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Disney World is reopening, but here are all the ways it's going to be different

After closing down all worldwide parks, hotels, watermarks, shopping centers and cruise ships, Disney is *finally* beginning a phased reopening plan for its Orlando theme parks and hotels! Right now you can stay at the on-property resorts and enjoy the pools and restaurants, but Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will not open until July 11. The opening date for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will follow on July 15. Throughout all four parks, there will be new measures in place to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here are some of the things you should know if you are planning to take a trip to Orlando in the coming weeks or months...

Face coverings 

All cast members working at Disney World will be required to wear face masks during their shifts, and in addition, everyone visiting the park that is over the age of 2 will have to wear one to be admitted. The parks will not be providing masks but rather will require guests to have their own prepared, and the only places where they will not be needed are at the swimming pools and while eating at restaurants on property. 

Reserved arrival times 

Before you arrive at the park of your choice, you have to make sure that you have secured a reservation through the Disney Park Pass Reservation System. Once you purchase an admission ticket you will be allowed to enter the online Reservation System and secure an approved day and time to go to the park that you want. This measure is part of Disney's attempt to operate at reduced capacity and avoid overcrowding the parks or exposing too many people to one another. 

No "park hopping" 

Gone are the days when you can spend your morning in Epcot and head over to Magic Kingdom for the nighttime fireworks show. In order to stay within the new guest capacity limits, you will not be allowed to change parks and visit more than one per day. 

Temperature screenings 

Before entering certain locations on Disney Property, you may have to pass a temperature check. Since fever is a common symptom of COVID-19,  you won't be allowed inside the gates if your temperature is over 100.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Physical Distancing

While the parks were closed for nearly two months, new signage and physical barriers were added to heavily trafficked walkways so that crowds can be better dispersed after the reopening. Certain pathways may be redirected, and cast members have also undergone new training that will help them facilitate distancing measures between guests while inside the parks. 

Minimizing Interpersonal Contact 

The Orlando resorts have enacted contactless check-in measures that are done entirely from your cell phone so that you do not have to stand in close proximity to other guests in line or hotel employees. In addition, stores and some restaurants throughout the Orlando property will use no-touch payment to prevent the spread of germs to credit card readers.

Even with all of these changes, the magic of Disney will surely be alive to its first visitors since March. 

Planning a Disney World trip for this summer? Tag @girlslifemag on Insta so we can see your adorable pics in the "Happiest Place on Earth!" 

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by Lexi Casazza | 7/6/2020
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