Disney World Accused of Putting Cast Members at Risk After Reopening Post-Hurricane

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Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Less than a day after Hurricane Ian struck Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort announced plans for a phased reopening. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened early with staggered hours for Resort hotel Guests and later for all Guests with previously booked Park Pass reservations.

Disney World Fall 2020
Credit: Disney

Disney Springs also opened on Friday, with each third-party shop given a choice to open or remain closed. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is still on at Magic Kingdom. Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will resume operations on Saturday.

Related: Report: Disney Park Losing More Than $80 Million Every Day it’s Closed Because of Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian is one of the worst hurricanes in Florida in years, bringing tornadoes, torrential rainfall, near-Category five winds, and flash flooding. Many homes in the Central Florida area are without power, and roads are still flooded. However, Walt Disney World Resort requested all Cast Members return to work Thursday night unless physically impossible.

Not So Scary
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Cruise Line Announces ALL-NEW Ship!

Some fans and Disney Cast Members wish Walt Disney World Resort would stay closed during this challenging time. @JamieKM16 on Twitter wrote:

Disney is putting profit and guest’s ability to shop at Disney Springs above cast member safety after a destructive hurricane????

She’s not alone. @gretchiekc said:

You know what bugs me? People are in Orlando right now on vacation, complaining about food lines at Disney and this is what cast members‘ reality is outside the Magic Kingdom. Flooding, homes damaged….but God forbid your Mickey waffles aren’t on time.

@isabelle_ftlotp criticized both Disney and Universal Orlando Resort for reopening:

disney: “we’re reopening tomorrow, cast members affected by the hurricane be damned” universal: *is literally underwater*

Despite flooding and damage to Jurassic Park River Adventure, Universal Orlando Resort also began a phased reopening on Friday with plans to fully resume operations on Saturday.

River Adventure
Credit: Universal

Many fans also criticized Influencers and vloggers for live-streaming while sheltering at Walt Disney World Resort during Hurricane Ian. Orlando-area Resorts are considered well-built, safe places to spend a storm, but many feel creators shouldn’t make money off a tragic experience. 

Do you think Walt Disney World Resort should be open? 

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