What a socially-distanced Disney World will look like when it reopens – The Sun04/30/2020
DISNEY World could open as soon as June, according to officials in Florida- but it will be a very different experience.
A regional task force has laid out guidelines for the famous Orlando resort to eventually open for business after shutting down last month due to COVID-19.
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They announced that the park would only run at 50 per cent capacity with strict social distancing rules, ABC-TV reported.
The restrictions will make Main Street USA a lot less crowded and keep Mickey and friends at arm’s length from kids.
Park workers will have to wear face masks and have their temperature taken, and guests in the park’s long queues will have to stand six feet apart, according to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, a 44-member board appointed to plan the county’s eventual return to normalcy.
Mayor Jerry Demings has not announced a date for the reopening but has said it’s more likely to be in June than May – despite initial fears the park could stay closed until 2021.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who met with President Trump Tuesday, said he would announce plans for the state’s gradual reopening this week, with plans to lift the lockdown by May 4.
According to clickorlando.com, he explained: "For Florida going from where we are now to a phase one is not a very big leap.
"We’re going to approach it in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way."
When it does happen, guests of the theme park’s resort hotels will have to follow new “contactless delivery” protocols for room service, provide room service only upon request, and provide hand-sanitiser at park entrances, according to guidelines announced by the task force.
And visitors will have to park their own cars and will be encouraged to check themselves into the hotels, the Disney news site WDW News Today reported.
If all goes well, capacity will be bumped up to 75 percent at some point.
Nonetheless, employees are encouraged to work from home if possible, and those 65 or older “are encouraged to stay home.”
Other changes likely to be enforced are virtual queues, already in place for some rides at Disney World, as well as temperature checks at the gates.
Disney boss Bob Iger said in an interview to Barrons: "In order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they’re safe.
"Some of that could come in the form, ultimately, of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions."
"Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance."
Tickets could get more expensive – not only are Disney losing millions every day the park is closed, meaning huge profit drops, but with less park capacity, prices will need to go up to account for the missing guests.
Disney World has been closed since March 16, along with Disneyland California.
The US has the highest cases of coronavirus in the world, with more than 1 million confirmed infected and 60,000 deaths.
A version of this article was originally published by New York Post and has been reproduced with permission.
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