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Here’s everything you should know before heading to Walt Disney World’s phased reopening

Spoiler alert: There will be no firework shows or parades

ORLANDO, Fla. – If you’re planning on returning to the happiest place on Earth during its phased reopening, you’ll want to study up on the new procedures put into place.

The park will not be the same as when you last visited.

From enhanced cleaning and masks to social distancing and ticket reservations, the park has gone through a lot in the past four months.

MORE: ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming you back,’ Disney releases safety measures ahead of reopening

But we’re here to help you before you don your Mickey ears -- and mask. Speaking of masks, they’re required to enter the park.

[RELATED: Passholder flies from Colorado to attend Disney World preview]

To be more specific, all guests 2 years of age and older, along with cast members, will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while visiting the parks.

Officials with the theme park confirmed Wednesday that some popular face-covering types like neck gaiters -- a type of covering that does not have loops that secure the mask to the face via ear loops or straps -- will not be an acceptable form of a face mask to gain entry into the park.

“Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules,” Disney officials explained.

The mask must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times while inside the park, but can be removed when eating and drinking.

RELATED: Disney World to reopen this week as coronavirus cases soar in Florida | Cast members put Disney World’s COVID-19 safety changes to the test

If you’re traveling from out of town or farther and you’re planning on using Disney’s provided transportation, you’ll want to keep this next bit in mind.

According to Disney, buses and monorails will implement a combination of physical distancing and physical barriers to provide separation between guest parties.

Capacity and guest density is limited and guests are required to wear appropriate face coverings at all times while onboard.

Disney Skyliner will load one party per gondola when it returns July 15, Disney said.

“For those arriving in their own vehicles, auto plazas will offer cashless payment; parking lot trams will not be available at this time,” Disney officials added.

Before entering the park, all guests will have their temperature taken.

Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be directed to an additional location for rescreening.

“Those who again measure 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party,” Disney explained.

Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing in attraction queues at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. These markings are one of several new and enhanced health and safety measures in place for the parks’ phased reopening beginning July 11, 2020. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing in attraction queues at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. These markings are one of several new and enhanced health and safety measures in place for the parks’ phased reopening beginning July 11, 2020. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

In order to provide appropriate social distancing, Walt Disney World is only allowing a limited number of guests to visit each theme park per day. These limits will also be in place for indoor locations within the parks, such as retail shops and dining locations.

“Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing throughout the parks, including attraction queues,” Disney said. “Physical barriers will be in place in select locations where maintaining a proper physical distance from others may be difficult.”

We did the math on how crowded the parks may be upon reopening. To find out how many people could be allowed in each park, click or tap here.

Guests at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., are encouraged to use cashless payment options whenever possible when making purchases as the parks begin their phased reopening July 11, 2020. (David Roark, photographer)
Guests at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., are encouraged to use cashless payment options whenever possible when making purchases as the parks begin their phased reopening July 11, 2020. (David Roark, photographer)

When it comes to shopping, guests are encouraged to use cashless options whenever possible. This includes using MagicBands, debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards and mobile payment methods.

Character meet-and-greets have also undergone a massive change. Forget the one-on-one photo-ops and instead plan to pose for a socially distant selfie. Disney characters will still pop up along the parade routes and throughout the parks maintaining social distancing.

To find out how the park is utilizing its characters in a new way, click or tap here.

Rides will be open with social distancing measures in place for lines. You’ll notice riders may be spaced out. Hand-washing and sanitizing stations will be available throughout the park, as well.

At the end of the night, don’t wait up for the fireworks and light shows. Disney said the nighttime spectaculars are on hold for now to avoid large group gatherings.

Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen Saturday, July 11, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot will open July 15. The parks were closed in mid-March as coronavirus cases increased in Florida.


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