Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom reopen in Florida

The Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World theme park and resort in Bay Lake, Florida reopened to the general public Saturday after a nearly four-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
July 11 (UPI) — Florida’s Walt Disney World reopened its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks to the general public Saturday.

The popular tourist destinations were closed for nearly four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These are the first Disney theme parks in the United States to be back in business, albeit with limited capacity.

Epcot and Hollywood Studios are to resume operations Wednesday, but California’s Disneyland doesn’t have a reopening date.

Park guests with tickets and reservations are required to wear face coverings, undergo temperature checks and socially distance themselves from others, including on lines and rides, and when dining.

Disney employees — who are also masked — have increased and improved cleaning practices, while plastic dividers and hand-washing stations were placed throughout the parks to limit the spread of the virus.

“There’s a lot of trust here, both from our cast members and our guests, and we’ve got a responsibility to deliver on that trust,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products.

“People love Disney, they love the experiences here,” he added. “They understand the world is different, they are watching us put together these great plans and we are seeing them book for the near term and the long term.”

The shopping and dining district Disney Springs opened in May, while the Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and SeaWorld — which are not owned by Disney — opened in June.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supported the Disney World resort’s partial reopening this weekend, despite a spike in coronavirus cases in the state.

“Disney, I have no doubt, is going to be a safe environment,” DeSantis said. “I think that where you start to see the spread is just in social situations where people let their guard down. Usually, like a private party or something like that.”

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said nearly 7,000 people were hospitalized Friday.

The state has had 244,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,100 deaths.

Miami-Dade County had a 28 percent positivity rate among all tests, marking the 14th day of a positivity rate above 18 percent.

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