It seems that The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida may be opening back up sooner rather than later.
Although we stress that there has been no official word from The Walt Disney World or the Walt Disney Company on plans to re-open the Walt Disney World, in an article from WDWNT, Orlando’s Mayor Demings agreed with the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force that the Walt Disney World can reopen “at their own discretion.”
The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force released the following statement: “Theme parks and other venues of that magnitude shall each develop their own specific and unique set of guidelines following the CDC recommendations and using best practices that will protect the life, health, and safety of their employees and guests. They will be permitted to open at their own discretion with their internally determined level of safe capacities throughout the various phases.”
The following safety guidelines were offered:
Guidelines for Hotels and Resorts:
- During Phase 1, housekeeping services should be limited; room service should follow new “contactless delivery” protocols (leaving items at guests’ doors); service items in guest rooms should be removed (i.e. glassware, coffee cups, mini bars, coffee makers); self-parking, and mobile check-in. The latter Disney has already implemented into the My Disney Experience app for upcoming Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservations.
Guidelines for Restaurants:
- Only paper/disposable menus should be used; takeout and/or online orders encouraged; bartenders must sanitize their hands after each drink order, and tables must be set up 6-feet apart. During Phase 1, restaurant and bar capacity will be limited to 50%. During Phase 2, restaurant and bar capacity will be limited to 75%.
Guidelines for Retail:
- Within checkout lines, there should be markers to ensure people are 6-feet apart, and all counter-tops, railings and door surfaces must be regularly wiped down.
Guidelines for Larger Theme Parks (overall):
- There should be tape markings of 6-feet in ride queues; staff must wipe down surfaces regularly. During Phase 1, parks may reopen at 50% capacity. Phase 2 will expand capacity to 75%. Of note: Seniors ages 65 or older are still encouraged to stay home through Phase 2 reopenings.
Chuck Whittall, the president of Unicorp, commented in regards to theme park openings, including the Walt Disney World Resort, that, “Ultimately, they’re going to be judged by the marketplace. If guests feel safe, they’ll show up. If they don’t, they’re not.”
Not specifically stated in the above, but that has been expressed as being needed as well, are Cast Members to were face masks, touchless hand sanitizer dispensers at turnstiles, ticket gates and all ride entrance and exits, as well as potentially taking guest and Cast Member temperatures.
After weeks, and in reality months, of constantly depressing news on SARS-COV-2, also known as COVID-19 and in some cases “the novel coronavirus” this is good news. Not just for the Walt Disney World Resort fans, but to everyone – indicating that perhaps we are on the downslide side of this pandemic, and a chance to return, albeit slowly, to a state of normalcy.