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Walt Disney World - Horizon West Neighbors & What to Know for Reopening!

Tucked behind the whimsy of the Walt Disney World there are several different Central Florida communities that benefit from their magical neighbors. The proximity to such wonders affords many Horizon West and Orlando citizens with world class entertainment and restaurants just a 15 minute drive away. In fact, some residents especially those in Horizon West are so close that many of them make a point of taking walks around 8 PM every night to catch the beautiful nightly fireworks. Some may have noticed that the fireworks have gone quiet for the last couple months, and the sky has gone dark without the daily twinkle to end the day.

The Walt Disney Company, out of caution for their guests, closed the gates to their beloved Florida parks on March 16th. While many mourned the loss, it seemed to be the right decision in a world that was unprepared for the pandemic racing through the country. Disney wasted no time during their closure. New safety procedures have been implemented and put into place and now, Disney has announced their long-awaited reopening! Fans rejoiced and while the residents of Central Florida may not be seeing fireworks for a while, they will regain the area’s biggest source of world class entertainment and thrills. Cavalier is not a word that one can find being used to describe Disney’s modus operandi in reopening. Numerous safety measures have been put in place for the four parks to reopen. First, they are implementing a reservation system to maintain a lower capacity in the parks. These reservations can be made on the Disney website. Disney is also urging guests to utilize the My Disney Experience App as much as possible to familiarize themselves with the online system that affords less contact with Cast Members. Next, Disney is requiring face coverings to gain access to the parks as well as temperature screenings at the gates. This will be required not only for guests, but for cast members as well. Face coverings have been mandated in both Orange and Seminole Counties, so this policy is in compliance with local authorities. Disney has also made it clear that they will be enhancing their cleaning procedures and frequency, as well as adding more hand sanitizing stations throughout the property. Certain experiences will be limited or not available to avoid large groups or a lack of social distancing.

Fireworks will not be available during the phased reopening, as well as many of the larger stage shows. Any shows that will be open will be put at limited capacity to avoid large crowds. Character meet and greets have also been halted to lower the risk of exposure through touch. The reopening of Disney Springs bodes well for the reopening of the parks, as Cast Members have been working hard to maintain the CDC recommendations as well as the company policies. While Disney has not released a full list of restaurants that will be reopening with the parks, Disney Springs has reopened almost all of their food offerings. Disney Springs offers a vast array of cuisine types and dining experiences that will delight any Disney fan that has been cooped up in the house the last several months. Third party vendors have also been taking great care to adjust their normal standards of operations to ensure customer safety.

The Walt Disney Company has been a staple in the Horizon West villages since its founding in the early 1990s. As the Disney parks grew and expanded, so did HW. So many cast members, annual passholders and Disney Vacation club members call not only this community home, but Disney as well. It is inevitable living here to avoid the grasp of the magic and nostalgia of the Disney parks. It seems to be a great service to Disney’s fans and guests that they take such loving care of them, not only in their new procedures but also in the fact that they closed in the first place. When they knew they could not offer the same safety as before, Disney shuttered their windows and gates to allow themselves time to find the proper safety precautions. And now, they are opening when they know they are needed more than ever. Life may not have been kind to all of us in 2020 but Disney provides the perfect escape for many HW residents. One day, when the time is right, our night sky will once again light up with the sparkle of fireworks. But for now, Disney still offers the whimsy we so urgently yearn for.

Mike Spicer local Realtor, lives, works and enjoys Horizon West daily. If you ever have questions about the neighborhoods or homes in the area feel free to reach out to Mike directly he would love to help. This blog written by, the Michael Spicer, P.A. Team. We hope to see you real soon!

Michael Spicer, P.A.

Assoc Broker

Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes


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