Disney Parks Have Reopened to Guests And Crowd Numbers Are Low.
July 15 marks the official opening date for the last two major Walt Disney World theme parks. Hollywood Studios and Epcot reopened July 15. Just like over the weekend, when Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened, crowds are low.
Misleading photos and reports show crowded queue lines and park areas. The truth is, Disney is quite empty. Castmembers are working hard to ensure safety and health standards and are doing a great job.
Disney Park Pass Reservation System
Disney has released a new Theme Park Pass. The system requires all guests wanting to enter a theme park to have a reservation. Reservations must be made ahead of time. Reservations can be made online.
Disney has not released the exact numbers they are allowing into the theme parks at this time but it is clear that the percentage is low. When Shanghai Disneyland reopened to the public, it was eventually revealed that Disney was only allowing about 20% of the total capacity into the parks. Gradually, that number increased as they became more comfortable with crowd management under the new health and safety standards.
While many are deciding not to venture into the parks right now, when reservations opened for Annual Passholders (AP), available slots were quickly snatched up. Most dates for AP’s are booked for most of July and August.
Disney opened and has seperate theme park reservation availability for resort guests than they do for AP’s. Resort guests are still able ot see availability for dates that are not available for AP’s.
Disney World Reopening Challenges
Disney CEO Bob Chapek made no secret that the reopening of the American theme parks would closely follow the guidelines put in place at Shanghai Disneyland. Walt Disney World is a completely different beast. Different than any other theme park or resort setup in the world, a number of additional complications and obstacles to overcome.
Walt Disney World is a city in and of itself. Many guests have no need to leave property during their stay. That means that Disney has more “control” over the movement of their guests. It also creates unique challenges when creating and enforcing social distancing and increased safety measures.
The Theme Park Pass system was implemented for all four Disney parks to control crowd sizes. It appears that Disney is allowing around 20 to 30% of capacity into the parks.
There are a number of additional factors helping Disney to better manage crowds inside the parks and on property. Including the lack of airplane travel for many guests choosing to postpone their trips, mandatory quarantine for several states and an increase in coronavirus cases being reported in Florida.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products stated that “We’re reopening in a very phased and controlled way.” He went on to say, “As we watch to see what demand looks like, we’ll adjust as necessary, but each park is going to look a little bit different.”
We have an FAQ answering many of the “must know” questions if you are considering a trip to Disney World.
Numbers are currently down and Disney planned it that way. The company is working to maintain safety guidelines and social distancing in the parks. They are also working to manage crowds property wide as they navigate the uncharted waters of opening during a worldwide pandemic.
Many are quick to critisize the move to reopen. Disney is confident they are doing the right thing and in the right way. Still a learning experience, expect tweaks and changes to the current protocols as Disney works out the kinks of their phased reopening.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available right here at For the Love of the Mouse.