Walt Disney World will reopen this July, after the Orlando, Fla., theme park was forced to close for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney World and SeaWorld execs presented reopening proposals to the Florida’s Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force on Wednesday, both of which were approved.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom plan to open again on July 11, while Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will resume business on July 15. SeaWorld, meanwhile, will reopen to the public on June 11.
Disney’s Orlando theme parks will look a little different this summer. New requirements include temperature checks upon arrival, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, hand-washing and sanitizing stations and “limited-contact enhancements,” such as contactless payments and mobile orders at restaurants, according to Disney World senior VP of operations Jim McPhee.
“High-touch experiences” such as character meet-and-greets and playgrounds will be temporarily suspended. The parks will operate at reduced capacity and temporarily suspend parades and other events that attract crowds. Those who work at the park will also be given temperature checks and issued face coverings.
A phased reopening of Disney Springs, a shopping and dining complex, is already underway, and as of Wednesday has begun to reopen more of its stores and eateries. Disney World would mark the first U.S. Disney theme park to open its doors once more to attendees. Disney reopened Shanghai Disneyland on May 11 at 20% attendance capacity.
Disney Vacation Club properties in Vero Beach, Fla. and Hilton Head, S.C. will open on June 15, while Vacation Clubs at Disney World and Disney’s Forth Wilderness Resort and Campground will begin reopening on June 22.
SeaWorld interim CEO Marc Swanson, SeaWorld Orlando president Kyle Miller, and Discovery Cove VP of operations Brad Gilmour also presented to the committee, outlining new rules such as face coverings, temp checks, more rigorous cleaning, contactless payments and enforced social distancing.
There have been 52,255 total coronavirus cases in Florida, and 2,259 deaths, according to the latest update from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County on Tuesday.
Legoland Florida is reopening on June 1, while Universal Orlando is preparing to reopen on June 5.
Legoland is introducing “enhanced cleaning measures,” including disinfection of door handles, tables, chairs and service counters, more hand sanitizer dispensers around the resort, increased spacing in parking lots and non-invasive temperature checks, as well as recommending masks.
Universal Orlando is requiring face coverings, and will also conduct temperature checks at the door, as well as floor markings that will enforce social distancing. The theme park and resort also notes that it “cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.”