JUST ANNOUNCED: Plans Unveiled for the Phased Reopening of Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks, Resort Hotels, and Disney Stores

By the D23 Team 

Following the recent reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney has submitted a proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida describing its approach for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks planned to begin on July 11.


Pending Orange County and state approval, the Walt Disney World Resort proposal plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. In preparing to reopen during this unusual time, Walt Disney World will be managed in a very different way from what we’ve known before—focused on operating the parks in a responsible way that continues to give our guests opportunities to create magical Disney memories.

This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing, and include the following new measures:

  • Experiences such as parades and nighttime spectaculars that would draw a large group gathering will return at a later date.
  • “High-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds, and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in our parks to entertain and delight guests.
  • Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as guests are welcomed back to the magic, attendance will be managed through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.
  • At this time, new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations will be temporarily paused (Disney Vacation Club members can still make new reservations). Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold; Disney will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. New ticket sales and hotel reservations will resume after that period of time.
  • Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15. Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.

disney springs

Today, the World of Disney retail shop reopened at the Disney Springs shopping and dining complex at Walt Disney World. And in the coming weeks, Disney Stores will begin a phased reopening of operations globally, beginning with a select number of stores in the United States, in addition to stores in Europe and Japan.

Throughout these past few months, Disney fans have come together to celebrate their favorite Disney memories. We’re amazed at the creativity and passion fans have shared—whether you’re cooking up your favorite Disney parks recipe or recreating a favorite attraction, the enthusiasm you have all shared for Disney theme parks has brought fans together from all over the world. Anyone who has visited a Disney theme part has a special connection to these magical worlds and the amazing cast members who bring that magic to life.

We’re all looking forward to the reopening of Disney’s theme parks, Disney Resort hotels, and stores—and doing so with a continued focus on responsibility and safety for all. In this spirit, Disney destinations will continue to follow enhanced safety protocols based upon applicable guidance from health authorities and government agencies. As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members, as well as guests 3 years of age and older, will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas.

Additional information on enhanced health and safety measures and operational changes for reopening locations will be shared soon. These policies are under continuous review and are subject to change as we monitor conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities.

Stay tuned to D23.com for more updates as they are announced.