Disney World, Disneyland may not be the same post-coronavirus. Here's what could change

Guests stroll through Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida before it was shut down to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

By Devoun Cetoute

The Miami Herald

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leads a Re-Open Florida Task Force and says the state is seeing a flattening of the coronavirus curve, buzz about seeing popular businesses and attractions opening is alive.

One nonessential business that has Floridians itching about its possible reopening is Walt Disney World. But what would a reopened Disney look like post-coronavirus?

Disney parks in the United States, Disney World and Disneyland, are still closed indefinitely and have no set reopening date. Disney recently furloughed 100,000 theme park and hotel workers amid the coronavirus shutdown, NBC News reported.

In order to get an idea of what Disney’s American theme parks might look like after their historic closure, one has to look overseas to Shanghai Disneyland Resort in China.

China, where the novel coronavirus originated, was hit hard by COVID-19, the highly contagious disease it causes. Mainland China has seen 88,582 cases and 4,632 deaths, according to The New York Times. Despite being the origin of the virus, the country is on a road to recovery with 77,861 people having recovered from it, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

This recovery led to the Walt Disney Co. reopening parts of Shanghai Disneyland.

On March 9, it reopened limited shopping, dining and recreational experiences in Disneytown, Wishing Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.

Disneytown and Wishing Park are comparable to Disney Springs at Disney World and the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland.

A host of safety and health measures have been introduced at the open locations at Shanghai Disneyland. Every guest entering the resort is required to undergo temperature screening procedures.

Guests must also wear a mask during their entire time at the resort, except when dining, and will be “reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants,” Disney said on its website.

These “reminders” can come in the form of taped marks on the ground indicating six feet and sticker boxes showing where people can’t stand.

Safety guidelines, such as requiring masks and putting markings on floors, are already being done in essential business throughout the U.S.

They are relatively easy to implement and because of this, theme park guests can also expect to see variations of these safety guidelines at Universal’s and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment’s parks when they reopen.

During a conference call on reopening Florida on Wednesday morning, John Sprouls, CEO of Universal Orlando Resort, said Universal would use technology to tell people to stand in line with social distancing. The park would also start with smaller crowds then scale up, the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau reported.

Although all these safety precautions may be taken, Floridians may not be ready to leave their homes even if businesses reopen. According to a poll by Quinnipiac University, a majority of Florida voters say they are not ready for the state’s stay-at-home order to be lifted.




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