As we draw closer and closer to the reopening of both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, Disney has begun retraining their Cast Members for their ‘new normal’. The Disney Parks Twitter account, along with several other official Disney social media accounts, posted a video highlighting some of their training.
All Cast Members will be required to wear face masks and will have mandatory temperature screenings before each shift. They have been participating in training that emphasizes procedures in social distancing and enhanced cleaning for the health and safety of guests.
Despite the growing amount of Coronavirus cases in Florida, Walt Disney World plans to open as scheduled this Saturday. The Cast Members in this video seem to be excited to return back to work, but many CM’s have voiced on social media their concerns for their own health and safety because of the rise in Covid-19 cases. Many feel that Disney is implementing enough procedures to ensure their safety while others feel that it is too soon to be opening the parks at all.
Jeff Vahle, the President of Walt Disney World Resort, took to Instagram to share the training of Cast Members at Animal Kingdom as well.
The overwhelming majority of Cast Members who will be returning immediately are full-time attractions, food and beverage, custodial, and merchandise personnel. CM’s who are in positions such as vacation planning or entertainment may request to be transferred into other needed roles upon reopening. Most Disney College Program participants fill these in-park roles, but full-time Cast Members will be placed in these positions first. Because of this, Disney announced this past Thursday that the Disney College/International Programs will be suspended indefinitely.
The Fall 2020 Disney College Program has been cancelled and there is no definite timeline of when applications or the program itself will be up and running again. Disney is encouraging all participants to apply again when the internship program does open in the future.
It is with no doubt that returning Cast Members will face challenges in trying to enforce all of the safety and health procedures when Disney World reopens. Despite having a limited capacity, signage, and social distancing procedures, guests and Cast Members alike seem to have mixed emotions about the park reopening.
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will be reopening July 11th, while Hollywood Studios and Epcot will be reopening on July 15th. Many Walt Disney World Resort hotels and restaurants will remain closed upon the initial reopening. Cast Member previews of the parks will begin tomorrow, July 7th.