ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – Disney World is set to welcome guests back this weekend as part of a phased reopening.
Florida’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Park make their return on Saturday, after closing in March due to the pandemic. Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot are reopening four days later on July 15.
However, Disney officials say strict safety measures, such as increased cleaning and disinfecting, will allow guests to enjoy Disney World “responsibly.”
“While COVID-19, and the risk of contracting it, is present in public places, there are many important ways that we can all help promote each other’s safety,” said Disney’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel in a statement released Tuesday.
New safety measures include limits on the number of people who can enter, temperature checks at the gate and face coverings for people 2 and older and for cast members. You must also have a park reservation, even if you’re an annual pass holder. Only tickets purchased before the pandemic are being honored. No new tickets are being sold for 2020 right now.
Some visitors can’t wait to get back inside the theme parks while others are being more patient.
“I’m not so worried about things that will have to be done differently like face masks and social distancing that doesn’t bother me really it’s just other people not following the rules that makes me nervous,” said Monique Clark who is planning to visit Disney on Saturday.
Dustin Gehrig, traveling from Missouri, is taking it slower.
“Maybe when things calm down with the corona, I’ll give it another shot.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who quickly approved Disney’s reopening plans in late May, remains solidly behind the Disney World reopening.
At a news conference on Monday, he praised the safety plans Disney has lined up. He also said Universal Orlando, which reopened on June 5, “is doing a great job” and that he believes attending a Florida theme park would be safer than going to a large private gathering.
Health experts agree that people in high-risk groups, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, should give serious consideration about going to a theme park.