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With yesterday's opening of Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, all four of Walt Disney World's theme parks are now open to the public again, albeit with a greatly reduced capacity. While the resort is clearly taking steps to try and keep guests safe, there's little question that there is still risk in opening the parks, especially in Florida where COVID-19 cases have seen a recent surge. Abigail Disney, the daughter of former Walt Disney Animation chief Roy E. Disney, is one of the people speaking out against the decision to reopen the parks.
Abigail Disney recently appeared on CNBC where the filmmaker argued that from her perspective, the data does not support the idea of reopening. According to Abigail Disney...
I’m not looking at the same information they’re looking at, but given what I do know ... I’m confused about how they think they can possibly protect their guests and their employees.
Walt Disney World was given approval by the state of Florida in late May to reopen the parks but because of the size and scope of Walt Disney World, it took several weeks to get the parks ready to welcome guests. Other Florida area parks, like Universal Orlando Resort, have been open since early June.
Walt Disney World is certainly taking significant precautions to make the parks as safe as possible. Temperature checks are done on all guests as they enter the parks and face coverings are required to be worn at all times. These steps will certainly greatly reduce risk but risk can't be completely eliminated. The possibility of contracting COVID-19 is still out there, and the odds are greater for those at higher risk. Abigail Disney is especially concerned for the Disney World cast members who might not feel safe going back to work, but, under the circumstances, don't feel like they have a choice.
I certainly know people who work there who are very uncomfortable, who have conditions like asthma and diabetes that put you at high risk, who are literally deciding whether they want to go back to work or buy food.
Thus far, at least anecdotally, things seem to be going well at Walt Disney World. Masks are being worn and the parks are empty enough that social distancing can be maintained. Having said that, it will likely be at least a couple of weeks before we have a real sense of whether these precautions have been enough.
Disneyland Resort wanted to open its doors tomorrow, on the 65th anniversary of the park's original opening. However, the state of California, has decided to hold off on reopening theme parks for the time being and so Disneyland is without even an estimate as to when it might open its doors, even to a smaller capacity of guests.