SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Disney World sets reopening date

The Disney theme park plans to begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

Posted: May 28, 2020 11:11 AM


Disney World will reopen its gates, ending a multi-month closure of the park that left the Walt Disney Company reeling.

The Disney theme park, which employs some 70,000 people, plans to begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the company said on Wednesday.

Walt Disney World as well as Disney's Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California, closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney is implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its parks

  • Employees and guests will be required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks.
  • Disney will reduce capacity at the parks and the resort will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds
  • The resort will also enable cashless transactions by expanding contactless payments.
  • Disney will also increase the number of available hand-sanitizing stations.

The plan was approved Wednesday morning by the Orange County government. It still needs approval from Orange County's mayor and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

All of Disney's 12 parks in North America, Asia and Europe closed because of the outbreak at different points this year. Shanghai Disneyland, the company's largest international park, reopened its gates on May 11 after being closed since January 24.

Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which houses trademark attractions like Cinderella's Castle and Space Mountain, is the world's most-visited theme park, accounting for more than 20 million visitors in 2018, according to a report by AECOM. Disney has invested billions of dollars in its theme park business, opening Star Wars-themed lands in Florida and California last year and building new rides like "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway."

Reopening Disney World is a significant cultural and business endeavor for the company. Disney generated more than $26 billion in sales at its Parks, Experiences and Products unit in fiscal 2019, representing 37% of the company's overall revenue.

But the company revealed in its latest earnings report that its Parks and Experiences unit was hit particularly hard by the outbreak last quarter. The segment's operating profit fell 58% compared with last year — shedding a billion dollars in profit just a few weeks into the global shutdown.

"The theme parks define Disney for millions of its fans around the world," Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told CNN Business. "Returning its parks to operation signals that Disney is coming back to full speed as a company again."

The grand reopening of the park is a big deal for Disney and the entire global tourism industry. It sends a message to the industry "that a safe reopening is possible," according to Niles.

"Disney is the market leader in not just the theme park business, but in tourism worldwide," Niles said. "It tells the industry that tourists likely will be back traveling again soon because no one draws tourists like Disney can."

Reopening its premiere park won't be easy, however. Getting Disney World back to business presents risks, both financially and in terms of public health, according to Trip Miller, a Disney shareholder and managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners.

"The risk is that coronavirus cases pop up again after opening. What do you do then?" Miller said. "Additionally, managing cast members health and keeping adequate staffing is a big challenge. If a Disney cast member contracts the virus, do you shut down the entire park? An area they were in? Do you refund tickets? You just don't want the happiest place on earth to be seen as a dangerous place."

The opening of Disney World is also a big test for Disney's new CEO Bob Chapek, who before taking over for Bob Iger in February, was the former head of Disney's parks and resorts division.

"I think Chapek is getting a real trial by fire that nobody could have predicted," Miller added. "However, his familiarity with the parks business is an advantage in dealing with this. He will have a unique perspective on how to operate Disney's parks as they reopen in this new world."

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 27°
Kokomo
Clear
24° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 18°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 25°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 27°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Frankfort
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 23°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 21°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 21°
Logansport
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 25°
Dry, mild conditions continue.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events