Orange County Task Force Establishes Initial Guidelines for Walt Disney World Reopening (Guest Spacing, Wiping Vehicles, etc.), Mayor Believes June Reopening Realistic

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The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force met early today to discuss the initial guidelines for reopening Orlando’s theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort. Other industries covered include hotels, bars, and restaurants, with a distinction set up between smaller theme parks (like Gatorland, for example) and larger theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Mayor Demings has also noted that a June reopening would be “more realistic” than a May reopening due to ongoing supply chain issues. You can browse through guidelines for each segment below:

Hotels

Guidelines for Hotels establish that during Phase 1, housekeeping services should be limited and allow for minimal guest and employee exposure. Hotels and resorts should also encourage mobile check-in, something we’ve already seen being slowly implemented into the My Disney Experience app for upcoming Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservations. Room service will follow new “contactless delivery” protocols, leaving items at each guest’s door. Service items in guest rooms, like glassware, coffee cups, mini bars, and coffee makers should be removed. Self-parking should also be provided. In addition to touchless hand sanitizer at all entry points, all sanitation and cleaning should be increased throughout the property.

All employees will be required to wear face masks, with temperature checks prior to their shifts. Front desks should utilize sneeze guards.

Restaurants

Restaurants will only offer paper or disposeable menus, and encourage takeout and/or online orders as much possible. As always, touchless hand sanitizer should be available at all entry points and at every table. All employees will be required to wear face masks, with temperature checks prior to their shifts. All doors must be wiped down regularly, and bartenders must sanitize their hands after each drink order. Seated tables are to be set up six feet apart. During Phase 1, restaurant and bar capacity will be limited to 50%. During Phase 2, restaurant and bar capacity will be limited to 75%.

Entertainment (Movie Theaters)

Movie Theaters will follow similar guidelines, with touchless hand sanitizer available at all entry points and all employees required to wear face masks, with temperature checks prior to their shifts. Railings, cupholders, and seats must be wiped down prior to each movie, and staff must leave doors open until the movie begins and open the doors 2 minutes prior to the movie ending. During Phase 1, parties of up to 4 people will be allowed, with 2 seats between each party. During Phase 2, parties of up to 6 people will be allowed, with 1 seat between each party.

Malls/Retail

Malls and retail will follow similar guidelines, with touchless hand sanitizer available at all entry points and all employees required to wear face masks. Employee temperature checks prior to shifts will be required for Interior Retail. Within checkout lines, there should be markers to ensure people are 6 feet apart. All countertops, railings, and door surfaces must be regularly wiped down.

Theme Parks (Overall)

Theme Parks (Large Scale – Disney/Universal)

For larger theme parks, guidelines establish that there should be tape markings of 6 feet in ride queues, with staff wiping down surfaces regularly. All employees will be required to wear face masks and undergo temperature checks prior to their shifts. During Phase 1, parks may reopen at 50% capacity. Phase 2 will expand capacity to 75%. Seniors 65 or older are still encouraged to stay home through Phase 2 reopenings.

Do note that these are just initial guidelines that will be continuously revised over the week during future task force meetings. All of these guidelines follow the “Opening Up America Again” three-part phased reopening plan issued by the White House, where Phase 1 is considered the earliest possible reopening time, Phase 2 marks a continued decrease in COVID-19 cases, and Phase 3 would be generally considered a “return to normal.” You can read our full analysis of the new guidelines here. To view today’s full Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting, click here.

Walt Disney World Resort remains closed indefinitely, and no official reopening date has been identified.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Georgia R
Georgia R
5 months ago

Thank You Dear Lord for hearing our prayers. There will be an end to this Coronavirus!

Impressions de Frank
Impressions de Frank
5 months ago

Guests following the rules? There’s a reason Walt created Fantasyland.

Betty roesler
Betty roesler
5 months ago

I do hope so if opening. We are planning on June 11

Tracy L Quintrell
Tracy L Quintrell
5 months ago

I don’t see how they could possibly do a 50% capacity at any theme park. The queues on many of the rides are not that long, so to do the 6 foot distancing it would spill out into the common walkways and then what do you do to maintain the 6 foot distance. I think a 25% capacity is even pushing it. I trust that Disney will do the safest method possible, but people can’t be trusted to maintain social distancing.

Sue
Sue
5 months ago

I agree! My thoughts are all rides using the fast pass system..to control how many people are standing in the lines. Opening should start with Florida residents only then annual pass holders etc…

John NMN Hicks
John NMN Hicks
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue

you will have monitors to control spacing but if the space are marked and everyone is all in on distancing common since should prevail and everyone will also participate in protecting themselves 3-6-9 crest distance an old military phrase so you will not allow some to come into your space if they do then you move doesn’t matter who goes first the measures will be the same for all and keep the intent of enjoying the event

John NMN Hicks
John NMN Hicks
5 months ago

Everything is possible with the correct guidance and the correct number of employees They can be space and distanced. The can also provide sanitary card board spacers that are disposal 50% or 25 % the same method will be able to take place It won’t be the experience you had in mind but it will be a better experience than not having masks should de mandatory and spacing mandatory but the patience will be the test it will take more time for everything

Mark Bell
Mark Bell
5 months ago

In all of these proposals, I see no mention of the mass transit necessary to get people to the actual parks (e.g., the Magic Kingdom). How do you keep the busses, boats, and monorail operating and keep social distancing in place? That allows about 8 people on the bus at a time and even less on the monorail (per car). Additionally, it’s one thing to have 6 feet spacing on the ride queue, but what about on the actual ride itself – is there any mention of social distancing on the ride?

Rick
Rick
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Bell

The six foot spacing is listed under guidelines not under the mandated category and then it only says there SHOULD be tape markings of 6 feet. The larger parks such as Disney and Universal will have to come up with their own policies that best fit within their own park and resort layouts/plans. I’m sure they’ll do the right thing.

Mark Bell
Mark Bell
5 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Here’s the issue – what is the right thing? To some, doing the right thing is waiting until the threat is minimized. To others, open as soon as possible so folks can get to Disney. But at the end of the day, to Disney, the right thing is to maximize long-term shareholder wealth. Anyone who argues differently is fooling themselves. And I am not blaming Disney at all, they are a public entity and that is their mandate, 24/7/365. But I don’t know that in this case that maximizing shareholder wealth is going to equal opening at the right time… Read more »

Emily
Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Bell

This is only the first draft. They still have weeks of meetings to fine tune this and get more practices in place. I’m sure we’ll here more about transportation in the future.

Dawn
Dawn
5 months ago

We are due to fly in from the U.K. on 29 June. We are just doing parks so would br interested to know if they would be open to international visitors

Scott M Matta
Scott M Matta
5 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

The countries borders will not be open!

Jim
Jim
5 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

Not being facetious but you’re pretty brave traveling anywhere overseas during this deadly pandemic. Stay safe

Emily
Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

The rumors are it will be domestic only for a while.

John NMN Hicks
John NMN Hicks
5 months ago
Reply to  Dawn

There as of now are no restrictions to the UK and the boarders are open There are no special requirements . once there you will be asked to follow the guidance of the local area you are in. But you only need your passport

Eva
Eva
5 months ago

Imagine an asymptomatic guest screaming in a roller coaster or just laughing and talking in It’s a Small Wolrd and spreading the virus everywhere. For everyone’s safety guests should also wear face masks and check their temperature, not only employees.

Auntiegravity
Auntiegravity
5 months ago
Reply to  Eva

Imagine being too scared to live your life but instead decided to cower in fear until the people in authority granted you freedom.

Kris
Kris
5 months ago
Reply to  Auntiegravity

Imagine being so devoid of common sense that you can see the room on fire around you and say “this is fine!” Seriously, Auntie, the US passed 1 million cases yesterday with just shy of 60,000 deaths in the span of 3 months. What more do you need in order to see that this is a dangerous situation? Choosing to abide by social distancing and sanitation in this pandemic is no different than choosing not to run out into traffic. It’s not fear, it’s common sense. Crosswalks and stoplights are installed by the government for a reason: to protect people… Read more »

Tits
Tits
5 months ago
Reply to  Kris

So 60000 out of 328000000. Wuhhuweeee check that percentage there love.

Robert
Robert
5 months ago
Reply to  Eva

It doesn’t actually spread like that. It’s not a common cold or a common flu, and is actually more similar to how an STD is contracted. The only way to get infected is if someone coughs/sneezes directly into your mouth, or if you touch something that’s contaminated and then directly touch your sinus/blood entry points. The threat is being blown way out of proportion and it comes down to how unhygienic the public is, not how dangerous the virus is. SARS was way more deadly in origin and that barely got talked about.

Emily
Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Not to mention all the newest info is saying heat and humidity kills it. I imagine it won’t be able to exist on outdoor surfaces in Florida.

Kris
Kris
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Where on Earth are you getting your information, Robert? Covid-19 isn’t communicable if it’s ingested like you describe or by someone “sneezing directly into your mouth”. Inhaling it is how it takes root in your respiratory system, as has been said over and over again by medical experts. It isn’t like an STD, ffs. And SARS was NOT far more deadly. According to the CDC, during the 2003 outbreak just over 8,000 people were diagnosed worldwide and less than 1,000 died. We passed 1 million covid-19 cases yesterday in the US alone with just shy of 60,000 deaths. This information… Read more »

Bri
Bri
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

SARS carriers show symptoms almost immediately. So if you have it, it’s easy not to spread it since you’re on your death bed. Tough comparison there bud.

Stella
Stella
5 months ago
Reply to  Bri

Sars might but covid19 sometimes is asymptomatic. Therefore very easy to spread !

Stella
Stella
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

I work at Disney and people have sneezed right in my face! They have cough right in your face or on their credit card or item they are perching and then hand it to you. Hand you things that have been in their mouth or their kids mouths. Then lets talk about the things they have to touch that all the other guest are going to touch after them. Railings ,seats ,counters, points of sales, that is just a few things. They all get sneezed on. On touched by people that may have sneezed and not washed hands.Just think kids… Read more »

SJames
SJames
5 months ago

Just a thought, it would be very “magical” if WDW did a “soft” opening for only those families staying at Give Kids The World Village and Make A Wish kids who had trips planned during this social distancing closure, before the parks were opened to the general public. This would create a truly unforgettable experience for kids that are terminally ill, even if only a few rides were opened, like during early morning magic events, while minimizing their exposure.

Binky
Binky
5 months ago
Reply to  SJames

that would in effect be using the most vulnerable as guinea pigs…

Kyle
Kyle
5 months ago

They could limit it to locals, annual pass holders and people staying on property. That would cut down crowds a lot.

Ashlee M
Ashlee M
5 months ago
Reply to  Kyle

I was honestly thinking that’s how they’d roll out their plan. First to locals, pass holders, resort only guests to keep attendance ‘lower’. Could help to get things rolling and test the waters.

Cowboys1118
Cowboys1118
5 months ago
Reply to  Kyle

Controlling the access to the parks by allowing only on-property resort reservations is the easiest way to do this. You know the max amount of people allowed, and for Disney they generate the revenue from the hotels as well. This would also help control capacities and the need to “sign up” for specific parks on specific days. If they don’t control it from the hotel reservations side, they should do annual pass holders only, since they pay Disney recurring revenue. Challenge there is the out-of-State pass holders coming in and then being turned away due to capacity. Stick to full… Read more »

Robert
Robert
5 months ago

Just a thought, but if they remove the cups from the bathrooms, how do we practice sanitary practices like brushing our teeth, which removes many harmful germs that would also include COVID? We won’t have anything to hold the water so that we can actually rinse. And good luck doing takeout/online only orders at the Disney restaurants.I get that these are suggested guidelines, but there is no way to enforce half the stuff at a theme park. And I hope to God they don’t do 6 feet markers in the ride queues. Flight of Passage would literally go into the… Read more »

John
John
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Wash your hands and cup water to rinse your mouth with. Or drink from the sink. Like 99% of the world does.

Emily
Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Disposable cups?

Denny C
Denny C
5 months ago

That’s a misleading headline. The mayor indicated that it’s “more realistic” than opening in May, not that it’s realistic that they’ll be opening in June.

Tom Corless
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  Denny C

You’re splitting hairs

Kelly
Kelly
5 months ago

I’m all for safe social distancing, but can you imagine wearing a mask during the summer in the heat?! Hard pass. It’s hot enough. Also wondering how buffets and concierge is going to go. People pay so much money-several thousand-for the Disney experience-hopefully some big discounts are coming. One of the perks of concierge is the cast member connection and the lounge. I also can’t see charging $60 per person if they don’t have all the buffet options. And the busses at the end of the night? It’s bad enough waiting for some. This is definitely going to be interesting… Read more »

John NMN Hicks
John NMN Hicks
5 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

spent months in the desert in mop 4 a chemical suit and mask it will be uncomfortable but it can be done

Juan
Juan
5 months ago

You realize when it does “re-open” that not everything will be open & up and running like nothing happened…I bet that you can expect a lot of closed attractions and dining

Jason Furgeson
Jason Furgeson
5 months ago

Welp. Thanks for spreading the fear. This is why EVERYONE thinks this is so bad!!! It’s not any worse than the flu!!! How many years has the human race been on the plant!?!? People will get sick and die. That’s the way it works. Sorry. We are hurting ourselves so much more over all this than what the actual threat is…….This phase thing is just ignorant!!!!! People buy all this crap and just go with it and think that this virus is the problem………it’s not!!!! This is called control you stupid ass people!!! WAKE UP‼️

Sam
Sam
5 months ago
Reply to  Jason Furgeson

Actually, because of certain spike protein on the virus, its about 25 times more likely to connect with the ACE2 receptor in human cells, this is one of the issues with this particular virus.

GRS
GRS
5 months ago

frightened people need not attend. Really. The guidelines are responsible.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago

I worry about the safety of cast members. Over 500 TSA staff have tested positive for COVID… don’t the park entrances mimic the same set-up that are used at airports? If TSA hasn’t eliminated the risk yet, what can Disney and Universal do that will be safer? CMs make our day better – let’s keep them safe. Now to try and bring some levity to this: When the parks open, for the first while the only character meet and greet should be with George Sanderson from Monsters Inc. After every guest he should be dragged out, shaved, showered in Purell… Read more »