Walt Disney World Announces Reopening Plans
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Walt Disney World has just announced its plans for a phased reopening of its parks and resorts in Orlando. Here's the latest:
Throughout these past few months, we’ve been touched by the outpouring of support from our guests and fans around the world who’ve shared their favorite Disney memories and even replicated their favorite attractions at home. Everyone who has ever visited a Disney theme park has their own special connection to these magical worlds and the amazing cast members who bring that magic to life.
Following the recent reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, we’re pleased to share that more Disney magic is coming back. Today, we 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, our 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, we have to manage our theme parks in a very different way from what we’ve known before. As we begin to reach out to our cast members and call them back to work, they will be focused on operating our parks in a responsible way that continues to give our 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 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.
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. 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. 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.
Today, our 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.
We’re looking forward to reopening our theme parks, Disney Resort hotels and stores and doing so in a responsible way. In this spirit, our 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 we monitor conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities.
We’re being deliberate during these phased reopenings, and we’re encouraged by how our guests are responding at Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs. We’re doing our part, and we need our guests to do their part, too, as we work together to focus on safety.
Please also note the following updates:
When our theme parks reopen, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system on DisneyWorld.com that will require all Guests to make a reservation in advance for theme park entry. Over the coming weeks, we will be making some necessary updates to prepare for the launch of this park reservation system. Here’s some important information to help you plan ahead:
New Ticket Sales and Hotel Reservations: 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. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make a theme park reservation before new tickets are sold; we will be reaching out to these Guests soon to provide additional details. We will resume new sales of tickets and Disney Resort hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability.
Dining and Experiences: In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, our offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed. As a result of limited capacity, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages. We will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. We will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.
FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours: As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. We will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.