Many industries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic but there has always been hope that they’d be able to bounce back eventually. The hospitality and tourism industries, however, maybe not be so lucky, at least until vaccines or cures have been discovered and developed. Nonetheless, there will definitely still be a need to gets hotels, resorts, and theme parks reopened and Disney thinks July would be a good time to gamble reopening its myriad destinations and experiences in the US.
Disney definitely received no small amount of criticism in how it handled the coronavirus situation. It wasn’t until March when it decided to shut down operations to prevent the risk of further spreading the virus but, even then, its closing event drew crowds that naturally didn’t practice any form of physical distancing. Despite being a giant entertainment corporation, Disney reportedly suspended paying half its workforce just a month after it closed those venues.
Employees might now have mixed feelings about Disney’s announcement that it is proposing plans to reopen its properties starting next month. It will be a phased reopening, starting with the Downtown Disney District on July 9, its theme parks on July 17, and Hotels on July 23.
Fortunately, Disney doesn’t seem to be so stubborn to throw all caution to the wind and will implement new policies to limit the number of people in those locations. It will also hold off on events and attractions that draw large crowds, like nighttime spectaculars and meet and greets. Characters will still be there to entertain guests, though, hopefully, while encouraging and practicing social distancing.
Of course, all of these still depends on the approval of local and state regulators, some of whom may not be so keen on doing so considering current events in the US. Despite its best efforts, it’s also unclear whether Disney will be able to enforce those regulations considering how venues like theme parks are often the last places you’d expect people to stay away from each other, especially when it comes to interacting with personnel and actors.