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Walt Disney World Presents Reopening Plan to the Orange County Economic Task Force

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Edited May 29, 2020 to clarify that this has been approved officially and the Walt Disney World Resort can reopen in July.


Today, the Walt Disney Company submitted its plan to the Orange County Economic Task Force in an effort to re-open the Walt Disney World Resort following the coronavirus closure. During this meeting, it was announced that the Walt Disney World Resort would be reopening on a phased reopening schedule beginning in July.

The first parks to reopening will be the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom beginning on July 11. Then, on July 15, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be reopening to Guests.

According to the report given to the Orange County Economic Task Force Meeting, there will be a number of things that both Guests and Cast Members will need to adhere to in order to enter the parks. Here is what we know so far:

  • First, there will be significant limits on attendance. To make sure that this occurs, in order to enter the theme parks, you will need to sign up via an advance reservation system. Disney did not share how that reservation system would work initially, however they did share that they would release that information at a later date.
  • There will be enhanced protective measures put in place. For example, the parks will be requiring face coverings for Cast Members and Guests, and putting an emphasis on hand washing. In addition, there will be sanitation stations available for Guests and there will be and physical barriers where appropriate. For example, Guests will find plexiglass at retail and restaurant locations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • There will be physical distancing and capacity limits enabled at the theme parks, restaurants, retail, attractions, buses, monorails, and other transportation modes. In addition, parades, fireworks, and other events that create crowds will be suspended for the time being.
  • Of course, there will be an emphasis on enhanced cleaning both onstage and backstage across high touch locations and surfaces.
  • Guests and Cast Members will need to have their temperatures taken via contactless handheld devices.
  • There will also be a reduction of Guest and Cast Member contact points. These will include things like putting an emphasis on increasing mobile food ordering, pausing meet and greets with characters, not allowing Guests to enjoy play areas that can be found throughout the park, and contactless payments (like ApplePay, MagicBands, etc).

As Guests get ready to head to the parks, they will see “Know Before You Go” messages provided so they are aware of the new safety protocols. Cast Members will also be on hand to regularly communicate new protocols via the Social Distancing Squad who are there to inspire Guests to follow guidelines. Finally, there will also be signage found throughout the resort reinforcing these messages.

This plan, while approved by the task force, has been approved by the Mayor or the Governor of Florida as of May 29, 2020.

You can watch the meeting here for full details.

Currently, no information was provided about Disney Resort hotels or water parks.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

7 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Presents Reopening Plan to the Orange County Economic Task Force

  • On the surface this would seem rather surprising given that Universal and Seaworld will be opening in June. However, I’m willing to bet a few Disney Dollars that the next big headline for Disney will be, “NBA to Finish Season at Disneyworld”, and that’s the real reason behind the later opening.

  • Mike Cooper

    Unless they are significantly reducing park admission costs along with attendance, then it just doesn’t seem to be a very magical experience in store for those attending the reopening.

  • Suspension of fireworks, parades and character meet n greets was mentioned on CNBC.

  • Ruth Woodhouse

    I am so pleased that the parks are reopening and I appreciate that these are difficult times. But – there must be far more people wanting to book reservations than there will be slots available. So – I wonder if you bought Disney tickets for a certain number of days and you were unable to make an advance reservation for one or more of those days you’d bought tickets for – and you were unable to return to WDW until after your ticket expired, would you get a refund? It would be such a shame for people to travel a long way on a holiday of a lifetime only to be unable to access the parks. I suppose it’s a risk everyone has to consider when they decide whether to travel to WDW. I am sure Disney will do the best they can in these unprecedented times and look forward to reading more about it all nearer to the time the parks open. Maybe they are anticipating that far few guests will be at WDW which may be the case as there won’t be many, if any, overseas guests who will be allowed to travel there when the parks reopen initially. Any many people will not be happy travelling too far at the moment.

  • Happy that WDW is finally opening, but there are so many questions still! For one thing, can you make a reservation for 2 parks in 1 day (AM & PM), or is park hopping not going to be an option? Will you get a refund for the premium paid for a PH?

  • Neal Connor

    We have reservations to stay on property beginning July 11th My concern is that the reduced operating hours will force large groups of people to be at the resorts earlier than normal thereby causing overcrowding at the resorts. The other concern is that it forces guest to bear the heat of the Florida afternoon. Hopefully Disney will expand the hours of park operation to allow guests to take a break during the afternoon

  • I just read another article that explained the Shanghai ticket purchasing showed options to reserve half days, so I’d guess they’ll provide a similar option in the US.

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