The magic is back but it doesn't feel quite the same. Disney World reopened over the weekend, and the photos coming out of the resort are kind of eerie. It was the first time in almost four months that the resort was welcoming guests into its theme parks and things are looking a little different.
On Saturday, July 11, the gates to the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom flung open their doors to let guests experience the Disney magic once again. However, the experience of the giant theme park resort was altered to meet the current realities of the world.
Cast members (Disney employees) were wearing masks, guests had to have their temperature checked before they even entered, and social distance was maintained and enforced throughout the park. No parades down Main Street USA or nighttime fireworks.
The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom certainly didn't feel like a typical summer day at the theme parks. In normal times, the parks are packed with people from all over the world, coming from near and far to experience the magic of the huge theme park resort.
Disney World normally prides itself on giving its guests a chance to escape the outside world, but that world has now, at least temporarily, been modified to keep everyone within their gates safe.
An Instagram user posted a picture of a deserted Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom.
"Seriously, where the hell is everyone?" she wrote in the caption, as the train on the roller coaster was running entirely empty.
Another user was able to sit on a deserted Main Street USA, something that would be impossible to do at this time of the year.
At least the socially distant crowd at the Magic Kingdom were able to get a more intimate view of the new Cinderella's Castle, which was repainted during the park's shutdown.
So far, no official reports or complaints have come in during Disney World's opening weekend. The resort is slowly reopening in phases, with Disney Springs being the first to do so back in May.
If all goes well, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT will follow within the next week.