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July 12, 2020, 6:29 p.m. EDT

‘The beginning of a horror movie’? Disney World slammed as doors reopen amid spiking coronavirus cases

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By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch

Disney World is reopening... but is the public ready for it?

Florida on Sunday broke the national record for the biggest single-day number of positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, following a week in which the Sunshine State saw 514 people die of the disease, or 73 each day, on average.

Also, Disney World is now open!

The idea that the park would open in the face of a raging outbreak in the area sparked backlash across social media. The critiques really began to pile up after the company’s official “Disney Parks Job” account posted this short video promoting the big event on Instagram.

CNN business editor Alexis Benveniste said it “ feels like the beginning of a horror movie ,” and the internet mostly agreed, considering the creative edits that began popping up all over Twitter.

That video aside, the actual open also came under fire:

Of course, not everybody was complaining.

“It’s the chance to come back and be in the magic,” Diane Watkins, who visits the park about eight times a year, told the Associated Press. “Hot or not, mask or not, we’re just happy to be here. I feel like everybody here is in the same frame of mind. Everybody is just so excited to be here.”

Lori Lovell of Evansville, Ind., also cheered the reopening.

“I have missed coming here. It just feels really good to be back,” she said. “This is where I’ve made so many memories. It’s kind of our second home. Not being able to come here was hard.”

Meanwhile, in California, where coronavirus cases are also surging, Disneyland is still in a holding pattern after delaying its original July 17 reopening plans.

Disney shares /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -1.22%   gained Friday, but are down 17% year to date.

$ 128.63
-1.59 -1.22%
Volume: 9.92M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:03p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$232.44 billion
Rev. per Employee

Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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