What Disney Resorts Are Open Right Now – Walt Disney World and Disneyland do not require proof of vaccination to enter, but Disney says guests who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings at all indoor venues.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse perform during a parade as they pass Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida. The theme park resort announced Tuesday that face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated visitors at all indoor and outdoor venues. John Raoux/AP hide caption
What Disney Resorts Are Open Right Now
Mickey and Minnie Mouse perform during a parade as they pass Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida. The theme park resort announced Tuesday that face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated visitors at all indoor and outdoor venues.
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The Walt Disney Company says it is waiving most of its indoor mask requirements for vaccinated guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks.
Starting Thursday, the company says face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated guests in its indoor and outdoor park spaces, according to the Disney World and Disneyland websites.
Due to “recent trends and regulatory guidelines,” Disney said its resorts in California and Florida will begin easing health and safety protocols. Disney World and Disneyland do not require proof of vaccination to enter.
However, the company said guests who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear face coverings at all indoor venues, such as indoor attractions and theaters.
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“We expect guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear face coverings in all indoor venues, including indoor attractions and theaters,” the company said.
Both Disney World and Disneyland required guests ages 2 and older to wear masks indoors starting in July 2021, a precaution the parks took against the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Disney’s change to its mask policy comes after Universal Orlando in Florida canceled indoor and outdoor masks for fully vaccinated guests. The new guidelines went into effect on Saturday. Guests who have not yet been vaccinated will be encouraged to wear masks while indoors, Universal Orlando said.
Disney theme parks closed in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States. Disney World reopened in July 2020 with social distancing and mask requirements. Disneyland reopened in early 2021.
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Starting Wednesday, several states agreed to lift their statewide mask orders as COVID cases and hospitalizations decline.
In California, the state ended its indoor mask mandate for vaccines on Tuesday. California counties and municipalities may enforce stricter rules than the state.
Florida recommends face coverings for the general public, but currently does not have a statewide mask mandate. Companies, however, are free to decide their own mask requirements. Walt Disney World will gradually reopen its theme parks on Friday after a two-day closure due to Hurricane Ian, which caused flooding in central Florida after hitting the southwestern part of the state.
The resort said Thursday afternoon that operations at its four theme parks and Disney Springs, a shopping and entertainment center, will resume “in a phased approach” starting Friday. Schedules will be updated online later Thursday, a statement said.
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“We continue to monitor weather conditions closely as we assess the impact of Hurricane Ian on our property,” the statement said. “While the theme parks and many operational areas remain closed to guests today, we expect weather conditions to improve tonight.”
Hotels in the sprawling complex near Orlando opened to current visitors Thursday, though no new check-ins were allowed. New guests will be able to check in from 3 p.m. friday
The company warned online that dining options at its hotels would vary “and in some cases could be very limited.” Signature dining experiences are canceled Thursday and portions of some hotels will remain closed through Friday.
Hotel guests, including Disney bloggers, posted photos of costumed characters mingling with children in hotels, watching cartoons on lobby TVs and “working” at desks. Some videos also showed post-storm cleanup.
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Disney hotel lockdown for baby’s first hurricane ⛈️🌪️ (We don’t have the worst of it here, we have snacks and drinks and are safe in our room for the evening now while we wait for it to pass!) https:// t .co /aI5q9mdh16 pic.twitter.com/PXyconmcDD — Laura (@theassetdiaries) September 28, 2022
Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a severe Category 4 storm on Wednesday, causing “historic” damage to the state, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). It reached central Florida as a much weaker Category 1 hurricane, but continued to cause widespread flooding in Orange County, one of the two counties that straddles Disney World.
County officials said the area could continue to see sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour Thursday, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Tropical storm force winds are expected to leave by 1 a.m. Friday. Between eight and 12 inches of rain fell in the district and up to 16 inches in some places.
Orlando International Airport remained closed Thursday and it said in a Twitter update that all roads leading to the facility were closed due to flooding. Business operations are expected to resume on Friday.
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Other Florida theme parks remained closed Thursday, with some announcing plans not to reopen until Saturday. These include Busch Gardens in Tampa and SeaWorld in Orlando. Legoland in Winter Haven said it will extend its closure until Friday while workers “assess the damage and clean up after the storm.”
Universal Orlando Resort said on its website that it plans to reopen Friday “if conditions permit.” Officials did not respond to a question about photos on social media that appeared to show exterior damage to a Jurassic Park ride.
“As always, the safety of our guests and team members is our top priority,” Universal Orlando spokeswoman Alyson Sologaistoa said in an email Thursday. “To that end, we remain closed today while we follow our procedures and conduct detailed inspections throughout our destination at this time. Stay tuned for any updates.”
The latest: The 2022 season got off to a slow start, but picked up speed this fall with conditions ideal for storms. Fiona brought severe flooding to Puerto Rico before making landfall in Canada, and now we’re tracking Hurricane Ian as it heads toward Florida. For the seventh consecutive year, hurricane officials are predicting an above-average season of hurricane activity.
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Preparedness Tips: We’ve collected seven safety tips to help you prepare for hurricanes. Here are some more pointers on how to keep your phone charged and useful in dangerous weather conditions and what to know about flood insurance.
Understanding Climate Change: It’s Not Just You: Hurricanes and tropical storms have hit the United States more frequently in recent years. And last summer alone, nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster. Read more about how climate change is fueling severe weather events. Disney World Opened 50 Years Ago Walt Disney secretly bought 40 square miles of land in the Sunshine State, then unveiled plans that would transform the theme park industry and central Florida.
Guests stroll down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. The park celebrates its 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021. John Raoux/AP hide caption
Guests stroll down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. The park celebrates its 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021.
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Disney World, the largest theme park in the world, welcomed its first guests on October 1, 1971. Over the next fifty years the park, which covers more than 40 square miles in central Florida, grew to become an entertainment complex that includes four . parks, two water parks, golf courses, a shopping destination and 27 resort hotels.
Before Disney World and Disneyland, amusement parks had existed for centuries. But Walt Disney invented a new concept, the theme park, and connected deeply with the visitors.
“You always get that feeling in your stomach when you go through the gates. It’s exciting every time, no matter how old you are,” says Paulette Stinson, who has been to the park about 20 times.
When Disneyland opened in California in 1955, it quickly became a huge success, but the company quickly realized that only 2 percent of visitors came from east of the Mississippi River. Walt Disney looked for a location on the east coast and eventually settled in Florida.
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“Roads were all important to the Disney company because they wanted to build a park that was 10 times the size of Disneyland in California,” Foglesong says. “That meant that if they were going to build a park that big, they would have to bring in tourists from far away, from the East Coast, from the Midwest.”
The grand opening celebration included a parade down Disney World’s Main Street on October 25, 1971. AP hide caption
Mary Demetree, originally from the area, is the CEO of a real estate company started by her father and uncle. In the mid-1960s, they agreed to sell more than 12,000 acres of undeveloped marsh land to a company whose identity remained secret.
“At that time, Orlando
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