Disney World Plans July 11 Reopening amid Coronavirus Concerns

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - NOVEMBER 05: In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, a view of fireworks, holiday lights and fanfare at Cinderella's Castle during a taping of Disney Parks Presents a Disney Channel Holiday Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort on November 05, 2017 in Lake Buena …
Todd Anderson/Disney Parks via Getty Images

Orlando’s Disney World is planning a July 11 reopening amid rising coronavirus cases in Florida.

California’s Disneyland Resort closed March 12, followed by Disney World on March 16. Soon after, the Walt Disney Company announced the indefinite closure of both resorts. But after months of closure due to fear and uncertainty over the virus, the Florida park is reopening.

On July 11, Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will open, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Disney emphasizes that it has “taken enhanced health and safety measures” and alerts visitors that it “may be different from the last time you visited,” given the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disney touts enhanced cleaning procedures, reduced contact, and the promotion of physical distancing. It will also now require guests to make reservations to help the park maintain limited capacity.

Guests may undergo a temperature check prior to entering the parks or Disney Springs area. Those with a temperature of over 100.4 “will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance” and will not be permitted to enter if the reading is correct, nor will those in their party. Additionally, those aged two and over will be required to wear face coverings, including cast members.

“Disney, I have no doubt is going to be a safe environment,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said on Monday. “I think that where you start to see the spread is just in social situations where people let their guard down. Usually like a private party or something like that.”

“Theme parks have been doing great, I mean, Universal, look at what they’re doing. And I think that’s the lesson. We have to have society function,” the governor continued.

Universal Orlando reopened last month with many of the precautions Disney plans to implement — face coverings, temperature checks, and limited park capacities.

“You can have society function in a way that keeps people safe, and when you have all the different procedures they have in place … it’s a safe environment,” the governor added.

Disney’s reopening comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge in Florida. The Sunshine State has reported over 206,000 cases since March 1, breaking daily record highs this month.

DeSantis has stressed the dramatic rise in testing, noting that they have tested over 2.2 million people, or ten percent of the state’s population. While cases are rising, they tend to be among the younger, less vulnerable demographic. The age with the most cases is currently 21:

The governor also noted that the fatality rate in Florida remains lower than states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Connecticut, standing at 1.9 percent.


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