Plans Unveiled for the Phased Reopening of Walt Disney World Resort

Read Time: 3 minutes

Following the recent reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney has shared that more Disney magic is coming back. On Wednesday, May 27, Disney submitted a proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida describing our approach for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks planned to begin on July 11.

Pending Orange County and state approval, the Walt Disney World Resort proposal plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. In preparing to reopen during this unusual time, Disney has to manage the theme parks in a very different way from what they’ve known before. As they begin to reach out to Cast Members and call them back to work, they will be focused on operating the parks in a responsible way that continues to give Guests opportunities to create magical Disney memories.

This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled Guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences that 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 the parks to entertain and delight Guests.

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited Disney will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all Guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. At this time, Disney is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so they 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; they will be reaching out to these Guests soon to provide additional details. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

Additionally, 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. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and Guests starting on June 15. Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.

Also, the World of Disney retail shop reopened at our Disney Springs shopping and dining complex at Walt Disney World. And in the coming weeks, Disney Stores will begin a phased reopening of operations globally, beginning with a select number of stores in the United States, in addition to stores in Europe and Japan.

In this spirit, destinations will continue to follow enhanced safety protocols based upon applicable guidance from health authorities and government agencies. 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.

Additional information on enhanced health and safety measures and operational changes for reopening locations will be shared soon. These policies are under continuous review and are subject to change as Disney monitors conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities.