LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — After nearly four months of being closed due to COVID-19, Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are set to reopen tomorrow with reduced capacity and enhanced health and safety policies.
Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will reopen to guests on July 11, while Disney’s Hollywood Studios will follow soon after on July 15. All parks are taking a deliberate, responsible approach to reopening, drawing on experience from Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Springs, which have all reopened.
Although an array of safety changes has been made, Disney maintains that the overall park experience remains the same. Here’s what to expect:
DISNEY PARK PASS RESERVATION SYSTEM
Capacity will be limited at Walt Disney World theme parks to promote physical distancing. At reopening, guests with a ticket or Annual Pass must use the new Disney Park Pass system to make a reservation in advance for each park entry.
Once guests log in to their My Disney Experience accounts on Disneyworld.com and link their tickets, they have access to a calendar of available reservation dates for each theme park; multi-day tickets require a park reservation for each day of their tickets. Families and friends can link their tickets together and look to arrange theme park entries at the same time. Park reservations are limited in number and subject to availability.
HEALTH & SAFETY PROCEDURES
- Appropriate Face Coverings: All guests 2 years of age and older, along with cast members, will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while visiting the theme parks. They must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times, except when eating and drinking while dining.
- Transportation: Capacity and guest density is limited for complimentary Walt Disney World guest transportation, and guests are required to wear appropriate face coverings at all times during their journey. Buses and Monorails will implement a combination of physical distancing and physical barriers to provide separation between guest parties. Party groups will be required to maintain physical distancing while aboard Disney watercraft. Disney Skyliner will load one party per gondola when it returns to operation July 15, 2020. For those arriving in their own vehicles, auto plazas will offer cashless payment; parking lot trams will not be available at this time.
- Temperature Screenings: All guests will be required to undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance. Those who again measure 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party.
- Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures: To maintain appropriate physical distancing, a limited number of guests will be able to visit each theme park each day; limits will also be in place for indoor locations within the parks, such as retail shops and dining locations. Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing throughout the parks, including attraction queues. Physical barriers will be in place in select locations where maintaining a proper physical distance from others may be difficult.
- Cleanliness: High-traffic areas will receive increased cleaning. Guests will be encouraged to frequently use hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer available in the theme parks.
- Cashless Transactions: Guests are encouraged to use cashless options whenever possible, including MagicBands, debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards and mobile payment methods.
- Cast members in the Incredi-Crew will wear brightly colored, easily identifiable attire and walk through the parks to explain the new procedures and answer any guest questions, while encouraging everyone to follow these new health and safety measures.
New health measures will be implemented at Walt Disney World theme park restaurants during their phased reopening. These include enhanced cleaning procedures in seating, dining and common areas, as well as changes to self-serve options. In addition, mobile technology via the My Disney Experience app is being used in convenient ways to minimize contact, such as Mobile Order at select quick-service theme park locations and Mobile Dine Check-in at select theme park table-service locations, as well as reduced-contact menus at select theme park restaurants.
CHARACTER EXPERIENCES & ENTERTAINMENT
With traditional character greetings and parades on hiatus during this phased reopening, Disney characters will appear in new and different ways throughout all four theme parks.
In Magic Kingdom, characters will cavalcade along the traditional parade route throughout the day, while at EPCOT guests may see Queen Anna and Else at World Showcase. Pixar Animation Studios characters will appear on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and beloved characters like Donald Duck and Pocahontas can be seen sailing down Discovery River on special boats at Animal Kingdom.
Select atmosphere entertainment groups will return, as well, such as Main Street Philharmonic at Magic Kingdom, Mariachi Cobre and the JAMMitors at EPCOT, and Discovery Island Drummers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Entertainment experiences that draw large group gatherings, such as nighttime spectaculars, will be on hiatus.
A new version of the popular EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will debut July 15 when the park reopens, continuing into the fall. The Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will be the longest festival in Walt Disney World history, blending the park’s annual flower and garden event with the food and wine festival.
This new event will offer more than 20 signature global marketplaces, including Hawaii, Hops & Barley and Islands of the Caribbean. Additional tables will be in place throughout the park where guests can stop and remove their face coverings to enjoy festival dishes while maintaining physical distancing.
For more information on the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, visit Disneyworld.com/Updates, WDWNews.com and DisneyParksBlog.com.