The Orlando resort officially began it's phased reopening on July 11 after shutting down completely in mid-March 2020

By Nicholas Rice
September 18, 2020 03:08 PM
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Walt Disney World is continuing its phased reopening — with plans for 2021!

The Orlando resort has tentative plans to reopen one of its two water parks — either Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon — in March 2021, according to a change spotted by fans on the "Know Before You Go" page of the company's website. Both water parks had previously closed in mid-March amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"While Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park remain closed at this time, pending government approvals, we currently plan to reopen one of the two Disney water parks on March 7, 2021," the statement reads.

However, they have not yet decided which of the parks will get to reopen at that time.

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"We will provide more details on our phased reopening plan, including a decision on the specific water park that will be reopening first, at a later time," the statement continues. "This reopening date may change and if it does, we will let Guests know what to expect in a future update.

The update also notes that like other areas of the parks that have already been reopened, Disney hopes to "welcome back Guests and Cast Members to our water parks in a responsible way," with a plan "focused on health and well-being."

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Typhoon Lagoon, which opened in 1989, is themed around a mythical storm that ravaged a tropical island, notably leaving a ship speared on the peak of the fictional Mount Mayday. It features a massive wave pool and numerous "waterfall slides." Blizzard Beach opened in 1995 with an origin story about a freak Florida snowstorm. It centers around Mount Gushmore's vertical freefall slide, Summit Plummet, and features a ski resort-style chair lift.

The first water park to open at Disney World, the swimming hole-inspired River Country, closed in 2001.

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Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay water park and SeaWorld Orlando's Aquatica water park both reopened in June at the same time as those resorts' theme parks, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Disney World officially reopened on July 11 after shutting down all operations in mid-March due to COVID-19. According to USA Today, the Walt Disney Co. lost nearly $5 billion throughout April, May and June due to the closures. It also cost them a total of $4.5 billion just to close the parks.

With their reopening, Disney announced numerous new health and safety protocols that guests and staff are required to adhere to.

Disney is asking all guests ages 2 and older to wear a face mask at all times while inside their parks — except for when drinking and eating or visiting one of the parks’ “relaxation zones.” This includes while riding on any of the attractions.

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Other changes include requiring visitors to make reservations for each park online prior to admission, significantly lowering the number of guests allowed in, and reducing capacity on rides, various modes of transportation and in restaurants and retail stores.

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