Walt Disney World Reopened Tuesday. Here's What It Looked Like.
Walt Disney World is beginning a phased reopening, even as Florida has been reporting record numbers of new coronavirus cases. On the Fourth of July, the state set a record for most coronavirus cases in the U.S. in a single day, at 11,458. Tuesday, it recorded its highest positivity rate yet, at 16.27%.
Nevertheless, Tuesday and Wednesday were "cast member preview days" at Disney's Orlando-area theme park — essentially a test run, in which Disney staff were allowed into The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom as guests.
Thursday and Friday, the parks will be open to annual passholders, then open to the wider public on Saturday, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. Disney Vacation Club properties, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and Disney Springs have also begun to reopen. The parks have been closed since mid-March.
Steps that Disney is implementing to deal with the pandemic include reduced capacity in the parks (estimated to be about 30% of normal, the Hollywood Reporter reports), temperature checks at entry and required masks (except at designated "relaxation stations" where guests can take them off).
Though Disney largely governs itself through a unique land structure, its reopening plan was approved weeks ago by the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. Part of the resort also sits in Osceola County.
As for liability, Disney warns on its website that "By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."
Meanwhile, elsewhere on Disney's sprawling property, at the Wide World of Sports complex, the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer are gearing up to play out abbreviated seasons in bubbles sealed off from resort visitors.
Here's what Disney looked like Tuesday:
Unlike Universal, Disney isn’t actively giving every rider hand sanitizer, but it is there to use before boarding. They also aren’t wiping vehicles after each ride, which Universal doesn’t do either. pic.twitter.com/2dDMRRh5po— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) July 7, 2020
PHOTOS: First Look at NEW Mask-Free “Relaxation Station” in Tomorrowland Terrace at the Magic Kingdom https://t.co/6sQVtpQ698— Tomy (@tomy2875) July 7, 2020