A phased reopening of Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando is planned to begin on July 11 following closures due to Covid-19.

Confirmation came following the reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Plans have been submitted to authorities in Florida for the staged reopening of Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.

A spokesperson said: “In preparing to reopen during this unusual time, we have to manage our theme parks in a very different way from what we’ve known before.

“As we begin to reach out to our cast members and call them back to work, they will be focused on operating our parks in a responsible way that continues to give our guests opportunities to create magical Disney memories.”

The phased reopening will limit attendance and control the density of visitors to align with guidance on physical distancing.

That means parades and night-time spectaculars will return at a later date.

‘High-touch’ experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable.

“Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as we welcome guests back to the magic, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance,” the spokesperson said.

“At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations.

“Existing ticket holders and annual passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold.

“We will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time.

“Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

“Additional information on enhanced health and safety measures and operational changes for reopening locations will be shared soon.

“These policies are under continuous review and are subject to change as we monitor conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities.”