Visitor numbers to Disney's flagship park in Florida will be one of the most closely eyed statistics of the next year. It's symbolic of the travel sector's fortunes because a visit to the Magic Kingdom typically requires a flight, significant spending, and a comfort with crowds.
Florida officials have approved plans for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World in Orlando starting on July 11, according to a memo from a state agency released on Friday.
The successful reopening of its parks is a signal event for Disney and the rest of the world as governments and companies strategize how to move out of lockdown while the novel coranavirus is still a threat.
The state also cleared Sea World Entertainment Inc to reopen on June 10, said Halsey Beshears, secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in a memo sent to officials in Orange County, Florida.
When the Disney parks reopen, guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The resort will suspend parades, fireworks displays and other activities that create crowds.
Disney will encourage contactless payment systems and expand its existing mobile order systems in restaurants, it said on Wednesday.
It plans to restrict the number of guests, who will be required to reserve their park passes ahead of time.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine, Additional reporting by Munsif Vengattil; Editing by Sandra Maler and Aditya Soni)
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Photo credit: Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, before the pandemic. Mike Christoferson / Flickr