Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many amusement parks throughout the U.S. have temporarily closed until further notice. But have no fear, for Mickey is here! Boys and girls and old and young have been able to return to the “happiest place on Earth” after Florida’s Disney World park reopened in early July with many new modifications. To ensure the safety and health of everyone at the park, officials have implemented many new policies, including limitations on the number of attendees in the park and the requirement that patrons make reservations to attend. Also, Disney World requires social distancing, regular temperature checks, and the wearing of face masks throughout the park. Other modifications include the use of mobile pay instead of cash and the provision of cleaning stations throughout the park, which allow attendees to feel safer.
Due to health and safety concerns, the reopening of Disney World has given rise to much controversy. Many patrons and health experts believe that Disneyland’s operations will escalate the spread of the coronavirus, even with modifications in place. However, while others perceive the reopening to be detrimental, others believe that the park is providing employment to thousands of workers and generating increased local business. In the wake of the U.S.’ economic recession, the expansion of employment is essential, but to what extent? Is it prudent to risk the health dangers of COVID-19 in order to increase job availability? Many questions remain unanswered and highly contended.
Although Florida’s Disney World has reopened, California’s Disneyland has remained closed and will re-open at a later date. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a story:
Once upon a time, around ten years ago, as a little girl, I was on a lovely vacation with my family at Disneyland. Everything was so exciting: the enormous castle, the pretty princesses waving hello, the rides, and the yummy ice cream. After going on every ride as much as possible, it was time to go to the California Adventure Park! The Adventure Park was always the “big kid park”. Every child that walked around Disneyland grew up just a little bit after entering the Adventure Park gates. Doesn’t California Screamin’ literally scream “big kid”? My family convinced me to ride the Tower of Terror, and when we first got in the line, the big kid inside of me was extremely excited. But, as we got closer to the ride, the little kid inside of me took over and grew extremely scared. Unwilling to express my true feelings about the ride by backing out or throwing a tantrum, I just showed my fear on my face. Soon, though, the big kid inside of me said, “Come on, it will be fun!” I listened and sat on the ride, and I am so glad that I did because to this day, it is one of my favorite rides! I hope this story encourages you to do something that scares you, because if my six-year-old self could, then you definitely can, too. Big or small, I believe in you!