The Magic Kingdom Reopened Today!

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castle

Welcome back!

‘The Most Magical Place on Earth’ is back in business.

After being shut down since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney World reopened the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom today, Saturday July 11th.

There’s a ton of new Health and Safety protocols in place now if you’re planning a visit:

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

If you want to visit the parks, you must have a reservation now and a ticket to enter.

New ticket sales and hotel bookings resumed on Thursday, July 9th.  Reservations through September 26, 2021 can be made at the Walt Disney World website.

Guest capacity is currently limited to 25%, but is expected to be increased this fall.

 NO PARK HOPPING

Disney World says that guests can no longer park hop and are limited to visiting one park per day with reservation.

health and safety

Disney Health and Safety notice

NEW SAFETY MEASURES

There are many new health and safety measure in place now to keep guests and cast members safe.

The new health and safety measures include:

  • Mandatory temperature checks: Guests and cast members will undergo temperature checks before they are allowed into any park. Those with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed entry,  nor any in their party.
  • Face masks required: Face coverings will be required to be worn while in the parks by all guests ages 2 and older. They are mandatory for cast members.  All face masks must have ear loops, no scarfs or gaitors allowed.
  • Social Distancing: Select cast members are part of the ‘Incredi-Crew’ who will helpfully remind guests to practice social distancing. Signs are on display throughout the parks to remind guests to stay 6 feet apart, as well as physical barriers in shops, dining locations, and attraction queues.
  • Reduced capacity around parks: In addition to reducing the number of guests allowed into the theme parks, capacity will also be managed at retail stores and restaurants to ensure social distancing. Car parking in the lots is every other slot.
  • Contactless food purchases/cashless pay system
  • Increased cleaning: High-traffic areas of the park will be cleaned frequently. Guests are encouraged to wash their hands. There are hand-washing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks.
  • Biometric entrance turnstiles are have turned off and covered. No more fingerprinting.

    turnstiles

    We NEVER liked touching these turnstiles after 5,000 guests ahead of us did!!! GROSS!!!!!

temperature

Temperature screening stations.

ATTRACTIONS

  • No meet-and-greets: Disney characters will still be in the parks to entertain and delight guests, but meet-and-greets are canceled for the time being.
  • No parades or fireworks shows: To keep people from gathering in large crowds, Disney will not be holding any parades or the nightly fireworks shows until further notice.
  • Water effects will be limited or eliminated: Water areas will remain closed in order to avoid drawing crowds of spectators.
  • “High-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities are temporarily unavailable.
  • Interactive play areas are closed: Children who love to run around and play in Disney’s interactive kid areas will not be able to do so — at least not for now. Disney says they are keeping those play areas closed to avoid putting their tiny guests at risk.

RELAXATION STATIONS

There are Relaxation Stations throughout all the parks where you can remove your mask as long as you’re seated and relax.

MK

It will be awhile before we see this sign again. Not until 2021. 😦

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castle reopening

The Magic Kingdom reopened July 11th

Limited park hours, 9am -7pm.  (Normally in July, the Magic Kingdom would be open 8am – Midnight.)

Many restaurants are closed

cape may buffet

No buffets for now.  (This is the one at Cape May.  Delicious!)

No buffet experiences

No tram rides from the parking lots!!!  Extra walking!!!!!!!

gondola

The Skyliner gondolas are designed to hold up to 10 guests. Expect more single riders.

Reduced Skyliner gondola loading, 50% capacity

Crowd direction control in parks using signage and markings on the ground, especially in merchandise shops

Virtual queues for rides with expanded Fast Pass system, minimal outside queuing allowed, social distancing guidelines in effect

walt doom buggy Haunted Mansion

No one wants their doom buggy to become a doom buggy!!!

Not all rides are open, lots of disinfecting of ride cars in between guest loading

splash mountain

Splash Mountain log being sanitized between guests.  Notice the cast member is wearing both a face mask and face shield.

Little Mermaid

Not available.

No theater performances.  The unions and Disney couldn’t come to an agreement about safety measures for performing cast members.

fireworks-2

No firework shows until next year.

Elimination of all shows taking place on the Cinderella Castle stage, the grand parades, and ‘nighttime spectaculars’ fireworks shows for at least the rest of 2020.

fof festival of fantasy parade dragon

No 3pm Festival of Fantasy parade!

Elimination of character dining experiences and personal meet and greets.

Frozen 2

Nope, but they can be seen in the small parades held randomly throughout the day.

Lots of waving, no hugs.

princesses

Lots of waving from a distance

rainy day characters

You’ll still be able to see your favorite characters at all the parks, but waving from a social distance.

hand washing

Free standing hand washing stations. We expect these to remain all of 2020 and 2021.

Hand sanitizing and hand washing stations are deployed at all the parks with a lot of Disney signage reminding guests to wash their hand frequently.

hand sanitizer

At the Magic Kingdom.

hand sanitizer2

The touchless Purell stations are everywhere.

Face masks will be required except when eating or relaxing in the Relaxation Zones, and will be sold at all the merchandise locations along with travel size bottles of hand sanitizer.

relax

This is the designated Relaxation Station in Tomorrowland.

Scheduled hand washing breaks for cast members

If the capacity were set to 30%, maximum daily guest admission would be:

Park Normal Capacity* Capacity at 30%
Magic Kingdom 57,000 people 17,100 people
Epcot 34,093 people 10,227 people
Hollywood Studios 30,843 people 9,252 people
Animal Kingdom 37,671 people 11,301 people

*Normal capacity on a summer day.  Peak capacity experienced on the 5 heaviest days of the year (Christmas Day, New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, etc.) is actually higher, nearing 80,000 guests at the Magic Kingdom.  Disney World already has a Crowd Phase Playbook for handling busy holiday operating days that they could use as a starting point for reopening.  The logistics for crowd control and limiting parking are actually pretty complex.

Halloween6

The 2020 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has been canceled.  We expect that the 2020 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be cancelled too!

The Extra Magic Hours before park opening have been suspended.

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castle two girls

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters
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photo (17)

Theme Parks are in the High Risk Red Zone.

We wanted to take a moment and mention the surging COVID-19 cases in Florida and especially in Orlando.  All this week, every day, positive cases have exceeded 10,000 new cases per day.  All the hospital Orlando ICUs are at 100% capacity. COVID-19 Cases Surging Out of Control in Florida

It’s our opinion that the major theme parks should not be reopening this month under the current conditions. No one should be traveling, flying in airplanes, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, or going to theme parks with even 10,000 other people.

This is especially true is you’re over 60, obese, have heart disease, have diabetes, have an auto immune disease, have an underlying medical condition, etc.

Stay home!

Disney World will be there next year.

We want you to be here next year too!

pooh crystal palace

Sending Pooh bear hugs to you all.

 

6 thoughts on “The Magic Kingdom Reopened Today!

  1. […] via The Magic Kingdom Reopened Today! — Our Magical Disney Moments […]

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  2. […] Things did not go smoothly at the Magic Kingdom today on Reopening Day. […]

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  3. James Kisser says:

    Greetings! I’ve enjoyed reading all your articles today. I work over at Disney Springs.

    Any idea when CAST CONNECTIONS will be reopening?

    Thanks for any info you may have.

    Jim

    Like

    • We emailed with a furloughed cast member on July 1st about Cast Connection possibly reopening in July with all the parks reopening by July 15th. She said nope.

      It’s still closed with no reopening date scheduled. We thought when the resorts started to reopen in June that CC would reopen too. (They share the same food supply chain.) All that Easter and St. Patrick’s Day merchandise has been moved out of the stores and resorts.

      And don’t forget, CC takes post holiday merch from Disneyland too.

      With Disney doing a Flower and Garden/Food and Wine hybrid festival, thankfully the F&G merch can be sold.
      But, remember, CC was loaded with Christmas holiday merch, Disney Marathon merch, and Festival of the Arts 2020 merch in early March.
      It’s way too much merchandise for CC and Character Warehouse to move!

      With Florida experiencing an uncontrolled COVID surge, we don’t see it reopening in July or even August.
      If – and that’s a big IF – the parks and resorts stay open, maybe September 1st???

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      • James “Jim” Kisser says:

        Thanks for your insights. I work at Starbucks walk up at Disney Springs today. Stop be and say Hi!

        Jim

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      • Jim says:

        Thanks, again, for the response.

        Please try to let us know if you do hear anything about CC reopening. Those of us who are operating partners are not on the Hub.

        Remember…cast members get a discount at Starbucks in Disney Springs.

        Jim

        Like

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