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Florida Moves On: Disney World Ditches Major COVID Restriction

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Preparing to enter the new year on a happier note, Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, has announced it will bring back the Park Hopper ticket option beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

The Park Hopper Program normally allows Disney guests to visit two or more of the resort’s several parks in a single day, including the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

According to a DisneyParks Blog post published Nov. 20, the  reintroduction comes with some limitations, however.

Guests will be prevented from park-hopping more than once in a day and won’t be permitted to journey to their second theme park until 2 p.m. or later.

The announcement does nothing to alter Walt Disney Company policy requiring guests to make reservations for the first park they wish to visit in a day, but no reservation is required for entrance into a second park — though guest count and reduced-capacity limits might hinder entry.

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The changes were announced to provide customers more bang for their buck while allowing Disney Parks leadership to control guest attendance as well as promote key health and safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of those measures includes the resort-wide enforcement of a policy requiring all guests age 2 and older to wear a face covering within Disney parks and entertainment areas.

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The famous resort was forced to close temporarily this past March, when coronavirus transmission rates first spiked in the United States. Relaxed public health policies in Florida allowed the resort to reopen this past July, but with stringent safety protocols.

The park’s California counterpart, Disneyland Resort, remains closed, for the most part.

Resort leadership did reopen part of Disney’s California Adventure Park for shopping and dining recently. On Nov. 19, thousands of Disney fans waited in lines nearly a mile long for an opportunity to re-enter the beloved park, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It was the first time since March that guests were allowed entry at any part of the Disneyland Resort.

The California Adventure Park’s main shopping and dining center, Buena Vista Street, was the only portion open to the public, the Chronicle reported.

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This isn’t the first time a Disney Parks location has seen excitement over a partial reopening.

According to The Orange County Register, Downtown Disney reopened its Central Florida eateries July 9 after roughly a four-month closure. The location is another one known for offering guests top-of-the-line shopping, dining and live performance experiences.

Every guest interested in entering the open portions of the Disneyland Resort is required to undergo a contact-less temperature screening on the way in — a health and safety measured implemented with the help of regional Hoag Health Network hospital staff members, the Register reported.

Walt Disney Company executives had planned to fully reopen Disneyland on July 17 but were forced to backtrack because of redoubled public health restrictions ordered by California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom.

Most of the resort will remain closed indefinitely until those restrictions are lifted.

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Sarah Hohn is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is a current junior at Grand Canyon University majoring in government with an emphasis in legal studies. She possess a certificate in criminal law.
Sarah Hohn is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is a current junior at Grand Canyon University majoring in government with an emphasis in legal studies. She possesses a certificate in criminal law.




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