Retail

Disney Plans Phased Reopening Of Parks For Mid-July

Disney will be reopening its gates to tourists and theme-park lovers in July, according to reports by CNBC.

The parks will be undergoing a phased reopening, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks set to open on July 11, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios will reopen a few days later, on July 15.

The reopening protocol will resemble the rules set up for Shanghai’s Disneyland locations, with significant restrictions on the number of people allowed in the parks. Also, people will have to buy tickets online ahead of time instead of just doing so at the gate.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek, speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley,” said the company would be practicing the six-foot social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chapek didn’t go into specifics on exactly what the new capacity limits would be, however, noting that the U.S. doesn’t have a government mandate on that like China does. But parades and other gatherings where people would be too close together will not be happening for the time being.

Disney’s Florida parks will now have new hand-sanitizing stations set up, and there will be temperature checks and social distancing measures in place.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said theme parks would have to get clearance to reopen by local governing bodies, and so Disney went before Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force, the collection of local business and community leaders appointed to handle those matters. The task force voted to approve the plans as described above.

Disney has taken a $1 billion hit in revenues as its parks had to close their doors during the pandemic. Uncertainty still lies ahead, as it’s yet to be seen whether people will even be looking to spend money at theme parks right now when they may be counting every penny and waiting on unemployment checks.

But Coney Island Amusement and Water Parks Vice President of Operations Steve Edwards told PYMNTS recently that he believes smaller, less-populated parks like his could be a relief for families looking to get out this summer but still worrying about the coronavirus.

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