Walt Disney World opened its magical gates to the public today for the first time since the March closures. The park welcomed back cast members for a 2-day extended preview event ahead of the official July 11th opening.
The preview is crucial to ensuring the 11th goes off without a hitch when both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT will host Annual Passholders. While the rains may have washed out some of the afternoon fun, operations have been running smoothly today!
Like Disney Springs, all attendees are expected to wear masks for the duration of their visit. The exceptions? When eating, drinking, or in a designated mask “relaxation area” that allows for socially distanced seating.
Temperature checks were in effect today, as was a touchless bag check where individuals drop electronics and metal items into clear plastic bags. Hand sanitizer stations were scattered across the park and easy to find.
Now for the fun stuff – the rides! Wait times were short (5 minutes for Space Mountain!!!) though expect the AP preview events to be much more indicative of typical ride queues. All Magic Kingdom rides are well equipped to handle socially distanced wait queues with ground markings and shields for cast members where needed.
The hottest ticket in town today was Splash Mountain, with folks clamoring to get their final tastes of the ride ahead of the Princess and the Frog retheming. Splash wait times soared over 60 minutes+ around noon.
As promised, characters were seen in brief appearances during hourly character cavalcades (think a very short Disney parade with one or two floats.) A few other characters were found on stages or tucked away from fans in well-distanced locations around the park.
Food is never far out of reach in the Magic Kingdom, and luckily today was no exception. Mobile ordering is now highly encouraged for all food orders. Restaurant locations are sporting socially distanced tables and ground markers to help direct crowd flow.
Don’t worry, snack carts are still available!
The Talk of the Town
The new castle paint job proved to be the talk of the town, with many comparing the new pink and blue scheme to the recently updated Tokyo Disneyland castle! Do you love the updated colors? The refreshed look brings the castle much closer to Disneyland’s classic take on Sleeping Beauty castle.
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Side by side comparison of the newly renovated Cinderella Castles at Tokyo Disneyland (first photo) and the Magic Kingdom at #WDW (swipe to see). Magic Kingdom photo from @attractionsmagazine Which one do you like better? The castle in Tokyo got a touch up with its paint job, from what I can tell.
Are you heading to Walt Disney World this week? We’ll continue to keep you updated on how opening week progresses!