Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Disney reopens in Paris & Orlando

Guests take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, 2020. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images). Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images.

Alison Durkee, Disney Reopens Parks In Paris And Orlando—Even As Florida Case Numbers Climb, Forbes, 15 July 2020

KEY FACTS

  • Disneyland Paris officially opened both of its theme parks, Disney Village shopping district and one hotel Wednesday after a four-month closure.
  • Walt Disney World reopened its Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme parks to the public Wednesday, after initially opening only Magic Kingdom Park and Animal Kingdom Park Saturday.
  • The Disneyland Paris reopening comes amid a broader reopening push in France as the once hard-hit European country has seen its cases of Covid-19 sharply decline, while Florida has emerged in recent weeks as an epicenter of the pandemic and seen cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland, which the Hong Kong government holds a majority stake in, closed Wednesday after reopening June 18 as part of broader government restrictions in response to 52 new cases of Covid-19.
  • Disney’s theme parks have reopened with a broad array of public health protocols—including mask-wearing mandates, reduced park capacities, physical distancing markers, temperature checks, plexiglass barriers and frequent sanitization measures—and have canceled park events requiring close contact or large crowds like fireworks and character meet-and-greets, though parks still offer indoor dining, films and shows.
  • Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland remain open after reopening on May 11 and July 1, respectively, and Disneyland Resort remains closed—after initially announcing they would reopen in July—in light of restrictions from the California government.

Visitors walk down Main Street in Disneyland Paris on July 15, 2020. (Photo by AURELIA MOUSSLY/AFP via Getty Images) AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

Annual pass holders arrive at Disneyland Paris on July 13, 2020. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images) GETTY IMAGES.

BIG NUMBER

510: The seven-day average of new recorded Covid-19 cases in France as of July 14, as reported by the New York Times—as compared with a seven-day average of 11,119 in Florida.

KEY BACKGROUND

Walt Disney World has faced the most scrutiny of any Disney theme park for its decision to reopen, as coronavirus cases have exploded in Florida. (Disney is one of multiple Florida theme parks to be open right now, including Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando.) The Disney resort has faced labor disputes and been heavily criticized for potentially putting guests and employees at risk by reopening and encouraging guests to visit an epicenter of the pandemic, though journalists in the parks have reported that Disney’s imposed safety measures have largely been successful—but not perfect, with reports of some isolated operational flaws. “Disney has done a really good job of being able to channel the magic of being in the parks in a safe way,” theme park journalist Carlye Wisel told Cheddar. “However, with that, when you’re there, you really have to have the pandemic at top of mind at all times to be aware of your personal safety.” Disney, whose Florida parks employ approximately 70,000 people and which has lost more than $1 billion in revenue over the closings, has defended its decision to reopen, pointing to the widespread safety measures.

FURTHER READING

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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