OTTAWA -- It is known as the happiest place on Earth, and fans can begin to plan their next trip to Disney World in Florida.

Disney Parks announced Wednesday that the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks will begin to re-open in July, with certain restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kim Hogeveen is a Disney super-fan, “It literally is the happiest place on Earth.”

She is one of many Canadians who are used to heading down to Florida to visit every year; she visits multiple times.

“To me, its home - I get there, I see the castle, I cry, nothing makes me happier than Disney.”

She has cancelled her family trip for this upcoming January because of the pandemic.

“Current situation with COVID, I don’t feel it’s safe for my family to go down. Physical distancing is going to be an issue.”

Walt Disney World plans to re-open on July 11, first with the Magic Kingdom and Disney Animal Kingdom. In a statement on their website, Disney writes:

“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. ... This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing.”

“It will look a little bit different,” says Jen Colombe. Colombe is an Ottawa-based travel agent with Clickthemouse Travel, which specializes in Disney trips. She is also a Disney super-fan.

“If I don’t get to go this summer, I will be going this winter for sure. I would definitely feel safe going there and knowing the measures that they have in place.”

The Walk Disney Work Resort Theme Parks will open with the following measures:

  • Requiring face coverings for any visitors 3-years-old and older, as well as all staff
  • Restrictions on attendance, no large group gatherings such as parades
  • ‘High-touch’ experiences such as makeovers and the famous character meet-and-greets will remain unavailable.

Hogeveen will wait until possibly 2022 to visit again. Until then, she says laughingly, “We have enough Disney around the house”