In light of the current pandemic, on March 20, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners of Orange County, Florida made the decision to extend the county’s emergency curfew currently in effect another seven days.
All pedestrians and vehicular movement, standing and parking, except for individuals commuting to and from places of employment, the provision of fire, police, emergency and hospital services, medical patients, utility repairs, state and local government employees providing services and emergency calls by physicians within the above curfew area, are prohibited during curfew hours. Curfew hours during which such movement is prohibited shall be each day from 11:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M., commencing on Friday, March 20, 2020 until terminated by executive order.
Originally enacted on March 13, 2020, as a precautionary measure to “flatten the curve” of the current pandemic’s infection rate, Orange County’s Board of Commissioners elected to extend that curfew until March 27, 2020.
This should be taken with a sigh of relief by Disniacs. While the Walt Disney World Resort sits within both Orange Country and Osceola County, most of the beloved attractions, like the Magic Kingdom, reside within the two Orange County “cities” Disney created: Lake Buena Vista, Florida (which had an official population of 11 in 2017) and Bay Lake, Florida (which had an official population of 47 according to the 2010 census). If the County’s Commissioners decided to extend the curfew past March 31, it could most definitely affect the reopening of the Mega-Resort.
While, yes, the order allows for people to commute before 5:00 A.M. and after 11:00 P.M. Disney World operates around the clock and would not be able to properly function within the 5-11 window. Parades are practiced on Main Street late at night. Hotel staff are constantly changing shifts. Not to mention the extensive cleaning and touchups happening in the waning hours after park closing and the early morning moments taken to “set the stage” before rope drop. And as far as we can tell, Disney will continue to attempt to do the right thing and abide by what governments and health officials are suggesting.
As of now, the Walt Disney World resort is still expected to open its gates back up on April 1, 2020. But in the meantime, this executive order is another thing to keep an eye on.