Though Universal Orlando Resort is fully reopen as of today and nearby parks like SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are going to be reopening in just a few days, we've still got over a month to go before Walt Disney World will even start to reopen.
And though Disney has released some general information about their reopening procedures, including the suspension of FastPass+ service and cancellation of all parades, fireworks shows, etc. until further notice, there are still some unknowns about Disney's reopening while they figure out some important details moving forward. And even though plans may be coming together at the moment, there are a lot of factors coming up that could influence how Walt Disney World reopens next month.
1. Rising COVID-19 cases in Florida
Though cases of COVID 19 were on a downward trend in April and the beginning of May, the state has been seeing several spikes recently, with the state seeing its single highest case count last month on May 29 with 1,212 new cases reported and then hitting a new 45 day high on June 3, with a reported 1,317 new cases. While the growing cases may not have deterred SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, LEGOLAND Florida, or Busch Gardens Tampa from reopening in late May, early June, a lot can change between now and mid-July, and if cases continue to climb in Florida, Disney may be rethinking their opening strategy.
2. NBA and MLS Seasons
Though Walt Disney World is currently closed to guests (with the exception of Disney Springs), in a very short time the resort will be full of people as the NBA has invited 22 teams to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex to play eight regular season games before the playoffs begin at the facility. As part of the terms of the season restart, all players, coaches, and immediate family members will be required to stay at Walt Disney World hotels, which could eat up a not-insignificant percentage of Walt Disney World's 36,000 room inventory, making these rooms unavailable for guests.
In addition, it has been announced that MLS will also be resuming their current season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, though no information about teams has been released. Still, we'd imagine there will be a similar "on site" setup with MLS, with players, coaches, and family members all staying at Walt Disney World resort hotels.