SeaWorld looks to reopen June 11, Walt Disney World to open July 11, July 15 after COVID-19 pandemic shutdown

COVID-19 pandemic reopening plans announced for Walt Disney World, Sea World

Wednesday is the day that vacationers may find out the status of their travel plans as Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando officials presented their reopening plans to Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force after COVID-19 forced the closings of the theme parks in March.

Update 12:23 p.m. EDT, May 27: Disney officials have announced new measures to help limit the number of guests when they first reopen. First, park officials said they will be using a theme park reservation system requiring guests to have a reservation in advance to get into the parks.

Second, park officials said that fireworks and other nighttime shows may return at a later date. Same will go for character meet and greets and makeover experiences. But officials said they will return.

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The parks are also pausing any new ticket sales and hotel reservations for on-Disney-property reservations. Guests with established reservations will be able to make park reservations, as will Annual Passholders, but the requests will be done in phases.

Some hotels, under the Disney Vacation Club, the company’s timeshare, umbrella, as well as the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will open on June 22. Disney’s Vero Beach and Hilton Head resorts will reopen on June 15.

Update 11:53 a.m. EDT, May 27: Disney guests, along with employees, will be required to wear facemasks, have their temperatures checked and will see a reduction of capacity at the theme parks with signs encouraging the practice of social distancing.

Update 11:33 a.m. EDT, May 27: The Orange County Reopening Task Force has approved the plans for both SeaWorld and Walt Disney World. Next the plans go to Mayor Jerry Demings and then Gov. Ron DeSantis.


Update 11:05 a.m. EDT, May 27: Walt Disney World will reopen in two waves. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen on July 11. EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will open on July 15.

Update 10:54 a.m. EDT, May 27: SeaWorld Orlando is looking to reopen on June 11.

Employees will be required to wear face coverings as will guests ages two and up. The park will be marked in such a way to promote social distancing. Guests and employees will have to undergo temperature screenings.




Original story: WFTV reported the presentation would be done virtually Wednesday morning.

The presentation will include when the parks can reopen. The plans must be endorsed by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis, WFTV reported.

Last week the shopping and entertainment complex Disney Springs held its first phase of reopening with selected stores and restaurants that were shut since mid-March.

Visitors are required to undergo temperature screenings, wear masks and abide by social distancing, park officials said in advance of Disney Springs reopening.

Walt Disney World employs about 77,000 workers and is the biggest employer in central Florida, The Associated Press reported.

Universal Orlando unveiled its plans to reopen last week, hoping to open the gates to visitors on June 5, the AP reported.

Legoland Florida will reopen June 1.

As for the West Coast, Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain and SeaWorld San Diego, can reopen in California’s phase 3, The Orange County Register reported.

Kate Folmar, California’s Health and Human Services Agency spokesperson, said they could reopen in stage 3 if the rate of the spread of the coronavirus and hospitalizations remain stable.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the third stage of reopening California could come within weeks, the Register reported.

The road to the entrance of Walt Disney World has few cars Monday, March 16, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios were closed along with other theme parks around the state to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The road to the entrance of Walt Disney World has few cars Monday, March 16, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios were closed along with other theme parks around the state to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux/AP)