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Disney unvelied plans on May 27 regarding reopening their Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. Disney proposed a reopening date of phased reopening of Theme Parks beginning with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood studios will open on Wednesday, July 15. The Orlando Economic Recovery Task Force approved the plans that Disney unveiled.
While information is still being released on how exactly this will work and the ins and outs of the plan, we announced on May 28 that Disney had canceled all existing Fast Pass and dining reservations guests had made.
Disney Parks Blog released a statement on May 28 that reads in part
We have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages, through the end of the year. We will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. We will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.
The post went on to detail changes to FastPass and Extra Magic Hours, saying,
As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. We will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.
Disney will be the last Orlando theme park to reopen following the massive economic hit caused by Coronavirus.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek was interviewed by Bloomberg on the morning of May 28 and expressed his confidence in the decision made by The Walt Disney Company to hold off on opening until July. When asked why the park would remain closed for over a month following the opening of Universal, Chapek explained that, “For us, we feel it is the right time for us in July. We have a different situation frankly [than Universal], as we are much bigger have a more complex business and have a different labor system. At the same time we are going to be implementing a new reseration system for our guests and it will take some time to take the millions of reservations we have already got on the book adn switch to a new reservation system.”
Chapek went on to talk about the responsiblity Disney has to do things right in terms of reopening and making guests feel safe and maintain the level of service and unmatched quality of service that the company offers guests. “We always said we would not open again until we could do so responsibly.”
As Disney continues to make changes to their systems and procedures in order to reopen we will continue to bring you the information as it becomes available. For more information regarding the changes coming to Walt Disney World click HERE!
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(Source: Disney Parks Blog, Bloomberg)