Theme park gates have been bolted since March, but Disney, Universal and the rest expect to welcome guests again as early as June — albeit with coronavirus safety measures in place.
In Florida, industry leader Disney presented a plan to local government Tuesday in which the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom would open July 11. Hollywood Studios and Epcot would welcome guests for the first time on July 15.
Those guests will see new rules in place: character meet and greets, parades and any events that attract large crowds are out. What’s in is making reservations ahead of time — capacity is being limited to ensure physical distancing —and wearing masks. And those temperature checks? They’re happening.
Some of those procedures are already in place at Disney Springs, a nearby shopping and dining destination, which began a phased reopening May 20.
“As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 3 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels,” Disney Parks’s Thomas Smith wrote Wednesday on the official Disney Parks Blog. “All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas.”
Disney noted that its plans are pending approval from local and state governments, although at least one body has reportedly given it the go-ahead.
Disneyland and other Disney venues in southern California have yet to announce a reopening date. However, the OC Register has reported that, provided COVID-19 infection rates remain stable in California, amusement parks will be allowed to open in the next stage of the state’s reopening strategy, which could be as little as a week away.
“We’re being deliberate during these phased reopenings, and we’re encouraged by how our guests are responding at Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs,” the Disney Parks blog read. “We’re doing our part, and we need our guests to do their part, too, as we work together to focus on safety.”
This article was originally published on yahoo.com/entertainment/.