Jaimie Etkin writing for Travelicious
Shanghai Disneyland was the first Disney theme park to close on Jan. 25, which means that when it reopens on May 11, it will have been shut down for 107 days. If Walt Disney World follows the same timeline, Disney fans in the U.S. could see Minnie and Mickey in person by the last week of June or the first week of July.
Another positive sign for Disney fans: On May 7, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that a phased reopening of Disney Springs—an outdoor dining and shopping complex attached to the park—would begin on May 20, though there was no explicit news about Walt Disney World itself reopening.
When Disney World does reopen, it won’t be theme park fans have known and loved for nearly 50 years. There are many changes afoot based on new guidelines set by the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. For example, Disney World will run at half capacity in phase one of its reopening and at 75 percent capacity in phase two. All employees and visitors will have to wear masks, and there may be a virtual “boarding group” queue system instead of those long lines that snake around the park.
As for Shanghai Disneyland, China has asked that theme parks not exceed 30 percent of their maximum capacity in order to maintain social distancing practices. With Shanghai Disneyland’s max being 80,000, that’s no more than 24,000 people in the park at once. But Shanghai Disneyland will initially keep attendance down “far below that just to have our training wheels on” and to be extra cautious.
In addition, both employees and visitors at Shanghai Disneyland will be expected to wear masks. Performing characters will not be wearing face coverings, but they will be kept at a distance from visitors. So, even if Walt Disney World does reopen this summer, don’t expect any hugs or autographs from Goofy or Pluto anytime soon!
My opinion: Look for the grand re-opening around July 4th, just in time to honor America
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