Disney World to begin phased reopening July 11

Local News

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2019 photo, guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Disney officials said Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, that the iconic Cinderella Castle would be renovated over the next several months. The most noticeable changes will be the addition of gold trim to most of the castle and the darkening of the blue hue on the castle’s turrets. Work on the castle will last through the summer. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

(CNN/KLAS)Disney World has set its reopening dates after closing the park in mid-march in response to the pandemic, leaving the Walt Disney Company reeling.

Disney World plans to begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks, followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15.

Workers and guests will be required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks.

Disney will reduce capacity at the parks and the resort will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that draw crowds. It also plans to implement a new theme park reservation system.

“We will be also managing our overall attendance demand through a new theme park reservation system that will require our guests to obtain reservation for park entry in advance. We’ll share more details about this component in the near future,” Jim MacPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World Resort said.

It will also set up a cashless, contactless payment system and increase the number of available hand-sanitizing stations.

The Orange County government approved the reopening plan Wednesday morning.

With 77,000 workers, Disney World is central Florida’s biggest employer.

Earlier this month, Shanghai Disneyland became the first of Disney’s theme park resorts to reopen, with severe limits on the number of visitors allowed in, mandatory masks and temperature checks.

Crosstown rival, Universal Orlando, presented its reopening proposal last week to county officials, saying it was aiming to reopen June 5. Officials approved those plans and sent them to the governor.

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