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WATCH: Disney unveils its park reopening advertising: Will it convince the crowds?

PortandTerminal.com, July 9, 2020

“By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19” (Source: Disney website legal warning)

ORLANDO, FL – Disney’s new advertising to promote its theme park reopening this weekend has aired. It gives a good insight into what we can expect to see from cruise line marketing when they eventually start up again as well. Expect to see lots of images of masks being worn by crew and plenty of reassuring visual cues that hygiene is their top priority.

Will Disney’s marketing efforts work? That’s unlikely based upon consumer research.

Despite polarized news coverage that would suggest otherwise, people on both sides of the political aisle are starting to wise up to the fact that COVID-19 doesn’t care about how we feel, vote or think. It isn’t picky about who it infects and kills.

No one is a Democrat or a Republican when they’re on a respirator.

There’s an old saying that no one is an atheist in a foxhole. Let’s update that saying to reflect the times that we are living through: No one is a Democrat or a Republican when they’re on a respirator. They’re just sick, scared and alone. This virus is not to be negotiated, cajoled or pleaded with.

Nevertheless, Disney steams ahead with its reopening this weekend in Florida.

The company announced that it will begin a phased reopening process for its Orlando Walt Disney World theme park on July 11. 

We have taken enhanced health and safety measures. Follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World Resort. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.” (Source: Disney website)

Many obviously question the timing of the reopening as Florida turns into the red-zone of COVID-19 infections in America.

Those who don’t question the ill timing of Disney’s haven’t been paying attention. The debate is over, the data and deaths details are in – rushing state reopenings have backfired. Infection rates in Florida, Texas, Arizona and elsewhere are exploding and forcing state politicians to backtrack and close businesses up again.

“By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19” Disney website legal warning reads.

How bad is it? Even Mexico has shut its border to the United States to limit its exposure to our infection levels. We are a very sick nation.

Florida is a prime example of the consequences of rushing reopening and many experts feel that Disney restarting this weekend will only make a bad situation worse.

To date, the sunshine state has registered almost 233,000 infections and seen a massive increase in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. In June, Florida infections rose by 168% or over 95,000 new cases.

“I think the world survives just fine without Disney.”

“We are in the middle of pandemic, we need to think about what is important to open and what is not important to open,” Dr. Carlos Del Rio, an Atlanta-based infectious diseases specialist, said. “I think the world survives just fine without Disney.”

Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park is seen empty of visitors after it closed in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus disease
FILE PHOTO: Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park is seen empty of visitors after it closed in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in an aerial view in Orlando, Florida, U.S. March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Gregg Newton

Dr. Ravina Kullar, a Los Angeles-based infectious disease specialist and spokeswoman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America doesn’t pull any punches. Theme parks will be a “breeding ground” for Covid-19 transmission and should remain closed until there is a decrease in cases.

Disney’s employees agree and are scared about this weekend’s planned opening as well.

The actors’ union representing 750 Walt Disney World performers has filed a grievance against the Orlando, Florida-based theme park alleging retaliation against its members over the union’s demand that they be tested for the coronavirus.

Over 19,000 people, including some workers, have signed a petition asking Disney to delay the park’s reopening. Unions representing workers at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, also pushed back on that park’s reopening, which was scheduled for July 17 but which the company has delayed indefinitely.

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