‘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:
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.
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.
- 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.
There are Relaxation Stations throughout all the parks where you can remove your mask as long as you’re seated and relax.
Limited park hours, 9am -7pm. (Normally in July, the Magic Kingdom would be open 8am – Midnight.)
No buffet experiences
No tram rides from the parking lots!!! Extra walking!!!!!!!
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
Not all rides are open, lots of disinfecting of ride cars in between guest loading
No theater performances. The unions and Disney couldn’t come to an agreement about safety measures for performing cast members.
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.
Elimination of character dining experiences and personal meet and greets.
Lots of waving, no hugs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
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
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.
Disney World will be there next year.
We want you to be here next year too!