I’m filing this under rumor, but a lot of us have already heard similar things around the grape vines of Walt Disney World. But according to WDWMagic, it seems that Disney is left scrambling to come up with their Plan B moving forward.
Now this comes from WDWPro, but a lot is verified by another member of the board,Magic Feather, even thought they do disagree on a couple of points.
According to WDWPro:
“Universal’s June opening date has actually caught Disney off guard, as it is much more aggressive than previously thought. As recently as two weeks ago, the plan for Walt Disney World had been to reopen August 31st with the prior three weeks of August used to retrain cast. ”
Keep in mind that WDWPro did say their information was from two weeks ago and things could have changed.
However, it is important to mention that even though Walt Disney World was taking reservations after July 1st, Thomas Mazloum, had indicated to the Orange County Economic Recover Task Force that it didn’t mean they were reopening in July. Which could lend more credence to what WDWPro said.
We have heard that they would need 2-3 weeks to retrain and retain cast members for reopening. So that goes along with some of what we heard from other people as well.
Magic Feather commented that they heard early July, in time for the 4th, but either way June was off the table, which goes along with them cancelling trips at least though mid-june.
But WDWPro did mention the 4th of July in his original post stating that Disney was worried that it would attract people from other high-infection areas to the park and cause potential issues:
“There are other issues with reopening in early to mid summer, including issues surrounding the Fourth of July. There are issues surrounding guests coming from American hot spots (New York, New Jersey, etc). It’s much easier to say “no” to a Florida citizen guest entering Disney Springs on a relatively cool day due to a high temperature versus saying “no” to an entire family from South Dakota who counter that their child’s temperature is too high only because its 101 degrees at 2 o’clock as they try to come back from their hotel.”
Plus firework shows are likely off the table for awhile anyways.
Another issue, as we have mentioned many times before, is the problem with wearing masks in the heat and humidity of Florida:
“Disney has identified that requiring children to wear masks in summer Florida heat could result in extremely unhealthy situations and PR issues. As an example, let’s say you require a child to wear a mask who also happens to have asthma. The heat being near 100 degrees, the parents allow the child to remove the mask as they’re dehydrated and having breathing issues… other guests see this and likewise want to remove their masks in the sweltering sun. Now you’ve either got to enforce the rule on the asthmatic child suffering in the heat, or you have to allow all the other guests to likewise remove their masks.”
As a person with asthma, I have issues with the heat and humidity there without a mask, so I’m sure this is a valid concern.
Universal’s Curve Ball
Now Universal has not only presented their plan, but they already have approval from Governor DeSantis. Disney is not going to want to let Universal and possibly SeaWorld have all the tourism over the summer, as he points out. I want to point out that their stock went up after people thought there was going to be a reopening announcement, so they need to appease shareholders as well.
Universal announced opening both parks and Volcano Bay, which puts a wrench into the “Secure Circuit” plans we heard Disney was working on. This would reopen Magic Kingdom first and then other parks as they could or even in rotation. EPCOT was still likely to remain closed. So now Disney is going to be put in a position of losing crowds to competitors if they don’t have all their parks open. Who’s going to pay the high costs to just visit one park when they can go to Universal Orlando and visit all their parks?
Now this is causing Disney to have to scramble and come up with alternate plans to reopen more than just one park and to do it safely. Plus they may need to open a water park, and according to WDWPro that would likely be Typhoon Lagoon.
Disney Springs Test Run:
Disney was hoping to use Disney Springs as a way to test out procedures, but as we’ve heard, guests are wearing masks in, but then taking them off. Usually they are carrying drinks around or food and using the loophole where guests may remove masks to eat or drink.
Now the other insider, Magic Feather, pointed out that they had heard the same on the following:
- MK Opening First with its resorts (I think we’ve all known that for a while)
- Disney was caught off guard by June 1st for UOR (I think we all were)
- Everything about Disney Springs’s opening being not perfect
- High Acceleration Attraction Issue (Although, I believe that it was deemed a fluke accident)
- Fireworks Issues (Which shouldn’t be a problem due to the lack of plans to brig them back“
They also heard earlier in July and not August, 31st, but said:
“At the end of the day, both Disney and SeaWorld were thrown for a loop by UOR opening on June 1. In fact, I’m a bit disappointed that three levels of clearance would approve this, especially when their proposal had some glaring omissions. I doubt we see anyone in a WDW park before the halfway point of June (if rushed), but more likely July.”
So there’s confirmation from multiple people in that thread, and we’ve had some of our own with people we know.
What we do know is that the Mayor Demings has said Walt Disney World indicated to him that they were going to present in the next week. So hopefully we can get a better idea. But I hope Disney doesn’t go against internal data, if there is any, just to try and compete even if they don’t feel it’s the best way to go.
But as I’ve been saying, I would recommend waiting until later this year or preferably next year to take a trip if you are just there for a vacation.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.