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Read Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Plans For Reopening

Photo via Disney

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An Orange County committee has given the initial green light for Walt Disney World and SeaWorld to reopen – but there will be changes, including a requirement that guests wear masks.

According to documents presented to Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force, SeaWorld wants to open June 10 – just a few days after Universal Studios’ planned reopening on June 5. Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom would reopen July 11. Hollywood Studios and EPCOT would reopen July 15.

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force approved plans for both parks Wednesday.

Disney Senior Vice President of Operations Jim McPhee with Disney says Disney will not allow character meet-and-greets, and will reduce capacity on rides.

“And restaurants, and retail stores, and on our various modes of transportation, which plays a very important role in connecting our experiences together,” McPhee said. “We will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds.”

Disney Jim McPhee told the task force that there haven’t been any issues with mandatory masks since Disney Springs reopened last week.

“We have strong language that says they are required when you enter into the property,” McPhee said. “We have our social distancing squad in the area development that is politely but effectively encouraging guests to keep the masks on.”

Disney, SeaWorld and Universal Studios are all requiring guests to wear masks. Additionally, the plans call for enhanced sanitation schedules, reduced capacity and temperature checks for employees and visitors.

Check here to download and read Disney’s plan to reopen, and check here to download and read SeaWorld’s plan to reopen. For next steps, both Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Gov. Ron DeSantis would need to sign off on the plans.

Additionally, the task force charged with reopening Central Florida’s tourism industry wants to talk about how to reopen another massive driver of travel to Orlando: The Orange County Convention Center.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings told the Bringing Back Tourism working group that Gov. Ron DeSantis had clarified some details to him about reopening the convention center.

But Demings didn’t go into further detail.

“We’re going through a process of getting certifications to certify our facility as meeting a high national standard for sanitation,” Demings said.

The tourism task force also recommended allowing two more smaller attractions to reopen: The Orlando Watersports Complex, a wake-boarding center in South Orlando, and FLY Indoor Skydiving.

Orlando Watersports said it can reopen as early as Thursday, and iFLY Indoor Skydiving said it can reopen as early as next week.


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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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