It’s been a tumultuous summer for all of us. The toll of social distancing and closures is weighing heavily, leaving people eager to get back to their routines and enjoying a bit of excitement in their lives.
Just last Sunday, Florida reported more than 15,000 new COVID-19 infections, a daily record for any state. This didn’t stop the sunshine state from reopening its doors to the happiest place on earth – Walt Disney World.
The Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom welcomed guests back this week in limited numbers, with face masks and temperature checks at the gates. Other precautions have been made, including empty rows of seats to ensure social distancing on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and employees constantly disinfecting ride vehicles and lap bars.
“In addition to providing employees with protective gear, the company added 4,000 hand-sanitizing stations, set up restaurants for mobile ordering and installed plexiglass partitions everywhere, including inside the queuing areas of rides,” said The New York Times.
Disney was hit on Twitter with backlash for their plans to reopen, with people calling the decision “irresponsible” and “greedy”. But only time will tell if Disney is able to keep its employees and guests healthy as they continue to roll out their reopening plan.
“People trust Disney, and we have a big responsibility to deliver on that trust,” Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park chairman, said to The New York Times. “As hard as the world is right now, this feels like a turning point — it’s a signal that people have hope.”
According to the CDC, Florida has more than 278,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second highest in the country after California.