As I’m sitting here planning out my Disney vacation, I was just thinking how horrific it would be if there was a Coronavirus outbreak at one of the Disney parks.
Which sparked my interest as to what type of precautions Disney is taking to address the situation.
I pulled up some articles on the internet that had indicated that Disney has taken this into consideration and will be implementing more sanitary stations throughout the parks and in the resorts.
Disney has already shut down both Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland parks due to the fast-spreading Coronavirus but has not felt the need to shut down any Disney parks within the US.
They are keeping a very close eye on the situation, there has not been a confirmed case within a 65-mile radius of either Disney parks as of today.
It does look like several conventions have been canceled for the time being in Orlando as a precaution, at least 5 of them were large conventions.
Former Ceo Bob Iger released this statement:
“We’re all sobered by the concern that we feel for everyone affected by this global crisis,” Iger said as the meeting began at 10 a.m. “But it’s also important to note that throughout our company’s nearly a century-long history, Disney has been through a lot, including wars, economic downturns and natural disasters. And what we’ve demonstrated repeatedly over the years, is that we are incredibly resilient. Our future has always been bright, and it remains so for good reason.”
As Spring Break approaches and the busiest travel time creeps up, Disney does not seem to be too concerned. With two new rides that just opened at Disney World, they really don’t seem to be showing any signs of decreasing attendance.
In a recent press release, Disney has indicated that they will undergo a lot of fumigation and disinfection not only in the front of the house but also behind the scenes.
When I asked a cast member how they will be handling the situation they responded with exactly what was released to the press:
“We continue to implement preventive measures in line with health agency recommendations and the input of our medical teams. We have health and safety protocols in place, such
When asked if an outbreak did happen within the parks, would there be any type of reimbursements if Disney parks were to close down? The response was also another very generic “They are closely monitoring the situation at this time and following all health and safety protocols”.
Which did not answer my question whats so ever!
On Monday, the Associated Press reported that face masks will be distributed to both patient and paramedic if a Disney visitor appears symptomatic or a first responder suspects they have the flu.
It doesn’t appear that other theme parks are really addressing the issue at all, perhaps its because they don’t see the 58 million visitors that Disney sees per year?
As for right now, just like any other big company, they don’t want to panic park goers, they don’t want to see a decrease in attendance for something that may or may not happen.
My personal Twitter feed is lit with questions on whether or not Disney should close their doors for weeks to cut it off before it starts. I personally feel like it’s much too early for Disney to get involved.
They are doing massive research and keeping a close eye on the situation and give the fact that they have already shut down 2 massive parks for weeks. It shows me that they really do care about park goers and the staff.
Its currently costing Disney $174 million- $300 million to have just the two parks closed. I think when or if its time, they will make the right call.
The question is, what can you personally do about it? You have your dream vacation already planned!
Well, the CDC has told us over and over again that the best way to prevent getting and spreading the virus is what you should already be doing. Nope not hoarding toilet paper, but washing your hands and staying out of public while you are sick!
The following information was pulled directly from the CDC website:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
With that being said, will i be cancelling my Disney World vacation next month?
I will however be traveling with the following items:
What if I do need to cancel?
If we do need to cancel due to illness or an outbreak at the parks, I did just double check with Jet Blue and there has been a travel alert issued.
Due to evolving coronavirus concerns, we are extending the suspension of JetBlue change and cancel fees for all new flight bookings made between March 6,
The change/cancel fees suspension still applies for bookings made
While there are no current travel restrictions to the locations we fly, customers can book with confidence on jetblue.com and jetbluevacations.com and know that changes or cancellations will be allowed without penalty should the situation change.
When do I start to panic?
I advise everyone not to panic and to plan their Disney trips as though nothing is happening. You can cancel your plans if you need to, Disney is great about these types of situations and most hotels let you cancel a couple of days before your trip.
With that being said, I also advise you to get a plan together just in case you do need to cancel to take care of loved ones or if Disney decides to close their doors.
How Do You Prepare For The Worst?
Call you airlines or go to their website and check their alerts to see what type of plan they have to protect their customers.
Call your travel agency, ask them what they are advising to do and how they are planning on taking care of you.
Call your travel insurance to see what exactly is covered. Some travel insurance does not cover illness, however this may fall under a national disaster? I would call to make sure.
Monitor Floridas outbreaks and
I again just checked their local news and the current reports are stating that Florida residents who have tested positive for the virus, are mostly ages 60 years old and up and have just returned from international travel. They are currently isolated.
Check with your 3rd party hotels or your Disney resort to see what their cancellation policy is.
If you currently have a Disney World vacation package, their cancelation policy is:
If you cancel a package more than 30 days prior to arrival, there are no cancellation penalties unless airfare or Travel Protection is included.
From 2 to 29 days from your
Inside of 2 days from your arrival, the cancellation fee will be 100% of the package price.
Today I asked Disney World the hard question, What if the park has to be shut down?
Their response was: At this time, there are no plans to close the Theme Parks.
Should you choose to cancel your reservation, all applicable cancellation fees continue to apply. However, if you’d like to modify your Disney Resort Hotel Package, any Disney-imposed change fees would be waived. All changes are subject to availability, and you are responsible for paying any increase in price resulting from the change. In addition, any change fees assessed by third party hotels or other suppliers must be paid (changes made within 14 days of arrival may incur an additional $15 processing fee) and some products or services may be non-refundable.
Most recent update- March 12th
Despite Disney cast members telling us for weeks that they do not plan on shutting their doors, guess what? They have now shut down both Disneyland and Disney World.
Disney is shutting down both parks starting March 16th until the end of the month. We aren’t anticipating the parks to be closed any longer than that. I have a feeling they are going to push really hard to get their doors back open by the end of the month.
With spring break and Easter just around the corner, shutting the doors now will be less of an impact on Disney and parks goers vs shutting down next month. I don’t see them extending the closure unless their is a huge up tick in people getting infected by the virus.
To find out more information in regards to the closure and what your next steps will be, the link is at the top of both Disney web pages. I have included those below along with their statements that can be found on both of their websites.
To sum it up
I am still not canceling my vacation because it doesn’t take place until the end of April. I’m going to ride out the storm. Our prediction and hope are that this closure will only last for the 2 weeks but, if there are additional outbreaks they could put it off for a month. However, I really just don’t see that happening.
Though this is such a bummer that this has happened for those who have planned a vacation during this closure, I’m really glad it’s happening right now in hopes that we can tame this storm that is the Coronavirus.