ORLANDO, Fla. – Days before Disney will welcome back guests to its theme parks, the company has released details about how it plans to help keep parkgoers safe and healthy from coronavirus.
The parks were closed in mid-March as coronavirus cases increased in Florida but guests missing the magic can prepare their Mickey ears to help mark the end to the theme parks longest closure ever. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are set to reopen Saturday, with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot set to reopen July 15.
Disney outlined five points it’s committing to as a way to build visitor confidence. The first commitment is to health and wellness, according to the company.
The theme park company says it will limit and carefully manage attendance. For now, it will be doing this by requiring all guests to make advance ticket purchases and reservations. It’s also reducing park capacity and adjusting experiences to allow for physical distancing which has largely been influenced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Disney says it has also installed physical barriers where distance may be hard to maintain, like cash registers or kiosks.
All guests will undergo temperature checks and anyone older than 2 years of age will need to wear a face covering unless they are swimming or eating, according to the company. Disney has also increased the number of hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations around the parks.
According to a news release, all medical staff has also been trained to respond to COVID-19 symptoms with park nurses educated on new protocols.
Disney says it also updated its cleanliness standards with emphasis on attractions, dining, lobbies and transportation. Part of its commitment to cleaning and disinfecting involves enhanced protocols which includes deep-cleaning each park after it closes so it can be ready to welcome back guests the next day.
As for resorts, new procedures include increased cleaning times for frequently touched surfaces like elevators, escalators, tables, handles and the like. For guests staying at Walt Disney World hotels they can expect each room to get an enhanced cleaning before arrival and light cleaning service offered every other day during one’s stay.
To help promote the health and safety of guests, Disney says it’s getting innovative.
The company has enhanced its Disney apps to include hand sanitizer and hand-washing locations and included digital menus. The theme park company has also prioritized creating limited-contact options from mobile order and cashless payments to Walt Disney World’s MagicBands.
“Safety starts with our cast,” Disney said in a news release. It introduced new policies that will be put to the test when guests missing the magic reenter its parks.
Renewed cast member training includes new hygiene protocols and how to help guests follow the new health and safety measures while promoting them. Cast members are also required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature checks. Disney says it has also increased the frequency of cleaning in work areas and adjusted practices to promote physical distancing among employees while they’re on the clock to help maintain their health as safety as well.
The most important commitment though is working together, Disney says.
“Because each of us shares a responsibility for the health of our community, we’re making resources available to make guests aware of our new policies so they can do their part,” Disney’s news release reads.
Disney says it is committed to proactively share information with guests about what to expect ahead of their visit to help support planning. They’ve also tapped a group of cast members to help explain new procedures and answer questions regarding its enhanced safety measures. Most importantly, Disney wants to empower guests to do their part and keep other park goers safe as well.
“When you’re ready to join us at your favorite Disney destinations, we’re excited to welcome you back. Until then, be well – see you soon!”
Below are links to resources to help park-goers plan ahead of their visit.