We promised to update when Disney actually released information related to their plan for a phased reopening... we don't ever want to provide rumors and misinformation to our clients and friends but want to provide official information when it is provided to us.
Here's what we know so far, and what has been released by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:
Subject to approval by Orange County, and the Governor of Florida, Disney plans to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, 2020 followed by the reopening of Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15, 2020.
Disney is taking a conservative and deliberate approach to reopening. They will soon begin calling cast members back in and training them on the new procedures that will be in place to protect the health and safety of everyone involved and to meet with the government's imposed limitations regarding social distancing and attendance levels.
This proposed reopening plan has also revealed that there will be a new theme park reservation system in place to make advanced reservations for park attendance that will limit capacity and attendance levels in accordance with recommended guidelines. We will provide more details about how this reservation system will work as soon as we receive additional information.
For now, this is what we know:
- 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.
- We will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time.
- Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability.
There is no official word on when all Disney Resort Hotels will open. Disney has stated that Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22.
If you are familiar with DVC Resorts and the Resort and Campground at Fort Wilderness, you know that these resorts are generally the most spread out and provide the best opportunity to maintain the social distancing requirements that are currently in place.
We expect the health and safety requirements to be similar to the requirements imposed on the reopening of Disney Springs, as this information was included in Disney Parks and Resorts' communication:
"As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 3 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas.
There will also be a temporary suspension of certain high crowd and high touch attractions.
"That means certain experiences we know draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in our parks to entertain and delight our guests. "