Destinations and resorts are making significant changes to reopen safely and welcome guests in the first step to resuming normalcy. Many places have stated that they aren't operating at 100% yet and are working to make sure expectations for visitors are met. It’s important to still practice social distancing when possible and continue to wear a face mask. While plans of reopening vary between states, here’s how some of our favorite destinations and resorts plan to open their doors to eager guests…

Walt Disney World, Florida

Cast members are being called into to work and they’re ready to bring the magic back. Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida has submitted a proposal to reopen on July 11. Pending approval, the phased approach to open Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. Certain experiences that usually draw large groups such as parades and nighttime spectaculars will return at a later date that has not been announced yet. Experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be seen throughout the parks.

walt disney world resort
Walt Disney World Resort

Disney has reevaluated operations of their parks to abide by social distancing and safety precautions. It’s hard to imagine an amusement park without crowds, but it will begin at a limited capacity. There’s a new reservation system to manage attendance -- new ticket sales are paused so the park can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations from the last few months.

More From Redbook
preview for HDM All sections playlist - Redbook US:

The FastPass+ service will be suspended as Disney plans to use additional queue space to manage capacity at attractions and maintain physical distancing. Extra Magic Hours will also be suspended, but keep in mind the limited capacity will offset long lines that were seen in the past.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas are planning to welcome guests back via commercial airlines both international and domestic along with hotels, vacation rentals (including Airbnb) and transportation starting July 1.

the bahamas
Dorgie Productions//Getty Images

“Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector. We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone, and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.”

Travelers should expect to follow The Bahamas’ "Healthy Traveler Campaign" that encourages both visitors and residents to continue practicing social distancing measures, regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizers, and pack appropriate PPE such as face masks, just as they would wear their swimsuits and sunscreen.

At airports and seaports, temperature screenings for all incoming visitors will be conducted by healthcare personnel. Travelers will be required to wear a face mask in any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim. When departing, flights will be scheduled to every other gate to provide as much distance between flights as possible, and greater time will be provided for boarding to ensure that physical distancing can be maintained.

the bahamas
Levente Bodo//Getty Images

Safety measures across accommodations, travel and excursions will be applied including limited capacity. In restaurants, buffets will be discontinued until further notice and all meals must be single or prepackaged. Staff members must always wear masks and gloves and businesses must utilize disposable menus, offer the options on monitors or static display boards.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Currently in Phase 2 (no more than 50 people together), Las Vegas is ready to bring travelers back for a great weekend getaway. H. Fletch Brunelle, Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says, “Las Vegas offers an escape from the everyday. With limited restraints in reopening, there is good demand in Chicago, Houston and Dallas. We recognize that road trips are going to be much more popular now and have focused our marketing efforts to regions such as Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles.”

This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Watch onWatch on YouTube IconWatch on YouTube icon for video media
This is an image

A growing number of resorts have reopened, outlining the safety measures they have taken and what to expect. Casinos have new cleaning procedures and guidelines to give the safest and most enjoyable experience to guests. Reopened resorts include: Bellagio, MGM Grand and The Signature, New York-New York, Wynn, Caesars Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and more.

Before COVID-19, Las Vegas had become a growing attraction for Gen Z. A short ride outside of the Las Vegas Strip, there’s many outdoorsy activities such as 7 Magic Mountains, Red Rock, ATV riding, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

seven magic mountains
George Rose//Getty Images

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head is taking a unique approach utilizing members of their community. Nine teams will address specific industries and sectors, working to craft solutions in The Southern Beaufort County area to successfully reopen to their community and travelers. The nine teams include: small business, retail, faith organizations, restaurants, arts & culture, hotel, home & villa, early childhood and recreation/attractions.

Known as "America’s Favorite Island," this strategy shows how much heart is in this tourist destination, where it’s not always about the tourists but also about the residents that call it home.

This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Los Cabos, Mexico

This summer, Los Cabos plans to have tourists back with resorts opening as early as July 1. Upon arrival at the Los Cabos International Airport, travelers will find the airport has implemented several measures to help protect the travelers and contain the spread of the virus. This includes the implementation of health screenings to detect and isolate travelers suspected to be infected with the virus. The airport will have insight into potentially sick passengers by use of thermal imaging to monitor and identify passengers with temperatures higher than 99.0 degrees, and by requesting passengers complete a risk factor questionnaire to assess their health and recent travels. The airport has also implemented strict social distancing measures to help both travelers and staff to maintain a safe distance of six feet from each other at all times.

los cabos
Los Cabos Tourism

Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, explains, "Hotels, bars, and restaurants will be opened under newly created health and safety guidelines that have been adopted across the destination. Operators will have had to obtain a 'Clean Point' (Punto Limpio) certification that is offered by the Mexico federal government to strictly adhere to consistent hygiene protocols. These establishments will further be implementing measures for safe social distancing and limited shared contact with staff and other guests where possible."

Los Angeles, California

Most Museums (such as The Getty), Griffith Observatory and the Los Angeles Zoo are looking forward to welcoming visitors back later this summer but an official date has not yet been announced.

hollywood sign
Mat Weller

Hotels are planning to open their doors again including brand new Hotel June located on Los Angeles’ Westside. Debuting June 22, this lifestyle hotel -- a stylish and uplifting place with a true California vibe invites frequent stays for travelers while also offering an essential setting for locals to gather.

universal citywalk
Universal Hollywood CityWalk

Universal CityWalk is the boardwalk area with restaurants and retail stores before entering Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal Studios Hollywood remains closed at this time. Universal CityWalk is implementing new health and safety measures that focus on screening, spacing and sanitization. A single point of entry now welcomes guests to the destination along with temperature checks and required face coverings. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted to enter. The selected restaurants and stores that are opened have adjusted to follow social distancing practices with rigorous cleaning and disinfecting at all touch points.

This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Barnsley Resort, Georgia

"Connecting with nature has always been at the center of every experience at Barnsley Resort, and now, more than ever, we’re pleased to serve as a remote destination where travelers can escape for some rest, relaxation, and outdoor adventure,” said David Friederich, President, Barnsley Resort. “With thousands of acres and 150 guest rooms, Barnsley Resort is naturally poised to offer an outdoor escape with room to explore. Since the resort's 39 individual cottages offer private accommodations with multiple bedroom options, a truly secluded respite is just a short drive away."

barnsley resort
Barnsley Resort

Recently reopened (June 12), guests are welcome to enjoy elevated Southern cuisine at the recently renovated Woodlands Grill as well as dine at the al fresco Beer Garden with its new pizza oven, along with enhanced take-out dining. Barnsley Resort is located 60 miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia. When it’s time to play, guests have the lay of the land to explore and can soak in nature’s beauty through UTV rides and sporting clays at the Beretta Shooting Grounds, horseback riding, canoeing, trails for hiking and biking, catch-and-release fishing, fly fishing lessons, access to the Manor House Ruins and Gardens and more. The 18-hole Jim Fazio course and Golf Performance Center are also currently open. Some resort amenities are slated to open at a later date including The Spa and Rice House restaurant.

Whether it’s heading across the country on an airplane, or road-tripping a few hours away from home, remember to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings. Everyone is working together to bring back the joy of a vacation. Perhaps re-openings and restrictions will lead you to a destination that wasn’t originally on your list -- the adventure still awaits.

Headshot of James Barrett
James Barrett
James is a journalist covering everything from travel, interviews, personal essays to lifestyle and entertainment. He's a Syracuse University alum and New Jersey native.