Walt Disney World in Florida set to reopen July 11, despite performers’ safety concerns

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Walt Disney World is still scheduled to reopen on July 11, but employees who are members of Actors’ Equity have rejected the park’s reopening plans because Disney is not providing COVID-19 testing. Photo by Pixabay.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all bars, movie theaters, and indoor dining facilities closed for at least three weeks in 19 counties, including Los Angeles and Orange, where Disneyland is located. This comes as coronavirus cases are surging in the state. 

In Florida, where cases are also spiking, Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking a different approach, insisting that it’s not necessary to close restaurants. 

The Disney theme parks in the two states have also diverged on reopening. Disneyland in Anaheim remains closed, canceling its initial July reopening date, with no announced plan to resume operations. But Walt Disney World in Orlando still plans to open again on July 11.  

Some Disney fans may be excited, but Disney cast members returning to work will be in contact with hundreds of people every day — without the benefit of COVID-19 testing. Actors’ Equity, the union that represents some Disney World performers, has rejected the park’s reopening plan, insisting it’s unfair and unsafe that employees return to work without employee-sponsored testing, especially when performers working in Hollywood productions do get tested. 

 Meanwhile at the movies, August is the new July in terms of release dates. Both “Tenet” and “Mulan,” which were supposed to come out in July, have been pushed to August. But will the movies really be able to premiere in theaters then, or will they be pushed even later? There’s no way any big studio film can open without movie theaters being open in California, Texas and New York. 



Kaitlin Parker