IT is the most visited holiday resort in the world, now preparing to open again as lockdown eases, but in this uncharted new era, how will social distancing work at Disney World?


When does it open?

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, plans to reopen its gates on July 11 for its Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom parks, with its other parks, including Hollywood Studios, opening on July 15. It comes after a total closure in mid-March due to the pandemic that has gripped the world.


It’s a global destination?

Around 93 million people visit Walt Disney World each year, with around one million of those coming from the UK alone.


Those are some big numbers?

Yes, and that’s just the visitors. The resort covers 27,258 acres - about the same area as all of San Francisco - and, in total, has more than 30,000 hotel rooms, 799 campsites, 40 cabins and employs 70,000 cast members, making it the biggest single-site employer in the United States.


So how can anyone social distance?

It’s a different world at Disney, at least until a vaccine is on the scene. Disney World say they will have new operating procedures in place, with new standards of hygiene. Measures include the use of tape everywhere to mark a distance of roughly two metres in queue lines and across the park to remind guests to stay apart, while all cast and guests will wear masks.


Will people wear masks in extreme heat?

Orlando can see summer highs of around 92F, but Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the company will "enforce that rule...for everybody's safety", adding that so far in Shanghai - where its Disney park opened in mid-May - the experience has been that "guests have been very cooperative when it comes to wearing masks”. Disney will also have “high energy squads” to remind guests about the need for masks and are considering “mask relaxation zones” where guests can take a breather.


Number restrictions?

The main Disney parks usually see around 80,000 people per day and although the limit has not yet been confirmed, it will be reduced. In Shanghai, for example, the government limited attendance to one-third of normal capacity.


Other measures?

These include regular cast temperature checks, while guests will have their temperatures taken upon arrival; more plexiglass barriers; seats left empty on rides to separate guests and capacity reduction in restaurants and stores, as well as on methods of transportation. The existing digital wristbands will allow food orders to be made, with cashless payments. 



It’s an end to getting your picture taken with Mickey Mouse and his friends. Parades are off the cards, as is the famous fireworks display to discourage crowds gathering.


Disneyland Paris?

There is no word yet on when it will reopen, with France one of the hardest hit countries in the world from the virus.


It’s a case of making the best of it?

Disney say cast members will work with guests “to make the Disney experience as real, and as magical, as possible.”