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:
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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

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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