Fans of Walt Disney World in Florida will be pleased to learn that it is re-opening to visitors on a phased basis in July, although new measures are being put in place in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Walt Disney World is re-opening to the public in July © MN Chan/Getty Images

Pending Orange County and state approval, the theme park plans to open its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks on 11 July, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on 15 July. It has not revealed re-opening dates for its other Florida parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Its safety measures include reducing capacity at the parks and temporarily suspending parades, fireworks and other events that draw crowds.

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Parades and fireworks are temporarily cancelled © Dan Anderson via Getty Images

A new reservation system for park entry will be implemented so visitors won't be able to walk up and buy a ticket. As part of the new safety measures, staff and visitors will be required to undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks and must wear face coverings while there. Roaming "high-energy squads” will be deployed to enforce social distancing, and visitors won't be able to meet and greet the Disney characters.

Mary Poppins smiles at a young child as she leads a line of children in front of Cinderella's castle
Character "meet and greets" are temporarily suspended © smckenzie/Getty Images

In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities and playgrounds will remain temporarily unavailable. There will be an increased number of hand-sanitising stations, and contactless payments will be facilitated through the expansion of cashless transactions. Other measures include barriers to encourage physical distancing and more frequent cleaning protocols.

Disney's Mickey and Minnie waving at the camera
Disney will open its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks on 11 July © Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP via Getty Images

Thus far, Disney has not indicated when Disneyland in California will re-open or its theme parks in Paris and Japan. For further information on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, please see the Disney blog here.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

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