When Disneyland and Disney World might reopen following COVID-19 closures


Disneyland California

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, California, remains closed.

Corinne Reichert/CNET

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With its theme parks closed indefinitely during the spread of COVID-19, many are wondering when Disneyland and Walt Disney World will reopen. The theme parks in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida have been closed since March 12 due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Until they reopen, you can enjoy theme park content through the Disney Magic Moments website like virtual ride-throughs of attractions, Disney World’s Happily Ever After fireworks show, a viewing of Disneyland’s new Magic Happens parade and sing-alongs with the Dapper Dans from Main Street.

The following dates are estimates based on current information available from nations, states and counties, with Disney Parks not responding to a request for comment. Speaking on May 5, Disney CEO Bob Iger said it’s too early to predict when Disney will be reopening all of its theme parks across the globe, though. “We are evaluating a number of different scenarios to ensure a cautious sensible and deliberate approach to the eventual reopening of our parks,” he said during a Disney earnings call.

Read more: When will my city reopen? Here’s what life could be like after lockdown ends

Disneyland, California: “Once therapeutics have been developed”

As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen California, Disneyland and other theme parks will likely fall into the final category of those allowed to resume operations in stage four:

  1. Safety and preparedness — more testing, contact tracing, PPE, hospital surge capacity; making essential work environments as safe as possible; preparing workforce guidelines
  2. Gradually opening some lower-risk workplaces with changes, like retail with curbside pickup, manufacturing, offices where telework isn’t possible, the next school year potentially starting in July or August, childcare facilities for limited numbers
  3. Opening higher-risk environments with adaptations and limits on size of gatherings, for example hair and nail salons, gyms, movies, sports without live audiences, religious services
  4. End of stay at home order — reopening highest-risk experiences and venues, including concerts, convention centers, sports with live audiences, once therapeutics have been developed

Gov. Newsom didn’t give a timeline for each stage, but on Monday announced California would begin stage 2 this Friday, May 7, opening up some retail with curbside pickup and manufacturing businesses, although not offices, dine-in restaurants or shopping malls.

A vaccine isn’t likely until 2021, although the FDA issued an emergency authorization to use remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment Friday.

Also affected by its closure is the opening date of Disneyland’s new Marvel-themed land Avengers Campus, which has been pushed back indefinitely from the original planned July launch.

Read more: 6 things not to do when coronavirus quarantine and lockdown end

Walt Disney World, Florida: July 2020

With Florida a little more lax on lockdowns — Gov. Ron DeSantis began reopening the state on Monday, May 4, although people are being asked to stay 6 feet apart and limit group size to 10 — Walt Disney World is much closer to reopening. 

Disney World’s website is now taking reservations from July 1. Reservations are pouring in already — on Tuesday, over 2,000 bookings were made at Disney Resort hotels in Orlando. 

The Disney Springs shopping and dining area will start reopening in phases on May 20. Stores and restaurants will have “enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members,” Matt Simon, vice president of Disney Springs, said.

Orlando’s Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force outlined guidelines and mandates for theme parks, specifically mentioning Disney World, on May 28. At large theme parks, it’s recommending two guidelines: tape markings of 6 feet apart in lines for attractions and encourage staff who are aged 65 and up to stay home. 

Mandates involve Disney capping its capacity at 50% in phase one, and 75% in phase two; touch-less hand sanitizer at all entryways, turnstiles and attraction entries and exits; and wiping down all railings and surfaces after every single use. The task force also said there must be temperature checks for staff prior to their shifts, and staffers with a temperature above 100.4 will not be permitted inside Disney World. All employees with flu-like symptoms must stay home.

The statewide rules — barring South Florida — for phase one similarly sees restaurants and retail stores limited to 25% capacity. Movie theaters, hair salons, gyms, and bars remain closed. Those visiting Florida from out of state must still self-isolate for two weeks, although DeSantis said Florida is likely weeks rather than months away from stage two.


Disney World’s fireworks show is on hold.


Disney Parks across the world

Both Shanghai Disney and Hong Kong Disney closed in late January, followed by the Tokyo Disney Resort in late February. Disneyland Paris closed March 12.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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