Last Updated: June 11th
Walt Disney World‘s reopening plan to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force with a proposed reopening date of July 11th for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and July 15th for Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been approved by the Task Force, Mayor Jerry Demings, and received final approval from Governor DeSantis.
While we don’t know EVERYTHING about Disney World’s reopening, here are all of the resort’s plans from Disney’s proposal and from Disney World’s official website.
Disney World will reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom to guests on July 11th. Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will follow with a reopening on July 15th. There will be soft opening preview days which Disney will share details about on a later date.
Disney World will be limiting capacity for theme parks, resort hotels, restaurants, retail, attractions, buses, monorails, and other transportation so that guests can appropriately physical distance.
Here’s what that will look like.
To visit the theme parks, guests will need to use a new theme park reservation system. Guests MUST have a reservation in advance. Those with resort reservations will receive priority in the system and Annual Passholders will be given access before new tickets go on sale.
However, Disney has revealed that the total number of reservation days held by Annual Passholders at one time will be limited and that passes may be subject to blockout dates.
It is important to note that Shanghai Disneyland is currently using a reservation system, which you can learn more about here. Disney World has yet to release specific information about its reservation system, but we will continue to update here.
And that classic Disney World tradition of resort hopping is paused for now.
Disney World dining reservations are NOT available at this time. Dining locations will be limited in capacity and some will remain closed.
Also, private dining and in-room delivery will not be available initially. Dinner shows like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue will also not be open along with the rest of Disney World.
Transportation like resort buses will operate with physical distancing measures in place and reduced capacity.
This means you may experience longer waits. Other options, like Minnie Van Service, will not be available.
Health and Safety Measures
Disney has broken up their Health and Safety Protocols into five different priorities: Enhanced Protective Measures, Physical Distancing, Enhanced Cleaning/Sanitation, Temperature/Health Screening, and Limited-Contact Enhancements.
Let’s take a look at the specific measures within these categories.
Enhanced Protective Measures
Like in Disney Springs, Disney will require face coverings for Cast Members and guests while in public areas on property at Disney World. Cast Members will be issued reusable face coverings, just like they have been in Disney Springs so far.
Guests will HAVE to wear their masks as a mandatory measure but they are looking at potential “relaxation zones” where folks can remove their masks for a moment. These approved face coverings are mandatory for all guests over the age of 2 and there are no exceptions for guests unable to wear a mask at this time.
Face masks will be required in restaurants when not eating or drinking and in common, public areas of Disney World’s resort hotels, such as the lobby. However, guests swimming in a resort pool will NOT be required to wear a face mask.
Hand-washing and sanitizing stations and signage reminders will be posted throughout the theme parks, both on stage for guest access and backstage for Cast Member access.
Points of sale will have plexiglass barriers installed for all retail and dining locations to protect guests and Cast Members in areas where distancing cannot be maintained.
In addition to reduced capacity for the theme parks as a whole, Disney will be discouraging large gatherings. The initial reopening will see the temporary suspension of parades, fireworks, character meet and greets, and other events that could create crowds.
Other close-quarter experiences such as arcades, campfires, character experiences, dog parks, the Electrical Water Pageant, and marina rentals, will not be operating initially.
Cast Members will see modified and enhanced backstage areas so that they are able to distance while on breaks and in backstage environments.
Both on stage and backstage areas will see more frequent cleaning across high touch locations and surfaces. And hotel guests have one BIG question: How clean will my room be?!
Disney is giving rooms a “thorough cleaning” before your arrival. Housekeeping will pay special attention to high-touch areas like TV remotes and door handles, and steam-cleaning and vacuuming floors between guests. Furthermore, housekeeping tools will be cleaned between rooms.
Guests will be required to have their temperatures checked at the Main Entrance to the theme parks. This will be done with a third party company using contactless, handheld devices — muck like the methods in Disney Springs.
Cast Members who are guest-facing will receive on-site temperature checks. All Cast Members will be expected to engage in daily at-home temperature checks and health assessments prior to departing to Disney World.
Restaurants and retail will see cashless transactions enabled and contactless payments will be encouraged through MagicBands, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Mobile Order will also be further enables at separate locations.
Some notable high-touch experiences will be temporarily suspended such as spas, salons, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, meet and greets, and play areas. Fireworks voyages and tasting cruises, the Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare, hula lessons, in-room childcare services, mermaid school, and other special classes and programs will also be unavailable.
Disney’s focus on informing guests with the new health protocols is with strategies that are focused on education, communication, and engagement. They are looking into “know before you go” strategies for guests so that they are aware of protocols prior to their arrival.
Once they arrive in Disney World guests will be reminded of protocols and key points will have signage to remind guests of changes as well. Cast Members will be crucial in focusing on the well-being of themselves and guests.
Current guest-facing Cast will be trained on engaging guests and reminding them to follow health and safety protocols. This will be in addition to a dedicated “Social Distancing Squad,” like the one deployed in Disney Springs, to assist guests in staying safe.
In light of the reopening, Disney is changing how they handle reservations. Unfortunately, this has resulted in the cancellation of all upcoming Fastpass+ reservations, dining reservations and Disney Dining Plans, and experience reservations.
The Fastpass+ system is currently suspended until further notice so that the queue space can be used to help distance guests. In addition, Extra Magic Hours, and new hotel reservations and ticket sales have been suspended as well. These suspensions will give Disney the room to navigate the lower capacities in Disney World.
Dining reservations have been canceled so that Disney can implement a new reservation system that takes limited restaurant capacity and potential restaurant closures into account. Guests with canceled reservations will have priority access to rebooking them. Going forward, the reservation window for dining will go down from 180 days to 60 days in advance.
Prepaid experiences like dessert parties, some Advance Dining Reservations, and tours will be refunded. At this time, character dining will also not be available due to social distancing concerns.
We will continue to keep you updated with more details of this developing story.
For more information about the current status of Disney Resorts and destinations around the world, click here or visit the links below.
Do you have plans to visit Disney World soon? Let us know in the comments.