Cruise and Theme Park Operational Updates due to Coronavirus

e_yerger

Registered
Joined
May 7, 2019
I totally get it. As you mentioned in another post, you can get a full refund up to 30 days prior to check-in (if it's a package) or you can reschedule the reservation for free. If Disney cancels, you get it all back. Who knows, if this continues any further, they may even extend the 1-day cancellation policy that they implemented for guests checking in through June. If people want to really get their knickers in knots over massive amounts of money being tied up in trips and not getting deposits refunded at all (I'm not referring to you, BTW), I invite them to head over to the ABD threads - ABD seems to be intentionally cancelling after PIF dates and you either have to take a credit with expiration dates and caveats or throw thousands and thousands of more dollars at a trip three months out that no one can confirm is even happening. Of all of Disney's travel divisions (WDW/DL, DCL, ABD), WDW and DL are the most flexible and lenient with refunds and modifications. I understand people are frustrated (heck, I had a March 17 trip planned - I get it), but of all the Disney travel divisions, WDTC has done the best job, IMHO, of actually refunding people's money and not playing the "credit" game.
100% agreed! ABD & DVC have dropped the ball majorly on this.
 

shoegal9

Living my best DVC lyfe
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Oh, I know of his videos. Very worth the while especially if into Disney history at all. How cool he's on here from time to time.
Yup! My boyfriend and I are both attorneys and DVC owners. We can’t be the only ones looking into DVC’s ability to keep is off of property that we “own” and pay taxes for. It’s unacceptable (in my opinion) how DVC has handled this situation. I don’t expect them to open the parks for us, but if other hotels and timeshares in Florida are operating- then I expect to be able to use my points. I’m the most Disney loyal person ever... but I’ve had it! They’ve had plenty of time to figure this out by now.
 


Mit88

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 18, 2019
Seems fishy to me. Universal announces June 5th opening and NOW we get the rumors of Disney wanting to open August 31st?

Seems like someone at Disney wanted to leak a very far out date to look like they were taking safety precautions to the limit while outing Universal for being reckless. And now because of Universal, theyre being “forced” to push the date up.
 
  • The Pho

    A heck of a paleontologist if I do say so myself
    Joined
    May 9, 2018
    The Disney can’t match unemployment thing is complete BS. It isn’t an issue for Disney when it comes to getting employees to return to work. If Disney recalls an employee and they don’t return to work, that employee no longer collects unemployment.
    He has definitely proven to have some inside info, but it’s frequently intertwined with incorrect stuff as well, and usually that stuff stands out pretty clearly. If something he says raises a flag, question it.


    Seems fishy to me. Universal announces June 5th opening and NOW we get the rumors of Disney wanting to open August 31st?

    Seems like someone at Disney wanted to leak a very far out date to look like they were taking safety precautions to the limit while out Universal for being reckless.
    That poster has been saying August for quite some time, that timeline is unrelated to the Universal announcement. Other insiders have suggested June and July. Frankly it’s just something we don’t know for sure. But they won’t be announcing dates based on optics for the competition. They’ll open when they think they can make money, and once all of their plans have been settled far enough along.
     

    Farro

    But I thought I was on topic...
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    Seems fishy to me. Universal announces June 5th opening and NOW we get the rumors of Disney wanting to open August 31st?

    Seems like someone at Disney wanted to leak a very far out date to look like they were taking safety precautions to the limit while outing Universal for being reckless. And now because of Universal, theyre being “forced” to push the date up.
    Nah. If you've read this board and that board for some time, these types of rumors aren't normally planted like that.
     

    Brianstl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2019
    Seems fishy to me. Universal announces June 5th opening and NOW we get the rumors of Disney wanting to open August 31st?

    Seems like someone at Disney wanted to leak a very far out date to look like they were taking safety precautions to the limit while outing Universal for being reckless. And now because of Universal, theyre being “forced” to push the date up.
    There is often a kernel of truth in a leak like this, but is often accompanied by an agenda the leaker is trying to push. I think that WDW Pro (He has been correct about many things, wrong about others) has sources, but he gets too arrogant to question if those sources are using him sometimes.
     
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  • TexasChick123

    Always Dreaming of Our Next Vacation
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2017
    Yup! My boyfriend and I are both attorneys and DVC owners. We can’t be the only ones looking into DVC’s ability to keep is off of property that we “own” and pay taxes for. It’s unacceptable (in my opinion) how DVC has handled this situation. I don’t expect them to open the parks for us, but if other hotels and timeshares in Florida are operating- then I expect to be able to use my points. I’m the most Disney loyal person ever... but I’ve had it! They’ve had plenty of time to figure this out by now.
    I agree as a fellow attorney and DVC owner!
     

    wdwlver

    Dis Veteran DVC member
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2005
    Yup! My boyfriend and I are both attorneys and DVC owners. We can’t be the only ones looking into DVC’s ability to keep is off of property that we “own” and pay taxes for. It’s unacceptable (in my opinion) how DVC has handled this situation. I don’t expect them to open the parks for us, but if other hotels and timeshares in Florida are operating- then I expect to be able to use my points. I’m the most Disney loyal person ever... but I’ve had it! They’ve had plenty of time to figure this out by now.
    Yep. I thought for sure once timeshares were given the OK to operate that we would hear something from DVC regarding using our points.
     

    Tjddis

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 5, 2020
    At this point all you can say is what a mess. So the rumor of the night pretty much confirms everything we’ve all been saying. In no particular order: masks are needed but untenable, people won’t follow the rules and they have no idea how to do this. I’m surprised that UO would maybe blindside them but then I look at the situation and say of course they want to make a land grab. WDW is far too complicated to just throw open the doors. They have basically been in run out the clock mode, spinning their wheels, no doubt planning multiple scenarios that keep getting changed
    I see 2 real options: 1) pick a day you say will not open before, institute a bunch of policies and hope for the best. When that date arrives see where you are at
    2) set a date far into the future and live with it. Dec 1? Sept 1? Set the not open until date to July 15 and if it can’t happen fall back to the sept. Or dec date. Clear all the reservations and have people rebook anew within these parameters. If you’ve already paid In full you get first Dibs on reschedule w free dining. Open DVC properties on July 15. If parks are not open then they are not open then. The bad pr is only going to get worse as UO gets closer to opening and then opens.
     

    jerry557

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2006
    Take this for what you will. Was posted by WDWPro and gives some insight on what Disney is doing.

    Today I'd like to update you on Disney's plans for reopening Walt Disney World. Universal's June opening date has actually caught Disney off guard, as it is much more aggressive than previously thought. As recently as two weeks ago, the plan for Walt Disney World had been to reopen August 31st with the prior three weeks of August used to retrain cast. Part of the issue for Walt Disney World is that the federal government is currently paying cast members receiving unemployment a sum equal to $600 per each week they are out... and Disney simply can't match those amounts if they bring back cast. The federal government will (presumably) cease those payments after July. Furthermore, Disney has identified that requiring children to wear masks in summer Florida heat could result in extremely unhealthy situations and PR issues. As an example, let's say you require a child to wear a mask who also happens to have asthma. The heat being near 100 degrees, the parents allow the child to remove the mask as they're dehydrated and having breathing issues... other guests see this and likewise want to remove their masks in the sweltering sun. Now you've either got to enforce the rule on the asthmatic child suffering in the heat, or you have to allow all the other guests to likewise remove their masks. To this effect, Disney has actually even considered using old "smoking areas" as areas where you're allowed to temporarily remove your mask for relief. There are other issues with reopening in early to mid summer, including issues surrounding the Fourth of July. There are issues surrounding guests coming from American hot spots (New York, New Jersey, etc). It's much easier to say "no" to a Florida citizen guest entering Disney Springs on a relatively cool day due to a high temperature versus saying "no" to an entire family from South Dakota who counter that their child's temperature is too high only because its 101 degrees at 2 o'clock as they try to come back from their hotel.

    Whereas Universal has now dropped the hammer by having their plan accepted and approved by Governor DeSantis, Disney has yet to submit their plan to the governor. That will likely now have to change as Disney simply won't allow Universal to corner the theme park market in Orlando for an entire summer. Simultaneously, Disney had previously taken a very cautious approach to reopening at a later date, utilizing an intra-company protocol known as Secure Circuit. This protocol would see Magic Kingdom and MK resorts opening first with health screenings at every security screening. However, with Universal planning to reopen everything essentially - including even their water park - Disney is really put in a difficult position. Not only are they now pushed to open earlier than expected, but they also are pushed to reopen more than they had originally planned right off the line. This has created a scramble from within the company to determine how they could reopen more safely and how they could staff such a measure so early. Further complicating these issues is that Disney had planned to use Shanghai data to assist in developing a plan for reopening WDW, but DeSantis' administration is opposed to using any Shanghai information as evidence of success/failure because they feel information coming out of China is completely unreliable (for all we know, the CCP may even be selecting who signs up for the theme park as a global PR stunt).

    So where does that put Disney at this point? Well, the test run at Disney Springs has went okay, but not great. Although D'Amaro has moved up in ranks, for all intents and purposes he is still acting as the lead for WDW Resort since the company's main focus is now on getting it up and running in some capacity. And since he was on the ground at Disney Springs, he's well aware that many guests simply ignored the mask mandates once inside Disney Springs. He's also aware that many used the exceptions for guests eating or drinking to avoid wearing the mask. And finally, he's aware that there were some bizarre YouTube style moments where guests even attempted their own barbecue setup outside of a restaurant. And outside of making your own barbecue area, it's hard to blame guests if they find ways to socially distance and take off their mask using a beverage as cover to do so. You can imagine that when sweat is pouring down your body in Fantasyland, you might be inclined to use that large iced latte as a means by which to take off the bloody mask for five minutes as its now drenched in sweat and gross. If half the park is doing that, you've got a problem. And even with a proposed 15,000 maximum capacity at Magic Kingdom at reopen, that's still an unavoidable issue.

    Other random things to note:
    The Star Wars hotel did not have "designers" inside the building planning where lights and speakers go during the governor's stay-at-home orders, despite rumors to the contrary.

    Universal has upended everything Disney was planning for reopening as of now, and will almost certainly reopen significantly before WDW. Disney will now have to race to re-plan and reschedule, as will other local theme parks.

    Disneyland is still no where close to reopening. I would not expect to see it reopen this year. If it does, it would likely be no earlier than November.

    Disney had no plans to reopen Typhoon Lagoon and/or Blizzard Beach this summer. With Universal going the opposite direction, Disney may try to reopen one park, and I'm told it would have to be Typhoon Lagoon (not sure why though). Universal is using its own data about pool chemicals to reopen, but Disney is very reluctant due to the need for guests to take cover during serious (and often) thunderstorms. In these times, guests MUST take cover inside in close proximity, and there's no plan for how to resolve that.

    At bare minimum, from the time the go-ahead is given, its a two week process to get just the Magic Kingdom and MK resorts up and running with limited capacity, operations, and menu items. DeSantis has yet to even approve a plan from Disney, so don't expect the reservation cancellations to stop this week.

    Ops has said it's just not feasible to wipe down every vehicle between use for most attractions. In the alternative, there may be "wipe stations" for guests to grab a wipe prior to entering the vehicle, or there may simply be a sanitation station for guests after exiting the vehicle.

    There's a weird issue about masks and high speed attractions that's being discussed. Apparently a non-disclosed incident occurred in Shanghai in which a guest on a fast attraction had their mask come out of normal position and the guest couldn't resolve the problem due to ride restraints. Disney is looking at how to avoid such a problem with a child on a ride such as Rock'n Roller Coaster. I'm told no solid solution has been determined just yet. It's an unlikely situation, but you would just need one time of a mask becoming a health issue mid-ride for it to be worthwhile to avoid.

    The cost and availability of fireworks have both went in poor directions for Walt Disney World. Even if fireworks can be planned to return in some capacity, it is much more difficult to acquire shells, as well as more costly. Supply chains for fireworks have been greatly disrupted.
    I think a lot of this makes a lot of sense. I dont know about August 31st, but I definitely don't think they were thinking June 5. Universal has no doubt forced Disney's hand and are now scrambling. And I think that is obvious with the way Universal seems, at least publicly, miles ahead in planning and preparation. Universal wants to open ASAP. Disney seems like the were willing to wait especially if the cast members were fine and getting unemployment.

    And I've been saying it for weeks on here about the masks. This is going to be impossible to enforce in the Florida summer sun and also making kids wear them and wear them correctly for hours on end. The enforcement is going to be a big problem. And then on the flip side you have the mask mafia that will get all angry if people aren't required and forced to wear them. So making everyone happy and comfortable is impossible. This is going to be an ongoing issue. And I agree...how the hell do you wear a mask on Rock n Roller coaster?

    I also think transportation is a MASSIVE hurdle for Disney. It's a social distancing nightmare. None of Disney transport is designed for social distancing. Absolutely none. Just think of the monorails. You have to have a line where everyone is 6 feet apart. How the heck do you do that in the resorts? Contemporary's monorail station is small and narrow and on its own platform. You'll going to have a line going down the escalator (i guess it will have to be turned off) and into the concourse and flooding that whole floor with people. Then how do you do social distancing on the buses? How long are those lines going to be at the bus stops? Some of those stops are not big areas. Not only that, but you'll have to limit capacity on each bus.

    It's going to be a mess!
     
  • andyman8

    DIS Veteran and WDW Passholder
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2011
    Take this for what you will. Was posted by WDWPro and gives some insight on what Disney is doing.

    Today I'd like to update you on Disney's plans for reopening Walt Disney World. Universal's June opening date has actually caught Disney off guard, as it is much more aggressive than previously thought. As recently as two weeks ago, the plan for Walt Disney World had been to reopen August 31st with the prior three weeks of August used to retrain cast. Part of the issue for Walt Disney World is that the federal government is currently paying cast members receiving unemployment a sum equal to $600 per each week they are out... and Disney simply can't match those amounts if they bring back cast. The federal government will (presumably) cease those payments after July. Furthermore, Disney has identified that requiring children to wear masks in summer Florida heat could result in extremely unhealthy situations and PR issues. As an example, let's say you require a child to wear a mask who also happens to have asthma. The heat being near 100 degrees, the parents allow the child to remove the mask as they're dehydrated and having breathing issues... other guests see this and likewise want to remove their masks in the sweltering sun. Now you've either got to enforce the rule on the asthmatic child suffering in the heat, or you have to allow all the other guests to likewise remove their masks. To this effect, Disney has actually even considered using old "smoking areas" as areas where you're allowed to temporarily remove your mask for relief. There are other issues with reopening in early to mid summer, including issues surrounding the Fourth of July. There are issues surrounding guests coming from American hot spots (New York, New Jersey, etc). It's much easier to say "no" to a Florida citizen guest entering Disney Springs on a relatively cool day due to a high temperature versus saying "no" to an entire family from South Dakota who counter that their child's temperature is too high only because its 101 degrees at 2 o'clock as they try to come back from their hotel.

    Whereas Universal has now dropped the hammer by having their plan accepted and approved by Governor DeSantis, Disney has yet to submit their plan to the governor. That will likely now have to change as Disney simply won't allow Universal to corner the theme park market in Orlando for an entire summer. Simultaneously, Disney had previously taken a very cautious approach to reopening at a later date, utilizing an intra-company protocol known as Secure Circuit. This protocol would see Magic Kingdom and MK resorts opening first with health screenings at every security screening. However, with Universal planning to reopen everything essentially - including even their water park - Disney is really put in a difficult position. Not only are they now pushed to open earlier than expected, but they also are pushed to reopen more than they had originally planned right off the line. This has created a scramble from within the company to determine how they could reopen more safely and how they could staff such a measure so early. Further complicating these issues is that Disney had planned to use Shanghai data to assist in developing a plan for reopening WDW, but DeSantis' administration is opposed to using any Shanghai information as evidence of success/failure because they feel information coming out of China is completely unreliable (for all we know, the CCP may even be selecting who signs up for the theme park as a global PR stunt).

    So where does that put Disney at this point? Well, the test run at Disney Springs has went okay, but not great. Although D'Amaro has moved up in ranks, for all intents and purposes he is still acting as the lead for WDW Resort since the company's main focus is now on getting it up and running in some capacity. And since he was on the ground at Disney Springs, he's well aware that many guests simply ignored the mask mandates once inside Disney Springs. He's also aware that many used the exceptions for guests eating or drinking to avoid wearing the mask. And finally, he's aware that there were some bizarre YouTube style moments where guests even attempted their own barbecue setup outside of a restaurant. And outside of making your own barbecue area, it's hard to blame guests if they find ways to socially distance and take off their mask using a beverage as cover to do so. You can imagine that when sweat is pouring down your body in Fantasyland, you might be inclined to use that large iced latte as a means by which to take off the bloody mask for five minutes as its now drenched in sweat and gross. If half the park is doing that, you've got a problem. And even with a proposed 15,000 maximum capacity at Magic Kingdom at reopen, that's still an unavoidable issue.

    Other random things to note:
    The Star Wars hotel did not have "designers" inside the building planning where lights and speakers go during the governor's stay-at-home orders, despite rumors to the contrary.

    Universal has upended everything Disney was planning for reopening as of now, and will almost certainly reopen significantly before WDW. Disney will now have to race to re-plan and reschedule, as will other local theme parks.

    Disneyland is still no where close to reopening. I would not expect to see it reopen this year. If it does, it would likely be no earlier than November.

    Disney had no plans to reopen Typhoon Lagoon and/or Blizzard Beach this summer. With Universal going the opposite direction, Disney may try to reopen one park, and I'm told it would have to be Typhoon Lagoon (not sure why though). Universal is using its own data about pool chemicals to reopen, but Disney is very reluctant due to the need for guests to take cover during serious (and often) thunderstorms. In these times, guests MUST take cover inside in close proximity, and there's no plan for how to resolve that.

    At bare minimum, from the time the go-ahead is given, its a two week process to get just the Magic Kingdom and MK resorts up and running with limited capacity, operations, and menu items. DeSantis has yet to even approve a plan from Disney, so don't expect the reservation cancellations to stop this week.

    Ops has said it's just not feasible to wipe down every vehicle between use for most attractions. In the alternative, there may be "wipe stations" for guests to grab a wipe prior to entering the vehicle, or there may simply be a sanitation station for guests after exiting the vehicle.

    There's a weird issue about masks and high speed attractions that's being discussed. Apparently a non-disclosed incident occurred in Shanghai in which a guest on a fast attraction had their mask come out of normal position and the guest couldn't resolve the problem due to ride restraints. Disney is looking at how to avoid such a problem with a child on a ride such as Rock'n Roller Coaster. I'm told no solid solution has been determined just yet. It's an unlikely situation, but you would just need one time of a mask becoming a health issue mid-ride for it to be worthwhile to avoid.

    The cost and availability of fireworks have both went in poor directions for Walt Disney World. Even if fireworks can be planned to return in some capacity, it is much more difficult to acquire shells, as well as more costly. Supply chains for fireworks have been greatly disrupted.
    Not to be that guy, but there are a few red flags here.

    The poster spends a decent amount of time discussing masks. Now, I'm not restarting that debate, but he/she seems to indicate that masks and the enforcement of that rule were large factors in why they wanted to keep WDW closed through the end of August. Putting aside that this seems a little strange and doesn't generally represent how Disney approaches things like this (especially when so much money is at stake), Disney has been clear for some time now that their initial plan is to require face masks, and they've acknowledged on a number of occasions this requirement they were considering might not be super comfortable for guests in the heat and humidity but it was still important and necessary. On the morning of May 11 (the same day Shanghai Disneyland reopened), Bob Chapek appeared CNBC and not only said masks would likely be required but he made a point of emphasizing that it might be trying, difficult, or uncomfortable for some guests to wear them in heat and humidity but that they needed guests to cooperate. As small as it sounds, I'm not sure why he would say that (and potentially rile people up) if they were seriously considering keeping WDW closed longer because of the combination of face masks and heat/humidity. To me, it seems more like wishful thinking on the part of either this poster or his/her source(s) than an actual plan by Disney.

    He/she also mentions the long-rumored "secure circuit" protocol. If I remember correctly, that rumor originated with this poster or at least he/she backed it up in mid-April. That rumor clearly indicated that MK would be the first park to reopen with the possibility DHS and DAK opening up shortly thereafter and Epcot's reopening being delayed until at least August or September. Based on what this poster is saying, it sounds like the plan was to stay shut through the end of August (or at least mid-August) and then reopen with "secure circuit" protocol? That doesn't really jive then with the original timeframe of "waiting" until August or September to reopen Epcot. Perhaps the timeline on that changed, but he/she seems to indicate that the the 9/1 reopening had been the settled plan for some time yet doesn't address the inconsistency. That confuses me.

    The poster's unemployment concerns also seem perplexing. While the CARES Act unemployment supplement runs through the end of July (as of now), many CMs still haven't received their unemployment checks from the state yet, because they weren't officially furloughed until April 18. Anecdotally, I have not talked to one CM who wouldn't return to work immediately if offered. Plus, if they're told to return to work and they chose not to, generally they no longer qualify for those unemployment benefits.

    Finally, I'm not really sure what the group caught out front of RR grilling has anything to do with reopening prospects for WDW. Yes, it seemed strange and got a lot of attention from all of us because most every Disney "blogger" was there with cameras on DS's reopening day, but ask any CM and they'll tell you that kind of stuff is just par for the course (though not always with open flames lol). Guests do weird/gross/seriously unsafe things at WDW all time time unfortunately; it's just not caught on tape and posted online.

    Oh, and the fireworks thing also confuses me too. I don't see any reason WDW would delay its reopening because of issues with acquiring fireworks that it does not even plan on setting off for at least the first few months of its reopening period.

    These things may seem small, but they do raise a number of questions. I'm a big fan and reader of the WDWMAGIC forums and there are posters there whose predictions I'd bet on (and I'm by no means a betting man). While no prediction is ever perfect, I do think it's important to look at the posts/predictions closely and carefully. This particular poster has more of a hit-or-miss track record.

    I think the general gist of the post is right: WDW was not planning to reopen as soon as UOR was and now will probably have to either reopen sooner than they'd like or at least offer more than they originally expected to offer upon reopening. UOR opening VB even surprised me. The thunderstorm scenario is not something I even thought of but makes the water parks seem even more like a challenge right now. On the other hand, the 8/31 date is completely inconsistent with what we've been hearing. I hadn't even heard that date floated. Even posters on WDWMAGIC are saying that doesn't seem to be right.

    I also don't buy the blindsided/caught off guard rhetoric the poster is using. I can tell you that WDW and UOR have been communicating and working together in some very limited capacity throughout this closure. While the two certainly are rivals in many respects, when it comes to public safety, they do collaborate. It's more of a professional courtesy and a courtesy for the common good and the community. It's rare, but we see this happen every time there's a major named storm approaching Central Florida for example. Heck, people forget that the two even share some employees. There are many CMs who are also TMs (work part-time at WDW and part-time at UOR). Disney absolutely did not find out that UOR was planning to reopen in early June yesterday at that task force meeting. The drama and spin sounds exciting, but I have no reason to believe that that is how this played out.

    The scenario I've heard rumblings about is less dramatic: Early on, everyone saw early June as the target for reopening. As it approached, WDW wanted to hold off on reopening. The others (UOR, SW, Legoland, etc.) didn't want to. WDW didn't think they'd actually do it/conditions would allow for it. They did, and now WDW is in a difficult position to either hold off until after the Fourth of July holiday (potentially significantly after) or go full-speed ahead for a reopening sometime in June. I don't know what they'll decide (they may have already decided as far as we know), but as I've said from very beginning of all this, I don't envy anyone having to make these decisions at WDW/TWDC right now.
     

    tinkerhon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 1, 2012
    I think a lot of this makes a lot of sense. I dont know about August 31st, but I definitely don't think they were thinking June 5. Universal has no doubt forced Disney's hand and are now scrambling. And I think that is obvious with the way Universal seems, at least publicly, miles ahead in planning and preparation. Universal wants to open ASAP. Disney seems like the were willing to wait especially if the cast members were fine and getting unemployment.

    And I've been saying it for weeks on here about the masks. This is going to be impossible to enforce in the Florida summer sun and also making kids wear them and wear them correctly for hours on end. The enforcement is going to be a big problem. And then on the flip side you have the mask mafia that will get all angry if people aren't required and forced to wear them. So making everyone happy and comfortable is impossible. This is going to be an ongoing issue. And I agree...how the hell do you wear a mask on Rock n Roller coaster?

    I also think transportation is a MASSIVE hurdle for Disney. It's a social distancing nightmare. None of Disney transport is designed for social distancing. Absolutely none. Just think of the monorails. You have to have a line where everyone is 6 feet apart. How the heck do you do that in the resorts? Contemporary's monorail station is small and narrow and on its own platform. You'll going to have a line going down the escalator (i guess it will have to be turned off) and into the concourse and flooding that whole floor with people. Then how do you do social distancing on the buses? How long are those lines going to be at the bus stops? Some of those stops are not big areas. Not only that, but you'll have to limit capacity on each bus.

    It's going to be a mess!
    Agree totally, and have said same - biggest challenge Disney faces is going to be bus stops and bus transportation - will be impossible to social distance
     

    Jrb1979

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 2, 2018
    The Disney can’t match unemployment thing is complete BS. It isn’t an issue for Disney when it comes to getting employees to return to work. If Disney recalls an employee and they don’t return to work, that employee no longer collects unemployment.
    I think what it's getting at is that Disney won't be calling every CM back right away. The ones at home could possibly be making more staying at home. There is probably at least a few who would feel safer at home then work
    Not to be that guy, but there are a few red flags here.

    The poster spends a decent amount of time discussing masks. Now, I'm not restarting that debate, but he/she seems to indicate that masks and the enforcement of that rule were large factors in why they wanted to keep WDW closed through the end of August. Putting aside that this seems a little strange and doesn't generally represent how Disney approaches things like this (especially when so much money is at stake), Disney has been clear for some time now that their initial plan is to require face masks, and they've acknowledged on a number of occasions this requirement they were considering might not be super comfortable for guests in the heat and humidity but it was still important and necessary. On the morning of May 11 (the same day Shanghai Disneyland reopened), Bob Chapek appeared CNBC and not only said masks would likely be required but he made a point of emphasizing that it might be trying, difficult, or uncomfortable for some guests to wear them in heat and humidity but that they needed guests to cooperate. As small as it sounds, I'm not sure why he would say that (and potentially rile people up) if they were seriously considering keeping WDW closed longer because of the combination of face masks and heat/humidity. To me, it seems more like wishful thinking on the part of either this poster or his/her source(s) than an actual plan by Disney.

    He/she also mentions the long-rumored "secure circuit" protocol. If I remember correctly, that rumor originated with this poster or at least he/she backed it up in mid-April. That rumor clearly indicated that MK would be the first park to reopen with the possibility DHS and DAK opening up shortly thereafter and Epcot's reopening being delayed until at least August or September. Based on what this poster is saying, it sounds like the plan was to stay shut through the end of August (or at least mid-August) and then reopen with "secure circuit" protocol? That doesn't really jive then with the original timeframe of "waiting" until August or September to reopen Epcot. Perhaps the timeline on that changed, but he/she seems to indicate that the the 9/1 reopening had been the settled plan for some time yet doesn't address the inconsistency. That confuses me.

    The poster's unemployment concerns also seem perplexing. While the CARES Act unemployment supplement runs through the end of July (as of now), many CMs still haven't received their unemployment checks from the state yet, because they weren't officially furloughed until April 18. Anecdotally, I have not talked to one CM who wouldn't return to work immediately if offered. Plus, if they're told to return to work and they chose not to, generally they no longer qualify for those unemployment benefits.

    Finally, I'm not really sure what the group caught out front of RR grilling has anything to do with reopening prospects for WDW. Yes, it seemed strange and got a lot of attention from all of us because most every Disney "blogger" was there with cameras on DS's reopening day, but ask any CM and they'll tell you that kind of stuff is just par for the course (though not always with open flames lol). Guests do weird/gross/seriously unsafe things at WDW all time time unfortunately; it's just not caught on tape and posted online.

    Oh, and the fireworks thing also confuses me too. I don't see any reason WDW would delay its reopening because of issues with acquiring fireworks that it does not even plan on setting off for at least the first few months of its reopening period.

    These things may seem small, but they do raise a number of questions. I'm a big fan and reader of the WDWMAGIC forums and there are posters there whose predictions I'd bet on (and I'm by no means a betting man). While no prediction is ever perfect, I do think it's important to look at the posts/predictions closely and carefully. This particular poster has more of a hit-or-miss track record.

    I think the general gist of the post is right: WDW was not planning to reopen as soon as UOR was and now will probably have to either reopen sooner than they'd like or at least offer more than they originally expected to offer upon reopening. UOR opening VB even surprised me. The thunderstorm scenario is not something I even thought of but makes the water parks seem even more like a challenge right now. On the other hand, the 8/31 date is completely inconsistent with what we've been hearing. I hadn't even heard that date floated. Even posters on WDWMAGIC are saying that doesn't seem to be right.

    I also don't buy the blindsided/caught off guard rhetoric the poster is using. I can tell you that WDW and UOR have been communicating and working together in some very limited capacity throughout this closure. While the two certainly are rivals in many respects, when it comes to public safety, they do collaborate. It's more of a professional courtesy and a courtesy for the common good and the community. It's rare, but we see this happen every time there's a major named storm approaching Central Florida for example. Heck, people forget that the two even share some employees. There are many CMs who are also TMs (work part-time at WDW and part-time at UOR). Disney absolutely did not find out that UOR was planning to reopen in early June yesterday at that task force meeting. The drama and spin sounds exciting, but I have no reason to believe that that is how this played out.

    The scenario I've heard rumblings about is less dramatic: Early on, everyone saw early June as the target for reopening. As it approached, WDW wanted to hold off on reopening. The others (UOR, SW, Legoland, etc.) didn't want to. WDW didn't think they'd actually do it/conditions would allow for it. They did, and now WDW is in a difficult position to either hold off until after the Fourth of July holiday (potentially significantly after) or go full-speed ahead for a reopening sometime in June. I don't know what they'll decide (they may have already decided as far as we know), but as I've said from very beginning of all this, I don't envy anyone having to make these decisions at WDW/TWDC right now.
    Don't want to get into the mask debate but I do buy the part about guests ignoring the rules at Disney Springs giving 2nd thoughts about how to enforce it.

    I do think they weren't expecting Universal to open so soon. I think they had plans of opening by July but now are scrambling to find a way to open sooner.
     

    MickeyMinnie1971

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2005
    Seems fishy to me. Universal announces June 5th opening and NOW we get the rumors of Disney wanting to open August 31st?

    Seems like someone at Disney wanted to leak a very far out date to look like they were taking safety precautions to the limit while outing Universal for being reckless. And now because of Universal, theyre being “forced” to push the date up.
    Seems fishy to me too. I hope it’s false.
     
    Last edited:

    Jrb1979

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 2, 2018
    It seems suspect to me too. My family depends on Disney for our livelihood, and unemployment (even if the system functioned as it should) is only a fraction of my husband’s salary. If Disney believed August 31st was the earliest they could reopen then that just disgusts me that they would not tell cast members. Why intentionally mislead guests with weekly cancellations? It’s not a good look for Disney, and I hope it’s false.
    I agree with you. I'm thinking the August date was worst case scenario. I do think they were looking at July now but with Universal opening so soon are trying to move up that plan.
     

    LALA2020

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2020
    To add to the rumour about the August date: people in UK have been allowed by Disney to cancel without penalty for trips booked until August 31st. Previously if you wanted to cancel you would at least lose your deposit. Any booking September 1st onwards normal T&Cs apply.
     



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