Disney Announces Plans To Re-Open Theme Parks Next Month, Face Masks Required

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, announced Wednesday that it plans to reopen its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks as early as July 11, but guests will find a host of changes to their “Disney experience.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, which has catalogued Disney’s woes since the company was forced to shutter its theme parks across the globe back in March, Disney released a plan Wednesday that has some of its parks opening as early as July 11th, just over a month away, with others, including EPCOT and Disney Hollywood Studios, opening some time later, coronavirus permitting.
Disney Springs, a non-theme park attraction at Disney World featuring mostly dining and retail, is already open to visitors.
The Magic Kingdom is Disney World’s central park, but Disney Hollywood Studios, home to the Star Wars-themed “Galaxy’s Edge” attraction, is currently the World’s biggest draw. Disney’s plan allows for the company to make a controlled roll out, implementing anti-virus policies that have worked in Disney parks in Asia (most of which are now fully open), with time to tweak them to serve a largely American consumer base.
Disney World guests will also be required to wear masks, and Disney says it is making no exceptions.
“We have strong language,” Jim McPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World, told the Sentinel about Disney’s new face-coverings policy. “They say they are required.”
The parks will also feature “social distancing squads,” “high energy” groups of cast members charged with enforcing strict social distancing. Guests will also be required to make reservations for park entry times, as the parks will be enforcing “attendance limits,” and will have to submit to temperature checks when entering.
Parades and other special events are suspended.
Disney parks around the world have been closed for at least ten weeks, leaving the company facing a possible $21 billion revenue loss from their themed attractions alone, according to the Orange County Register. “To put that mind-boggling loss into perspective, ” the paper notes, “that’s enough to pay for Shanghai Disneyland four times over. Disney’s $5.5 billion Chinese theme park resort opened in 2016.”
In Florida, the park closures have a human cost. “Disney is the region’s largest employer and the company’s self-initiated shutdown on March 16 left tens of thousands out of work,” the Orland Sentinel says. “Unemployment in Osceola County is the highest in the state at 20.3%, while 16.5% of workers in Orange County are without jobs.”
Disney parks in Asia have already reopened, though with similar, strict, anti-coronavirus measures. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, will be allowed to reopen when that state reaches “stage 3” of its coronavirus recovery plan.
Other Orlando, Florida, theme parks, like Universal Studios and Sea World, say they will follow Disney’s lead in reopening and have signed on to Disney’s rollout plan, with certain changes. Universal Studios will require all guests over age 2 to wear masks, and Sea World will require visitors to undergo mandatory temperature checks. Both parks will open sooner than Disney World, likely on June 11.
The theme parks’ plans are not yet final. Gov. Ron DeSantis must sign off in order for Disney to reopen.
Disney Announces Plans To Re-Open Theme Parks Next Month, Face Masks Required Disney Announces Plans To Re-Open Theme Parks Next Month, Face Masks Required Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on May 28, 2020 Rating: 5

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