7 Coronavirus Safety Precautions At Disney World To Expect During Your Next Vacation

On Wednesday, May 27, Disney Parks announced a proposed reopening plan for some parts of its Florida theme parks. If accepted, the proposal would mean the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Park would open as early as Saturday, July 11, with some precautionary measures in place to ensure the safety of guests in light of the coronavirus pandemic. If you plan to go following its reopening, here are seven coronavirus safety precautions at Disney World to expect during your next vacation.

The news of the proposal came shortly after select retailers at Disney Springs opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, May 21, with several precautionary measures. Now, the proposed reopening date would have Disney World opening to the public in time for summer. Disney Parks shut down indefinitely in the U.S. on March 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but according to the Disney Parks Blog, the phased reopening plans comes after the company is "encouraged by how [their] guests are responding at Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs."

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force of Orlando, Florida, approved the proposal on Wednesday, May 27, but as of Thursday, May 28, Disney’s plan is still awaiting approval from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis before the company can begin preparations. If approved, the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks will begin opening to the public as early as July 11, 2020. The July 11 date would see the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Park reopen, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios would open a few days later if everything runs smoothly. As detailed in the proposal, July 15, 2020 would see the reopening of the later two parks, in addition to its Disney World resort hotels and in-park Disney stores.

In addition to enhanced health and safety measures Disney tells guests, "We have taken enhanced health and safety measures. Follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present." If you plan to go to Disney once it reopens in July, here are the safety measures that will make your trip look a little different from the last time you visited.

1. Limited Capacity & Park Reservations

Once Disney World reopens, crowds will be significantly lowered. The Disney Parks Blog announced the reopening would mean "limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing." Because of this, Disney World guests will use a new theme park reservation system, which will guests a reservation for park entry in advance. Without this reservation, you won’t be able to enter the park.

The reservation system will offer a limited number of guests and will be subject to availability.

With the reservation system in place, there will likely be a high demand for guests. So, to give guests with existing park tickets and reservations a chance to take their vacation first, Disney World will forgo new ticket sales and new Disney Resort hotel reservations for the time being, except for Disney Vacation Club members. Those who have park tickets and annual passes will be able to request a reservation before the park resumes new ticket sales.

At a later date, Disney World will resume ticket sales and hotel reservations.

2. Social Distancing & Plastic Dividers

Social distancing measures will be put in place throughout the park. This will include signs and ground markings, to help guests better practice the six-foot distancing rule.

There will also be some dividers to help protect cast members and guests in areas that are more difficult to practice distancing in, such as around cash registers or in Guest Relations.

3. No Parades or Meet-&-Greets

To help guests and workers practice social distancing, Disney World will limit its "high-touch experiences." This includes any makeover services, kids playgrounds, and character meet and greets. Disney characters, however, will remain in the park, so you can still catch a photo of your favorite princess.

In addition, any Disney-goer knows that the largest crowd gatherings happen during parades and nighttime shows, like fireworks or Fantasmic. Because these draw large crowds, parades and any nighttime spectaculars will be put on hold for the time being.

4. Temperature Screenings

Prior to entering the park, guests will have their temperature taken during check-in. Disney World cast members will also receive temperature screenings before they begin their work day. If anyone in your party displays a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, they’ll be "directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance." If you do exhibit a temperature of 100.4 or above you won’t be allowed entry into the park, amd neither will anyone in your party.

Face coverings will be required for all guests ages two and over, as well as cast members. As of April 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear a face covering that covers your mouth and nose whenever you’re out in public.

5. No FastPasses

Unfortunately, since social distancing measures will require more line space, FastPasses will be suspended indefinitely. Disney World plans to use the extra line space to accomodate for the six-foot social distancing measures and manage its line capacity. Exisiting FastPass+ selections through the app will automatically be canceled, and there is no confirmed date for the return of FastPasses in the park. Extra Magic hours will also be temporarily suspended.

6. No Dining Reservations

To help ensure restaurants remain at a limited capacity to allow for physical distancing, dining reservations, as well as other experience reservations, will be canceled until further notice. This includes existing dining reservations and experience bookings. Additionally, Disney dining plans will be temporarily canceled. Guests with previous reservations will get an updated package, with the removal of their dining plan to reflect these changes, and refunds for the dining portion for packages that have been paid in full.

When the reservations resume, you’ll get a 60-day advance window to book your dining reservation.

7. Cashless Transactions

If you’re planning to purchase anything on your Disney World vacation, it’s best not to use cash. Disney World will recommend cashless transactions as to limit person-to-person contact while you’re making purchases.

Disney Parks will release further information on Disney World’s health and safety measures for reopening soon, and the policies are subject to change as the company receives further guidance. To stay up-to-date with the latest, you can consult Disney’s complete guide to Disney World’s reopening.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily’s coverage of coronavirus here.

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