Magic Kingdom has officially reopened to the public today and we’re here LIVE reporting crowds, wait times, and changes.
A lot has changed…and we mean LOTS! Not only are there new health and safety procedures, but even the castle is a different color. Follow along with us as we journey through the park this week to check out what it’s like to dine, ride, and shop in Disney World.
Note: We have already reported on the Cast Member and Annual Passholder preview and will now be adding more/new information regarding the official reopening.
Official Reopening of Magic Kingdom
On July 11th, the Magic Kingdom OFFICIALLY reopened to guests.
Entering the Park
The process for entering the Magic Kingdom looking just a little different than usual. There are social distancing markers on the ground, designating where guests should stand.
One of the BIGGEST changes for entering the park is that Disney has paused the use of a finger scan. While we’ve seen Disney World forego this process before (like to speed up crowds at early morning Disney’s Hollywood Studios as folks rush to get a Rise of the Resistance boarding group), the Magic Kingdom’s finger scanners were covered up.
We did still scan our MagicBands this morning to enter.
When another of our reporters arrived later in the morning, the crowds around the entrance had dispersed.
At some points, the line for Guest Relations outside the entrance was extremely long.
Crowds right at park opening at 9AM were a bit dense walking down Main Street, U.S.A., as guests entered the park and paused to look at Cinderella Castle’s pretty pink makeover.
This crowding quickly dispersed on Main Street…
…and in front of the castle.
Once we stepped into Adventureland, the crowds were extremely light.
We continued to see light crowds into the afternoon, with plenty of wide-open space in Fanstasyland.
And here was our view when walking from Adventureland into Frontierland this afternoon.
We did notice a bit of a crowd waiting in line for Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe around lunchtime, but guests seemed to do a pretty good job of maintaining social distance while lining up in the shade.
Here’s a look at the nearly empty space in front of Cinderella Castle about an hour before park closing.
While there were a few pockets of crowds throughout the day, overall we didn’t encounter nearly as many other guests as a normal day in the park.
Compared to normal park days, wait times this morning are low. The longest line as of 9:30AM is Splash Mountain at 45 minutes. It was recently revealed that the log flume ride will be rethemed to The Princess and the Frog, making this attraction a high priority for fans.
But many attractions had low, low waits. Peter Pan’s Flight, Tomorrowland Speedway, Haunted Mansion, and “it’s a small world” all clocked in at just 5 minutes.
As the morning went on, wait times definitely increased, but none were listed over an hour at 11:10AM. The longest wait late-morning was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 40-minutes. Space Mountain temporarily closed but is now back open.
Many rides had 15-20 minute waits which is a lower average than you typically see at this time on a normal park day.
And many rides still had that low, low 5-minute wait. This wait time can sometimes mean a ride is a walk-on.
Wait times stayed pretty low throughout the day, and by 6:30PM even attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight had wait times of 10-minutes.
There were social distancing markers in queues to help when lines started to form for attractions.
We saw a new character interaction today in Frontierland. The Country Bears were waving from the balcony above Country Bear Jamboree.
We also spotted Stitch hanging out in Tomorrowland.
We hadn’t seen balloons for sale on Main Street at either of the previews, but they were back today.
Unsurprisingly, the Splash Mountain merchandise line long. The Virtual Queue called you back quickly but we saw a long physical line for those who had been called back.
Quick Service Dining Updates
Inside Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, there were signs on select tables indicating that they were intentionally left empty for social distancing.
These signs were placed strategically to maintain distance in the dining area of the restaurant.
Annual Passholder Preview
Do keep in mind that things may vary from the Cast Member preview AND from the grand reopening of the park on the 11th.
Getting Into the Park
There were and still are quite a few cars waiting to get into the Magic Kingdom this morning. The line moved very slowly, and we noticed that only a few cars were being let in at a time.
Signs remind guests to have cashless payments ready. While Disney should still accept cash payments, they are pushing for guests to pay in a cashless manner when possible.
Guests were parked with one space in between them to help with distancing when getting out of cars.
Temperature checks are in large white tents prior to security. There are distancing stickers on the ground.
All guests are asked to remove hats and pull their hair back so that an AdventHealth professional can take their temperature with a no-touch thermometer.
Unlike at the Cast Member preview, we were not given a plastic bag to store our electronics. Instead, we walked through, bag and all. When a detector went off, we were checked with a metal detector wand, and our bag was searched with minimal touching.
One way over to Magic Kingdom is via the monorail. There were pretty long lines for the monorail, so be patient as you head to the park.
There are specific distancing stickers on the ramps up to the Monorail.
Today, we were loaded into a cabin with two other parties. We were supposed to sit in the empty space to the left of the picture which wouldn’t quite give us six feet. Instead, we opted to stand.
If you opt to take the ferry, you’ll notice distancing markers too. Both levels of the boat are open.
You can also take the bus. Notice the physical distancing stickers for the line at the station.
There are zone and distance stickers in each queue for the buses.
As you might remember, some seats are marked out.
And the rest are separated into zones.
You’re assigned a zone when you board.
Guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort can walk over on the pathway.
There is a designated temperature check tent for these guests.
The touchpoints were all covered at the entrance. Cast Members scanned our Annual Pass cards with an iPad. So there was NO fingerprint scan.
Crowds and Wait Times
There were a pretty good number of people in the park, but it was hard to tell when we were just looking at a bottleneck.
Most wait times in the park were 5 or 10 minutes with a few standouts. Around 10AM, Splash Mountain was sitting at a 40-minute wait.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had a 30-minute wait. In general, we noticed lines were shorter than normal.
Around the entrance, you’ll spot some health and safety signage.
Once in the parks, there are more signs to serve as a reminder.
We spotted a Cast Member from the Social Distancing Squad with a big Mickey grin in lieu of her own.
In fact, there were plenty of masked Cast Members to greet us on Main Street.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is closed.
Guest Relations was open and had physical distancing and directional stickers.
Plus, there were plexiglass barriers inside.
More Character Interactions
Mickey and the gang were back to greet guests at the train station.
We spotted the Hundred Acre Wood gang on Main Street again.
When they were done cruising around, they even walked past us back to the gate.
We saw another Character Cavalcade with Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure!
There is a cardboard barrier up in front of one of the mosaics in Cinderella Castle.
Speaking of Castle, a few cranes were out with painters today.
It had a pretty funny paint by number process in progress!
You can see what the finished product looks like off to the right side.
There is also a bit of construction going on in Adventureland.
More Attractions Updates
We experienced even more attractions today.
King Arthur Carrousel
On King Arthur Carrousel, we were assigned a row and could select a horse from that row.
The horses are wiped down every two hours and there is sanitizer at the entrance.
Sorcerer’s of Magic Kingdom
This interactive activity is available at the Main Street Fire Station.
The Enchanted Tiki Room
You can still bring a Dole Whip into The Enchanted Tiki Room.
Seating is distanced with every other row and sections of rows marked as unavailable.
Jungle Cruise had distance markers and hand sanitizer. This line also tended to have relatively long waits compared to the rest of the park.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin had hand sanitizer poised at the entrance. You could still control your carpet up and down.
When we went by, the camel was not spitting.
Swiss Family Treehouse
The Swiss Family Treehouse had hand sanitizer at the entrance.
More Quick Service Dining Updates
We swung by several quick service locations.
Main Street Bakery
Main Street Bakery had a distanced queue for those getting their caffeine fix.
If there is not an available spot in the pick-up area, Cast Members will hold you at the register until one becomes available.
There is no self-serve but you can ask for milk and sugar at pick-up.
Aloha Isle is a super popular spot and we were excited to get Dole Whip again.
Mobile Order is heavily encouraged through signs in the area.
Pick-up has distancing markers.
There are designated pick-up stations and plexiglass barriers.
Sunshine Tree Terrace
Sunshine Tree Terrace wasn’t open yet when we went by but it features plexiglass barriers, distancing stickers, and a reduced menu.
Pinocchio Village Haus
Pinocchio Village Haus had signage to encourage Mobile Order.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn
As we found out in Cosmic Rays at the Cast Member Preview day, topping bars seem to be modified for the time being.
They were filled with prepackaged condiments in the locations that typically have self-serv toppings.
Unlike in Disney Springs, the Popcorn Carts will not directly refill your refillable popcorn bucket. Instead, they will honor your refill and give you your popcorn in a new bag.
You can pour it into your bucket if you like!
Table Service Dining Updates
There were a select view table service experiences available.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest was offering a limited number of renovations when we arrived. A Cast Member told us that service would be first-come, first-serve for most of the afternoon.
This spot had plenty of the regular measures we’re seeing like distanced tables, distancing stickers, and frequent cleaning.
Be Our Guest was not initially announced as a returning character dining experience, but there was a modified character experience.
The Beast walked through the restaurant periodically and we received a signed card from him at the end of our meal.
Skipper Canteen had physical distancing stickers on the patio.
Mobile Dine Check-In is encouraged here as well.
The chairs on the patio had been rearranged to show guests wear to wait — one party per green dot.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Many locations, like Cinderella’s Royal Table, are closed. This spot had a sign recommending Be Our Guest.
Picking out a souvenir comes with added health measures now.
Main Street Confectionery
The Confectionery features directional and distancing stickers. There is no treat prep where guests can see it for now.
This shop also has a designated entrance and exit.
Island Supply by Sunglass Hut
Island Supply by Sunglass Hut has bins for you to place glasses after you’ve tried them on.
You can still try on hats at The Chapeau.
Splash Mountain Merchandise Store
The Splash Mountain Merchandise Store was in high demand. When we stopped by a virtual queue was in use and the estimated wait was FOUR HOURS.
We were definitely curious about pin trading in the reopened parks, and it turns out it works pretty much the same as at the resorts.
Select locations have pinboards in use for pin trading. Cast Member trading with lanyards is still suspended.
Cast Member Preview
Parking and Transportation
When parking today, we were directed into every other spot. Disney later fills these spots in after guests have exited their vehicles.
Now, since this is just a preview, transportation is operating a bit differently.
Today, the tram was not operating, but the monorail and ferryboats are available.
Leading up to the station, you can see numbers to help guests distance.
We were given a number to stand on prior to boarding the monorail.
A partition has been added inside of the monorail as well.
You can also take the ferry over to the park from the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Bag Checks and Temperature Checks
Disney is now asking guests to put all electronics and anything metal into a clear plastic bag when going through the bag check. This can add a bit of time depending on how many electronics you have with you. You’ll take the rest of your belongings (including bags) through the metal detectors. If the sensors detect metal, you dump your bag into bins so that they can search the contents without touching your things.
Don’t forget, guests must have their temperatures checked prior to entering the parks as well.
The temperature checks are located in a few large white tents.
The entrance had stickers on the ground to help guests in physical distancing as they enter the park.
Maps are available when you get into the park, but we didn’t see any Times Guides.
Cinderella Castle Refurbishment
Our first priority, once we were actually IN Magic Kingdom, was taking a look at the new pink Cinderella Castle!
The refurbishment is still a work in progress, but Disney has made some serious progress on this iconic structure.
This is the Cast Member preview so of course, crowds were extremely low. Wait times were sitting between 5 and 25 minutes this morning. The Annual Passholder preview and opening day should give us a better idea of what wait times and crowd levels will be like.
There are hand-sanitizer stations featured in common areas around the park.
Need a break from your mask? You can head to the Relaxation Stations around the park where you’re allowed to remove your mask for a time.
There’s another Relaxation Station at Tomorrowland Terrace.
Tables are distanced in the Relaxation Stations and elsewhere around Magic Kingdom.
Character meet and greets aren’t an option currently. Instead, you can see characters parading along the parade route in the new Character Cavalcades. The first one we spotted was the Mickey and Friends Cavalcade featuring Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Minnie.
The single float was accompanied by a number of dancers and performers.
There’s also The Royal Princess Processional with Fairy Godmother, Cinderella Jasmine, Aurora, Belle, Ariel, and more on a large float…
…with Tiana and Rapunzel following in a gazebo and Merida riding horseback.
The Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade features a hodge-podge of classic characters. We spotted Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Alice, and Mary Poppins.
Plus Gaston on horseback!
The big Cavalcades aren’t the only way to see characters either. We also spotted some Hundred Acre Wood friends cruising by on a Main Street Vehicle.
You can spot Eeyore, Piglet, and even Rabbit.
We ran into a certain pirate in Adventureland. Give a shout to Jack Sparrow!
In Tomorrowland, we were able to wave to Buzz Lightyear…
For some entertainment, we spotted the Main Street Philharmonic playing their way through the park.
There are a number of new health measures to take a peek at on the attractions as well.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The queue area on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been updated to include physical distancing barriers.
Interactive elements have been roped off as well.
Guests are seated with a row in-between different parties.
Instead of a Cast Member pulling up on our lap bars, we were asked to push up for ourselves.
Peter Pan’s Flight
You can see that the Cast Member at Peter Pan’s Flight is sporting a face shield.
Like the others, this attraction had physical distancing markers in the queue.
Next up, we went to check out health measures at Haunted Mansion.
The stretching room pre-show is currently not available.
Instead, Cast Members guide you through the room as a part of the queue.
Over at Splash Mountain, wait times were low for the attraction itself — 15 minutes when we hopped in line. As we waited though, the wait time went up. Our wait took us around 35 to 40 minutes.
While we were in the queue, we heard periodic announcements that the ride had been stopped for cleaning.
We spotted hand sanitizer around the entrance and exit area of the attraction, just like we’ve been seeing elsewhere.
We noticed that attraction lines look really long because of distancing but they move quickly too.
All of the Cast Members at Splash Mountain are wearing face shields. For the attraction, they were seating one party to a log boat while we were there.
Each logboat was sprayed with sanitizer between guests.
We also noticed that some of the water cannons on the ride weren’t firing.
The play area at Splash Mountain was closed.
Splash Mountain merchandise is in pretty high demand ahead of the attraction’s reimagining. We waited in a queue for the gift shop (about 5 minutes) and then went to check out what was left. According to Cast Members, the Splash Mountain merchandise is going quickly, but we still saw a good amount in stock.
Interestingly enough, the Fastpass sign was gone at Space Mountain as Fastpass will be initially suspended with the park reopening.
Interactive games are not available in the queue area.
As far as we could tell, they are spacing parties at least one seat apart in the ride vehicles too.
There are some changes to how you chow down as well.
Aloha Isle was much more spaced out than usual with queues marked for distance and hand sanitizer featured at the counters.
Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe
Sonny Eclipse was entertaining guests at Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe today.
Like other quick-service spots, mobile order is highly encouraged. You can go in and order with a Cast Member in the instance of an allergy or if you want to pay cash. A Cast Member outside will direct you to the right spot in the restaurant.
There were some directional arrows marked on the ground and seating within Cosmic Rays was distanced.
Condiments were still available for grab and go.
There are physical distancing markers leading up to some snack carts.
Do keep in mind, this is just a preview. Therefore, procedures could always change prior to reopening. Cast Members and guests alike are still figuring these new processes out, so things may vary on a daily basis.
We know that things look pretty different. So, if you have any questions that you’d like answered, please let us know. We will do our best to get you all the answers you need!!