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  • Writer's pictureCollin Brazan

What Walt Disney World Resort might look like when it reopens

Updated: May 16

Though an opening date has yet to be announced for the American Disney destination, Orange Country’s Economic Recovery Task Force met yesterday to discuss guidelines for businesses in the county—where Walt Disney World® Resort is located—to reopen.

Jerry Demings, the Orange County mayor, says he expects restrictions to roll back for business reopening to begin in June, though no exact dates have been confirmed.

Most guidelines are in line with the concepts behind the United States government’s phase implementation plan, though there are some specifics in Orange County that pertain to theme parks specifically.

Phase 1, which the parks will see on the day they reopen, can see up to 50 percent guest capacity. Phase 2 will increase to 75 percent, and the third phase will be considered normal operation. Guests aged 65 and above are being encouraged to stay home until the third phase.

All cast members will have to get their temperature checked before each shift and will have to wear masks during work. The task force did not state that guests would be required to do either, though Disney’s requirements for guests remains to be same.

Hand sanitizer stations must be made available and easily spotted at all entry points and tables.

Mobile check-in at hotels and resorts will be encouraged to minimize person-to-person interaction, though guests with special discounts may still have to stop at the front desk before heading to their rooms.  Minibars during the first phase cannot be stocked, and glassware, coffee makers and other reusable kitchen objects will have to be removed. Room service can continue, but with contactless delivery.

Like the parks, restaurants will also be limited to 50 percent capacity. Tables must be placed six feet apart, and disposable menus will have to be used. Doors will have to be cleaned regularly. Online or mobile ordering will be encouraged, and it is entirely possible that it may be required at some locations.

Doors to movie theaters will be opened two minutes before a screening ends, and will remain open until the following screening begins. Employees will have to clean railings, seats and cupholders in between each screening. Only parties of four or less will be allowed to sit together, with at least two empty seats spaced between each party.

All surfaces in retail stores must be cleaned frequently, and markings will designate where guests can stand in lines, ensuring they are six feet apart. The same line requirements will be set in place for ride queues as well.

While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced Phase 1 of his plan will begin on Monday, May 4, most restrictions do not allow for the same capacity as the Phase 1 for theme parks. It is unknown if the state moving onto its second phase will allow for Walt Disney World Resort to reopen, but it may not be possible just yet based on state restrictions.

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