Theme Park Bits: Disney Springs And CityWalk Reopening, Other Park Opening Dates, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Disney Springs and Universal Studios Orlando's CityWalk have begun to reopen.
  • The Disney Parks area have some new leaders.
  • And more!
  • As you've no doubt heard, Disney Springs has begun to reopen its doors, a few days after CityWalk at Universal Studios Orlando did the same. You may well have heard about a number of very angry commenters on this very blog post at the Disney Parks Blog, who are quite perturbed, let's say, at the notion of having to protect themselves and those around them while doing something frivolous. Or, if you like, they're perturbed at having to wear masks when they go to the shopping and dining destination at the Walt Disney World Resort, where even Disney-owned locations open up by the end of the month.

    I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you readers that you absolutely should be wearing a mask everywhere you go, for health and moral reasons. (All of you, being smart, right-thinking people, are aware that every scientist worth their salt is saying that wearing masks will help lower the spread of coronavirus by 75%. I shouldn't even have to link to that – you already know it!) Anyway, the signs so far from CityWalk have been encouraging, with helpful social-distancing reminders, shrewd new rules throughout the destination, and guests who are wearing masks calmly, and not throwing a childish temper tantrum. Good on them. With Disney Springs now reopening its doors, hopefully those who are actually in attendance, as opposed to those feeling comfortable leaving angry comments even though they were probably never going to visit the parks again, will follow suit and respect the new normal.

    At Disney, things continue to shift in the executive suite even during a pandemic. You may have heard the news about how Kevin Mayer, who previously ran Disney+, has left to become the CEO of TikTok. That shift has led to a couple of other executive changes: Josh D'Amaro, previously the president of Walt Disney World, has now become Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, which was Bob Chapek's previous job. Jeff Vahle has become the new president of Walt Disney World Resort. As a fellow Josh, I only wish the best for Mr. D'Amaro.

    Over at the Disney Cruise Line, you may be hoping that since the continental resorts have reservations available on July 1, the same will be true of the cruises. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you (I am, really), but that's not the case. As of last week, the Disney Cruise Line began canceling its reservations up to July 28. I don't particularly want to find myself on an enclosed cruise ship anytime soon, but do you.

    "Ah," you're thinking, "enough about Disney! Enough about Universal! What about other theme parks?" OK, I get that we're in quarantine, but no need to yell. Over at the Orange County Register, there's a handy article you can review covering a number of theme parks outside of the big names that are set to reopen soon. In Tennessee, Dollywood can open up as soon as May 22, and parks in Wisconsin, Idaho, Indiana, and more are also set to reopen in the next few weeks. Now, if it was me, I wouldn't go within a mile of these places until there's a drastic reduction of cases of coronavirus, or a vaccine. But...again, you do you.