Summer Vacation: Disney Will Look Much Different

disneyland castle
Disneyland Castle Photo by Kristin Barclay

Summer Vacation at Disney Parks Will Require More Patience & Understanding

Amusement parks around the country are softly trying to reopen as summer is upon us. So, with an ongoing pandemic, what will the happiest place on earth look like?

Disney is slowly reopening their parks around the world. And summer travelers are anxious to see when and how Disney will reopen the gates.

For example, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland, and Disney World Resort are all making plans to reopen after the shut down earlier this year due to COVID-19.

Disneyland Paris will begin accepting hotel bookings for guests on July 1. However, even with the ability to reserve a hotel, the actual opening date of the park in Paris has not been confirmed.

In Florida, Walt Disney Co. has begun its opening phase in Disney Springs, part of the Disney World Resort. Several shops and restaurants are now open with more opening on May 27, 2020.

“Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase,” a Disney blog read.

In China, Shanghai Disneyland opened last week. The park was allowing in only 30% of its 80,000-visitor capacity per day.

Things at the World of Disney will be different when reopened

disney world reopening plans
Photo by Kristin Barclay

Even with Disney opening its doors in various parts of the world, things will not be business as usual. Shanghai Disneyland implemented new rules where guests must pre-purchase admission tickets and have their temperature taken before entering the park.

Today, Disney announced a phased plan to begin reopening Walt Disney World. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks will reopen Saturday, July 11. Followed by Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening on Wednesday, July 15.

Guests will be required to place a reservation for park entry before their visit. Masks will be required for guests over 2 years old and cast members. This requirement is a sticking point for many wanting to return, with major concerns about coping with extreme heat while wearing a mask. Even if humidity and heat weren’t an issue, how do you document a family vacation with everyone wearing masks?

For now, some of the magic will be put on hold. Character meet & greets, parades, fireworks, playgrounds and water effects will remain paused. Cashless payments will be preferred-Disney gift cards or mobile apps.

Masks-Social Distancing-A Whole New World

It was also noted that all the Disney World locations there will be no more buffets and snack stations. There will also be no more long lines for rides either. Guests must wear masks at the parks except when eating. Social distancing will also be part of the new rules when queuing for rides or restaurants. In Shanghai, yellow painted squares showed where guests should stand to maintain proper spacing.

In Florida, Disney will reopen with an eye toward new safety measures. This will include additional cleaning procedures, mandatory face coverings by employees and guests and less guest services availability. Rides may operate with empty seats, transportation will have reduced capacity

So, while there are many ways to enjoy the “Happiest Place on Earth”  after the pandemic has calmed, enjoying the Disney experience will look and feel completely different than before they closed.