In recent weeks, and now days, the CDC has increased warnings of the Coronavirus. In an effort to continue providing a safe and healthy destination for its guests, as well as workplace for its employees, Universal, Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line have begun taking extra precautions to prepare for the worst.
Just this afternoon, a story broke regarding Walt Disney World and some Cast Members. A small group of Cast Members just returned from a trip to Italy. None of them are showing signs or symptoms, but as a precaution, Disney asked these Cast Members to stay home and not return to work for the time being. A spokesperson from Disney said the decision wasn’t light, and although its Cast Members aren’t showing symptoms, the decision was made with “an abundance of caution.”
The Walt Disney Company has already been affected by the coronavirus in its other parks, In late January, Disney indefinitely closed its Asian resorts because of the virus and acknowledged that the action would leave a hole in the next quarterly earnings. Perhaps this is why although the small group of Cast Members who traveled to Italy are showing no symptoms, they are using extreme caution and not taking any chances.
Both Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World have acknowledged that they are continuing to monitor the virus and will always keep the health and safety of their employees and guests their top priority.
Universal Orlando Resort Spokeswoman, Alyson Lundell said in a statement,“We are communicating with our team members and reinforcing our best-practice health and hygiene procedures. We are also educating them on basic preventive measures. We will continue to monitor the situation and be ready to act if needed.”
Disney Cruise Line is doing their part in creating a clean and safe environment for its guest, on top of their already pristine conditions. A statement issued by Disney Cruise Line said this; “Disney Cruise Line is carefully monitoring the latest information about this situation and is in close contact with local, state, national and international health agencies for information and guidance.”
Disney Cruise Line is preventing guests and crew members who have traveled to or from mainland China within the past 2 weeks from boarding the ships. And, for the cruises that travel to the Bahamas, Disney Cruise Line stated that port authorities “will not allow anyone to disembark in any Bahamian port of call if they have been to mainland China in the past 20 days prior to their arrival.”
It should be noted that Disney Cruise Line has a reputation for upholding the highest standards in the Cruise Industry. It employs rigorous sanitation standards and consistently receives among the highest scores on public health inspections.
Disney’s new CEO- Bob Chapek, had some comforting and reassuring words to say regarding Disney Parks and the potential threat of coronavirus. In a CNBC interview on Tuesday, “While this is certainly a bump in the road in terms of the coronavirus, we’ll come through this like we’ve come through every other challenge that we’ve had, and that affinity for the brand and our storytelling will way outlast any short-term blip that we have from corona.”
As of right now, Orlando and its tourism industry remains a safe and healthy environment. Travelers can rest assured that Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and Disney Cruise Line continue to keep the health and wellness of their guests and employees the top priority. As of right now, there’s been no park closures, and no Disney Cruise itinerary has been effected.
I applaud the proactive approach these 3 travel industry titans are taking against a potential coronavirus threat. In the midst of the chaos and hysteria over a potential outbreak, they remain calm and are implementing the necessary precautions to continue providing a safe and healthy environment for their guests and employees. That in itself should reassure travelers they have their best interests at heart.
As more information is made available, we will continue to cover and report the coronavirus and its potential impact on Orlando tourism. Be sure to follow The Kingdom Insider.