ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Walt Disney World will begin reopening its theme parks this week after a nearly four-month closure because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The parks will reopen in phases and have a number of new health and safety measures in place, including capacity limits, face masks requirements and temperature checks.
Here are a few things to know about the reopening.
Theme Park Reopening Dates
Disney World is reopening its theme parks in phases. The first two parks to reopen will be Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom on July 11. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios will reopen a few days later on July 15.
Disney World annual passholders will be able to get a preview of the parks ahead of the official reopening. Two passholder previews will be held on July 9 and 10 at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Passholders had to register for the event in advance.
New Safety Measures
When Disney World's theme parks reopen, visitors should expect a number of new health and safety measures. Visitors and employees will have to undergo temperatures checks before they are allowed in any of the parks. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed entry.
Face masks will be required for visitors age 2 and older. Employees will also be required to wear face masks.
Social distancing markers will be placed throughout the parks--in attraction queues, inside restaurants, etc--to keep people apart. As another way to keep large groups from gathering, Disney will, for the time being, suspend nightly fireworks shows.
Park Reservations Required
Disney's theme parks will operate with reduced capacity for the initial reopening. To manage crowds, Disney has implemented a new reservation system called Disney Park Pass. All visitors, including annual passholders, will need to make a reservation to visit a theme park in advance.
Capacity will also be reduced in other areas inside the parks like restaurants, stores and attractions.
Disney World transportation system will resume this week. The buses have been in operation since June 22, when select resort hotels reopened to the public. Now, Disney has provided dates for when the monorails and other transportation will return. The monorails and ferry boats will resume July 7. Disney Skyliner will resume operation on July 15, in time for the reopening of Hollywood Studios.
Disney World is the last major theme park operator in Central Florida to reopen its theme parks. Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando both reopened their theme parks in early June with several health and safety measures in place.
The reopening of Disney World comes, however, as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida. The state reported more than 21,000 new cases over the weekend.
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