More than 8,000 sign petition asking to delay reopening Disney World

Over 8,000 people have signed a petition urging Disney executives and Florida officials to change their plan to reopen the Disney World theme park in Orlando next month as cases of COVID-19 increase in the state. 

Florida recorded over 5,500 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, an all-time high that broke the previous record set last week. Over 109,000 cases have been reported since March 1.

“Reconsider the opening of theme parks and resorts until a time when COVID-19 cases are no longer rising and no longer posing risk of spreading this disease to our working cast/team members, their families, and our theme park guests,” the petition on reads. 

The petition is addressed to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (D) and Orange County, Fla., Mayor Jerry Demings (D). It was organized by Katie Belisle, a Disney World Attractions hostess, Reuters reported.

“As individuals who work in the bustling tourism industry in central Florida, we are responsible for ensuring the safety of our guests and our fellow magic makers. Keeping ourselves and our visitors safe is our number one priority, in every theme park. This includes our health and wellbeing. We are encouraged to say something when we see something that we deem is unsafe so we’re speaking up,” the petition states. 

“Mayors, Theme Park Executives, Government Officials – please hear what we are saying,” it added.  

Disney World announced last month that it is slated to begin reopening in July. Of the theme park’s four parks, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom plan to begin reopening on July 11.

Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios plan to reopen on July 15. At the time of the announcement, Disney said that visitors would undergo temperature checks and be required to wear face masks inside of the parks.

Disney’s California theme park Disneyland is also set to begin reopening in July. A coalition of unions representing thousands of workers at the park said in a letter this week to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) that it is “not yet convinced it is safe to reopen the park.”

A Disney spokesperson said that talks on reopening the California theme park are still ongoing.  

The Hill has reached out to Disney World for comment.

Tags Coronavirus Disney Disney Land Gavin Newsom Orlando

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