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Report: Disney and Workers One Step Closer to Reopening Walt Disney World

By Howard Smith – May 15, 2020 at 11:53AM

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After reopening its Shanghai theme park, an agreement with worker unions on safeguards may mean the Orlando park is next, a report says.

The Walt Disney Co. (DIS 2.97%) and unions for its Florida employees have agreed to the new safety practices and protocols that will be put in place to allow for a reopening of the Orlando Walt Disney World theme park, according to a CNBC report. Disney has said that it will open some shopping areas and restaurants at its Disney Springs center on May 20, 2020, but hasn't set a date to open the theme parks. 

In a statement posted on social media, the Service Trade Council Union (STCU), which represents several groups that make up the 43,000 Walt Disney World employees, said a new safety agreement has been put in place with the company providing employees the following: three face masks, thermometers upon request, appropriate related COVID-19 training, and no attendance-related discipline for those who call off work with virus symptoms.

Bob Iger with Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Image Source: The Walt Disney Co.

Disney began closing all of its theme parks in late January as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread. Shanghai Disneyland reopened on May 11, 2020 in an initial reopening phase that included limited attendance, social distancing throughout the park, preordering tickets, and increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures. 

The STCU statement said new practices at the Florida parks will include mask requirements for guests and employees, social distancing meaures, touchless payments and plastic barriers at cash registers, and enhanced cleaning in high traffic areas.

Visiting guests will find new hand-washing and sanitizing stations throughout the park when it reopens, and temperature checks will be required for entry, according to the STCU statement. 

Howard Smith owns shares of Walt Disney and has the following options: long January 2021 $80 calls on Walt Disney and short July 2020 $115 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short July 2020 $115 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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