Let me say right off the bat that I am not one for speculation. I most definitely will never give you my thoughts on when Disney World may reopen. However, with Shanghai Disneyland starting to open up we can look at what they are doing and the guidelines for business reopening in our country to get an idea of how things might look when Disney World begins to open.
Go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/travel-information/ for the latest updates on Disney World Resort Operations.
Also, this week the Re-Open Florida Task Force began having meetings to discuss ways to reopen attractions in the state, including theme parks. Members of the Industry Working Group include Visit Florida president and CEO Dana Young, Walt Disney World president Josh D’Amaro, Universal Orlando CEO John Sprouls as well as executives in the retail and transportation industry. During the meeting Universal some of the measures they are considering to slowly reopen. Including social distancing measures, added sanitation measures and increasing the use of virtual line systems. The tourism task force subcommittee is expected to send their recommendation to Governer DeSantis by Friday.
Disney Parks Reopening – Shanghai Disneyland
In the meantime, Shanghai Disneyland has started to reopen with some of these measures in place.
The official statement from Shanghai Disneyland:
Shanghai Disney Resort will partially resume operations on March 9, 2020, with a limited number of shopping, dining, and recreational experiences available in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park, and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Each of these resort locations will operate under limited capacity and reduced hours of operation. The Disney Car and Coach Park and the Disneytown Parking Lot will also reopen.
Every guest entering Shanghai Disney Resort is required to undergo temperature screening procedures and present their Shanghai QR Code. Only guests with a green Shanghai QR Code are allowed to enter the resort. Guests are required to wear masks at all times (except when eating) and are to follow social distancing recommendations. @gourmetdyy shared these photos on Twitter. He claims they are from line-up areas before security check. Several other sites are sharing them as measures being used. I can not verify these photos so will not say that they are indeed from Shanghai Disneyland. There is A LOT of unofficial information out there so just keep that in mind.
Since we are on the subject of unofficial information, I want to touch on that a little more. Until each Disney park releases official information about opening dates and procedures, any source that tells you when or how the parks will open is purely speculation. I feel so bad for people who have trips planned and are constantly being bombarded with articles about parks not opening until next year! I suppose there could be a possibility of that but then I suppose there is a possibility of the parks never reopening too. At this point, I am pretty sure we are used to the reality that ANYTHING is possible. I mean, I can get mixed drinks delivered to my front door and my teenager is working more hours than me!! Who would have guessed?
Disney Parks Reopening – Walt Disney World and Disneyland
The notion that parks would not be reopeining until 2021 came from Swiss banking giant UBS. They are a multinational investment bank and financial services company. My understanding is they feel the Disney Co. will not find it profitable to open earlier. They may be looking at increased operating costs due to a need for more employees to screen guests, manage social distancing guidelines and increased sanitation needs. Combine this with decreased revenue from the need to limit capacity and they make a reasonable case.
Potential Park Changes
Again…..no one has any official information from the Disney Co. regarding how or when any of the parks will reopen. But I am going to share some ideas that have come from the travel industry in general and the operations we are seeing implemented at Shanghai Disneyland that may give us an idea of how the parks will operate when open.
- Guest temperature screening with non-contact thermometers
- mandatory use of face masks
- social distancing markers
- decreased park capacity
- stores and rides disinfected routinely throughout the day
- eliminating entertainment that creates crowds such as stage shows, fireworks, and parades
- staggered seating in theaters and restaurants
- more virtual lines (queues)
I am sharing this information to help you prepare for this possibility. My intention is not to scare you or make you sad about the possible disruption to any upcoming Disney trip. These are just possibilities. I think a lot of people feel better if they have time to process change. My whole intention with this blog is to help you be prepared for your Walt Disney World vacation. No matter what the circumstances are, the best way to ensure a magical Walt Disney World experience is to be prepared. Check out this link to get starting with your trip planning.
Disney World reopening is the glimmer of hope I am watching for in all of this craziness. I have a trip planned for November and may consider one earlier than that depending on how things go.
Will you be heading back to the parks as soon as they open? Would you visit the parks with these possible changes?