Disney World still plans to reopen to the general public on July 11, even as the U.S. surpasses three million COVID-19 cases, with more than 132,000 deaths, and as Florida holds steady as a coronavirus hot spot. (Yesterday, it reported 9,989 new cases, which was fewer than the July 4th record of 11,458.) Disney would like the brave souls who are considering a visit to “The Happiest Place on Earth” to know that the park is practicing extreme safety precautions. Most employees will be masked up, and there will be frequent cleaning and sanitization measures.
That point is illustrated in a new video, available on YouTube, that features shots of signature attractions like Animal Kingdom, Runaway Railway, and Epcot Center’s Spaceship Earth, in addition to masked employees in action as they disinfect every surface in sight, make hotel beds, vacuum hotel rooms, and do whatever they can to keep guests feeling safe. Deliriously happy princesses gliding by on parade floats are apparently exempt from face-coverings—as are Stormtroopers, which is more understandable.
It’s all supposed to be reassuring, but it’s strange. Creepy, even. As the colorful cups from the Mad Tea Party ride swirl by on screen, it’s hard not to focus on all the potentially lethal germs that will build up in those vessels in a matter of seconds. And if you stare long enough at the group of masked park employees waving to cameras in formation, you might find yourself thinking you’ve fallen into some Brave New World.
You might even say the ad plays like a trailer for an upcoming movie about the tragic dystopian saga that has been 2020.