(Photo courtesy nyt.com)
It’s true – The Happiest Place on Earth is reopening to visitors today even as confirmed coronavirus cases in the US hit record highs.
But of course, the Disney World experience will look a lot different. Face coverings will be required for all employees and visitors. Disney will take temperatures, leave seats empty on rides and run loudspeaker announcements urging people to frequently wash their hands.
- Plexiglass partitions have been installed in shops and restaurants.
- 4,000 hand-sanitizing stations have been added.
Disney has been more directly affected by the pandemic than many other large corporations. Its theme parks have been closed, Marvel movies have been postponed and ESPN has had no live sports to televise.
Michael Nathanson, a media analyst, estimates that Disney lost more than $1 billion between the beginning of April and the end of June. At this point, even the Hamilton bump won’t be enough.
The global pandemic—a rollercoaster no one wants to be on—has put Disney in a tight spot. Opening the parks will bring in some additional revenue, but is it worth the risk?