What Was It Like at Disney World on Reopening Day? We Share Our Firsthand Account on CNBC’s Fast Money

As the Covid-19 pandemic rages across the country and Florida today posted its highest numbers yet, Walt Disney World is reopening its theme parks this week. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom reopened on July 11 and ­­EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios open on July 15.

I’ve been on the ground in Orlando covering the park openings and reporting on crowd levels, health and safety protocols, and the overall guest experience.

I appeared on CNBC’s “Fast Money” yesterday with CNBC’s Melissa Lee and Fast Money traders Guy Adami, Brian Kelly, Jeff Mills and Bonawyn Eisen, who discussed the impact of the closures and reopenings on Disney stock as well as the contribution of Disney+ to Disney stock performance, particularly in comparison to Netflix.

After posting opening-day footage that has since gone viral on Twitter, I was invited to share my experience in the parks and was asked about crowd levels and how safe it feels. Watch here:

My key takeaways so far from being at Walt Disney World during a pandemic? Crowds are unprecedentedly low and Disney’s extensive health and safety precautions should go a long way toward keeping guests and cast members (Disney speak for employees) safe. Is that reason enough to hop a flight to Walt Disney World? With an emergency travel order in place for travelers returning to the City of Chicago from Florida and an inherent risk to any public space right now, that’s a decision every family will need to make for themselves.

Are you interested in more coverage of what it’s like to visit Walt Disney World right now and what your family needs to know before you go? Subscribe to our Better Letter for an upcoming story on my experiences and send me your questions at [email protected].


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Brooke Geiger McDonald is a Chicago native who has worked for O, The Oprah Magazine and Shape magazine in New York and for various book publishers in London. Back home in Chicago, she’s outnumbered by her husband and two sons, and the four of them are certifiable Disney and Star Wars fanatics, always counting down the days to their next Disney vacation. Her favorite nonprofits to support include The Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago and organizations focused on environmental conservation and combatting climate change, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and Shedd Aquarium. Follow her on Instagram @brookegmcdonald and Twitter @BrookeGMcDonald.