Amid a record number of coronavirus cases in Florida, Walt Disney World in Orlando reopened its gates on Saturday for the first time in four months.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom them parks reopened on Saturday, while Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will reopen on July 15th.
In guidelines announced prior to reopening, Disney said that all visitors to Disney World would be required to practice social distancing and wear face masks at all times (get yours here). Disney is also employing touch-free temperature checks and having its cast members remind guests to follow its guidelines within the theme park. There will be also be no parades, firework shows, character meet and greets, or any other events that could draw a large gathering.
USA Today, which has correspondents on the grounds for the reopening, reports of several other safety measures in practice, including socially-distanced queues for rides and attractions; plexiglass barriers installed on certain rides to separate guests; and the sanitization of vehicles between rides. Disney is also selling special COVID-inspired merchandise with phrases like “Together Again.”
Despite these precautions, Disney World guests are by no means risk free. With temperature sweltering to 103 degrees on Saturday, many guests sought refuge inside the cozy confines the air-conditioned Hall of Presidents, USA Today reports. Photos and videos posted to social media also capture instances of large groups of people standing in close proximity to one another. It also appears that some of Disney’s cast members aren’t wearing face masks.
According to NBC News, Florida reported 11,433 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the state’s biggest daily increase since July 3rd. Hospitalizations are at their highest levels to date, and the statewide death tool recently surpassed 4,100.
Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.
Social distancing Disney world style! pic.twitter.com/URYc3mwtAf
— UnRooolie❼ (@unrooolie) July 11, 2020
— Rich Greenfield, LightShed (@RichLightShed) July 11, 2020