Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has been closed since the middle of March, but as the state of Florida begins Phase I of its reopening plan, many are wondering when the happiest place on earth will reopen its doors to the public.
At the present time, theme parks in central Florida (including Universal Studios and Seaworld) are said to be closed until further notice. And while many Disney aficionados have noticed that WDW Resorts are taking reservations for both hotel and dining beginning June 1, there is no guarantee that parks will reopen to the public at that time.
"We do not have any opening date yet, some of you may know at this point we are taking bookings that were in June, that doesn't mean we are opening in June. At this time I just want to make it clear we do not have any plans to share about Walt Disney World or for that matter any of our parks at this point," Senior Vice President of Walt Disney World Resort and Transportation Operations Thomas Mazloum said during an Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting held on Monday, May 4.
"At this point, I just want to be clear that we don't have any plans to share about Walt Disney World yet," he added.
For what it's worth, Disney World had been accepting reservations for May, but guests who had reservations were contacted by Disney and were told they would need to reschedule. It's entirely possible that folks with June reservations will have the same experience.Either way, June does seem to be the going theory among fans and some analysts, pending the Phase I success.
"We haven't made a decision as to when exactly we would reopen our theme parks, and we really can't do that until [we] hear what government and health officials recommend and how this phasing will roll out. We likewise are kind of in limbo right now," Executive Vice President of Universal Orlando Resort Operations Rich Costales said during Monday's Task Force meeting in Orange County.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some believe that the theme parks will reopen "sooner rather than later."
As far as how things will reopen at theme parks, that still remains a question. The aforementioned task force has been discussing the best way to open while keeping people as safe as possible. Some of the rumors of what life at the parks could look like include temperature checks upon entry, socially distance lines, and 50 percent park capacity. None of these ideas have been confirmed.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his plan to start reopening Florida. As part of that plan, restaurants and retail shops across the state — except in Brevard and Miami-Dade, which are considered coronavirus hot spots — were permitted to reopen following strict guidelines aimed at keeping both employees and the public safe. Since many sit-down eateries reopened on Monday, rumors that restaurants and retailers located at Universal's CityWalk and at Disney Springs could start reopening, albeit at a limited capacity.
According to Theme Park Tourist, the parking garages at Disney Springs have partially reopened, presumably to allow cast members to park as they come in for "new normal" training. In addition, Twitter has been aflutter with tweets from "people who know people" who work at eateries at CityWalk and who have been told that they are planning to reopen.
"It looks like employees at several CityWalk locations, including Starbucks and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville have been notified that these locations, along with other CityWalk restaurants will be reopening on May 11, 2020," reports Theme Park Tourist.
Walt Disney World and Universal Studios executives are expected to make an announcement about the reopening of Disney Springs and CityWalk in the coming days.