After closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney World in Orlando is set to reopen this weekend.
And while Florida continues to see a spike in new cases of COVID-19, Governor Ron DeSantis believes guests to the theme parks will be completely safe upon entering through the Disney gates.
“Disney, I have no doubt is going to be a safe environment. 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,” DeSantis said during a press conference, according to CBS Miami.
In his remarks, he also drew praise for how Universal Orlando handled their reopening last month.
“Theme parks have been doing great, I mean, Universal, look at what they’re doing,” he added. “And I think that’s the lesson. We have to have society function. You can have society function in a way that keeps people safe, and when you have all the different procedures they have in place … it’s a safe environment.”
"I'm really impressed with what Universal's done, and I've looked at Disney's plan and it is very, very thorough," DeSantis said.
As previously announced, Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open on Saturday, July 11. Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will reopen on Wednesday, July 15.
Prior to heading to the parks, guests will have to make a reservation on the new Disney Park Pass System to gain entry.
In addition, safety protocols will include operating with a limited capacity, requiring all visitors and employees to wear face coverings, mandatory temperature checks, social distancing and increased sanitation.
In recent weeks, Florida has seen an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases and experts believe it has the makings to become the next epicenter of the virus.
On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health confirmed another 7,347 new cases of coronavirus, reported WTSP. The state has seen over 213,000 cases since the start of the pandemic in March.