8 Incredible Ways Disney Will Protect Your Safety When it Reopens
As Disney officials move forward with plans to reopen the parks, everyone shares the same concern.
How will Disney protect our safety in the coming months?
Don’t worry! The smartest healthcare officials on the planet are working together to fortify the parks against Coronavirus. Read on to learn more details.
Cast Member Training
We’ve covered much of this ground before at MickeyBlog. However, I’m collating everything together in this article for clarity.
Also, I’ve realized that one of the areas that we haven’t addressed enough yet is cast member training. If anything, this step is the most essential one.
I’ve written about the spread of germs and bacteria many times over the years. This particular virus works slightly differently than most, but the same generalities apply.
Many people don’t understand the concept of the hot spot, a place where people are most likely to touch.
These hot spots are, as Archer would say, danger zones.
Disney will spend time training cast members about hot spots. They must know where the potential spread of Coronavirus is most significant.
Also, the company must teach its cast members how the virus spreads. This part isn’t as simple as you might expect because misinformation abounds.
Park officials have remained in close contact with CDC health experts and will relay this information to the park employees.
Informed cast members can prevent the spread of COVID-19 more than anything else I’ll list here.
Common sense and excellent communication are humanity’s two greatest weapons in the fight against the pandemic.
Face Mask Requirements
Yes, I know that many people hate this idea. If I’m honest, I’m not crazy about it, either.
Unfortunately, the CDC recommends that people wear masks. As experts have stated for weeks, you’re not wearing one for yourself.
Instead, your mask protects others. Their mask protects you. So, it’s a common courtesy thing.
People debate the effectiveness of masks. However, the most reliable information we have about Coronavirus is that it spreads through respiratory droplets.
As gross as the subject is, I’m talking about saliva, phlegm, spittle, sneezing, and coughing.
So, a mask negates all those factors. Just as importantly, a mask stops them from getting on people’s clothing, where they could linger for a while.
Masks aren’t ideal by any stretch, but they do serve a purpose.
Frequent Cleaning Practices
I just discussed hot spots. As an example, at your home, the door to your bathroom could use a cleaning.
People touch it as they open the door to exit the room. Anyone who hasn’t washed their hands…well, connect the dots.
Now extend that thought process to Walt Disney World. Think about the bathroom stalls or the handrails at attractions or restaurant tables.
Park guests subconsciously touch these places hundreds of times a day.
As I’ll explain, cast members can easily neutralize the danger of these hot spots, though.
Let’s think about this practice in the simplest terms. You get tired during your park visit and grab a handrail while standing in line.
Presuming you’ve worn your mask, your behavior shouldn’t matter. However, let’s say that you took your mask off at a restaurant.
Then, you coughed on your shirt at some point, thinking nothing of it. If your hand touches that spot and then the handrail, you’ve spread droplets.
Even though you didn’t mean to do it, you’ve accidentally helped the spread.
Thankfully, a cast member saves the day by wiping down the handrail and thereby killing the virus.
Cleaning the hot spots regularly will eliminate the possible spread of droplets.
Hand Sanitizer Everywhere – including rides and restaurants
When Shanghai Disneyland reopened, one of the most noticeable changes involved hand sanitizer.
Dispensers were seemingly everywhere at the parks. Disney had them set up at the exits or park attractions and the entrance of shops and restaurants.
Why has Disney taken such a profound step? Park strategists want guests to sanitize their hands as much as possible.
This tactic is especially crucial at stores, where people will thoughtlessly touch the merchandise.
Disney will employ two methods to enforce social distancing. The first will be a silent message.
The parks will feature markers that tell guests where and where not to stand.
The goal here is to encourage people to maintain an appropriate distance from other park guests.
The next time you’re at the park, you’ll notice markers that designate standing and sitting areas.
In line queues, the markers will let you know the proper positioning to keep everyone healthy.
On the rides, the markers will identify appropriate seating areas for rides like Jungle Cruise that are somewhat vague.
The days of packing as many people as possible on each boat are over.
For shows and other presentations, the markers will let you know where your safe zone is.
As long as guests obey these rules, everyone will enjoy the security of social distancing.
All these other strategies fall apart if an infected person enters the park. Disney understands this and will maintain a strict admission policy.
Cast members will perform at least one temperature check before allowing guests into the park.
Anyone with an abnormally higher temperature will get turned away. This step may not operate as harshly as it sounds.
Park officials understand that some people run hot and that Florida weather can play a factor.
Even so, the most important consideration here is the health of every guest, not any particular one.
So, a person who shows signs of Coronavirus won’t get to enter Walt Disney World that day. It’s tough but fair.
I previously wrote at length about virtual queuing here. When you hear this term, simply replace the technical term with “FastPass” in your head.
When the parks reopen, Disney will rely on its My Disney Experience app more than ever. The reality about regular line queues is that they have physical limits.
If Disney keeps guests several feet apart, some line queues will inevitably intersect. And that defeats the purpose of the strategy.
So, Disney will change some of its attractions to virtual queuing. The process should work similarly to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
On that ride, guests join a Boarding Group at the start of the park day. Then, when their time comes, they enter the line queue, which is the equivalent of a FastPass queue.
Some Disney fans bristle at such an abrupt change to an old-timey practice. They prefer waiting in lines as an accepted part of a Disney vacation.
Alas, the pandemic has changed some practices, possibly forever. We should all accept that FastPass will become a more significant part of a park visit.
The final step meshes with the previous social distancing measures. Disney doesn’t want its cast members to change their ways.
Park guests expect nothing but kindness and helpfulness from Disney employees. The pandemic won’t change that.
You won’t notice any cast members aggressively telling people to stand away from other guests.
Instead, these workers will hold signs with appropriate information about Coronavirus measures.
The messages will relay reminders about social distancing and hand sanitizer stations. Cast members will display these signs throughout the parks.
Frankly, you may get tired of them because they’ll be so hard to miss. That’s how important Disney perceives visual reminders to be.
In summary, Disney can’t stop the pandemic with any specific step.
However, each of the steps that I’ve listed here effectively lowers the odds of transmission.
So, park officials can combine these tactics to reduce the risk dramatically. To their credit, Disney executives aren’t rushing the return of the parks until each one is as safe as physically possible.