The Happiest Place on Earth closed its doors on March 15th, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And now after more than two months, Disney World will be opening to guests mid-July. But be prepared for major changes – temperature checks, limited capacity, social distancing and more. Read on to find out all the guidelines you can expect when visiting Walt Disney World.
We heard Universal Studios plans for re-opening last week and today, May 27th, 2020, Disney World and SeaWorld presented their re-opening plans to the Orange County Economic Task Force.
But keep in mind, this isn’t a done deal! Once approved by the task force, the re-opening plans have to be approved by Orange County Mayor Demmings and then approved by Governor DeSantis.
The Mayor has already seen Disney’s re-opening plans and it has been reported that he is impressed with them. So, it would be extremely surprising for him not to approve them and send them on to the Governor.
When will Disney World Parks re-open?
Walt Disney World Resort will be doing a phased re-opening. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Park will open on July 11th, 2020 and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot will follow a few days later on July 15th, 2020.
Walt Disney World Guidelines
We’ve seen the guidelines implemented for Disney Springs and can expect many of the same and more for Disney World parks. Here are the ones that were presented today at the task force meeting.
Is Disney World going to use a reservation system like Shanghai?
Yes. It was briefly mentioned that they will be using a reservation system for entering the parks but how that system would work was not discussed.
How many guests will be allowed into each park?
Park capacity will be “extremely limited” but exact percentages or numbers were not released.
Will Disney World be doing temperature checks on guests?
Disney will be doing temperature checks on all guests as they enter the parks. These are done with a touchless thermometer that they scan across your forehead.
If a guest’s temperature is 100.4 or above they will be denied entry into the parks.
Are Guests be required to wear masks when visiting Disney World Parks?
All guests will be required to wear a mask when visiting Walt Disney World Resort.
We all saw this coming as Disney entered into an agreement with the Cast Member’s union that included that all Cast Members AND Guests were required to wear masks.
It is unclear how they will handle those guests that are unable to wear a mask ie Guests with special needs or medical conditions that do not allow them to wear one.
Do Cast Members have to wear masks?
Yep. See above. Due to the agreement made with the union all Cast Members must wear a mask.
When will I be able to take my mask off in the parks?
You will be able to remove your mask for a short period of time when eating or drinking. But they will have to be on all other times.
They are looking at ways that guests will be able to have space to remove their masks in a safe way, like a relaxation zone.
How will Disney maintain social distancing when in the Disney parks?
Disney World will have markers on the ground to help Guests maintain the recommended six-feet social distancing.
We’ve seen two different versions of these markers at Disney Springs. Larger ones that tell guests not to stand in the space and small lines that tell guests “to stand here”.
How will Disney World limit contact between Guests and Cast Members?
Guests will be encouraged to use cashless payment methods including Magic Bands, Google Pay and Apple Pay. And they will be increasing their mobile ordering system to include more locations throughout the parks.
Disney Parks will also be temporarily suspending high touch experiences such as meet & greets and play areas.
Will there be parades or fire-works at Disney World?
No, all parades, fire-works and other events will be suspended for the time being due to the potential over crowding.
What Disney considers “other events” was not expanded on so we do not know if this included Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
I don’t feel like Disney did as in-depth a presentation as Universal Orlando. Which is very strategic in their planning on their part. Scheduling their opening a month after Universal Orlando opens, gives them the chance to take a “watch and see approach”.
To watch the full Walt Disney World presentation check out the link below.