Disney CEO Explains Why Disney World Can Reopen Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Walt Disney World will begin reopening on June 11 before fully opening on June 15 amid the coronavirus pandemic. While some states have not reopened and continue to have restrictive measures in place, Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained how and why the amusement park will be able to reopen.

“Taking the guidance of local health officials, state health officials, national health officials, plus our own well qualified doctors on staff to create an environment to create new operating procedures, to create new policies, to do new training, new standards of hygiene,” Chapek told CNN Business. “So that when a guest comes in we can continue the trust that guests have always had with the Walt Disney Company and enjoy the parks so they can make those magical memories that last a lifetime.”

Walt Disney World guests will be subject to temperature checks and “limited-contact enhancements” like mobile orders and contactless payments. The park will also temporarily suspend character meet-and-greets and playgrounds which have been dubbed “high-touch experiences.”

In addition to the temperature checks, park guests will receive face coverings and masks.

“It’s for everybody’s safety,” Chapek continued. “We’ve had a great experience in Shanghai. And so far the experience at Disney Springs, after only a short week, is that guests are willing to wear the masks because they know that it’s for everyone’s good. … You know, I’ve had this mask on pretty much the whole day, and you just forget about it after a while, and I think that’s going to be a part of maintaining the magic.”

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The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 100,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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