Walt Disney World to reopen its Florida theme parks starting July 11

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ORLANDO — Walt Disney World announced on Wednesday it will begin opening its theme parks on July 11.

Disney presented its plans for reopening after being shuttered along with Florida’s other theme parks since mid-March because of the new coronavirus.

Disney said it will open the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood Studios will open on July 15.

The announced plans are pending approval by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Disney will use a reservation system to allow guests to register to visit the theme parks. The system will allow Disney to manage capacity and reduce crowds.

Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando presented their reopening proposals for phased reopenings before an Orange County task force on Wednesday. If Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signs off on them, the plans will be sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis for approval.

With 77,000 workers, Disney World is central Florida’s biggest employer.

Last week, Disney World allowed third-party businesses at its Disney Springs dining and shopping complex to open with new restrictions.

All workers and visitors older than 2 at Disney Springs must wear masks, temperatures are checked at entrances to keep out anyone with a temperature 100.4 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) or higher and a limited number of people are admitted to allow social distancing at the high-end outdoor shopping area with restaurants, movie theaters, a bowling alley and a Cirque du Soleil theater.

Crosstown rival, Universal Orlando, presented its reopening proposal last week to county officials, saying it was aiming to reopen June 5. Officials approved those plans and sent them to the governor. Universal also has opened up its dining and entertainment complex with restrictions similar to Disney Springs.

Earlier this month, Shanghai Disneyland became the first of Disney’s theme park resorts to reopen, with severe limits on the number of visitors allowed in, mandatory masks and temperature checks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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