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Walt Disney World is shooting for a mid-July reopening. Image via Getty.

Re-Open Florida

State signs off on reopening Disney, SeaWorld

SeaWorld opens in two weeks while Disney waits another month to open all of its parks.

Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld on Friday received approval to reopen from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears.

Both theme parks have been shut down since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In letters sent Friday, Beshears told each of the entertainment giants they had “established the necessary plans for the safe operation of its theme parks properties upon reopening.” Beshears said his decision was based on the department’s review of proposed safety guidelines submitted by the theme parks, noting that Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings endorsed the plans.

SeaWorld is expected to reopen on June 11. Disney is set to open Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, and reopen Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15, according to DisneyParks.com. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22.

Both SeaWorld and Disney are requiring workers and guests 2 years of age and older to wear appropriate face coverings while in the theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests and workers will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park. The parks are also recommending cashless transactions.

Disney is limiting attendance through a new theme-park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.

Disney hasn’t set dates for the return of parades and nighttime spectacles that draw large gatherings or for “high-touch” experiences that include playgrounds and designated character meet-and-greets.

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force approved the theme parks’ plans on Wednesday.

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Reprinted with permission from The News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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