As it was announced earlier, Disney World has proposed to open their parks in phases. The reopening plans were unanimously approved by the Orange County Recovery Task Force and now moves on to approval from the governor.
The proposed opening dates are July 11 for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and July 15 for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Disney has stated that capacity will be limited, but did not give an exact percentage of the capacity they will be allowing in the parks for this phase.
As part of the presentation there were five safety protocols that were discussed. As well as ways Disney will keep guests informed of these protocols both before and during their vacation.
Health & Safety Protocols
Enhanced Protective Measures
- Face coverings will be required for guests ages three and up and for cast members.
- More frequent hand washing stations and hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the property.
- Barriers to facilitate physical distancing, such as plexiglass at points of sale around property, will be installed.
- There will be a significant reduction in theme park capacity. This will be managed through a new theme park reservation system the will require each guests to get a reservation for park entry in advance.
- Disney will install signage to remind people of the physical distance protocol.
- Reduction in capacity at park restaurants, attractions, retail stores, and on Disney transportation as well.
- To avoid large gatherings of crowds Disney will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks, and other events that create crowds.
- There will be changes backstage as well for cast members to encourage physical distancing.
Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation
- Disney will implement more frequent cleaning protocols both on stage and backstage.
- Frequent cleaning for high touch locations and surfaces in operating areas. This includes control rooms, break rooms, and conference rooms.
Temperature and Health Screening
- Cast members will be required to take their temperatures at home, before coming to work, and there will be on-site temperature checks for cast members as well.
- Temperature checks for guests will be taken when they arrive at park entrances, like it is when they arrive at Disney Springs.
Limited Contact Enhancements
- Disney will have a reduction of guest and cast member contact points. This includes temporarily closing several higher touch experiences like character meet and greets, play areas, and makeover opportunities.
- Increased mobile food options around property.
- Disney will encourage more cashless transactions. In addition to using MagicBands, guests will also be able to pay with Google Pay or Apple Pay.
Disney also mentioned that they will implement some soft opening tactics, which includes cast previews prior to July 11. In addition, they are implementing what they call “Education, Communication, and Engagement” to help keep guests aware of the safety protocols.
- To help educate guests on the safety protocols Disney will be developing a series of “Know Before You Go” tools.
- Guests will be informed of the protocols during the initial booking process.
- Once the reservation is booked, there will be follow up emails prior to their arrival to Disney World.
- The protocols will be available to view through the My Disney Experience app.
- When guests arrive at Disney World they will be reminded of these safety protocols that are in place.
- The safety protocols will be reinforced at various key points throughout the parks.
- Cast members will be trained to positively encourage guests to follow the correct behaviors and will demonstrate the behaviors themselves.
- Disney will develop a Social Distance Squad, like they have in Disney Springs. This will be a dedicated team of cast members who are making sure that guests follow the appropriate guidelines.
- Even though character meet and greets will be temporarily suspended, the characters will still be out to entertain guests. Not sure when the meet and greets will return, but at least you can still see characters, even if it is from a distance.
- Disney World is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and new Disney Resort hotel reservations. This is due to the new theme park reservation system and the reduced capacity at the parks. Ticket sales and hotel reservations will resume after Disney reaches out to guests with existing tickets and reservations (this includes Annual Passholders) about the new reservation system for the theme parks. Disney noted that DVC members can still make new reservations during this time.
- Disney Vacation Club Resorts at Disney World and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22.
- The World of Disney Store opened at Disney Springs today and soon there will be a phased reopening of Disney Stores around the world. It will begin with a select number of stores in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
That’s it for now! We just have to wait for the governor to approve the reopening plans and hopefully we’ll get that news soon. Who’s excited to finally have reopening dates?
Thanks for reading!