Disney may have thought reopening Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida next month was a good idea.
But as of Wednesday (June 23), more than 7,000 people had signed a petition to postpone the scheduled resumption of operations on July 11 as the number of COVID-19 cases is rising, Reuters reported.
The petition was created by Katie Belisle, a Disney World employee who has worked as an attractions hostess for three years, according to her LinkedIn profile. The job of a host or hostess is to welcome guests, have a friendly interaction and enrich their park experience.
“This virus is not gone, unfortunately, it’s only become worse in this state,” said the petition addressed to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “Having our theme parks remain closed until cases are steadily decreasing would keep our guests, our employees and their families safe.”
Belisle could not be reached for comment.
Walt Disney’s parks have been closed since January to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In the first quarter, Disney estimated it lost $1 billion at its theme parks.
“The safety and wellbeing of our cast members and guests are at the forefront of our planning,” a Disney spokeswoman said in a statement to the news service. “We are in active dialogue with our unions on the extensive health and safety protocols, following guidance from public health experts, which we plan to implement as we move toward our proposed, phased reopening.”
Last month, Disney announced a phased reopening, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks set to open on July 11, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios will reopen a few days later, on July 15.
Similar petitions have been circulated at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where unions have told Governor Gavin Newsom that unsafe to open the park, Reuters reported. More than 49,500 people have urged Disney to reopen at a later date on a Change.org petition.
The reopening protocol will resemble the rules set up for China’s Shanghai’s Disneyland locations, with restrictions on the number of customers. Also, the reopening will look different. Meeting Disney characters will be on hold and playgrounds, make-overs, fireworks and parades, where social distancing would be impossible, will be paused.
In Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic, PYMNTS surveys more than 12,000 Americans revealed nearly two times have little or no interest in leaving their homes.