Disney World reopens: Take an inside look at the Magic Kingdom today

The Entrance To Disney World Is Deserted On The First Day Of
The entrance to Disney World is deserted on the first day of closure as theme parks in the Orlando area suspend operations for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As of March 16, 2020 there were 155 Florida-related coronavirus cases. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Credit: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

(CNN) — The wait is over.

Four months after closing because of the coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has officially reopened.

Disney confirmed to CNN Travel that the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened their gates this morning.

Epcot and Hollywood Studios are set to welcome guests on Wednesday.

This not the first Disney resort to reopen. Three parks in Asia have already taken those honors. But it’s the first Disney park in the United States to reopen.

Want to know what’s going on? CNN Travel will be posting updates from inside the Magic Kingdom periodically during the day.

A big deal

Disney World is the biggest of big deals in the theme park universe. And the eyes of the theme park world will be on it this weekend.

Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Park, Experiences and Products, made an Instagram post of an “amazing morning” with cast members before the reopening.

Here are some of the things will be watching today:

1. Reservations and capacity

Disney has a new way for guests to gain entry, developed in the midst of the pandemic. It’s called the Disney Park Pass. And it’s a bit complicated. We’ll be seeing how that works.

And capacity will be limited. We’ll be watching how many people show up, and what it’s like in a park with fewer people.

2. Temperature checks and safety measures

Every guest must have a temperature check before entry. Those who register 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher must submit to a second reading. If she or he registers 100.4 or higher again, that person and their party can’t enter.

We’ll be seeing how that works.

From hand sanitizing stations to face mask enforcement, we’ll also be watching how Disney’s safety measures are working out. The opening comes during a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. CNN reported Saturday morning that Orange County, where Disney World is located, has 475 patients in the hospital with Covid-19.

3. Dining

Like restaurants anywhere else, Disney has had to upend its normal dining experience and find new ways to deliver food and drinks to hungry and thirsty guests.

We’ll be watching how the eating experience goes with social distancing in place, what restaurants open and how the My Disney Experience app works in regard to feeding hungry people.

4. Rides and attractions

We’ll see what’s open and how long the waits are on rides and attractions.

In its news release, Disney said it expects to open up very popular attractions on Saturday such as Space Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

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