Due to the global pandemic, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida made the decision to shut the gates to the theme parks on March 16, 2020.However, after months of prepping and implementing new health and safety protocols to keep their guests and Cast Members safe, Disney World has now fully implemented their phased reopening. Walt Disney World welcomed back their guests on July 11 at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom and on July 15 at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Prior to the official reopening to the general public, Walt Disney World Resort gave a special preview to its most valued guests — Disney World Annual Passholders!
Passholder previews went on July 9 and July 10 and Inside the Magic was lucky enough to score a reservation to attend, which was filled up within minutes. So, come along with us and let’s take a look at the full Magic Kingdom experience for the passholder preview.
Inside the Magic is following along with all of the safety protocols put in place by Disney in order to remain safe during this unprecedented time.
Driving Into Magic Kingdom
For the annual passholder preview, Disney stated that “If you are staying at a Disney Resort hotel, Disney transportation will not be available for this limited event. You will need to provide your own transportation to the theme park parking lot.” Therefore, everyone had to either drive in with their own vehicle or find another mode of transportation, such as a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber.
We went ahead and drove our car into the Magic Kingdom parking lot (the Ticket and Transportation Center) and from there we were able to utilize Disney’s transportation — the monorail and ferry boat — to get over to the theme park. Note that Disney was not letting any Guests into the parking lot to park around 8 a.m. We did not actually park until around 8:20 a.m.
Ticket and Transportation Center
At the Ticket and Transportation Center, Disney provided guests with the option of taking the monorail or the ferry boat — Both of which have social distancing measures in place for guests’ safety. You can see in both photos above and below, Disney fans were eager to get over to the Magic Kingdom!
Security and Temperature Screening Checks
Walt Disney World is performing temperature screening checks on all Guests prior to entering the theme park. Those Guests who show a temperature above 100.4 will not be allowed entry.
Social Distancing Measures
Walt Disney World has implemented several different social distancing measures around the theme park in order to help Guests and Disney fans stay a safe distancing from one another — approximately 6 feet.
With very few Guests in Magic Kingdom for this AP preview day, social distancing throughout the park in open areas is not difficult.
The Main Gates at Magic Kingdom
Guests were eager to enter the Most Magical Place on Earth. In order to enter the Florida theme park, Guests needed a valid and activated eligible Walt Disney World annual pass and photo ID as they were both required at check-in for each Passholder and each Passholder Guest.
Back in February, Disney announced that in honor of this year’s 70th anniversary of the Walt Disney animated film Cinderella, the castle in Magic Kingdom in Florida will be repainted with a gorgeous pink painting and gold detailing. And now we get to see the makeover up close and personal!
Characters are in the parks in exciting new ways! Disney fans can still see some of their favorite Disney characters around the Disney parks as they are popping up in different ways. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Daisy make frequent appearances both at the train station on Main Street USA and on random character cavalcades occurring throughout the day.
Disney fans can also spot some friends from Winnie the Pooh in the Disney park including Piglet, Eeyore, and Rabbit as they wave to Guests from the Main Street Transportation trolley!
Be sure to follow along with Inside the Magic as we update you throughout our day with different experiences and safety protocols we spot! And please remember to follow the safety measures and protocols to remain as safe as possible during this unprecedented time.
More Information on Disney World Reopening
Keep in mind if you plan on visiting Walt Disney World Resort, there have been a lot of protocols and safety measures put into place to keep the guests and cast members safe at the Disney theme parks. These include mandatory masks, social distancing measures, excessive cleanliness, encouragement of mobile orders, plexiglass, the elimination of character meet and greets, parades and fireworks, and more.
If you are looking to stay at one of Disney World Resort Hotels on property, you need to keep in mind each resort has a different date to reopen. Check out our full comprehensive guide to when each of the Disney World Resort Hotels will reopen here.
Don’t forget to contact the expert Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel to help you put together your dream trip. Get in touch for a free quote today!
Do you have an upcoming Walt Disney World Resort vacation? Let us know in the comments below.