Disney World to reopen this week as coronavirus cases soar in Florida

Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom to reopen Saturday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Walt Disney World is getting ready to welcome back guests this week after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen Saturday, July 11, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot will open July 15. The parks were closed in mid-March as coronavirus cases increased in Florida.

Guests will need a park reservation to go to the parks and will be required to wear a face mask and go through temperature screenings before stepping inside the parks. Also, capacity will be limited.

Some workers, though, said those measures are not enough. The Actors Equality Association, which represents hundreds of actors at the resort, claims the company is not doing enough to protect staff considering the number of COVID-19 cases across the state.

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was not concerned about the theme parks contributing to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Disney, I have no doubt it’s going to be a safe environment,” DeSantis said. “The folks who put a premium on safety, that’s showing you that, you know, we’re able to handle this, have society function still when people go into work, but do it in a way that you take some basic precautions and so we’re really impressed with what Universal has done, and I’ve looked at Disney’s plan ... it’s very very thorough.”

Disney launched its new system Monday allowing resort guests with tickets to make reservations. Many who logged on said there were glitches and some reservations took hours to complete.

Annual passholders will be able to get a preview on Thursday and Friday, ahead of Disney’s reopening on Saturday.

In May, Disney Springs did a phased reopening with new restrictions the company put in place for guests.

Florida has reported more than 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March, with recent daily numbers hovering near 10,000 cases.

It’s transformation central in Disney Parks in the U.S. as Disney officially announced that it has big plans for Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!