More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Plans Unveiled for the Phased Reopening of Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks, Resort Hotels and Disney Stores

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

Throughout these past few months, we’ve been touched by the outpouring of support from our guests and fans around the world who’ve shared their favorite Disney memories and even replicated their favorite attractions at home. Everyone who has ever visited a Disney theme park has their own special connection to these magical worlds and the amazing cast members who bring that magic to life.  

Following the recent reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, we’re pleased to share that more Disney magic is coming back. Today, we submitted a proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida describing our approach for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks planned to begin on July 11. 

Pending Orange County and state approval, our Walt Disney World Resort proposal plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. In preparing to reopen during this unusual time, we have to manage our theme parks in a very different way from what we’ve known before. As we begin to reach out to our cast members and call them back to work, they will be focused on operating our parks in a responsible way that continues to give our guests opportunities to create magical Disney memories. 

This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences we know draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in our parks to entertain and delight our guests. 

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as we welcome guests back to the magic, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations (Disney Vacation Club members can still make new reservations). Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold; we’ll be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. We will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15. Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening. 

Today, our World of Disney retail shop reopened at our Disney Springs shopping and dining complex at Walt Disney World. And in the coming weeks, Disney stores will begin a phased reopening of operations globally, beginning with a select number of stores in the United States, in addition to stores in Europe and Japan. 

We’re looking forward to reopening our theme parks, Disney Resort hotels and stores and doing so in a responsible way. In this spirit, our destinations will continue to follow enhanced safety protocols based upon applicable guidance from health authorities and government agencies. As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas. 

Additional information on enhanced health and safety measures and operational changes for reopening locations will be shared soon. These policies are under continuous review and are subject to change as we monitor conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities. 

We’re being deliberate during these phased reopenings, and we’re encouraged by how our guests are responding at Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs. We’re doing our part, and we need our guests to do their part, too, as we work together to focus on safety.

For reservation updates click here.

Please note that this post will be updated based on the latest information and guidance from health authorities and appropriate government agencies.


  • wow! Disney does know how to make new ways for Magic to happen! but i kinda miss fireworks, parades and stage shows!

  • As a Canadian who holds an annual pass that is fully paid for, I am wondering how Disney is going to deal with the fact that the parks may be open but the boarders are not. Therefore the days on my pass are counting down and and I am not getting access to what I payed for. I am sure there are many people that find themselves in this situation. Has anyone heard how Disney is rectifying this problem?

  • We have booked our 14 day pass tickets starting 1st June 2021 will we need to book into disney parks – if so when will we be able to do this as we wont get our park ticket details from our travel agent until April2021. We dont want to have to pay for tickets we wont be able to use due to no places being available book to book.

  • Changing splash mountains ride what’s up with that? This is redicoulus! 🤬. I can’t believe that what is going on in the world today that Dusney only takes from a certain crowd and doesn’t ask or consider anyone’s else suggestions of what this favorite ride for so many people has been. Couldn’t you at least think of doing it with Moana or Pochantis? I guess I just don’t understanding why it has to be Princess and the frog? If you check the ratings of this movie, most kids don’t even care for this show , it should be the decision of children not adults. Was there an option for us to choose? I am really disappointed in the decisions that Disney has made without asking those of us that have kids and grandchildren that ride that ride and LOVE the music from that ride. It’s really sad that you are going on with this and no one else had a say

  • I understand the need for restrictions, I’m really baffled to hear that the cost of a ticket is the same, despite limited rinds, no meet and greets, no parades, no fireworks…
    We went to the Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party last year, and I mediately booked a trip for this year, planning to make it a family tradition.

    Without all the things above, it really doesn’t seem worth the 100+ dollars per ticket. (That’s $500+ per day for my family.)

    Again, not complaining about the restrictions, but the price should be adjusted to reflect the limited experience they are offering.

  • Please advise.

    We have booked for sept 2021. Tui have advised us that we do not need to book our park dates in advance despite what it is saying on social media.

    Do we need to pay for our park tickets before the end of June 2020 and do we need to book what days we want to attend the Disney parks. Also if this is the case how do we do this?

  • Wearing a mask is absolutely ridiculous
    Once the mask becomes moist it is then ineffective!
    Homemade cloth masks must be washed to remove bacteria from the fabric-how often is anyone doing this?
    How in the heck is a mask going to stay on during a ride ? Wont masks that fly off cause issues to the rides operational equipment ?
    So disappointing
    How about if you want to wear a mask go for it if you don’t even better????

  • Instead of just thinking of ourselves, how about we give some consideration to the cast members who have to be there and who will be exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of park visitors each day? If wearing masks provides even a little bit of protection for them, why is it such a big deal to wear them? Is it kind of inconvenient? Yep. Is it the worst thing you’ll ever have to do? Nope. The choice seems pretty easy—either wear a mask and go to Disney World, or don’t wear a mask and stay home.

  • I think it is important to remember that behind all of that Disney magic, there are hundreds of cast members who keep things running. While we may only have limited contact with each one of the cast members, they, on a daily basis, have contact with lots and lots of us. The more contact the greater chance of infection. I appreciate that Disney is making an effort to reopen their parks. I think it’s up to us to make sure we do our part. Many complained when the parks closed and now that the parks are trying to reopen, we are still complaining. Let’s give this a chance to work and let’s try to do our part.

  • Looking further at the Face Covering details, the requirement imply that gaiters won’t be allowed in the parks since they don’t attach at the back of the head or ears – is that true? They’re the one type of face covering that can actually keep people cool in the Florida heat…

  • People are ignorant to the FACT that all people cannot wear masks. Take a look at the CDC regulations. They specifically state that if you have “breathing issues”, you do not have to wear a mask. I only have one nostril that I can breathe thru……..I cannot wear a mask………and have a doctors note to back it up – I can’t wait to see how great a time ya’ll had at Disney wearing a mask all day with you kids screaming ……sounds like a blast……..

  • I understand the mask but with hot temperatures is gonna be hard all day at Disney ! We were supposed to go but with everything happening. My son is special need but doesn’t wear mask even if I put it on . He can keep it like 2 minutes and after is su screaming !

  • I truly do not understand what is wrong with so many people in society. Wearing a mask to protect yourself, your loved ones and the people around you really isn’t that big of a deal. If you don’t want to wear a mask DON’T GO TO THE PARKS!
    My sister is an ICU nurse who treated COVID patients, she put her life second to treat those that were sick, if wearing a mask means it will lower the risk of exposing her and others then I’m all for it, stop being selfish and grow up.

  • Oh and another thing, how many masks are your patrons going to have with them?? Let’s see they touch every ride in the park with their hands, then touch their mask so they can eat. Then touch more surfaces when they use the restroom. Then adjust their masks again and again and again😂 so ridiculous.

  • I would not go to the parks with people who would elect to NOT wear masks. I think some people struggle with the concept of global pandemic.

    Love Disney. We’re keeping an eye on happenings before making final decision. We had hoped to go to the Halloween Party later in the Summer or Fall. Although, I haven’t read any plans specifically relating to special events.

    It seems that there should be reduced prices, temporarily, as the offerings are limited. Then phase back into full-price tickets once they are operating at 100% capacity.

    We go every year if we can. It’s so funny that Disney has become such an important part of our lives! It is missed when it’s not available to us to think about, dream about, plan… :)))

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