Disney World has announced when they will reopen. Much like Universal Orlando, the date is a lot sooner than many anticipated. Both Disney World and California's Disneyland have been closed since the middle of March. The Walt Disney Company was able to pay employees through the middle of April, but ended up having to furlough thousands after that time, leading many to wonder if there was a plan set in place to reopen the doors. As of this writing, Disneyland has yet to reveal any plans to reopen.
Disney World will open its doors on July 11th, while July 15th will be the date for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the company said in a statement this morning. It was announced last week that fellow Florida theme park, Universal Orlando, will open its doors starting on June 5th. Like Universal and Shanghai Disneyland, Disney World is going to look a lot different than it did earlier this year when it was last open.
Disney World employees and guests will be required to wear face masks and undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks, which seems to be the norm for the reopening of all theme parks now. Disney will reduce capacity at the parks and the resort will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks, and other events that create larger crowds. Like Universal Orlando, the resort will also enable cashless transactions by setting up a contactless payment system. There will also be an increase in the number of available hand-sanitizing stations. This all pairs with the employees going on to wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible.
The Disney Parks news follows Disney Springs reopening on May 20th, which also includes limited parking, temperature screening before entry, mandatory masks, physically distanced lines, reduced hours, and more sanitization and disinfectant. There are no plans for additional entertainment in the shopping and dining location at this point in time, but people were still very excited to get back and came out in droves. For the most part, it seems that people were following the new safety protocols and were okay waiting in socially distanced lines for a table at a restaurant.
The Walt Disney Company also announced today that Disney Stores across North America are starting to reopen in phases. With Florida leading the charge, it's only a matter of time before California starts to make some announcements, though that could end up being a little while longer. The state just allowed salons and barbers to reopen in most counties, which is behind a number of other states that have already started to reopen more businesses. As for Florida, all eyes are going to be on them with the reopening of Universal Orlando next week. Hopefully it all goes well for them. CNN was the first to announce that Disney World will open its doors again on July 11th.