As Walt Disney World begins Cast Member previews ahead of the July 11, 2020 reopening of Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks, Disney reaffirmed today its extensive commitment to safety in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks reopen July 15, 2020 and Downtown Disney in California is still on track to reopen on July 9, 2020. For now, Disney confirmed that a reopening date for Disneyland Resort theme parks is still undetermined as they work with the state guideline requirements to ensure a safe reopening.
All of this comes as coronavirus cases continue to spike and hit record highs across the country. Guests and Cast Members alike are divided as to whether or not it’s a good time to reopen the parks. In light of this, Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel issued a full recap of Disney’s intent to ensure a safe environment for Guests and Cast Members alike.
Hymel outlined five main key points for how Disney is taking safety precautions seriously.
Health & Wellness
At Disney, our approach emphasizes a combination of measures to help reduce risk in the carefully managed environment of our parks and resorts.
- Limited and carefully managed attendance: All guests will be required to make advanced ticket purchases and reservations.
- Reduced capacity and physical distancing: We’re reducing capacity by letting fewer people enter our parks and are adjusting experiences to allow for physical distancing, a key measure reinforced by the CDC. This includes physical distancing in dining experiences, attractions, queues and other locations. Additionally, physical barriers have been installed in areas where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain, like cash registers.
- Temperature checks: Quick temperature checks are required for all guests at entry to our theme parks.
- Face coverings: We will be requiring both cast members and guests ages two and older to wear a face covering – unless swimming or when eating or drinking – and enforcing this policy across our parks and resorts.
- Handwashing and hand sanitizer: We have increased the number of hand sanitizer locations and handwashing stations throughout our parks and resorts.
- First Aid locations: Our first aid locations are staffed by experienced nursing staff and have updated their protocols for responding to symptoms of illness.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
We’ve updated our already high standards for cleanliness across our parks and resorts, with a special emphasis on areas such as attractions, queues, dining, lobbies, transportation and other common spaces.
- Increased cleaning & disinfecting: We’re increasing the frequency of cleaning, especially for frequently-touched surfaces and high-traffic areas. Following park close, each park will receive an enhanced cleaning before guests arrive the next day.
- New procedures for resort stays: In addition to increasing cleaning in areas such as elevators and escalators, handrails, tables, handles, and restrooms, we’ve updated our procedures for guest rooms at our owned-and-operated Walt Disney World hotels. Before arrival, every room will be given an enhanced cleaning and a light cleaning service (including removal of trash and replenishment of towels and amenities) will be offered every other day during the stay.
We are tapping into Disney innovation to help promote health and safety for our guests and cast members.
- Disney apps: With the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps our guests already know and love, guests can view hand sanitizer and handwashing locations, explore digital menus, and more.
- Limited-contact options: From Mobile Order and cashless payments, to Walt Disney World’s MagicBands and online check-in at select locations, we’re offering technology solutions that can make it easier for our guests to minimize contact and maintain physical distancing.
Cast Member Training & Workplace Safety
Safety starts with our cast, and we’ve adopted a number of new policies and practices for cast members at work.
- Training: Cast members are receiving additional training on both new measures and the continued importance of personal health and hygiene, such as handwashing and of course, staying home when ill. For some, this includes training on how to help everyone who visits to follow new health and safety measures, including wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing.
- Workplace health and safety: We’ve increased the frequency of cleaning in work areas, adjusted our work practices to promote physical distancing, and introduced new protocols for temperature checks and face coverings.
- Health screenings: Cast members will self-screen for temperature and symptoms of illness before each shift and will stay home if they are not feeling well.
Because each of us shares a responsibility for the health of our community, we’re making resources available to make guests aware of our new policies, so they too can do their part.
- Guest communication: We’re proactively sharing information with guests about what to expect ahead of their visit to support their planning. In our parks and resorts, we have added signage about personal health and hygiene measures, physical distancing, and more.
- Following our guidelines: A special group of cast members will also be present in the parks to explain our new procedures, answer questions guests may have, and encourage everyone to follow these measures to promote the well-being of us all.
- “Together We Can Make Today Incredible” campaign: In June, we introduced “Together We Can Make Today Incredible,” a health and safety campaign that spotlights healthy behaviors featuring fan-favorite characters from the Incredibles animated movies. The campaign emphasizes that everyone has an important role to play in health and safety while engaging guests in a uniquely Disney way.