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Disney World's official reopening is set to begin on July 11 and be complete on July 15. Disney CEO Bob Chapek talked with CNN Business to discuss how the reopening will take place, how the theme park will be safe for its 70,000 employees and millions of visitors, and the process it will take to eventually get the park back up to 100 percent capacity. Disney World and Disneyland were forced to close like many other businesses a few months ago due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 worldwide.
When discussing how Disney World plans to stay safe and follow health officials' guidelines during its reopening, Chapek described some new rules.
"Taking the guidance of local health officials, state health officials, national health officials, plus our own well qualified doctors on staff to create an environment to create new operating procedures, to create new policies, to do new training, new standards of hygiene," Chapek said. "So that when a guest comes in we can continue the trust that guests have always had with the Walt Disney Company and enjoy the parks so they can make those magical memories that last a lifetime."
Aside from both the themed cast and other employees having to wear masks, and tape being used across the park to ensure six feet distance, Chapek said they plan to enforce these new rules even during the hot Florida summer.
"We're going to enforce that rule," he asserted. "It's for everybody's safety. We've had a great experience in Shanghai. And so far the experience at Disney Springs, after only a short week, is that guests are willing to wear the masks because they know that it's for everyone's good. ... You know, I've had this mask on pretty much the whole day, and you just forget about it after a while, and I think that's going to be a part of maintaining the magic."
Disney World Shanghai has been open again since May 11, and tickets for its reopening sold out within minutes of going on sale. Chapek also said that despite Disney World in Orlando, Florida opening at a limited capacity, he's still optimistic that the brand loyalty that Disney generates will carry the park.
"So, really, our strength in the past is our strength in the future," he said "And that's what will drive us to that restoration of the magic. And so, I'm bullish about the future. I'm extremely bullish about the Walt Disney Company and its ability and its mission to create those magical memories that last a lifetime."