Updated: Jun 30, 2020
April 30th, 2020 - If you were planning a trip to the "Happiest Place On Earth" or to the Wizardly World of Harry Potter in 2019, your plans would be substantially different than the plans you would make this year. In 2019, you would pick when you wanted to go, but this year, you will have to wait for the parks to announce when they will reopen. Right now, Disney, Universal, and Sea World are working with the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force to prepare for re-opening the tourism industry in the Orlando area.
Early reports suggest a possible re-opening the parks in July, in phases, with phase one at 50% capacity. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is estimated to be at maximum capacity at 100,000 visitors. Disney closes the gates to more guests only half a dozen times a year; Christmas day being the most frequently sold-out day. So when it re-opens, the lines could be half as long! See John Frost's article on TheDisneyBlog.com to learn more about the challenges Disney will face regarding determining the capacity to serve guests at the link below.
All of the theme parks will be taking the precautionary measures of providing hand sanitizer and social distancing in the lines, but what will that look like? Will there be more virtual queues?
Disney's Hollywood Studios had been using that with the new Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance, but that didn't work very well for most of their guests. Consider what would happen if every ride required a virtual queue; a technological nightmare. It could leave guests longing for the good old days of standing for an hour in the hot Florida sun to go on It's a Small World!
Going to Universal or Sea World would have similar challenges. In any case, if you are planning a trip you should plan some non-park days to relax. There are plenty of other things to do in Orlando where the price of admission and the lines are much less. There are dozens of attractions on International Drive, State Parks, and even beaches like Daytona Beach about an hour away. All of these can entertain you and your family at a fraction of a day at one of the theme parks.
Florida's Governor, Ron DeSantis is working with federal, state, and local officials to make sure that Florida will be a safe and healthy tourist destination as soon as possible because our economy depends on it. All of our businesses and tourist attractions will be following the health guidelines provided by the CDC, long after people have forgotten about the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
Perhaps this is a perfect time to plan a trip to Orlando. Airlines looking to fill empty seats are offering lower ticket prices; hotels wanting to get back the business they lost will do the same. Smaller crowds at the parks will offer a better customer experience as happy cast members come back to work.
So, be sure to set aside a week of vacation to Visit Orlando later this year.