Rope drop will be happening very soon, and the rope drop on July 11th is going to be one of the best in history! After 4 months of shut down, Walt Disney World is set to reopen and welcome visitors back to the most magical place on Earth!
- So first things first, Walt Disney World is planning a phased reopening, which will include Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom set to open July 11th with Epcot and Hollywood Studios following on July 15th.
- The biggest change that everyone should be aware of is the addition of a new reservation system, which will require guests to make a reservation in advance for theme park entry. So no longer do you have to just make Fastpass and dining reservations, now you’ll have to reserve your park entry time as well, since WDW will be limited on the number of people they can safely house in their complex. (Note: Fastpasses will not be included during this physical distancing time, as WDW plans to use additional queue space to help manage the capacity at the attractions and to allow for physical distancing between guests. As for dining reservations, these are still up in the air. At this point, all previously booked dining reservations have been cancelled and Disney Dining Plans have been temporarily suspended.)
- At the current time, WDW is not taking any new reservations, as they are trying to take care of those guests whose reservations were cancelled and those that have scheduled upcoming trips.
- To gain access to the park, you’ll be required to wear a face covering (ages 2 and up) and undergo a temperature screening. Face coverings will also be required in all common areas of the resorts.
- Finally, this one hurts the most (and why I wouldn’t recommend a first time Disney trip during this COVID protocol time period…as much as that saddens me to say): Many of the shows, parades, fireworks, and character greetings will be closed…meaning the magic just won’t be at the same level. WDW has said you will still see characters throughout the park, perhaps on balconies and on top of buildings. This will allow for an overhead selfie shot potentially with the characters, but no running up and giving the Mouse a big ole’ hug. For those of us that have been many times, I’m sure you’ll still get all of those magic feels you had hoped for!
Having been at Disney Springs just recently, I was able to get a feel for how WDW may operate upon reopening. Here’s just a few things I took note of during my visit to Disney Springs:
- Facial Coverings: You won’t get around this one, as they have cast members set up prior to even going through the temperature screening asking you to put your masks on. However, you were able to remove the facial covering inside if you were eating or drinking, but were required at all times otherwise.
- Temperature Screening: Disney didn’t just designate a few cast members to check temperatures…they actually contracted with a health company and health professionals were performing the touch less temperature screens.
- Signage and Ground Markings: Disney has placed lots of updated signage and ground markings throughout Disney Springs. From marking what 6ft apart is in all of the queue lines (for restaurants and stores) to signs that explain what the requirements/recommendations are when inside the park.
- Cashless Transactions: Disney is recommending all guests to use cashless payment options, including debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards, mobile wallets, and Magic Bands. If you aren’t a cashless type of buyer, you can head to Guest Relations and select merchandise locations to purchase Disney Gift Card with your cash, which you would then use throughout the rest of the park.
So, now you have all of the latest info if you plan to head to WDW in the coming future. One last side note…as of right now, the Disney Dream and Fantasy are scheduled to start cruising July 27th, but no additional information has been released yet regarding the COVID protocol onboard the cruise ships. If you are planning a Disney Cruise, don’t forget to check out my blog post dedicated to finding a deal on a Disney Cruise!