Along with every other location where people tend to gather, most theme parks, including Disneyland and Walt Disney World, are currently closed for business. At Walt Disney World, all theme parks, hotels and Disney Springs, the Disney marketplace, are currently empty. Officially, the resort only plans to be closed through the end of March, but an extension to that initial plan is certainly possible, if not likely.
However, there is one part of the Walt Disney World Resort which is open, even throughout this unprecedented outbreak. According to its website (via BlogMickey) Walt Disney World's golf course, which includes an 18-hole course, as well as a 9-hole footgolf course (sort of golf meets soccer), is currently open. While Orange County, Florida, where the course is located, is currently under a "stay at home" order, golf courses are exempt from that order.
The order is in place until at least April 9, which would seem to keep most of the rest of Walt Disney World closed that long as well. While Disney's property as a whole straddles the line between Orange and Osceola Counties, all four theme parks are located within Orange County. This would keep Disney World mostly shuttered for an additional nine days beyond what the Disney has officially announced. Universal Orlando Resort has already announced it's going to stay closed until April 19.
While it may be open, things certainly aren't business as usual at the course. The course is requesting that green fees be prepaid online when tee times are scheduled. In addition, for those who do pay in person, cash will not be accepted, only credit/debit cards or Apple pay.
At first glance, any place at Walt Disney World being open seems strange, but when you think about it, golf is one leisure activity which lends itself to social distancing. It's a game that can be played alone or in a group that usually doesn't exceed four, and it requires a significant distance between each small group. It also gives you the ability to go outside and get some sun, which is something most of us could probably use at this point. I haven't played golf in years, but right now, it sounds like an absolutely fantastic thing to do. Though I'm guessing the best part of golf, hanging out at the bar after it's over, probably isn't available, and at the very least it's not recommended.
We're all trying to find ways to keep ourselves entertained when most other options, from theme parks to movie theaters, are closed. Considering those two places are where Disney makes a lot of its money, combined with merchandise, sold in stores that are also closed. Disney's golf course might be one of the company's more successful ventures right now.
Of course, while the course is open right now, that could change at any moment. Reactions to the coronavirus outbreak are always in flux and very greatly by state and even city. Golf courses in your own neck of the woods may or may not still be open. Though, without that Disney magic, is it even worth it?
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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