Four meetings of the various subcommittees for Florida’s Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force took place today, with more scheduled throughout the rest of the week. As Orange County is one of two counties in which Walt Disney World resides (the other being Osceola County), we’ve been staying tuned to the conversations surrounding the reopening of businesses in Orange County.
Committee members discuss a diverse group of issues, concerns, and potential guidelines for a wide range of business operations. Here, we’re sharing a few items from today’s meetings, particularly with regards to the area’s theme parks — including Walt Disney World — which are currently closed to promote safety amidst the global health situation.
Earlier today we focused on the ongoing discussions surrounding the reopening of the theme parks (as there are representatives on the Task Force from Disney, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld), which was one topic discussed among the Reopening Working Group.
“When will the parks reopen?” is the big question from those of us who are theme park fans. And while there is no specific answer — or even timeline — for that question yet, today’s discussion involved WHO might determine the whens-and-hows of reopening the theme parks.
The meeting included a proposal that the theme parks (and other unique venues and associations like Orlando City Soccer and Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center) might best be suited to determine their own reopening timelines and procedures, based largely on their record of putting the safety of their guests and employees as their top priority.
Though this is a conversation that will continue and no specific guidelines or decisions are in place yet, you can read about that discussion in further detail here.
Another subcommittee meeting that took place today which we took particular interest in was the “Working Group for Bringing Back Tourism.” And a common thread between the two meetings seems to be a shared confidence in the theme parks, both from a business perspective (as shared above), and from a tourism-focused (or guest) perspective.
Phil Brown of Orlando International Airport shared that while much of the return of tourism will begin with visitors who drive to Florida, he stressed that what will really bring guests back to Florida is, of course, the reopening of the theme parks. He also noted that the airports should work in cooperation with the theme parks to instill confidence in guests. (You can read more about what your future trip to a Florida airport might look like here.)
President & CEO of Visit Orlando, George Aguel serves as one of two co-chairs for the Task Force, and shared that next year is already looking strong for Orlando tourism, and noted the need to maintain health and safety balanced with business recovery. Part of the path towards that recovery includes reminding visitors of the emotional connection they have to Orlando that they may not have for anywhere else.
These conversations are shared for the public on Orange TV. And you can read more about how the global situation is currently affecting Disney parks around the world by clicking any of the links below.
Are you keeping up with the conversations about the Orlando theme parks and their reopenings? Please let us know with a comment.