It has been a long few weeks since Disney World and Disneyland have closed due to the spread of illness. There has been a lot of speculation as to when they will reopen. Currently, it has the opening date at the start of April. And a lot of questions have arisen from this timeframe. However, there are a lot of things that come into play due to the widespread nature of the virus and the impact on the travel industry. So when will Disney reopen? The simple answer is, we don’t know.
What we know now?
Currently, we are seeing what has been told since the day Disney closed. That they will be closed until the end of May and would reopen on April 1st. This is even what the banner on Walt Disney Worlds website reads. This is likely the date that they are shooting for but unclear if this will actually be the case. We have seen several discounts shown, that all take place on April 1st both at Disney World and Disneyland. Even calling Disney, this is likely the message that you will hear.
How likely are they to open on April 1st?
This is the question that I have seen repeatedly asked within the past week or so. With all that we know, it is an incredibly difficult question to answer. We are facing a situation that has not occurred in recent memory. At the time of writing this, we are seeing quite a bit of spread of illness which could be ongoing for a while longer. Across the US, we are seeing groups being limited to under 50 and in some areas under 10 people. They will be unable to fully open until after these are lifted after the illness has passed or at least drastically subsided.
When the parks initially closed down, it was with the understanding that it would be only a temporary closure. This leaves it very up in the air with the April 1st date kinda just thrown out there. After the initial closure, Disney Springs and the hotels were then closed several days later. Recommendations at that time were based on a 2-week closure, but we are seeing this recommendation expanded on, on a day to day basis. This has now been recommended for up to 8 weeks. This makes predicting when will Disney reopen next to impossible.
Why April 1st seems unlikely
This is twofold, one is that CDC recommendations are to hold out for at least 2 months or 8 weeks to prevent a resurgence. No matter what politicians are saying, listen to the CDC. From this standpoint alone, it seems less likely. At this point, we are only about a week or so into this recommendation. I would love to see Disney World and Disneyland reopen. But it needs to be done safely. The other thing that we have seen is that Disney has released all of the Disney College program students for the Spring. This doesn’t bode well for an early opening. However, they have continued the application process for the Fall.
Why haven’t we heard any more
We are about a week out from the original predicted reopen date, so why haven’t we heard any more about reopening. This is due to several reasons. The biggest one is that they don’t know what will happen for restrictions in the future. Things have changed quite rapidly over the past couple weeks and they don’t want to create more of a headache for themselves later on. There could easily be restrictions placed by the state of Florida for 2 weeks longer or more. Currently, this is up in the air as local/state governments are able to designate their own restrictions.
If they hold off making any announcements, they can slowly cancel upcoming trips rather than suffer a hurricane of phone calls to reschedule or cancel trips. As Olaf put it in Frozen 2, “controlling what you can when things feel out of control”. This helps to control mass panic and utilize resources better while things are up in the air. On the other side of the coin, they do not want people prematurely canceling their trips if things clear up before then.
Will this get better?
Of course, but it will take time. It may be 3 weeks from now or it could be 3 months from now. I feel bad for those that have had to cancel or reschedule their upcoming trips but know that it is warranted that they stay close at this point. Disney World and Disneyland may have reopenings similar to Shanghai, where it is phased openings. This seems like the most likely reopening to prevent complete overcrowding and prevent issues with staffing. With that being said, this is unknown as well. I would like to see Disney open back up before May 2020. But this may be a little too optimistic and could be towards the end of May before all is said and done.
At this point, I would not cancel any trip plans until more is announced by Disney. Most of this is solely speculation and would wait for updated announcements before making any drastic changes.
What are your thoughts on when will Disney reopen? Let us know in the comments below