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With its theme parks closed indefinitely during the spread of COVID-19, many are wondering when Disneyland and Walt Disney World will reopen. The theme parks in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida have been closed since March 12 due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
Until they reopen, you can enjoy theme park content through the Disney Magic Moments website like virtual ride-throughs of attractions, Disney World’s Happily Ever After fireworks show, a viewing of Disneyland’s new Magic Happens parade and sing-alongs with the Dapper Dans from Main Street.
The following dates are estimates based on current information available from nations, states and counties, with Disney Parks not responding to a request for comment. Speaking on May 5, Disney CEO Bob Iger said it’s too early to predict when Disney will be reopening all of its theme parks across the globe, though. “We are evaluating a number of different scenarios to ensure a cautious sensible and deliberate approach to the eventual reopening of our parks,” he said during a Disney earnings call.
Disneyland, California: “Once therapeutics have been developed”
As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen California, Disneyland and other theme parks will likely fall into the final category of those allowed to resume operations in stage four:
- Safety and preparedness — more testing, contact tracing, PPE, hospital surge capacity; making essential work environments as safe as possible; preparing workforce guidelines
- Gradually opening some lower-risk workplaces with changes, like retail with curbside pickup, manufacturing, offices where telework isn’t possible, the next school year potentially starting in July or August, childcare facilities for limited numbers
- Opening higher-risk environments with adaptations and limits on size of gatherings, for example hair and nail salons, gyms, movies, sports without live audiences, religious services
- End of stay at home order — reopening highest-risk experiences and venues, including concerts, convention centers, sports with live audiences, once therapeutics have been developed
Gov. Newsom didn’t give a timeline for each stage, but on Monday announced California would begin stage 2 this Friday, May 7, opening up some retail with curbside pickup and manufacturing businesses, although not offices, dine-in restaurants or shopping malls.
A vaccine isn’t likely until 2021, although the FDA issued an emergency authorization to use remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment Friday.
Also affected by its closure is the opening date of Disneyland’s new Marvel-themed land Avengers Campus, which has been pushed back indefinitely from the original planned July launch.
Walt Disney World, Florida: Post-May 2020
With Florida a little more lax on lockdowns — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday his plan to begin reopening the state on Monday, May 4, although people are being asked to stay 6 feet apart and limit group size to 10 — Walt Disney World looks to be much closer to reopening.
During a meeting on April 28, Orlando’s Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force outlined guidelines and mandates for theme parks, specifically mentioning Disney World. At large theme parks, it’s recommending two guidelines: tape markings of 6 feet apart in lines for attractions and encourage staff who are aged 65 and up to stay home.
Mandates involve Disney capping its capacity at 50% in phase one, and 75% in phase two; touch-less hand sanitizer at all entryways, turnstiles and attraction entries and exits; and wiping down all railings and surfaces after every single use. The task force also said there must be temperature checks for staff prior to their shifts, and staffers with a temperature above 100.4 will not be permitted inside Disney World. All employees with flu-like symptoms must stay home.
It’s unclear when Orlando’s phases will begin, but phase one of reopening Florida begins Monday. The statewide rules — barring South Florida — will similarly see restaurants and retail stores limited to 25% capacity. Movie theaters, hair salons, gyms, and bars remain closed. Those visiting Florida from out of state must still self-isolate for two weeks, although DeSantis said Florida is likely weeks rather than months away from stage two.
Disney Parks across the world
Both Shanghai Disney and Hong Kong Disney closed in late January, followed by the Tokyo Disney Resort in late February. Disneyland Paris closed March 12.
- Shanghai Disneyland: May 11 — Disney CEO Bob Iger announced May 5 that the Shanghai park will reopen Monday, May 11. It’ll have limits on attendance, a reservation system to gain entry to the park, an entry control system, social distancing requirements, masks, temperature screenings, contact tracing and government-required health procedures. Shanghai began opening restaurants and stores on March 9 in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, requiring all guests to undergo temperature screening, present a green Shanghai QR health code at dining venues, constantly wear a mask and “maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants.”
- Tokyo Disney Resort: Post-May 2020 — The latest from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was that a nationwide shutdown would last until at least May 6, after a resurgence in cases in mid-April. An update from Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on Friday said it will decide a reopening date in mid-May.
- Disneyland Paris: September 2020 — France is one of the hardest-hit European nations, with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announcing a plan April 28 to see stores and schools reopen as of May 11, beaches on June 1 and restaurants and cafes June 2. Public events with more than 5,000 people are against the law until September. The latest update from Disneyland Paris came on April 23, when it noted the parks would “remain closed until further notice.”
- Hong Kong Disneyland: Unknown — Hong Kong’s guidance for coronavirus doesn’t mention theme parks, but its guidelines for mass assemblies include hand sanitizer in all public areas, providing surgical masks to those attending, cleaning and disinfecting common items and floors and providing PPE to anyone who’s designated to take care of sick visitors. Hong Kong has limited public gatherings to four people and advised social distancing of 5 feet. While Hong Kong Disneyland Park remains closed, Disney’s Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre is still open.
News Source: CNET.COM