As part of recommendations sent to Governor Ron DeSantis, the Reopen Florida Task Force put together recommendations for reopening various parts of the Florida economy, including theme parks.
As outlined by DeSantis in a press conference yesterday, Florida will begin the reopening process in phases, beginning with Phase 1 on Monday, May 4th. While DeSantis didn’t address theme parks or large venues in his powerpoint slides or subsequent executive order, Disney has announced it will be cancelling reservations through May 23rd. It’s safe to say that the theme parks will not be reopening before then.
That said, we do have some direction in the form of recommendations from the Reopen Florida Task Force that outlines when theme parks might be able to reopen. It’s important to note that we will be talking about two different task forces. The Reopen Florida Task Force is a state-level task force that has Walt Disney World President Josh D’Amaro on it. The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force is a county-level task force that has Thomas Mazloum, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney World Resorts and Transportation Operations, as a member.
According to the Reopen Florida Task Force recommendations, theme parks may consider reopening with capacity limitations, strict social distancing, and proper measures to clean and disinfect in a Phase 2 of the reopening plans.
By Phase 3, theme parks would be able to return to normal operations with limited social distancing protocols, according to the Reopen Florida Task Force recommendations sent to the Florida Governor.
As to what the theme parks might look like when they reopen, we have some ideas as presented in an Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force draft for consideration. After we wrote about the recommendations, the next Orange County Task Force meeting shifted the onus for reopening back to the theme parks.
As for a timeline for the various phases, DeSantis has stated that the phases will be driven by data, not dates, so it’s impossible to put an exact timeline on the phases. That said, DeSantis said that this “does not need to take months”.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com for the latest Disney Parks news and photos. We’ll continue to bring you news and photos, where possible, through the Disney Parks closure due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will resume our normal coverage once the parks reopen to guests on July 11th!