Most theme parks closed in March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But as parts of the country begin to lift stay-at-home orders, theme parks like Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort have announced their plans to reopen and their visions for creating a sanitized environment where they will try to keep park goers and employees safe.
Curious what to expect as some parks reopen and others prepare to do the same? We've rounded up everything you need to know about the parks that are opening post-pandemic and what you'll find when you make it through bag check and step into the world beyond.
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World (WDW) Resort in Florida has a plan in place for reopening the resort's four parks: Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom.
WDW will reopen Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot on July 15.
The parks will require face coverings for guests ages two and older and for employees. Temperature checks, social distancing barriers and new hand washing and sanitizing stations will be put into place. The parks will also add to their mobile food ordering options, use plexiglass barriers at food and shopping locations and encourage cashless payments.
WDW will pause all character meet and greets, parades and fireworks displays, as well as limit capacity for all attractions, transportation, shops and dining. Playgrounds and water features will also be closed for now.
WDW will implement a theme park reservation system, which will require guests to reserve a time slot inside the theme parks to help minimize the amount of people inside the parks.
WDW has updated the My Disney Experience app and website with park reopening dates and information, and added an alert to the app saying that guests "assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."
Disney has cancelled future FastPass+ selections, along with dining reservations, Disney Dining Plan purchases and free dining packages through September 2021. (Guests who have lost their free dining package will be given a 35% discount on a future Disney resort booking.)
WDW is pausing all new ticket sales, with existing ticket holders and annual pass holders able to access the upcoming theme park reservation system before new tickets are sold. Those already holding tickets will have first to access the new reservation system.
Select venues within Walt Disney World's shopping and dining area, Disney Springs, have been open since earlier in May, with similar precautions in place.
Disneyland in California has submitted plans for a phased reopening beginning with the opening of the Downtown Disney shopping and dining area on July 9.
Pending state and government approval, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park will reopen on July 17, with Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel reopening on July 23.
Like it's east coast counterpart, Disneyland will implement a theme park reservation system and temporarily pause all new ticket sales. Renewals and sales of annual passes will also be paused temporarily.
Parades and nighttime shows, as well as character meet and greets will also be put on hold, and the Disneyland website warns "certain attractions, experiences, services and amenities will be modified, have limited availability or remain closed."
While Disneyland plans to focus on cleanliness, physical distancing and reduced contact with others, specific requirements and safety procedures are not yet listed.
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort has reopened all three theme of its parks: Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure, as well as water park Universal's Volcano Bay.
Everyone is required to wear face masks inside the theme parks and guests must undergo mandatory temperature checks. Those with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to enter.
Social distancing measures are in place, with guests being asked to remain six feet apart from anyone not in their travel party. The theme parks are encouraging frequent hand washing as an extra preventative measure.
Select venues within Universal Orlando's shopping and dining area, CityWalk, have been open since early in May, with similar precautions in place.
Universal Studios Hollywood
While Universal Studios Hollywood has not yet announced plans to reopen their theme parks, CityWalk, the shopping and dining area located on the property, has reopened in limited capacity. Guests visiting CityWalk are required to wear face masks and have their temperature screened before entering.
Social distancing is being enforced through floor markings showing proper distance from other parties, and guests are being asked to be vigilant with hand-washing.
Disclosure: Universal Parks and TODAY share the same parent company.
Sea World Orlando
As of June 11, Sea World Orlando has reopened their three parks: Sea World, Aquatica and Discovery Cove.
A reservation to enter the theme parks must be made in advance online.
Once inside the parks, guests are required to wear face masks, have temperature screenings and follow social distancing guidelines. Extra cleaning will take place, and Sea World Orlando has installed plexiglass barriers between employees and guests in some areas. A cashless payment system will also be encouraged to minimize contact.
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The reopening also includes more spaced-out seating in restaurants, social distancing measures in animal interactions and lines, more frequent cleaning and staggered seating during shows and performances.
Character meet-and-greets will be conducted at a social distance, and hand sanitizer will be provided when entering and exiting rides and attractions.
The Sea World parks in San Antonio, Texas will reopen on June 19 with similar guidelines. There has not been a reopening date announced for Sea World parks in San Diego, California.
LEGOLAND Florida reopened on June 1, with increased cleaning and disinfectant measures and additional areas for hand washing and sanitation in place. Temperature checks are being administered at the park gates, and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to enter.
Face masks are recommended, but not required. The park also offers disposable face masks. Social distancing is recommended, and guests can expect limited capacity seating in restaurants and limits on the number of guests allowed inside stores.
Instead of height checks being performed at individual rides throughout the park, kids will be checked one time only at the park gates, then given a wristband indicating which attractions they can ride.
LEGOLAND California still has not indicated an official reopening date, although the Orange County Register has reported the theme park is hoping to reopen on July 1.
Tennessee theme park Dollywood will reopen on June 17, with advance reservations required in order to keep park capacity limited to a smaller number.
Unless eating, on water park attractions or riding some roller coasters, guests ages three and up are required to wear masks. Temperature screenings will take place prior to park entry, and attractions and dining areas will accommodate a limited number of guests to allow for social distancing.
Six Flags Frontier City
This Oklahoma Six Flags theme park was the first Six Flags park to reopen on June 5.
Guests visiting the park are asked to refrain from visiting unless they have been healthy for at least 14 days, and guests and employees are required to wear masks.
Reservations for park entry must be made in advance online.
Employees and guests are also subject to temperature checks, and social distancing will be enforced in ride lines, restaurants and other public areas. There are increased cleaning measures in place throughout the park, and some areas, like open buffet restaurants and self-service condiment stations, are temporarily closed.
Other Six Flag parks, such as Six Flags America in Maryland and Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, remain closed.
Cedar Point, an Ohio amusement park popular with roller coaster enthusiasts, will reopen to pass holders only on July 9-10, followed by opening to all guests on July 11.
Guests must reserve a time inside the park in advance, and will be required to complete a health screening on the Cedar Point app 24 hours prior to entering the park.
Face masks are required for guests and employees, and temperature screenings are mandatory before entering the park.
Cedar Point also plans for increased cleaning measures and limited capacity in areas throughout the park such as dining areas and restrooms.
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