OpEd: 4 Ways Disney Parks Can Still Provide Magic During the Coronavirus Shutdown

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Happily Ever After Fireworks, Magic Kingdom Park

Credit: Disney

As of Monday, March 16, every Disney Park around the world will be closed until at least the end of the month due to coronavirus. While this action is pretty unprecedented, it’s great to see Disney putting their guests and Cast Members first and making sure the virus can’t be spread at its theme parks.

With the parks shut but many of the Disney hotels remaining open, the Walt Disney company needs to continue bringing the magic to those guests who are staying on property at a Disney Resort as well as to the people at home who have concerns about a future visit.

So while we wait for Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World, Shanghai Disneyland, Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, The Disney Cruise Line and Tokyo Disneyland to reopen, we’ve put together a few ideas that should help bring a bit of positivity to the situation.

Walt Disney World grand floridian
Credit: Disney

Giving extra magic to anyone still on a resort

Where possible, Disney is keeping hotels and entertainment districts such as Disney Springs open during the outbreak.

In the past, Disney has been very good to hotel guests during emergency situations and we don’t see this changing with Bob Chapek in charge. Here’s hoping that the team is able to roll out characters to meet guests (if safe to do so) in hotels and provide a little extra magic during meals at restaurants. The odd free appetizer, dessert or drink can often be all it takes to give a nice surprise to guests.

On top of this, we are sure that Cast Members will be putting on as many activities as possible for families who are still in the Disney Resorts.

Make Disney+ Free for those who have missed out

Disney+
Credit: Disney

A big ask perhaps but it would be nice for Disney to offer Disney+ for free to anyone who had a trip to any of the Disney Parks booked who can no longer make it.

Now we know Disney is already doing a fantastic job at offering refunds and allowing guests to rebook for another date but it would be a nice touch for Disney to also offer guests Disney+, especially given how many are having to isolate at home.

Related: Frozen 2 Gets Surprise Early Disney+ Release – Perfect Timing For Families Stuck at Home!

Showing some behind the scenes footage

Disney has plenty of footage from some of the awesome work the Cast Members do around the world and it would be great to see Disney share some of this via their social media channels to keep people interested in the parks during the closure. Think of it as an extension of the One Day at Disney show on Disney+.

We know that many Cast Members are still working during this time so it would be great for Disney to use the opportunity to track some of the awesome work that goes on around the parks and share with everyone who is at home.

Maintainance

There’s been a lot of news recently on attractions failing to meet the standards that some guests expect with closures on key attractions such as the Haunted Mansion happening unexpectedly. This closure gives Disney a good chance to have a clear run at sorting out attractions that are in desperate need of maintenance.

Hopefully, Disney can also understand a bit more about newer attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and get them working a bit more reliably at the same time. The Boarding Pass system currently in place is resulting in many guests unable to ride.

disney happiest place on earth
Credit: Disney

Whatever happens, it’s great to see that Disney are taking the pandemic seriously and putting the health and well-being of guests first.

What are you doing during the Disney Parks shutdown to keep some of the magic alive?

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