All of the Disney Blogs and Vlogs are in a hype right now because Disney World has announced that Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will be reopening on July 11 and Hollywood Studios and Epcot will be reopening on July 15. I have to admit that I was excited about the reopening of the parks too, but when the details of how the parks are going to reopen, I had to wonder if it will be worth it to go to the parks when they reopen.
Please don’t get me wrong, I still think that it is a wonderful step for Disney, the Orlando and State of Florida’s economies and the general moral of the United States that a large entertainment area is reopening during the Covid-19 pandemic. I think that it will show everyone that the light at the end of the tunnel of this global economic shutdown is quickly coming to an end. But will you be getting your monies worth going to Disney World in July of 2020?
What we know
Here is what we know so far:
- Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom open on July 11.
- Hollywood Studios and Epcot open on July 15.
- There will be no Fireworks, Parades or Character Meet and Greets.
- Facemasks MUST be worn at ALL times.
- Hand sanitation and washing stations have been installed throughout the parks and restaurants.
- Park Hours have been reduced:
- Magic Kingdom: 9AM – 7PM (maybe magic hours?)
- Animal Kingdom: 8AM – 6PM
- Hollywood Studios: 10AM – 8PM
- EPCOT: 11AM – 9PM
- You will be required to have reservations to gain access to a park. Does this mean no Park Hoppers?
- Only a percentage of capacity will be allowed to enter any of the parks, most-likely it will be 20%.
- All meal plans have been cancelled
- Current Resort reservations will be cancelled.
- Current FastPass selections will be cancelled.
- Current Dinning reservations will be cancelled.
- Resort pools will be open and facemasks will not be required in the water. Watch for capacity limits for the pools.
- There has been no announcement of which attractions will be open and which will not be safe to ride.
With all of the above restrictions and limitations, we really need to see if it is financially worth visiting the parks. With no firework shows, parades and character meet and greets and with parks only open about 9 hours a day, if you are able to get a reservation to the park you want, it may not be worth the amount of the ticket to enter the park. If you step back and look at it logically and not as a Disney Fanatic, you are basically getting only half, if that, of the experience of Disney World that you would have gotten before the shutdown back in March.
Not only the fact that you will not be getting the value of which you paid for, I think that wearing a mask at all times in the July and August heat and humidity of Lake Buena Vista, Florida may cause other health concerns for park visitors. Even without masks, the heat and humidity of Central Florida in July and August can be brutal and slow down even the healthiest of persons. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke may be MAJOR decision for those with health issues.
Is it Safe?
The biggest decision to make will be if you believe the parks are going to be safe. Nobody really knows what this virus is doing or going to do. Right now, it looks like the warmer weather is slowing it down. That could change, like I said, nobody really knows. At the time of this post Osceola and Orange counties (Where Disney World is located) in Florida has had a total of 2,576 confirmed cases of Covid-19 which has resulted in 59 deaths. Once the parks start to open and tourists are coming into Florida from other parts of the country, it can be assumed that the number of cases will increase in these two counties.
Not only the medical aspect of safety. How is Disney going to handle those that refuse to wear the masks. You know that there will be some that do. How will Disney handle this and how will they handle those that confront the ones that are refusing to wear the masks. There have been many documented instances of violent encounters over mask wearing and social distancing throughout the country. When you add the stress of navigating a “new” Disney World and the heat and humidity of Central Florida in Summer, confrontations will be inevitable.
Making a Decision
At this point it is actually personal preference on whether a trip to Disney World in Orlando is actually worth the price. I do believe that Disney should be making some compensation to those guest that are actually visiting the parks when they reopen. Paying full-price for less than half the experience seems a little outrageous to me, but I guess it all depends on what someone would consider value.