ORLANDO (WTSP) — Florida has approved Disney World's plan to begin a phased reopening of its Orlando theme parks on July 11.
Under the plan, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen that day. Then, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will reopen July 15.
There will be cast member preview days before the public returns to any of the parks.
SeaWorld and Universal Orlando both spelled out face mask requirements in their plans. And, Disney's policy will be no different. Disney World guests and cast members will be required to wear face masks and abide by numerous new health and safety procedures.
Disney's plan was presented Wednesday to the Orange County Task Force. It approved the reopening and sent the proposal to state leaders for the final green-light, which has since been given.
“I am pleased to announce that I have received word from Halsey Beshears, Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, that Walt Disney World Resort and Sea World have received approval of their re-opening plans. Sea World will re-open June 10 and Walt Disney World Resort will be July 11," Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.
Here's a big change: all guests will have to make Disney reservations in advance.
"Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as we welcome guests back to the magic, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance," Disney World explained in a blog.
"At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations (Disney Vacation Club members can still make new reservations). Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold; we’ll be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details," the parks added.
Here are some of the theme park changes proposed by Disney World for all guests:
- Face masks required for all
- Implementing hand-washing and sanitizing stations and signage
- Plexiglass at points of sale to separate guests and cast members
- Reduced capacity of parks, restaurants, retail, attractions, buses, monorails and other high-traffic areas
- Suspending parades, fireworks and other events that draw crowds
- More frequent cleaning across high-touch locations
- Temperature checks at main entrances to all parks
- Contactless payments with Magic Bands, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.
- Enhancing cashless transitions at restaurants and retail
- Enhancing mobile ordering at food and beverage areas
- Suspending high-touch areas like character meet and greets and playgrounds