Disney World Plotting Phased Reopening

Walt Disney World has been shut down since the end of March, and even furloughed 40,000 employees, but is now figuring out how to get back up and running amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Orlando theme park will reveal their phased reopening plan in front of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force on Wednesday.

While nothing is known as of Tuesday as to what these plans will contain, theme-park-goers can draw conclusions from the way Shanghai Disneyland went about reopening as the first global Disney park to open up its gates. The park required masks to be worn, set down markers throughout the park, and in line queues promoting social distancing and had a capacity limit. It's likely that everything that transpired there, which also included temperature checks upon entering the park, will come into the states when Disney World and Disneyland in California reopen. Disney's biggest competitor, Universal Studios, already has put their plan for reopening in front of the task force and will be opening to guests on June 5.

While none of the resorts or any of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World are open yet, the destination did kick things off with the opening of their shopping and entertainment district, Disney Springs. That area was back up and running on May 20 with only a non-Disney owned businesses and restaurants opening up shop. On Wednesday, the rest of Disney Springs will be back open, which includes some of the district's biggest shopping attractions like The World of Disney.

In an interview with Barron's in April, Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. executive chairman, explained what a park reopening would look like when it came time to do so. He said that "people will have to feel comfortable that they're safe." To do that without a vaccine, Iger said taking temperatures at bag check would be a likely possibility along with other restrictions to create a safe environment. He said doing this will cause a little extra strain on everyone, saying, "even if it creates a little bit of hardship," but that it's what must be done.


Disney has been in the news aplenty over the past few weeks. The theme park is under serious consideration to be the hub of the NBA when the basketball season resumes. Commissioner Adam Silver said the talks are gaining steam, but the rest remains unknown.