Disney World reopened two of its parks, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday (July 11) for the first time since March. Epcot and Hollywood Studios will reopen on July 15.
Disney moved forward with reopening their parks even as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise, both in Florida and across the United States.
The state reported 11,433 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and 435 hospitalizations, which is the largest single-day increase since the coronavirus pandemic began. The U.S. also set a record on Friday, with more than 70,000 new confirmed cases.
Disney is confident they can operate their parks safely. They have implemented social distancing measures and are requiring all staff members and guests to wear masks while inside the parks. Before entering the parks, visitors and employees will have their temperature checked.
The threat of COVID-19 does not seem to be keeping people away. Disney said that tickets for the month of July are sold out, and only people with reservations will be allowed inside
Once inside, the experience will be a little different. Character meet-and-greets have been canceled, as have the parades, performances, and firework shows that drew large crowds. While there may not be shows, guests will have plenty of free time to go on all the rides. Because Disney has lowered the occupancy of the park, the long lines for rides are gone..
According to USA Today, the posted wait time for Peter Pan’s Flight was 25 minutes, but the actual wait was just ten minutes. One guest told the news outlet that the longest line was at the gift shop for Splash Mountain.
Photo: Getty Images