Walt Disney World Resort has finally set reopening dates for their Florida theme parks. Guests will be allowed into the parks in mid-July.
Walt Disney World Resort has been closed since March 15th due to the ongoing global pandemic, but they’ve been clearly easing towards a reopening the past few weeks. New safety protocols have been announced and Disney Springs began reopening on May 20th.
Now we have official dates for the parks themselves: the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be opening on July 11th with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening a few days later on July 15th. The hotels will also begin taking reservations for July 11th. There’s currently no word on the water parks.
Disney has been pretty good about setting expectations for the Walt Disney World Resort’s new protocols over on their Disney Parks Blog, but for those who are curious about how some of this may play out, you can see what Shanghai Disney was like on opening day. It was quite eerie seeing all the social distancing markers around the park and watching everyone enjoy the attractions while donning a mask, but this is our ‘new reality’ I suppose. And if you aren’t comfortable with it, you should delay your trip until the pandemic has fully passed.
It’s hard to say if July is too soon or not at this point. The pandemic seems to be endless, and for a lot of us who are stuck self-isolating for months on end it sort of feels like it’ll never end. If the protocols are followed like they are in Shanghai, it’s possible that this opening date could be fine. I haven’t heard of any outbreaks from the Shanghai opening yet and it’s been over two weeks, so maybe this system works.
I guess the important question is whether or not the Florida crowds will stick with these regulations or not? There’s already been a big push back against masks, which is one of the simplest things anyone can do to slow the spread. All it would take is one asymptomatic carrier to remove their mask while close to other people and all the work we’ve been doing to slow the spread would be undone. The face mask kerfuffle has diminished my faith that we can come together and do something simple for the good of other park guests, but I’d love to be proven wrong.
There’s no official word on the other parks yet, but I feel like Hong Kong Disneyland is going to beat Walt Disney World to the punch in regards to reopening. Hong Kong Disneyland has been rather quiet about their progress, but suddenly a few days ago they started testing soft openings of the park to cast members. I feel that they’re going to suddenly announce a date just a couple days out with not a lot of fanfare.
Then we have the dark horse candidate, Tokyo Disneyland, where Ikspiari (their version of Downtown Disney or Disney Springs) is scheduled to reopen on June 1st. Japan just lifted their national emergency declaration, so things might move fast there, too. Japan has been extremely cautious, however, so that may take some time. It’s anyone’s guess, honestly.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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