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Update on Seasonal Events at Walt Disney World Resort…from Happenings to Safety Measures

Tonight we got a new update on how Disney is continuing to prepare for the reopening of the theme parks next month, taking a measured and deliberate approach to their planning that applies appropriate new health and safety measures. They are continuing to follow guidance from government and health officials for responsibly operating the theme parks, so they can make the right adjustments to our offerings, including the much anticipated upcoming fall events. 

One staple of the fall season at the Walt Disney World Resort is the annual EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Today, Disney is pleased to share that not only have they cooked up a creative, modified festival experience, it will also be one of the longest festival yet – giving you plenty of time to enjoy “A Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival!” I have to say I am super excited to hear this!

This new take on the foodie festival will debut July 15 and continue through the fall, offering over 20 signature global marketplaces like Hawaii, Hops & Barley, and Islands of the Caribbean, spaced out around the park. And, if you’ve ever imagined a world where the floral fun of Flower & Garden is sprinkled in with the global goodies of Food & Wine, here’s your chance – guests will be able to see the newest topiary, Remy, in the France pavilion and find Flower & Garden merchandise. For scavenger hunt fans, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt returns. And stay tuned as Food & Wine merchandise joins the fun later on after the festival begins. 

One of the unavoidable casualties for this year will be the popular musical acts during the “Eat to the Beat Concert Series” often pack the house and, in an effort to accommodate proper physical distancing, they will not be able to host these concerts this year. There will be plenty of music to enjoy at America Gardens Theatre with local EPCOT entertainment such as Mariachi Cobre, the JAMMitors and more. These fan favorites will spread out their performances throughout the day, giving audiences more options to enjoy them. 

While assessing another fall special event, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, we determined that many of its hallmarks – stage shows, parades and fireworks – are unable to take place in this new, unprecedented environment. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Additionally, Disney H2O Glow Nights, the nighttime special ticket event at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, will not take place for the remainder of 2020. Guests who have already bought tickets to these events will be assisted with refunds over the coming weeks.

Looking ahead to the holiday season, this may spark questions about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, which includes the Candlelight Processional. Disney is monitoring this new and never experienced before environment closely, and will make a decision on these events as we continue to learn more from government and health officials. As always, Disney’s goal is to explore every option and look at ways in which they can still host events and festivals full of Disney magic, while still operating responsibly with the health and safety of our guests and cast members in mind.

In a statement from Dr. Pam Hymel and Josh D’Amaro, making sure that safety is the priority for cast members and guests is at the forefront of the reopenings here and around the world.

As explained in the statement; “We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to our reopening, after considering the guidance of various governmental authorities and health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and recommendations from our team of health and safety experts. We’re also actively working with industry groups and research universities  to discuss best practices.

At both parks, this includes reducing capacity; temperature checks for guests prior to entering our theme parksincreasing cleaning and disinfecting, especially in high-traffic areas; adjusting experiences to accommodate physical distancingrequiring face coverings for guests 2 and older; and empowering our guests with options like contactless payments and easy access to handwashing and hand sanitizer locations.

Our deliberate and phased approach at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort emphasizes multiple layers of health and safety measures. And as always, our cast members are at the center of our approach. We’ve already adopted a number of important guidelines for cast members at work at the Walt Disney World Resort, such as increasing the frequency of cleaning in work areas, adjusting our work practices to promote physical distancing, requiring temperature checks and wearing face coverings. We are also working with our unions to responsibly and thoughtfully implement these health and safety guidelines at the Disneyland Resort. As reopening approaches, we’re providing our cast with additional training on both new measures and the continued importance of personal health best practices, such as handwashing, covering coughs and of course, staying home when ill.”

Promote Safety Together
Many of the actions we all take in our daily lives to help reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 are designed to help protect not only ourselves, but others as well. For example, I wear a face covering in public spaces because it may help protect you, and in turn, you wear a face covering because it may help protect me.

When you wear a face covering during your visit, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or even make the important decision to reschedule to another day if you’re not feeling well, you help make the experience safer for everyone.

This shared responsibility is an important strategy to help reduce the risk of infection. And so, when we come to the theme parks for the first time after reopening, we will find not only enhanced health and safety measures, but also a special group of cast members that are trained to share information about the new policies. They will be available to explain the new procedures, answer questions guests may have, and encourage everyone to follow these measures so we can all have a safer visit to the parks.

We hope you’ll also be interested in our new Incredibles-themed health and safety campaign . This campaign spotlights healthy behaviors that can help everyone have a magical experience, featuring beloved characters from the Incredibles animated movies.

DisneyParksBlog; Walt Disney World Media; Spokesmayne