COVID-19

Disney World has plans to reopen this summer — but no hugging Mickey or Goofy

Nova Safo May 28, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The new Disney World will feature masks, temperature checks at the gate and no character meet-and-greets. Mariah Wild/Disney Parks via Getty Images
COVID-19

Disney World has plans to reopen this summer — but no hugging Mickey or Goofy

Nova Safo May 28, 2020
The new Disney World will feature masks, temperature checks at the gate and no character meet-and-greets. Mariah Wild/Disney Parks via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Disney World in Florida plans to reopen this summer, as it hopes to get back to business and avoid bleeding more cash.

Closing Disney’s theme parks has cost the company about a billion dollars, and that’s not even accounting for April and May.

Shanghai’s Disneyland opened on May 11, and if Florida’s governor approves, Disney World in Orlando will be next on July 11.

But the new Disney World will be decidedly un-Disney. Walt Disney World Senior Vice President of Operations Jim MacPhee explained in a presentation to Florida regulators yesterday.

“We will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds,” MacPhee said.

There will be more cashless transactions, a reservation system to get a ticket and temperature checks at the gate. Customers and staff will be required to wear masks before entering the park.

Also, visitors must keep distance from costumed characters — meet-and-greets are suspended. A so-called “social distancing squad” will be around to remind people of that.

Attendance will be capped below capacity, although there’s no word on exactly how far below. Disney’s Shanghai park began its reopening at 30% capacity.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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