Disney World to Reopen in July, SeaWorld Orlando to Reopen in June

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, visitors walk toward Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the background at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Disneyland says it's closing its California parks starting Saturday over coronavirus concerns. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some …
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Walt Disney World is planning on a phased reopening plan that would gradually open up its four parks in July, while SeaWorld Orlando plans to open its parks in June.

Disney World plans to reopen the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom on July 11, and open Epcot and Hollywood Studios by July 15, Disney announced Wednesday.

SeaWorld Orlando proposed reopening its three parks, including Aquatica and Discovery Cove, to the public by June 11 — about three weeks away, interim CEO Marc Swanson announced Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said each of the theme parks needs approval from the county before they can move forward with the reopening process, and approve of their plans.

Both theme parks presented their reopening plans before the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, a panel of community and business leaders. The board unanimously approved of both of their plans.

Both Disney and SeaWorld said guests and employees would have to wear masks and undergo temperature checks, and there would be some significant changes made throughout the park to promote social distancing and encourage hand-washing among park guests and employees.

Swanson said masks would be required for guests ages two and older, temperature checks would be mandatory, and there would be a limit to how many guests who could use the pools and rivers. Hand sanitizer would also be available at the entrance and exits of each attraction.

SeaWorld’s parks will open June 10 privately for an employee appreciation night the night before its set to open to the public, Swanson said.

Disney visitors will also have to wear masks and undergo temperature checks, but the parks will provide masks for guests who do not bring their own.

Disney cast members will enforce the rules as part of a “social distancing squad,” which had already received positive results when they made their debut in the Disney Springs retail area, said Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations for Walt Disney World.

Park attractions would also be limited, and not all attractions would open at once.

Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando in Florida have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Their decision to close was to stem the transmission of the coronavirus.

Both SeaWorld and Disney, if approved by DeSantis, will follow the opening of Universal Orlando, which plans on opening June 5, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.


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