Today, Disney’s Epcot and Hollywood Studios park opened their doors to guests for the first time since they closed on March 15. (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened on July 11.)
Sharp rise in Covid-19 cases
Rise of the Resistance is a very popular attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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Disney is continuing with its reopening plan despite Florida’s alarmingly high coronavirus infection numbers.
Disney, though, maintains that its newly enhanced safety protocols — such as hand sanitizer, mandatory masks and social distancing — are sufficient protection to keep cast members (its term for employees) and guests safe in the Florida resort’s hotels and theme parks.
What we’ll be watching today at Epcot
Epcot closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. CNN Travel will see what it’s like inside the park as it reopens today.
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That may have been true of the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, where the focus is primarily on rides, but one of Epcot’s main draws is its food and beverage offerings in the World Showcase.
In response to the pandemic closure, Disney is debuting the Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival today instead of in September. The event, one of the most highly anticipated events in all of Disney’s offerings, normally happens in the fall.
Twenty pop-up kiosks offering themed food and drink menus are added to the park.
The real question is this: How will Disney be able to enforce mask wearing during an event where guests are encouraged to stroll and graze? They likely won’t wear masks while doing so, given that people are allowed to remove masks while eating or drinking.
In addition to the new festival, which also incorporates elements of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival that was scheduled for the spring, the buzz in the park will be about the status of the park’s renovation.
Earlier this year, there were many barricades around construction projects in Epcot as part of the major renovation Disney announced at the 2019 D23 event.
Two new rides are in process, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the France Pavilion, originally scheduled to open this summer.
Spaceship Earth, an original ride from Epcot’s 1982 opening, was schedule to close for refurbishment in May to the dismay of many Disney purists, but it is now running as normal and the renovations are postponed.
Check back to this for updates throughout the day on what’s happening in Epcot.