Walt Disney World and Disneyland have been closed since the middle of March, marking the longest time Disney parks have ever been closed. The closures are due to the coronavirus pandemic and could last quite a while longer. Once the parks do open, though, guests going may want to temper their expectations, as they will likely not be able to enjoy the full experience of Disney right away. It’s possible that the parks may end up reopening in a phase capacity, which only gives access to certain locations, dining establishments, and attractions.
As of this writing, the domestic Disney Parks are all closed through the end of March, with a tentative opening date scheduled for April 1. It truly is not out of the question for these closures to be extended, though, and that is something Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort have already done.
The official Twitter account for the city of Orlando announced that a stay-at-home order will go into effect on Thursday evening and continue through April 9. It’s hard to believe that Walt Disney World would open its parks before that expires, and the entire state of California is on lockdown.
Under the Executive Order announced by @OCFLMayor and @orlandomayor today, you should stay at home, unless it is absolutely essential. This takes effect this Thursday, March 26 at 11 p.m. pic.twitter.com/lwak6i4gi7
— City of Orlando (@citybeautiful) March 24, 2020
Walt Disney World already has a system in place to help crowd control during busier times of the year. Once a theme park has a certain number of guests inside, entry will become limited to different levels of visitors based on type of ticket, where they’re staying, and even the type of reservations they have.
This type of phased closing only ends up going into effect four to five times a year on average, but the closures due to COVID-19 are very different.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland may reopen in phases that could include:
- only a few parks opening initially, with the others opening at later times.
- only certain attractions opening at first, and others opening at a later date; stage shows and theater attractions may remain closed after the initial reopening phases begin.
- table-service dining locations may remain closed until the ordinances for dine-in restaurants are lifted.
- quick-service dining locations may reopen, allowing only mobile orders to avoid as contact as much as possible.
- meet-and-greet locations reopening only with those who are not considered “face characters” or otherwise not in full costumes.
A Disney employee speaking on background exclusively told The Inquisitr that some of these options are being discussed. While there’s no certainty that any of them will be implemented, Disney is said to be reviewing every possible option to figure out the earliest and safest ways to open its parks.
Until the Walt Disney Company gives an official word, nothing is confirmed except for the fact that the domestic locations are closed until April 1. With constant monitoring of the situation with COVID-19, it is possible that another announcement could come sometime soon.