Entertainment

Disney to start reopening its Florida theme parks with Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom on July 11

Key Points
  • On Wednesday, Disney proposed a phased reopening of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11.
  • Epcot and Hollywood Studios would reopen on July 15.
  • Like its Shanghai Disneyland location in China, Disney plans on setting "significant limited on attendance" and will require park visitors to purchase their tickets in advance of arriving to the parks.
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Disney CEO Bob Chapek on reopening Disney World

Disney said Wednesday it has proposed a phased reopening of its Florida-based theme parks in July.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are expected to be the first to reopen on July 11. Then, Epcot and Hollywood Studios will follow on July 15.

Like its Shanghai Disneyland location in China, Disney plans on setting "significant limited on attendance" and will require park visitors to purchase their tickets in advance of arriving to the parks.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek declined to provide a specific breakdown of its capacity reduction on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" Wednesday, noting that there is no governmental guideline like there is in China. He did say the company would adhere to the CDC's 6 foot social distancing guidelines when limiting attendance.

However, the company has outlined some of its planned safety measures. Disney's Florida parks will have additional hand washing stations, temperature checks and social distancing measures throughout, including at restaurants and lines for rides.

The company is suspending parades and other events that would cause crowds to gather. Contactless payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Disney Magic Bands will be encouraged.

VIDEO6:5406:54
How reopening Shanghai Disneyland lays out roadmap for theme parks amid Covid-19

Disney's reopening plans were presented to Orange County's Economic Recovery Task Force, a panel of business and community leaders appointed by Mayor Jerry Demings. The Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said that theme parks will need approval from the county before he will sign off on their reopening dates.

The task force voted to approve Disney's plan. 

SeaWorld also presented its plan to reopen on June 11 to the task force on Wednesday. Universal made its proposal last week to reopen Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure and water park Volcano Bay on June 5.

"We want to make sure what we present to our guests when we open up is going to be a quintessential Disney experience," Chapek said of opening a month later than competitors. "While we'll have substantially lower numbers of guests, we want to make sure we do it in a responsible way."

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.