Like the rest of the world, the most magical and happiest places on earth remain closed during the current health pandemic. Stay-at-home orders have been issued, and we’re all anxiously waiting for the fog to clear and for life to return to normal.
However, there might be a new normal after this crisis. So, what does that look like for Disney Parks?
In a recent interview with Barron’s Magazine, Bob Iger, executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company, shared some insight into how the new normal might look at Disney Parks.
Iger sounds positive in the interview, sharing that they have an optimistic outlook for the future of the theme parks. However, he also admits they realize this is the biggest interruption the company has ever faced and doesn’t make light of the severity of the situation.
Disney has always taken guests and cast safety as their top priority. And in the same efforts, they are taking heed and observing what other countries are doing to overcome the health crisis and move forward once the worst has passed.
“We’re studying very carefully what China has been trying to do in terms of their return to normalcy,” Iger noted. “And one of the things that’s obvious is they’ve conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health. You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there—and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen—without having your temperature taken.”
Regarding the theme parks, Iger gave an example of how a new, more health-driven, guest screening procedure would work.
“Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance.”
In a post 9/11 world, it is not unrealistic to expect major procedure changes that will impact our day to day normal. It will be a new normal. And Iger hopes guests will have a level of understanding that this is for everyone’s safety until we know that we have this health crisis under control.
Iger added: “So we’ve asked ourselves the question, let’s prepare for a world where our customers demand that we scrutinize everybody. Even if it creates a little bit of hardship like it takes a little bit longer for people to get in. Just as the case after 9/11 where people ultimately lived with the notion that in order for them to enter a building, if you’re in an office building you have to show a picture ID or get your picture taken and be screened. Or in order to enter a park, you have to put your bags out there to be checked and you go through some kind of metal detector. Or certainly what’s going on in airports with the TSA.”
What are your thoughts on being screened to this extent before entering a Disney Park? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Inside the Magic newsletter below for the latest in Disney news, pixie-dusted content, and more!