A “significant reduction” in capacity is planned as Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Florida prepare to reopen from Saturday after almost four months.

Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will be followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.

The Orlando parks’ reopening after Covid-19 shutdown is being staged with a “deliberate, responsible approach” drawing on experience from Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Springs.

Despite the changes, the fundamentals of a Disney theme park experience remain the same, the company insisted.

However, capacity will be limited to promote social distancing and new protocols introduced during the phased reopening.

All guests aged over two years, along with cast members, will be required to wear an “appropriate” face covering over the nose and mouth at all times.

Visitors will be required to undergo temperature screenings prior to entry.

An unspecified limited number of guests will be able to visit each theme park each day to promote social distancing.

Limits will also be in place for indoor locations within the parks, such as shops and dining locations.

With traditional character greetings and parades will be “on hiatus” during the phased reopening.

“Disney characters will appear in new and different ways throughout all four theme parks, bringing smiles to guests’ faces while maintaining proper physical distancing,” Disney said.

“Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing throughout the parks, including attraction queues.

“Physical barriers will be in place in select locations where maintaining a proper physical distance from others may be difficult.

“Aspects of a Disney theme park day have been re-examined in light of the new global environment, with new policies following guidance from health experts and government agencies.

“In addition to limits on attendance and controlled guest density, new procedures will be in place for park entry, attractions, dining, retail, transportation and more, with the well-being of guests and Disney cast members at the forefront of planning.”

 

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chief medical officer Dr Pamela Hymel said: “Our deliberate and phased approach at Walt Disney World Resort emphasises multiple layers of health and safety measures.

“We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to our reopening, after considering the guidance of various governmental authorities and health agencies, and recommendations from our team of health and safety experts.

“We’re also actively working with industry groups and research universities to discuss best practices.”