After closing because of the coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney World Resort has officially reopened two of its four parks — Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. (Epcot and Hollywood Studios are set to reopen Wednesday).
Over the past week, all eyes have been on Disney World as it prepared for its reopening — one day shy of four months since it closed.
With Florida’s recent surge in Covid-19 infections, some have questioned whether the park should have postponed opening day. But on Saturday morning, thousands of fans walked through the gate to be among the first to reenter the Magic Kingdom.
The park they walked back into, though, is not the same park they left. The old park thrived on quantity, cramming as many people as possible into ride queues and rewarding those who lined up early in the morning with coveted boarding passes to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
That park would let you run up to Mickey and hug him, even with no clear idea of who had just done the same thing or when that suit had last been cleaned. That park didn’t have to worry about whether the invisible spray from someone screaming with delight on a roller coaster would unintentionally infect the person in the next seat.