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  1. #1
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    Default Should you visit WDW during the coronavirus outbreak?

    I know a lot of people are asking about visiting Walt Disney World during the coronavirus outbreak. As someone who lives in Wuhan and was evacuated and quarantined, I just want to pass on some advice about whether or not to visit during this time:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z59AdT-Mxwc

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  3. #2
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    I went to WDW MK 2 days before they announced the 2 cases in Tampa, which I live near. I’m also pregnant. A couple of people were wearing masks. But the park was actually fairly crowded.
    I also fully intend to go back in the next few weeks as well.


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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunzelBelle View Post
    I went to WDW MK 2 days before they announced the 2 cases in Tampa, which I live near. I’m also pregnant. A couple of people were wearing masks. But the park was actually fairly crowded.
    I also fully intend to go back in the next few weeks as well.
    Did you notice any differences? Extra hand sanitizer? Safety warnings?

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  6. #4
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    Walt Disney World has made hand sanitizer available all over the parks and at the resorts. This announcement was made yesterday

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy 1 View Post
    Walt Disney World has made hand sanitizer available all over the parks and at the resorts. This announcement was made yesterday
    At least they are trying to do something. There should be extra cleaning staff as well!

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  10. #6
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    We have a trip planned for mid-May, and unless they close the park, we'll be there. But, yeah, we'll take every precaution to keep ourselves healthy while we do it.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Who knows?? :(

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  12. #7
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    Don't touch the handrails! Don't touch the bathroom fixtures! Don't touch anything!
    Stay out of long lines and crowds of people! Don't eat in restaurants! Don't sit on rides!
    Don't breathe the air! aaaaacccgggg! Going to Disney World is the complete opposite of being quarantined. It is a germaphobe's nightmare. Don't even think about all the many ways that microbes can be transferred from person to person there. People should stay away in droves.
    That will make it far less crowded for the rest of us.
    1971 (age 15) MK was new!
    1974 off-site (Senior Trip)
    1982 off-site
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    May 2002 AS-Sports, with DW & kids
    May 2004 Pop Century
    Feb 2005 Wilderness Lodge
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    Oct 2008 Camped at Fort Wilderness
    Feb 2010 Cruise on the Wonder
    Dec 2014 POFQ for Christmas!

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  14. #8
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    Default Should you visit WDW during the coronavirus outbreak?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyFan101 View Post
    Did you notice any differences? Extra hand sanitizer? Safety warnings?
    Nothing... but I will note that when I went to bathrooms still not everyone was washing their hands.


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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunzelBelle View Post
    Nothing... but I will note that when I went to bathrooms still not everyone was washing their hands.


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    That's just gross anytime.
    Dave aka: Altair
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups" - George Carlin

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  18. #10
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    I realize that I am in the complete minority here but I am very allergic to many cleaning products so I carry my own plant based products. So while it looks like I am not washing it is bc I cannot risk using their products. Also I tend to use the larger stalls that have their own sinks. I know this is true in many of the family restrooms as with the larger stalls at MKs restrooms near guest services. Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Just saying sometimes people can be washing just not visible to you.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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  20. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunzelBelle View Post
    Nothing... but I will note that when I went to bathrooms still not everyone was washing their hands.


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    This happens all the time. In nursing school, we're taught to open the doors using a paper towel to hold the handle after we wash our hands.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  21. #12
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    You are probably more likely to catch the flu. But yes, I just left WDW yesterday, and I noticed that they have hand sanitizer stations in various locations.
    All Star Sports-Hurricane Jeanne & Old Key West-2004
    All Star Movie, Old Key West, Coronado Spring-2005
    Wilderness Lodge-Club Level-2007
    All-Star Movies-November 2008
    AKL-Jambo House, Club Level - Feb 2011
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    Grand Floridian Resort- November 2015

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  23. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunzelBelle View Post
    Nothing... but I will note that when I went to bathrooms still not everyone was washing their hands.
    Thanks, that's good to know!

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  25. #14
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    Yes, visit... And better yet, lick the handrails!!!
    Son of Jor-El.. Kneel before Zod...

    TRICIA JONES: I heard that you were going to propose to Brandi Svenning at some theme park. When are men going to learn that women want ROMANCE, not Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...

    BRODIE: Hey, now, be fair. EVERYONE wants Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

  26. #15
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    There is an article from the Washington Post this morning on Disney World and the virus:
    ORLANDO — The Disney trip had been planned for months when reports of coronavirus hit the news, and leaders of the children’s cancer charity weren’t about to cancel.

    They ushered seven kids through the crowded gates of the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday, toward the paale-pink Cinderella’s Castle. They snapped photographs as the group posed with Rapunzel and Tiana, a face mask covering one little girl’s smile. They screamed through the gentle twists and turns of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and stayed late into the night for Space Mountain.

    Although experts say coronavirus poses a higher risk to those with underlying conditions, there have been few reports of children becoming sick. Among this group, accompanied by a doctor who tended to their medical needs, the virus wasn’t anyone’s top concern.

    “When you’re fighting for your life and you have this opportunity to come to Disney,” said Chinos Liner, founder of the Cancun-based Chinos Cause for Cancer, “I think you forget about what happens in the world.”

    Beyond the polished grounds of the park this week, anxiety over the virus mounted. The death toll surpassed 3,400 by Saturday as countries reported ever-increasing numbers of infections and global financial markets reeled.

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency Sunday after two people tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, in areas outside of Orlando. At a press briefing Monday, Vice President Pence did not directly answer a question about whether he would feel comfortable bringing his family to Disney World during the outbreak, offering only: “I travel across this country all the time.”

    Four additional cases were discovered during the week, bringing the state’s total to six. Late Friday, the Department of Health announced the state’s first deaths, two patients in their 70s who each returned from international trips. Meanwhile, 278 people were being monitored.

    On financial websites and Disney fan blogs this week, observers fretted over vacations to the parks and investments in the company. They raised the specter of Disney closing its theme park locations in the United States — something that’s happened only during hurricanes and the 9/11 terrorist attacks but became more tangible to some after Disney’s Asia parks shuttered late last month.

    “It’s not outlandish to think that we could eventually bump up against the world’s leading theme park operator temporarily closing down its iconic theme parks on both coasts,” analyst Rick Munarriz wrote on the investment advice site the Motley Fool. “Even if Disney doesn’t resort to locking down its entrance turnstiles, the growing number of worrisome headlines will eventually weigh on travel plans.”

    There has not been official guidance on travel to unaffected parts of the United States or to large gatherings of people. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the virus inevitably will spread widely within the country, potentially requiring communities to “modify, postpone, or cancel mass gatherings.”

    This week, though, busloads of people streamed into the Magic Kingdom, the world’s most-visited theme park. Children cheered as Mickey and Minnie skipped across the steps of Cinderella’s Castle. Costumed Disney characters embraced fans and held them close for photos. Lines for rides stretched an hour long late into the afternoon; conversations revolved around which rides to try or memories of past visits.

    The coronavirus was on the front pages of the newspapers stacked in Disney resorts but not on the forefront of visitors’ minds.

    “It’s here, right? It’s not like you can bunker down and become a hermit,” said Patrick White, 57, who came from Chicago with his adult daughter. “Or you can, but to me that would be very lonely.”

    There was the occasional sight of someone whipping out a bottle of Purell, and park officials reported adding hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks — although few were visible at the Magic Kingdom Wednesday. Employees at two stores said they had none left for sale.

    “Right now, all the parks are in planning stages,” said Duncan Dickson, a former Disney executive and retired professor from the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. “They’re playing ‘What if.’ What if this happens? What if this happens? They’re making contingency plans.”

    ‘Still open for business’
    Orlando is the tourism capital of the United States, the driver of a $75 billion industry in Central Florida. Even as fear over the coronavirus crept closer, with the cancellation of five conferences dealing an estimated $186 million blow to Orange County by the end of the week, some seemed reluctant to discuss its potential impact.

    The city’s mayor and at least one commissioner offered only a prepared statement declaring that the city “will continue to monitor and work closely with the County and State Health Department.” The University of Central Florida barred a hospitality professor from giving interviews about the virus’s potential impact on tourism, instead referring inquiries to top administrators.

    Becca Bides, vice president of marketing for Orlando’s tourism bureau, said in prepared comments that there had been “no significant impact” to leisure visitation, adding that 91 percent of visitors come from within the United States. She said the region “does not have direct air service to China or any country currently under a U.S. travel advisory.”

    Disney representatives did not respond to multiple interview requests from The Washington Post. In a post on the company’s blog, chief medical officer Dr. Pamela Hymel wrote Disney was “in regular contact with health agencies for information and guidance.” She noted the parks have “high standards of cleanliness” and are implementing preventive measures in line with CDC recommendations.

    Similarly, Universal Orlando Resort said in a statement officials were reinforcing health and hygiene procedures, enhancing cleaning protocols and “ready to act as needed.”
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

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  28. #16
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    and the rest of the article (since I hit the max post length):

    In the wake of the first three convention cancellations, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings at a news conference Thursday said the county remained free of confirmed cases. He called the risk to the community “very low,” adding that leisure travel remained strong.

    “We invite families and others to consider vacationing here, especially during spring break,” said the mayor, the husband of U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D). “We are still open for business here in Orange County.”

    But elsewhere in the Sunshine State, even areas without confirmed cases were seeing tourism ramifications. On Friday, Miami leaders called off Ultra Music Festival, a three-day event set to begin March 20. With about 170,000 attendees last year, the festival’s economic impact in Miami-Dade County has been estimated at $168 million.

    Some in the Orlando tourism industry said they fear for the spring and summer months. Orlando Travel Company owner Ashley Moss, whose family has been in the business for three decades, said she had been moving “full steam ahead” — until the second half of the week.

    Bookings remained stable, but her optimism slipped as she read news reports and contacted vendors about availability for April and beyond.

    Airlines, travel and cruise industries hurt by coronavirus could get tax relief from White House

    “The hard part about this is there’s really no way to prepare for it, and there’s really no way to tell which direction this is going to go,” Moss said. “Is it going to get worse, or is it going to get better at some point? I’ve never seen anything like this. My family’s been doing this for 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    At Fun Spot, a small, family-owned park just off the touristy International Drive, carts of people sped up and down the White Lightning and Freedom Flyer roller coasters. It was a normal day, said John Chidester, the park’s vice president of marketing. There had been no downturn in sales or interest.

    “I think we’re all waiting,” he said. “We’re waiting to see how the story unfolds. I don’t think anyone is taking it any further than that, because nobody knows what will end up occurring. Are we hopeful? Yes.”

    Albert Ko, a professor of epidemiology and department chair at the Yale School of Public Health, said the country appeared to be entering a phase of the virus where people might need to consider reducing unnecessary travel and avoiding large gatherings in close quarters.

    At that stage, he said, it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive.

    “When do you pull the trigger?” Ko said. “That’s kind of the unknown, or the uncharted territory.”

    For now, Orlando International Airport remained crowded with visitors. Demings, the Orange County mayor, said in an interview he was optimistic leisure tourism would stay strong, believing that even amid a public health crisis “people will want to travel, will want to relax in environments where they feel safe.”

    Disney World still was still ending each day with its “Happily Ever After” fireworks show. The Most Magical Place on Earth was still the Most Magical Place on Earth.

    Major decisions were being made behind the scenes, where parks officials watched the virus closely. Late into the week, the situation didn’t seem significant enough to warrant closure, said Dickson, the former executive. But that could change.

    Disney officials have to balance keeping people safe against causing unnecessary panic, Dickson said. And they have to consider the impact on the 85,000 employees who count on them for a paycheck.

    “It’s a difficult thing because there are huge economic consequences, but there are also huge safety and health consequences,” he said. “So you’ve got to make your decisions based on the best interests of both.”

    Disney’s actions, whatever they might be, could send ripples across the entire entertainment industry, the Motley Fool’s Munarriz said, telling The Post: “All eyes have to be on the mouse.”

    To go or not to go?
    Tourists in Orlando, for their part, ranged from nonchalant to concerned about the virus — but not concerned enough to change their vacation plans.

    Alex Riddell, visiting from Ontario with his wife, was unfazed, telling a reporter, “It’s a sickness. It’s going to eventually either be cured or peter out.” Local Armando Torres, at the Magic Kingdom for his son’s birthday, argued that “every few years there’s a scare.” Jokingly, he added, “You’ve got to die of something.” Others said they believed now was the time to travel, in case the situation worsened.

    “It almost made me not want to come,” said Prentis Davis of Alabama, who was celebrating his son’s seventh birthday and wore a shirt with the word “Daddy” over Mickey’s face. But, he added, “I figured it was going to get bad regardless.”

    Jake and Rachel Beren went back and forth in the days leading up to their flight: Should they still go? Should they still bring their boys, one a toddler and the other 4 months old? In the end, they reasoned they hadn’t worried about SARS or the flu or H1N1. They stocked up on hand sanitizer and made the trip from New Jersey to Florida.

    As he watched his towheaded son frolic at a waterfront area in the Disney Springs shopping complex, Jake Beren said he was glad they’d come. Still, his worries hadn’t fully dissipated.

    “Every time we see someone sneeze, we’re like, ‘Hold your breath; run away,’” he said, recalling a man in line at Animal Kingdom who had sneezed “like six times.”

    Liner, of the Cancun-based cancer charity, said his organization was “conscious of what’s going on” and insisted it would never put the kids at risk. The group, which included six juvenile cancer patients, felt secure with the doctor’s presence, he added, and many of the kids already had face masks.

    They planned to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios and several other parks during their week-long trip. Everyone wore matching shirts with the children’s names arranged into 53 — the number Chinos Cause for Cancer has taken to Disney since getting started in 2015.

    The virus, Liner said, “would never stop us from coming to make the dreams of the kids.”
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

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  30. #17
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    I thought the article was interesting, but if we had a trip booked for right now, we'd go.

    We went during H1N1. We went after SARS (we're from Toronto, and it was a big deal here). We're always more aware of hygiene, since there are so many bugs, viruses and germs floating around Disney at any time.
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

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  32. #18
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    I thought the article was interesting, but if we had a trip booked for right now, we'd go.

    We went during H1N1. We went after SARS (we're from Toronto, and it was a big deal here). We're always more aware of hygiene, since there are so many bugs, viruses and germs floating around Disney at any time.
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

  33. #19
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    Default Rescheduled Our Trip

    We rescheduled our trip for next week not because of the virus, per se, but because the predicted crowd levels are now 10. When we booked, it was supposed to be a lightly attended weekend (4-5) but suddenly they are expecting holiday crowds (10+). It is hard enough to get into the ladies lav when crowd levels get up to above a 6. It's going to be impossible to wash your hands or maintain any kind of safe distance from other people. Forget finding disinfecting wipes for wiping down the handholds and handrails on the rides, either. As it is, it's almost impossible to find hand sanitizer in the stores and I have taken to making my own. If you do insist on going to WDW at this time, you should at least bring some disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer of your own because I doubt that Disney can keep up with that many people trying to keep their hands clean in that environment.

  34. #20
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    After a bit of a fight with the travel insurance website I have worked out how to add "natural catastrophe insurance" to my cover, which comes into play if the WHO declares a pandemic and it becomes impossible to travel.

    For us our plan is to go as long as it is possible, we are all relatively fit and well and as a group of 5 (4 of whom are in work) trying to organise a two week holiday it would be difficult for everyone to rearrange to the same date. The things that would stop us would be if the parks were closed or the flights were cancelled... we don't have the option of driving, the Atlantic Ocean is a bit too wet for our car!
    Disney World Visits:
    1. May-June 1998 (3 weeks)
    2. May-June 2001 (3 weeks)
    3. October-November 2004 (2 weeks)
    4. August-September 2010 (2 weeks)
    5. August-September 2017 (2 weeks)

    NOW APPROACHING: 6. May 2021

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