ORLANDO (AP/CBSLA) — In what could provide a template for its West Coast counterpart, Walt Disney World in Florida has received permission from local officials to reopen in mid-July, it was announced Wednesday.
Disney’s plan was presented and approved by a local task force Wednesday. It now goes to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for final approval.
Disney plans a tiered reopening, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15.
Disney’s senior vice president of operations, Jim McPhee, told the task force the parks would open with limited capacity, but he didn’t specify the number of guests who would be allowed in initially.
In a statement, the company said attendance will be managed through a new system that requires advance reservations for park entry.
Disney World also plans smaller, soft openings prior to July 11, but no specifics were provided.
Employees and guests will be required to wear face coverings and social distancing will be enforced. Guests and employees will also undergo temperature checks before entering the parks.
Disney employees will be required to do temperature checks before heading to work, McPhee said. They’ll also undergo temperature checks at the park, he added.
Fireworks shows, character meet-and-greets and parades will be suspended to meet social distancing requirements, McPhee said.
Shanghai Disneyland reopened to the public on May 11.
Disneyland in Anaheim has been shuttered since March 14, with no indication regarding a possible timeline for reopening. Disney’s chief medical officer said earlier this month that the theme park is looking into ways to manage the density of guests, possibly with an app to help people line up for rides and attractions virtually.
However, lockdown restrictions in Orange County have been slowly easing, which could be a good sign for Disneyland.
O.C. on Saturday received permission from California Gov. Gavin Newsom for an accelerated reopening process which allows the county to reopen restaurants for in-person dining and retailers for in-person shopping, along with the reopening of offices and manufacturing businesses.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)