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Disney World to Reopen Parks July 11 - Here's What You Need to Know!

by Mommy Frog on May 29, 2020 10 Orlando

Disney World Reopening July 11

Hopping Big News! Walt Disney World Resort will officially be reopening its parks in phases, starting July 11 for the general public! Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom will be the first parks to open in this phased reopening, with EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios opening July 15. There are, of course, some changes Disney is making along with this reopening in order to maintain the health and safety of guests. As part of its efforts to limit capacity, Disney will introduce a new theme park reservation system. Additionally, it has canceled all existing FastPass+ and dining reservations through the end of 2020.

We will hop into more about these changes below, but if you had existing reservations or are planning a trip in 2020, you'll want to keep reading! As part of its reopening, Disney will require masks and temperature checks among other new health and safety measures, including limiting capacity in parks, on attractions, on transportation and in restaurants. Additionally, fireworks, parades and other events that create crowds will be temporarily suspended.

According to the Disney Parks Blog:

"This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences we know draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, 'high-touch' experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in our parks to entertain and delight our guests."

Similarly, SeaWorld Orlando is reopening its Orlando theme park, Discovery Cove and Aquatica on June 11. Both of the Disney and SeaWorld proposals were approved by the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, the mayor of Orange County and governor of Florida. Universal Orlando had previously received approval and will reopen its parks to the public June 5, as well as LEGOLAND Florida, starting June 1.

Disney has already begun reopening Disney Springs, which we visited on opening day, May 20. We've gathered key details so you can begin planning your visit!

New Disney World Reservation System | Disney World Hotels | Disney Safety Measures | Disney Springs | Status of Major U.S. Theme Parks

New Disney World Theme Park Reservation System, FastPass+ & Dining Reservations

As mentioned above, Disney intends to significantly limit capacity in the earliest phases of reopening. To do this, it will implement a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. Existing ticket holders and annual passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases ahead of those who don't have tickets. Disney will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. More details about this reservation system will be coming soon!

As a result of accommodating physical distancing, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity. All existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages, will be canceled through the end of the year. Disney will reopen dining and experience bookings closer to reopening. There will also be a shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window moving forward.

The FastPass+ reservation service will be temporarily suspended to allow for extra space in queues to manage capacity and maintain physical distancing. Existing FastPass+ reservations will be automatically canceled, and future plans for FastPass+ will be shared later. Upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will also be temporarily suspended.

Reopening of Disney World Hotels and Lodging

Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts at Vero Beach, Fla., and Hilton Head, S.C., will reopen to members and guests June 15. All other resorts do not have reopening dates scheduled at this time.

Disney Safety Measures

Upon reopening, Disney World theme parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, services and other experiences may be modified, will be limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or even closure. Disney will be implementing enhanced safety measures based on the guidance of government officials and health advisers. Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Pam Hymel shared plans and ideas that Disney explored prior to its presentation, which included the following:

  • Phased reopening: This one has already proven to be true. Disney Springs retail and dining locations are open prior to the theme parks and hotels.
  • Physical distancing and capacity measures: Disney will implement physical distancing and guest capacity guidelines based on guidance from health and government agencies. Virtual queues, the Play Disney Parks app and other technological aids may help with these efforts.
  • Cleanliness and sanitization: Disney will increase cleaning and disinfection and is determining where that should take place and the processes that they’ll use.
  • Screening and prevention support: Disney will follow guidelines from the government and medical community in regards to enhanced screening procedures and prevention measures, including personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face coverings. Disney has already installed hand sanitizers and hand washing stations across the resort.
  • Cast training: Disney is providing new training and reinforcement to emphasize a strong culture of health and safety among its cast members.

The proposed plan, presented at the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting, confirmed that Disney plans to implement the following measures:

  • Face coverings and temperature screenings will be required to enter the parks.
  • Plexiglass in retail and food and beverage locations will protect guests and employees where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Contactless payments with Magic Bands, Apple Pay and Google Pay will be available at restaurants and retail shops.
  • Mobile ordering at restaurants will be expanded.
  • Parades, fireworks, character meet and greets and other events that create crowds or high-touch experiences will be temporarily suspended.

Disney Springs Now Open

While the rest of Walt Disney World Resort, including the theme parks and hotels, is temporarily closed, Disney Springs has reopened to the public. Upon arrival, guests will undergo temperature screenings, and all guests over the age of 2 are required to wear facial coverings. We've rounded up the details you need to know before you arrive, including a full list of all of the shops and restaurants that are currently available for you to enjoy.

There is still a lot of unknown information as the situation remains fluid, but rest assured, your favorite frogs will keep you updated! We hope this guide helps you prepare for your visit to Disney World and gives you an idea of what to expect when the theme parks reopen. Be sure to check back later, as we will update this post as new information becomes available. 

Related: Planning a Vacation in a Uncertain Time

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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May 28, 2020 at 12:29 a.m. john rogers Says...

Well we have been coming for over 10 yrs straight...but not this year..I am not paying for someone to tell me to wear a mask that filters out 0%..yall be safe without us..

May 27, 2020 at 11:50 p.m. Stacie Jenner Says...

Tickets that we bought thru undercover tourist would b valid for the reservation system? We currently have June 12-18th tickets thru undercover- they have already been extended till December on the app. But will we get in on the New reservation system with them?

May 28, 2020 at 2:38 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stacie,

Undercover Tourist is an authorized seller and our ticket media is the same as buying direct from the theme parks. We do not have any information yet on the new reservation system, but we will pass along those details when we do.

Keep hopping!


May 27, 2020 at 4:57 p.m. Ian Says...

As with most points of view, there is your side, my side and somewhere in-between lies harmony. I will visit, I will were a face mask out of respect for others who also chose to visit. For those who don't wish to wear a face mask they can turn up when they don't have too :)

May 19, 2020 at 2:11 a.m. Sheila Says...

I will not wear a face mask to disney. I love Disney, its my favorite place. We have our annual Christmas that i wont be wearing a mask. I hate them. I have this thing about breathing the air i just breathed out. A bit of anxiety about my face covered. And i love my American freedoms. Id be forced to cancel and use my money elsewhere or just go and keep it pulled down from my nose. Hell i can get a note from my doc. But im not worried about getting sick. I refuse to lose my freedoms.

May 29, 2020 at 3 p.m. Belinda Says...

Sheila, you will not find a doctor to write you the note you want. This is a pandemic and that is their license on the line. Wear the mask. Don’t wear the mask. Keep your doctor out of it.

May 27, 2020 at 4:58 p.m. JimH Says...

@Sheila Disney is private property and sets their own rules that impose on supposed American Freedoms with simplest being that shirt and shoes are required and furthermore clothing must not be offensive. I don't like the mask policy, but I will comply with because I want to go.

May 28, 2020 at 2:24 p.m. Jonathan Smith Says...

I will comply with Disney rules...by not going. As long as the face mask requirement is there, I will not be showing up. And it has nothing to do with freedom for m, I am just not going to enjoy a vacation in 95 degree heat wearing a face mask. And you are right, Disney is a private company but they also need to make money. If enough people don't show up because of face mask requirements, they will change their tune very quickly.

May 21, 2020 at 4:21 p.m. ann Says...

Hey, Sheila. I know I won't change your mind, but the mask isn't just to keep you safe; it's also to keep those around you safe, as you could be carrying the virus asymptomatically and transmit it. The recent studies of how the virus can affect children are really alarming--otherwise healthy kids are going into cardiac arrest as a result of coronavirus! I know the masks are annoying and uncomfortable, but please reconsider your stance for the safety of those around you. Maybe instead of thinking of the mask as a loss of freedom, consider it as a courtesy to others the same way places require shirts, shoes, and other items of clothing? Hope that helps and you stay healthy regardless.

May 28, 2020 at 2:26 p.m. Jonathan Smith Says...

For every study or expert that claims the mask stops the spread, there are just as many experts and other studies that says it does nothing or even makes things worse. Wearing a mask for 15 minutes in the supermarket is one thing, wearing it for 10 hours outdoors in 95 degree heat is not practical.

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