Disney has shut down its theme parks across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations at Disney, has announced that the company aims to reopen Walt Disney World in phases, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopening their doors on July 11 and Epcot and Hollywood Studios following on July 15.
This means managing attendance numbers with a new reservation system and reducing the number of guests allowed into the parks at one time. Disney will also require masks for all guests and cast members, increased sanitation stations, and barriers to limit physical contact.
McPhee says that Disney is looking into modifying experiences that involve a lot of touching, such as dining and retail. Character meet-and-greets, parades, and water play areas will remain closed. There will also be increased sanitation efforts across the parks, and an emphasis on cashless transactions. Temperature screening will be performed at the main entrance for guests, as well as at-home and on-site for cast members.
The company announced during an earnings call in April that it lost approximately $1 billion in revenue in its Parks, Experiences, and Products division due to the pandemic.
Disney’s theme parks have historically been one of the biggest earners for the company. Last year, the ambitious Star Wars-themed land, Galaxy’s Edge, debuted in both Disneyland and Disney World. This summer, the Marvel-themed Avenger’s Campus was supposed to debut in Disney’s California Adventure.