Celebrating health heroes, animal health checks and births – and keeping Mickey topiary trimmed: What’s happening behind the closed doors of the Disney theme parks revealed
- Theme parks in both Florida and California have been shut since mid-March due to the coronavirus crisis
- But despite the closures, staff are still working at the parks and plenty is going on behind the scenes
- Gardens are still being looked after, performers are continuing to rehearse and animals are being cared for
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
If you’re wondering what’s happening behind the closed doors of Disney’s theme parks – all can be revealed.
The parks in both Florida and California have been shut since mid-March as a result of the coronavirus crisis and there is no indication when they will re-open.
But there is still plenty going on despite the closures, including daily traditions and even animal births, the Walt Disney Company has revealed.
The Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World in Florida, which has been closed since mid-March. Last week, Cinderella’s Castle was lit up blue to pay tribute to healthcare workers
The Disney Parks Blog revealed how the traditional daily flag-raising ceremony is still taking place at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Florida – despite it being closed
For example, at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the ritual of raising the United States flag at the start of every day in the Magic Kingdom is still taking place.
On the Disney Parks Blog, footage was shared of three security guards raising the flag up the pole on Main Street – despite having no visitors to witness the ceremony.
The president of Walt Disney World, Josh D’Amaro, said: ‘While our world looks very different today, one thing endures… the American flag still flies over Walt Disney World.
‘I’m inspired how our security cast members continue to raise it each and every morning at the Magic Kingdom while they are on duty protecting the magic.’
Meanwhile, Mr D’Amaro posted snaps he took during a walkaround to his Instagram account to reveal how staff at the Epcot park are still tending to the stunning flowers and topiaries – including one of Mickey Mouse dressed as a wizard.
The Florida resort has also been paying tribute to health workers and earlier this month, Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom was lit up in blue in a ‘message of thanks and appreciation to celebrate the health heroes who are helping so many’.
The president of Walt Disney World, Josh D’Amaro, posted snaps he took during a walkaround to his Instagram account to reveal how staff at the Epcot park are still tending to the stunning flowers and topiaries
In addition, staff at Florida’s Animal Kingdom have been kept busy by the arrival of two new residents.
The first, a baby porcupine, known as a porcupette, was born on February 25 – before the parks closed.
She is being cared for by the animal care team, who are continuing to look after all the creatures in the park during the lockdown.
Another new creature the team is looking after is a baby zebra called Asha, who was born on March 21.
The foal, who was born to mother Heidi, weighed 65 pounds and she was standing within 30 minutes of birth.
Staff at the Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World in Florida have been continuing to look after animals, including this baby porcupine
The Animal Kingdom welcomed a new resident on March 21, baby zebra Asha, who weighed 65 pounds and was standing within 30 minutes of birth
Keepers described her as ‘active and curious’ adding ‘this little lady is much like her mother and has very long legs’.
Meanwhile, performers who usually entertain guests at the Disneyland Resort in California have been continuing to stay pitch-perfect by rehearsing from home.
These include the Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet that delight guests on Main Street in the Disneyland Park, who have been posting rehearsals and performances online.
One amazing clip shows the men join together for a rendition of the Disney classic song When You Wish Upon A Star.
And in the park itself, the Victorian-style lamp that glows from Walt Disney’s apartment each night is continuing to shine – as it has done for decades.
At the Disneyland Park in California, the Victorian-style lamp that glows from Walt Disney’s apartment each night is continuing to shine
The Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet that delight guests on Main Street in the Disneyland Park, have been posting rehearsals and performances online
Disneyland president Rebecca Campbell said: ‘It glows as a source of inspiration to our cast and our guests as a remembrance of the man who once looked out that window to the sights of happy families making memories below.
‘Today, even in a world filled with so much uncertainty, that light still shines, bright as ever.’
Yesterday, it was reported that Disney’s theme parks might not open again until 2021 as strict social distancing measures would need to stay in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Other factors including travel restrictions and recession brought on by the global pandemic could also contribute to the business becoming ‘less profitable’, until a vaccine is ‘widely available’, according to a report by UBS banking group.
This month, the Walt Disney Company announced it had ceased paying 100,000 staff to save $500 million a month. The five-week shutdown has impacted more than 50 per cent of its workforce.
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