Why The Walt Disney World Bubble Makes it The Best Spot For NBA to Resume Their Season
Nearly every morning I start off by with a little television. Grab my coffee, turn on my computer and I have it on in the background as I get to work. The new normal. My jaw dropped Monday morning when a popular sports show host suggested that New York City would be a better and safer place for the NBA than Walt Disney World.
I’m sorry what!
As a Disney fan, I think a lot of folks who are new to this blog might think I would blindly be biased to Disney. I am a Disney fan but I’m also a huge traveler. For years, I spent a week a month on the road. I would travel for work all over the country and travel frequently for fun as well.
I would feel 100% comfortable traveling to Walt Disney World and staying in the Walt Disney World bubble right now.
What is the Disney Bubble?
Walt Disney World is a total immersion experience. Disney has designed their Florida property to be all-inclusive. You have everything you need on property and no real reason to leave. It was designed this way so that guests would remain on property and spend all their money at Disney.
The Disney bubble includes multiple transportation options to get you anywhere you need or want to go on property. Dining is of course a part of the bubble experience. Any type of food and/or dining experience from theme park food to 5 Diamond dining experiences are available on property. Shopping, grocery delivery, full service amenities. The bubble is real.
In addition, the bubble is entirely located on private property. Disney owns all of it and then some. They have their own security, fire department and more. It’s a city on private property with a castle. That also means that Disney can fully dictate what does and does not happen on property.
What The Bubble Means For The NBA
Disney can control nearly everything that happens on their property which makes it the safest place for the NBA or any group to resume functions. They can and do require that all castmembers and people on property wear face coverings.
Said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver regarding the NBA season resuming at Walt Disney World. “One of the reasons we selected Orlando was because of Disney,” Silver said, “and our longtime partnership with them and our confidence in them as operators.”USA Today
The NBA will be quarantined at some of the ritziest Walt Disney World resort properties. They have released some of the requirements they have set for housekeeping and other protocols in regards to The Gran Destino Tower, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and The Yacht Club, where players will be staying.
According to the NBA “in no event may a Disney cast member deliver luggage personally inside a player or staff member’s room.” Castmembers necessary for the resorts will only clean a hotel room when players, coaches and staff members are not occupying the resort. Mousekeeping (Disney housekeeping) staff will service rooms once a week but can increase services upon request.NBA
Disney and The NBA are working through protocols for food delivery service and cleaning throughout the resort.
In terms of public space, mousekeepers will frequently sanitize the elevator, lobby and hand rails. Public restrooms will also be closed every two hours for cleaning.
High-touch surfaces will be sanitized and cleaned every two hours, medium-touch services will be sanitized and cleaned about every four hours and low-touch areas will be sanitized and cleaned once daily at minimum. Many of these guidelines will also be in place for guests traveling to Disney not just for the NBA players.
Disney castmembers will arrange for meal delivery to be placed outside each room for players and personnel. Disney will also staff take-out restaurants with the same employees to eliminate staff turnover. They will all be required to wear masks and gloves, while maintaining strict social distancing guidelines.
Training and practice equipment will be deep cleaned in between uses after a team leaves the area. Teams will be responsible for their own laundry, but Disney castmembers will clean the hotel linens.
Interactions between castmembers and teams will be extremely limited.
Players and NBA Personnel will be regularly tested but Disney castmembers will not. Instead, each day prior to a shift, castmembers must take their temperature at home. A temperature over 100.4 degrees will result in the employee calling in sick to work. Their temperature will again be taken once they reach property. If they register a temperature oer 100.4 they will immediately be sent home. Disney has agreed that any employee calling in sick due to fever or symptoms will be paid for sick days. This helps ensure castmembers don’t work through potential symptoms.
Employees will also have to report any symptoms, including coughing, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. They will also have to report if they have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the prior 14 days. Employees will be sent home if they answer affirmatively to any of those questions.
This Level of Quarantine Couldn’t Be Accomplished in New York City
Walt Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan. It’s also privately owned and as we mentioned earlier, they can enforce rules and policies and control the environment. Something New York City can’t do regardless of what restrictions are in place.
Manhattan has a population of over 1.6 million people. Disney World will be working with minimal staff, strictly trained in the safety and sanitation protocols that have been put in place.
In addition, Disney resorts occupied by NBA players and personnel will be closed to the public and contact with the outside world is able to be minimized; something else that can’t be done in Manhattan.
Player and Personnel Responsibilites
Both Disney and the NBA have a lot at stake with this restart. It is important that players and personnel take this as seriously as the NBA orgnaization and Disney are taking this. With all of the extra precautions being taken to ensure the health and safety of players and personnel, the players and personnel have a responsibility to conduct themselves in the safest, smartest way possible.
They need to be diligent regarding wearing masks, washing their hands, showering regularly, sanitizing their hands, social distancing and more. It is their responsibility as much as the responsibility of the NBA and Disney to protect themselves and also protect the castmembers and anyone they come in contact with.
The resorts that players are staying in will initially not be open to the public so contact between players and castmembers and the outside world is extremely limited.
It’s a risk. Everything is a risk. There are so many unknowns. In regards to the virus and where we are headed as a society and for how long we will be living in a Coronavirus nightmare. We all must take this seriously. We must take our own health and the health of those around us seriously in order for this to get under control and to see some semblance or normalcy and light at the end of this tunnel.
There is no safer more controlled environment than Walt Disney World property to resume the NBA season. In order for this to work, the players, the personnel, the castmembers, the NBA as a whole, the Walt Disney Company must all take this seriously. But, if they are going to move forward with this, there is no safer place to do it in the continental US, there is no better company to put this in the hands of than the Walt Disney Company.
This can work and Disney is the place to make it work but the reality is that everyone needs to shoulder the responsibility of taking this seriously and behaving accordingly and making good decisions.
Stay tuned right here to For The Love of The Mouse for more on the Disney reopening. Thanks for stopping by and we’ll see ya’ real soon.
(Source: ESPN, USA Today, Yahoo Sports)