Disney World President Shares Message About Closures, College Program, and Donations

in Disney, Walt Disney World

D'Maro and Fab Five

As we face the first day in this historic worldwide Disney Parks closure due to the health concerns of the outbreak of Covid-19, Walt Disney World President Josh D’Amaro issued a statement acknowledging and addressing the current situation.

In a mass email that was sent out this morning, D’Amaro begins by noting the historic closures that began at the end of the business day yesterday and the plans to close Disney Springs and the resort hotels on property at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Josh D'Amaro
Credit: Disney

“Yesterday, we closed our theme parks through the end of the month to do our part to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus here in Central Florida. We will also close Disney Springs by the end of the day today while working on ramping down our hotels.”

Disney’s first priority has always been guest and cast safety, so it comes as no surprise they have taken these measures to do their part in this effort to aid social distancing and hopefully contain the spread of this rampant virus.

While visiting the parks recently, we encountered the cast working hard to continue creating magic for guests. But we know behind their amazing smiles, there was so much worry and concern about what is to come. With their work situation, their safety, the uncertainty of how long these closures will actually last.

The CDC is currently recommending at least an 8-week long stretch for any gatherings of 50-people or more in the United States. The question still remains if Disney will take heed to this longer warning. Right now, the official statement from the company is that the closure is through the end of this month.

Related: Will Disney Parks Stay Closed Longer? CDC Says No Crowds Over 50

However, the cancellation of the Disney college program sparked a lot of conversation. The cast were sent home abruptly and told they had to leave their dorms by March 18th.

D’Amaro addressed the Disney College Program decision in his message by stating: “I want to acknowledge our hard-working college, culinary and exchange program participants. We made the difficult decision to suspend these programs, based on guidance from leading health agencies as these participants live in dorm-like housing here at our Resort. We believe it’s the right thing to do and is consistent with the way college and university programs are prioritizing social distancing. We are actively working with each individual to help them get home, including finding the right solution to each of their unique circumstances.”

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Cast Member Preview Announcement
Credit: Josh D’Amaro via IG: @joshdamaro

The news about the decision to close Resort hotels and Disney Springs came in just last night. D’Maro also noted this and added that in light of this decision, they will be donating the extra food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Related: Operations Update: Disney World Hotels, Disney Springs, Downtown Disney Closing

Josh shared: “As you can imagine, closing our resort so quickly leaves us with a great deal of extra food. To help other Central Floridians in need during this time, Walt Disney World Resort will donate excess food inventory like fresh salads, greens and hot items to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.”

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Credit: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Way to go Disney! Although, there’s no surprise there.

In his closing statement, D’Amaro shared a heartfelt message with an inspirational quote from Walt Disney.

“May Walt Disney World bring joy and inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place…” That was our wish when we first opened in 1971, and that will be our wish when we open our parks again.

Stay safe and healthy. We’ll see you soon. 

With respect,

Josh 

We’ll continue bringing you all the updates of the current status for Disney Parks as we all continue to do our part, stay home, stay healthy, and keep the magic alive! See ya real soon, Disney!

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