I was supposed to go to Disney World the week everything closed down. We probably could have switched our tickets and gone right before it closed but decided that wasn’t safe and just rescheduled our adventure to Hollywood Studios until things were safe. Now, with the park reopening, despite their safety measures, I have to say … it still doesn’t feel safe. The reopening just isn’t going that well.
From Disneyland in Hong Kong having to shut down once more because of a surge in cases in the city to reports of unsafe working conditions to Disney’s reopening video deservedly getting the meme treatment, it’s not a good situation at all. Hong Kong’s recent closure is different than the situation here in the United States. Their surge in cases is roughly 52 cases in one day. The state of Florida (which is home to Disney World) has been hitting totals from ten to fifteen thousand new cases per day. So … if 52 new cases were too much for Disneyland in Hong Kong, why is the United States still letting theme parks stay open?
To set the tone for the rest of the piece, here is that creepy Disney video edited to look like Stephen King’s The Stand.
So, we know that Disney World reopened. According to CNN, the experience is “worth it if you want it to be,” but I’m not sure park workers and their family members being put at risk agree, not to mention that I don’t think I honestly want to go to an already stressful park with the added stress that I could come out of the Magic Kingdom with coronavirus. That being said, according to Julie Tremaine’s 7 points about her trip to the reopened park, she seemed to enjoy the experience and felt like the park was taking it seriously, but honestly, with the way things are going in the U.S. and Florida in particular, taking it seriously would be not opening at all.
In those 7 points, was she taking into consideration those who are being forced to work in the midst of the pandemic? For many, they were furloughed by Disney, but with the potential end of enhanced unemployment benefits looming and the state of Florida and federal government refusing to look at the rising cases as a sign that they should not be reopening as they are, it’s less about those coming to visit the park and the “fun” to be had and more about those being forced to work in these conditions, even if there are preventative measures.
These employees are still being forced back to work and being put at risk so people can selfishly go to Disney World? What could you POSSIBLY need less than a trip to a theme park right now?
On the other coast, there is the reopening of Downtown Disney in California, and it doesn’t seem as if any of the guidelines are being followed other than wearing a mask, and it has employees understandably frightened, as California battles its own surge. Not only is the park no longer closed, but while supposedly safe and complying with guidelines, pictures from World of Disney (a store in Downtown Disney) shows that even that is very clearly not the case.
— Disneyland News Today (@dlnt) July 9, 2020
This was before Governor Newsom closing stores and indoor activities back down—but, in doing so, still left restaurants with outdoor seating open, meaning most of Downtown Disney can still run. Again, why the need to go down to Downtown Disney right now? It’s selfish, but the important part of it all is that you’re endangering the lives of the employees there and for what? To go eat at whatever restaurant replaced the Rainforest Cafe?
Both the state and the company are to blame for endangering people, especially in regards to the United States-based Disney Parks. The United States continues to see a surge in cases, particularly in both Florida and California, so opening up Disney is just asking for a disaster, no matter how “safe” everyone is being. Not only should states be mandating closures, but it should also be on the government to help those businesses and workers who would face financial struggles. Then, we wouldn’t have a situation like this where there is a freedom to open up despite the fact that they should not be.
People are mad at Disney, and rightfully so. We all should be mad—at Disney, at the state, at the federal government, and at anyone who is putting lives at risk unnecessarily.
(image: screencap/The DIS)
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