Disney World was closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But starting from Saturday, it is opening its doors for visitors to its flagship theme park in Orlando, Florida.
However, Disney will open in phases. In its phases opening on Saturday, it is opening its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks. It will also reopen EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15.
As Disney reopens it is implementing safety measures. Though there is risk involved in the reopening of the theme park as cases of coronavirus are rising in Florida.
However, in normal days it was a task to manage the massive workforce at Disney. The resort has more than 75,000 cast members ( employees) and is visited by millions of people every year.
In the Magic Kingdom about more than 20 million people visited in 2018 because of the attraction like Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain.
Disney World is “the heart of the brand,” according to Trip Miller. He is a Disney shareholder and managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners.
“When you think about Disney, I think for a lot of people, Disney World immediately comes to mind,” he said.
The Florida Department of Health reported new cases on Tuesday. The number of new cases is more than 10,000. However, the state’s total number of affected people is more than 220,000.
However, the employees are asking the company to delay the reopening as the number of cases is increasing. The head of the union representing Disney World’s service workers to warn that Disney has to get it right in terms of the reopening.
“To me, the risk is not just a potential outbreak at the parks. But it’s the quick evolution of the virus,” Miller said. “Even if Disney has done everything possible to combat the spread of the virus. As it seems it has, how do you plan for something that seemingly changes every day?”
Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, in May, said that it is safe to return to the park.
“I think what we can say is that we’ve done everything we can to open up responsibly,” Chapek said. “Taking the guidance of local health officials, state health officials, national health officials. Plus our own well qualified doctors on staff to create an environment to create new operating procedures, to create new policies, to do new training, new standards of hygiene.”
But things have changed a lot since May.
Ensuring Safety of Employees and Guests
Dr. Pamela Hymel, the chief medical officer for Disney Parks wrote a post that Disney is focusing on ensuring all kinds of safety measures. As it cares about its employees and guests.
“From increased cleaning and disinfecting across our parks and resorts, to updated health and safety policies. We have reimagined the Disney experience so we can all enjoy the magic responsibly,” Hymel wrote. “We implemented our health and safety measures after considering the guidance of government and local health authorities.”