Disney hasn’t been the most responsible in response to the coronavirus. They’ve been naively anticipating and planning to reopen their parks in July. They’re opening Disney World in July, despite the concerns of underpaid and often mistreated employees. In California, however, Disney won’t reopen Disneyland in July as previously planned.
Disney wanted to reopen the park on July 17th. They chalked up the delay to limited guidance from California official. They probably have bigger concerns than opening up a park and letting thousands of people cross paths with one another. In a statement, here’s how Disney explained the decision not to reopen Disneyland:
“The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.”
Disneyland Employees Don’t Feel Safe
Union leaders believe it is unsafe to reopen the California parks, most likely based on logic and statistics. In California, union leaders representing 17,000 Disneyland employees wrote to governor Gavin Newsom about the situation. 40,000 people signed a petition not to reopen the park, calling Disney “irresponsible and greedy.”
Disney World, on the other hand, will open its gates next month. Downtown Disney will open on July 9th, as bars and restaurants have now been open for sometime now in Florida. On July 11th, the parks will begin reopening. The company will take safety precautions. Visitors will have their temperatures checked, and park guests 2 and older must wear face masks. Not every part of Disney World will reopen, either. Playgrounds and character greetings won’t be available.
New Cases of Coronavirus in Florida
Disney claimed they wouldn’t reopen their parks until “COVID-19 cases are no longer rising and no longer posing risk of spreading this disease to our working cast/team members, their families, and our theme park guests.” Just the other day in Florida, the state saw its second highest single day in cases of COVID-19. Even Apple is closing 14 stores in the state as there’s a surge, and yet, Disney World is opening up its stores and parks in the next few weeks. On Monday, there are over 100,000 reported cases of coronavirus in Florida.
There’s a petition online calling the reopening dangerous with over 11,000 signatures. The petition called lives more important than money:
“With the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in Florida, the plan to re-open theme parks should be re-evaluated. The state’s proposed plan for re-opening theme parks would start at Phase 2, “after the successful conclusion of Phase 1, which includes a downward trajectory…this will occur when there is no evidence of a rebound or resurgence of COVID-19 cases.” Because of the increase in cases suddenly, it is clear that theme parks – a non-essential business – should not be planning to operate until the cases have gone down again.
The recent spike of COVID-19 cases is concerning due to our proposed opening in July. With a record high of 4,049 new COVID-19 cases in a single day on June 20, 2020, we are now backtracking from where we originally were. Retreating back to an earlier Phase in re-opening is our best option at not exposing the virus to thousands and thousands of theme park employees and their families. As individuals who work in the bustling tourism industry in central Florida, we are responsible for ensuring the safety of our guests and our fellow magic makers. Keeping ourselves and our visitors safe is our number one priority, in every theme park. This includes our health and wellbeing. We are encouraged to say something when we see something that we deem is unsafe so we’re speaking up.”