MickeyBlog News for May 25, 2020
I’m not going to distract you with any non-essentials. The latest edition of MickeyBlog News is all about Disney parks, especially Walt Disney World.
Disney Springs Is Back
Disney fans will forever remember May 20th as a glorious day. This past Wednesday, Disney Springs reopened to the public.
With this change, Walt Disney World once again became an active theme park.
MickeyBlog wasn’t about to sit out such a momentous occasion. We had our man, Greg, on the scene to capture the moment for everyone.
You can watch the first hours of the reopening here.
Other vloggers have spent so much time at Disney Springs that you may think they live there. So, you can watch as much of it as you like. Here’s our friend, Prince Charming Dev:
And here are Josh and Jenna at ResortTV1:
MickeyBlog has written extensively about the changes at Disney Springs. To reopen safely, Disney must carefully follow the three C’s.
If you’re unfamiliar with them, they are clean, cover, and contain. So, Disney is doing temperature checks before allowing guests to enter Disney Springs.
Everyone must wear a mask as well for obvious reasons. And cast members diligently wipe down surfaces at hot zones several times per hour.
The precautionary measures mirror ones already in place at Shanghai Disneyland, the only open Disney theme park.
Thus far, everyone seems satisfied with the results. If Disney Springs had suffered any issues, you would have heard about them almost immediately.
The media spotlight on Disney is intense right now, which plays a factor in a later segment.
Shanghai Disneyland Still Running Smoothly
I probably won’t give any detailed reports on Shanghai Disneyland now that it’s been back in business for two weeks. It’d be like saying that water is still wet.
However, I understand that you still have some interest at the moment. So, here’s the big update from the past week.
Shanghai Disneyland has reopened its shows. Before the park’s return, executives had indicated that shows would remain closed indefinitely.
Well, the reopening has gone so well that cast members are back to pretending like they’re Jack Sparrow and other pirates at Eye of the Storm.
This news indicates that American Disney parks may bring back shows earlier than predicted. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself there, though.
First, the parks need to reopen. Speaking of which…
Universal Studios Will Reopen on June 5th
Central Florida news is breaking all the time right now. It’s a mile a minute, and even MickeyBlog is struggling to keep up with the changing circumstances.
We’re thrilled to cover this story, though. The state of Florida has updated its Coronavirus precautionary measures and encouraged theme parks to reopen.
Before parks can return, they must submit reopening plays to city/county and state officials, though. This past Thursday, May 21st, Universal Orlando Resort became the first park to follow these steps.
The park successfully petitioned for a June 5th reopening. That’s less than two weeks from now!
In fact, the return date is even closer than you may know. Starting on June 1st, employees will perform park testing. Two days later, annual passholders will gain (limited) park access.
So, some of you could visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter next week!
I know what you’re thinking, though. You’re not interested in Harry Potter. You want to know about…
The Walt Disney World Update
Early reports indicated that Disney would present its reopening plans on May 21st. Then, Disney officials refuted this news.
Instead, Disney will present its reopening plans at some point this week. Nobody knows when their projected return date is, though.
Rumors abound – I’ve heard three different dates from people I usually trust – but it’s all speculation.
What we do know is that LEGOLAND Florida wants to reopen on June 1st. In fact, the company got its hand slapped for announcing this date before going through proper channels.
So, that’s two other Central Florida theme parks that will return over the next two weeks. If government officials are confident that they can do so, Disney shouldn’t be far behind.
Disney did cancel another week’s worth of reservations, though. Guests who had booked through June 13th received the disappointing news this week.
Hopefully, that batch of cancellations will be the last group.
Everything Else We Know about Walt Disney World
We do know that Disney plans to return with 20-30 percent capacity limits. In other words, the parks will remain empty by design when Walt Disney World reopens.
Park officials want to control crowds until they know well guests will behave. The Florida Man meme exists for a reason, after all.
A moonshot I mentioned back in early April has become a likelihood. Disney has become the leader to house a bubble sports section for the NBA and possibly Major League Soccer.
The currently unused space at ESPN Wide World of Sports would become the new home for LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and other superstars during the NBA Playoffs. Here’s a tweet from ESPN:
The NBA has entered into exploratory conversations about restarting the remainder of its season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.@ramonashelburne with all the details ➡️ https://t.co/IeP8LweEOj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 23, 2020
An old friend of mine is a respected NBA insider now, and he believes that this deal is more likely to happen than not. And the Orlando Sentinel believes that Orlando City will be the #1 seed in a Walt Disney World tournament.
Yes, friends, life is returning to Walt Disney World.
And a Final Message from Disney
The Disney Parks Blog posted an important message on May 22nd. Rather than summarize it, I’d prefer to post the whole thing since it’s such a critical update:
It’s an understatement to say that the past few months have been a challenging time for us all. As we navigate the longest park closures in our histories, we’ve loved hearing your kind words of hope and seeing how you’ve made your own Disney memories at home has uplifted and inspired us all.
During this time, we know it can be difficult to plan your Disney vacation. Now more than ever we’re longing for the opportunity to come together with family and friends to escape, to celebrate, to re-do missed milestones, like birthdays and anniversaries and to make new Disney memories.
Given the current uncertainty as to when we will reopen Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, we’ve had to periodically adjust the schedule for the ability to book hotel reservations at our resorts. While we’re currently accepting reservations starting in July 2020 at both resorts, as this situation evolves, timing may continue to shift.
As we continue to follow guidance from government and health care officials regarding how we’ll be able to reopen our parks and resorts in a responsible way, we may also need to make real-time adjustments to booked experiences, park tickets and park passes.
Please know that if any reservations you may have made need to change, we will work with you to make the necessary modifications.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to check out the recent blog post from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel, on how we’re planning for re-opening our parks and resorts.
Our focus remains on the safety of the entire Disney community. Be sure to keep checking our websites for more details, and stay tuned for more information right here on the Disney Parks Blog.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this unprecedented time together. We continue to be moved by the incredible support and passion our guests have shown for our Disney family, and we hope to see you real soon.”
Have a great week and stay safe, everyone!