Phased reopening begins July 11th!!!
July 11th for reopening Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom
July 15th for reopening Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
A phased reopening starting July 11th!
Walt Disney World is preparing to unveil their reopening plans this week.
Orlando Mayor Demings revealed that Disney will give their presentation this week after the Memorial Day Weekend. Their presentation will include reopening plans as well as a date with which they plan on allowing guests back into the parks.
“Disney has given an indication that they will submit their plans, and once they do, then we will schedule that for a full briefing before our Economic Recovery Task Force, as well. So, at this point, it’s an undefined time or date, but we do look forward to seeing it.”
Currently, the next meeting of the Economic Recovery Task Force is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Last week, Universal Orlando announced their plans for a reopening date of June 5, 2020 for the general public. Their plans have been approved by Orange County and the mayor, but Governor Ron DeSantis must still sign off on them for the final say.
Social distancing at Shanghai Disneyland.
Disney reopened Shanghai Disneyland in China on May 11th and they’re using that park’s phased reopening as a guideline on how to reopen the other Disney parks worldwide.
Peak park capacity in the Shanghai park is 80,000 visitors a day, but the government cut that to 30%, or about 24,000 guests a day allowed, said CEO Bob Chapek. And guests must now make a reservation.
During a roundtable discussion, Disney executive George Kalogridis said the company is considering reopening its U.S. parks with 20% to 30% capacity to begin with. Note that Phase 1 Reopening sets the theme park capacity at 50% with Phase 2 set to 75% capacity.
We’re currently expecting a phased park reopening starting around July 1st.
If the capacity were set to 30%, maximum guest admission would be:
||Capacity at 30%
*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.
At a 20% daily guest capacity, it would be:
||Capacity at 20%
Any park at 20 – 30% guest capacity would mean very minimal wait times. Even if Disney used their maximum capacity numbers for each park, 30% of 80,000 MK guests is just 24,000 guests at the Magic Kingdom.
Disney Springs reopened to shoppers last Wednesday, and the retail district is limiting guest capacity. Visitors also must undergo temperature checks and wear masks as part of the complex’s phased reopening plans.
“A lot of it has to do with guest behavior as much as it has to do with Disney operations,” he said. “Everyone knows COVID-19 is a serious manner. Therefore, we’re all playing a part in this ecosystem of safety. We’re going to do our part and we need our guests to do their part too.”
It will be years before crowds like this are allowed at the Magic Kingdom again.
One way to deal with the capacity issue is to expand the park hours to almost round the clock park operation with different entrance tickets throughout the day. This greatly increases the daily admission rate while keeping crowd levels low.
Disney has extensive experience with using hard ticket events in conjunction with normal operating hours.
Imagine this scenario at the Magic Kingdom to spread out the daily attendance crowds:
6am – 9am: Mickey Pass ticket, $79 ticket for resort guests only, with entrance tied to resort Magic Band, limit: 5,000 guests
9am – 6pm: Regular guest ticket, $99 special, limit: 12,000 guests + 5,000 annual passholders
7pm-12am: Disney After Dark ticket, $79 ticket, limit: 8,000 guests
12am – 3am: Midnight Madness ticket, $59, limit: 5,000 guests
The Magic Kingdom would still be getting 30,000+ visitors a day (considered a “light” crowd day), but greatly spread out to relieve crowds with lots of Fast Passes available.
All attractions will need a Fast Pass, minimal outside ride queuing allowed.
Spreading guests out like this also relieves crowding in merchandise stores and at restaurants. No fireworks shows, no castle stage shows, all character appearances will consist of waving from a distance or from a moving vehicle. No character hugs. No pin trading with cast members.
You won’t see any Park Hopper tickets and you’ll probably need reservations.
All characters will maintain social distancing guidelines.
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.
Adventures in the Animal Kingdom
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
Making a wish at Cinderella’s Wishing Well.