Coronavirus Outbreak: Disney plans to reopen Florida theme parks in July with limited attendance

Disney plans to restrict the number of guests, who will be required to reserve their park passes ahead of time.

Reuters May 28, 2020 11:23:50 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Disney plans to reopen Florida theme parks in July with limited attendance

Walt Disney Co plans to reopen the world’s largest theme park, Walt Disney World, in phases beginning on 11 July, if the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, approves.

Disney wants to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on 11 July and Epcot and Hollywood Studios on 15 July, according to Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of operations for the Walt Disney World Resort, who presented plans during a webcast meeting.

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The successful reopening of its parks is a signal event for Disney and the rest of the world as governments and companies strategise how to move out of lockdown while the novel coranavirus is still a threat.

Coronavirus Outbreak Disney plans to reopen Florida theme parks in July with limited attendance

Disney World

After MacPhee’s presentation, an Orange County task force OK’d the plan, sending it to Florida Governor DeSantis for final approval.

When the Disney parks reopen, guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The resort will suspend parades, meet-and-greets with Disney characters, fireworks displays and other activities that create crowds. It will “enable and encourage” contactless payment systems, and expand its existing mobile order systems in restaurants.

Disney plans to restrict the number of guests, who will be required to reserve their park passes ahead of time. Park guests will be greeted by signs such as “HELP US PROTECT THE MAGIC PLEASE LIMIT HANDLING OF THE PRODUCT, IF ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED, PLEASE ASK A CAST MEMBER.”

Starting in January, Disney closed theme parks around the world to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Chapek told CNBC the company currently has about 20,000 people per day visiting Shanghai Disneyland, which reopened on 11 May with mandatory masks, temperature screenings and social distancing for visitors and employees.

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