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Disney World plans reopening date for July 11

The Orlando, Florida, theme parks could be open in July after closing due to COVID-19.

disney-world-fireworks

Disney World is set to reopen after closing due to COVID-19.

Disney
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Walt Disney World has announced its plan to reopen the Orlando, Florida, theme parks in July after closing them March 15 due to the spread of the coronavirus. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom would reopen July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15 under Disney's plan. The parks will have COVID-19 social distancing and wellness measures when they reopen, including temperature screenings, wearings masks, keeping guests six feet apart while lining up for attractions and a guest reservation system to limit capacity.

Fireworks shows and parades will be suspended until "a later date," as well as "high touch" experiences like character meet and greets and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer at The Walt Disney Company, discussed during a presentation. 

In addition, cast members including "social distancing squad cast members" will encourage the practice among guests. Disney will have hand sanitizing and washing stations, as well as an increased push behind contactless payment.

Don't go planning your next trip to Disney World, though -- new ticket sales have been suspended so Disney can "focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations." If you do have an existing ticket or you're an annual passholder, you'll have to go through a reservation system in advance to request entry into the park. New bookings can be made by Disney Vacation Club members.

Disney World resorts and hotels will begin reopening next month, starting with Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground on June 22. No word yet on when Disney World's two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, might reopen.

The news follows the Disney Springs shopping and dining area reopening on May 20 with limited parking, fewer entrances, temperature screening before entry, masks required, physically distanced lines and barriers, reduced hours, no entertainment and more sanitization and disinfectant. Disney-owned stores and restaurants also began reopening in Disney Springs on Wednesday.

Disney World will be the second of Disney's global theme park resorts to open, following Shanghai Disneyland reopening May 11. It has limits on attendance, a reservation system to gain entry to the park, an entry control system, social distancing requirements, tape markings keeping guests distanced while in lines for rides, masks, temperature screenings, contact tracing and government-required health procedures.

California-based Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney all remain closed indefinitely.

The Orange County coronavirus reopening task force voted in favor of Disney's proposal during a meeting Wednesday after last week also greenlighting the reopening of Universal Orlando on June 5. The mayor and the state must still approve both plans. 

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. There are now over 5.5 million confirmed cases globally, with more than 1.6 million cases and close to 100,000 deaths in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. 

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