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Though Universal and Disney rarely cooperate on anything, it looks like when it comes to forming a strategy when it comes to live after the COVID-19 pandemic, these two rivals will have to work together, as executives with Disney and Universal have been appointed to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ task force to reopen Florida’s economy.

Walt Disney World president Josh D’Amaro and Universal Orlando Resort CEO John Sprouls have both joined the committee that will help lead efforts to restart Florida’s economy following impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image: Disney

In addition to the state-level task force, on the local level Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has formed an Economic Recovery Task Force with several top members of the theme park community, including Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Resorts and Transportation Operations; Rich Costales, executive vice president of Universal Orlando Resort operations; and Brad Gilmour, vice president of operations at SeaWorld.

Working together to find a new normal

Image: Universal

While it might seem strange for so many theme park executives to be working towards a singular goal, many theme parks will face similar challenges in the wake of COVID-19. Reports from Disney and Universal seem to indicate that both parks are exploring how they can reopen with reduced operations, lower capacity on attractions, and potentially required masks and temperature checks. 

And of course that is assuming that theme parks can open soon at all. Though it has been reported that Disney was hoping to reopen its theme parks as of June 1st, with Bob Iger recently saying that until there is mass testing, at scale, an opening would be improbable and other analysts stating that it could be 2021 before theme parks could feasibly reopen, there are more questions than answers right now for theme park operations across the state of Florida, which is why these teams working together is so important. 

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Ok their teaming together to agree on what is liable what they'll fight with guests that try to sue and then explain it to FL govt that plan , which it will add no one can sue the govt. Maybe share cleaning resources and distancing rules, that's it.

Then the parks will open. Hopefully by Xmas.

The nation has overreacted. Let's get these parks opened!

Go ahead, pick yourself a healthy dose of Covid-19 up
Cheers

Your comment - is it your research or emperical data of another sort? You speak with such authority it seems you should be at 1600 Penn. street.

They will have a very hard time coming up with an opening plan that's going to both "make people feel safe" and allow close to their regular level of customer experience... Until the truth is admitted about inflated coronavirus numbers, and the disease's true impact. As the facts start to come out, it's gotten beyond the conspiracy theorists and to real Americans - when influenza kills 5x the number of people as COVID, why don't we shut the country down from October-April every year?! If anyone has the resources, clout and economic need to take a stand and get real answers, it's Disney and Universal.

I don't think I'm alone in feeling that if they opened the park, we'd go (we were planning to in July). But when they talk about these measures they're going to put into place - temperature readings, masks in Florida in the summer... Not worth the financial investment. Doesn't sound enjoyable in the least.

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