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Disneyland reopening next month? Bad idea, say these critics

Disneyland reopening next month? Bad idea, say these critics
[Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash; muhnaufals/Pixabay]

Not everyone is pleased that the Happiest Place is reopening.

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A petition on Change.org opposing the phased reopening of the Disneyland Resort next month has garnered close to 34,300 signatures as of this morning, very close to its target of 35,000. At issue is concern about COVID-19 exposure.

The campaign began after the Walt Disney Company announced on Wednesday its plan, pending state and local government approvals. The Anaheim, California-based park is slated to start welcoming guests again on July 17, with hotels and the shopping-restaurant area coming back on other dates.

The petition calls the decision to get Disneyland back up and running “irresponsible and greedy” and explains, “Many people have lost loved ones due to this pandemic and by reopening the parks they are endangering cast members and guests.”

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to its website, precautions to adhere to social distancing and other health guidelines include:

  • letting fewer visitors in at a time
  • requiring reservations
  • mandatory face coverings for staffers and visitors
  • adding hand-washing stations
  • temperature screenings for guests before they enter
  • daily mandatory health screenings and temperature checks for workers
  • enhanced cleaning protocols
  • recommending cashless transactions

In late May, Disney announced tentative plans for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the Orlando area, starting July 11. Among the COVID-19-related changes are no large-group gathering, such as parades and nighttime events, and no “high-touch experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds, and character meet and greets.”

Shanghai Disneyland reopened on May 11.

When the Disney Springs shopping-dining-entertainment area in Florida opened on May 20, it posted this warning on its website: “An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death.”

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