericOct 17, 2020

I saw a guy in Magic Kingdom recently with a custom made mask that says "WORN BY FORCE, NOT BY CHOICE." I kinda felt that he was trouble already. I'm was about to report it to a CM but decided to let it go since he's not doing anything wrong anyways. It's just a silent protest. I saw him two times after that while walking in Fantasyland and the other while in the queue at Big Thunder. In all fairness to him, he was wearing the mask and wearing it correctly at both times.

ElvisMickeyOct 16, 2020

You’re hilarious, Oswald Cobblepot 🙄

JoeCamelOct 16, 2020

Do not have to pay bennies as JohnD said and shifts liability to the third party if they are installed improperly

JohnDOct 16, 2020

Part time, no more than 29 hours. Don't have to pay benefits unlike full time CMs. Hourly rate is also probably less than for full time CMs also.

Goofnut1980Oct 16, 2020

How is this cheaper than having on staff maintenance crews perform the work?

MisterPenguinOct 16, 2020

That baby carriage is not allowed in WDW!!