Amid over 10,000 new cases reported in the Sunshine State on 11 July it didn’t prevent the re-opening of the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, the Magic Kingdom.
Entry is strictly by appointment only and admissions are around 50% of normal occupancy. This must be a blessed relief to visitors to be able to roam around at a safe distance.
Character photo opportunities are no longer available but they will appear randomly across the park to prevent crowds building up. There isn’t a daily parade any longer but a truncated version of about three floats or characters that can appear anywhere across the Kingdom.
No longer is ‘Park Hopping’ allowed and anything that causes crowd gathering is prohibited. So some of the staple jaw dropping entertainment is resting, such as nightly fireworks and daily parades.
Face coverings that are attached over the ears are compulsory on all Disney properties from now on. Can’t imagine the size of the ear loops for Mickey and Minnie! The only time you can remove your mask is to eat, or swim.
Relaxation Stations have been placed around the park to allow you to take a moment to rest and you can remove your face covering here as well.
In the restaurants physical menus have been replaced with a QR Code whilst tables are distanced from each other and sanitised more frequently. The Disney Corporation is relying on guests using mobile apps to order food from fast food outlets to minimise contact and crowds forming.
The queues for rides were smaller but where the lines used to have interactive displays these are blocked off and plexi glass keeps the snaking line of guests apart where it could put guests in contact with each other. Apparently the waits are still quite long but it appears that after guests exit the ride the car, carriage or boat is cleaned and then run empty thus keeping the use of vehicles to alternate rotations of occupants. The inside attractions such as the Hall of Presidents has seats blocked off to keep social distancing in play.
Apparently there are plenty of character masks to purchase around the park, Disney can’t be accused of missing a trick can they? There are plenty of vending machines at the entrance in case you have forgotten to pack a mask.
On entry, temperatures checks are in place but baggage checks are reduced to guests producing metal objects so that they can pass through the detector arches.
The Animal Kingdom also opened 11 July with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening 15 July.
Across the country Disneyland’s opening date of 17 July has been postponed due to the continued rise of Covid cases and California’s State advice.
At this moment in time it probably isn’t a good time to plan trips to the States. UK arrivals are not welcome and quarantine on arrival back in the UK is still in place.