- Disney World parks in Florida will reopen to the public in July.
- The parks will open with many coronavirus-related safety precautions, including mandatory masks and temperature checks.
- Disney World visitors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days before entering.
As part of a global effort to contain the coronavirus, Disney in early March closed all of its Florida theme parks, effectively putting an estimated 77,000 employees out of work in the process. And given how easily the coronavirus can be transmitted via community spread, there was initially some speculation that Disney wouldn’t reopen to the public until 2021. Now, with the United States slowly but surely starting to reopen, Disney this week announced that Disney World and its associated theme parks will reopen to the public on July 11.
Disney’s new announcement was, of course, accompanied by a lot of information detailing the safety measures the company plans to implement for park visitors. Most importantly, Disney said that its parks will have significant capacity limits. This change is particularly significant given that Disney parks are notoriously packed, especially during summer months.
While specific capacity limits have yet to be disclosed, Disney has said that the first part of the reopening process will see parks admit just 20-30% of normal capacity.
Additionally, visitors will be required to wear masks, both for their own safety and the safety of others. Notably, Disney will offer guests “relaxation zones” which will be designated areas where visitors can safely remove their masks. There will also be temperature checks before visitors are allowed to enter.
Another safety measure Disney plans to incorporate will require visitors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to quarantine themselves for 14-days before entering a Disney resort. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a rule unique to Disney but is rather in accordance with Florida’s official coronavirus safety guidelines. While this rule likely won’t impact many Disney World visitors, it is something to be aware of if you’re from the tri-state area.
As to the rationale behind the rule, New York was previously the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, so it makes sense why Florida would be especially wary of visitors from the area.
On a related note, not everyone is happy about Disney’s plan to reopen next month. There are a few petitions circulating online which argue that opening the parks back up will put Disney employees and guests at significant risk of contracting the coronavirus. At this point, though, it appears that Disney will proceed as planned barring any unforeseen spike in coronavirus cases over the next few weeks.
Lastly, as a point of interest, it’s estimated that Disney’s park closings cost the company as much as $30 million a day in lost revenue.