Gov. DeSantis Will Not Delay Walt Disney World Reopening Even With Spike In COVID-19 Cases

The four theme parks of Walt Disney World.
Danny Cox

The number of coronavirus cases in the Sunshine State continues upward, but Walt Disney World’s reopening in mid-July is still on. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that there is no intention of delaying the reopening of the theme parks. Reassessment of some other restrictions around the state have taken place as cases of COVID-19 have seen record numbers over the last week.

A few weeks ago, Walt Disney World announced they would begin a phased reopening of their four parks in mid-July. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open on July 11 with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening on July 15.

Disney has been preparing its parks to reopen with new health and safety measures that will be carried out by all cast members. The theme parks now have social distancing markers in place, and each park will have a limited capacity with guests requiring a reservation to enter.

During Sunday’s press conference, DeSantis addressed several topics with more than 8,500 cases in Florida alone over three days. The governor attributed the spike in numbers to the conclusion of more testing but said the death rate had gone down.

After being asked about possibly delaying Walt Disney World’s reopening, the governor’s office said that wouldn’t happen. They will not interfere with the plans of any business looking to reopen and “do not have plans to roll back” their intentions.

Last week, Disneyland Resort in California announced it would not reopen on July 17 as originally planned. They did not say it was due to COVID-19 but more because the state would not have plans for theme park reopening finalized until sometime after July 4.

Disney doesn’t believe that two weeks is an adequate amount of time to prepare its employees for the initially scheduled reopening.

Disneyland previously announced they were going to open the Downtown Disney shopping district on July 9. The theme parks and two of their resort hotels would follow with their reopenings on July 17.

Downtown Disney will still reopen on time as California has already approved its measures in line with other retail and restaurant locations.

Walt Disney World employees started returning to work in the parks this past week. The early returns will help get them fully trained on the new health and safety measures that will be in place upon the return of guests. All those visiting the parks will be required to wear a face mask as required by Disney and Orange County, Florida.