The construction cranes were still surrounding Cinderella Castle on Monday, the first day of Disney World’s temporary closure. Was it a sign Disney might be continuing on with some of its many projects that are currently underway?
It appears not. According to the Orlando Business Journal, Disney has halted all construction due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping our country.
In recent days, health and government officials have placed even tighter restrictions on public gatherings. What was once groups of no more than 250 could assemble for the next 8 weeks quickly became groups of 50 and the latest number has been reduced to 10. This new safety recommendation has come at a time when Disney World has several construction projects in the works for its 50th-anniversary celebration happening in 2021.
While Disney has yet to release an official statement, Mark Wylie, president and CEO of the Central Florida chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc. says these new limitations will make construction nearly impossible to carry on at Disney World. Central Florida construction sites have begun to shut down due to these closures. According to WFTV 9, construction workers were let go from places like Buena Vista Construction after the parks shut down. The Disney affiliated company deals with park maintenance and repairs, which have currently been halted.
There’s some hope for “less intensive projects” such as Cinderella Castle’s refurbishment which might be able to continue on, but according to Wylie, Disney’s larger projects such as Epcot’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, as well as the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, could be impacted by this disruption.
Postponing construction could also drastically affect the timeframe Disney had originally planned for these new attractions to open. We could possibly see grand opening dates for Disney’s upcoming attractions pushed back as a direct result.
This would include work on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel that is scheduled to open in 2021 as well as the massive Epcot Transformation, Space 220 Restaurant, Spaceship Earth’s refurbishment which was slated to take kick-off starting in May. We might also see Magic Kingdom’s TRON Lightcycle Run, once expected to be open in time for Disney World’s 50th-anniversary deferred.
While no delayed openings are confirmed, it is simply a possibility since they aren’t able to proceed with construction at the moment. We’ll continue to update you as this story unfolds including if or when Disney makes an announcement regarding the construction of its upcoming attractions and experiences, so stay tuned.
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