New photos and videos show the last family leaving Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as the park closes for the coronavirus pandemic. The sight went viral this week, giving fans mixed feelings about the theme park. It served as the latest indication of how fast the world has changed to adapt to COVID-19.
The video was published by by the account ViralHog, and it shows the Porter family leaving the Riviera Hotel. As they walked out, they passed through rows of cheering, clapping staff, including one woman who handed a stuffed Donald Duck toy to the Porters' child. The Porters told ViralHog that they decided to go on with their long-planned vacation, in spite of the dire warnings from public health experts.
"Once we arrived, we were told that all parks and hotels would soon be closing," they explained. "This type of event had never happened in history. On our last day at Disney World, our resort manager at the Riviera Hotel told us that we were the last family in the resort and area to leave Disney World."
"As we were walking to our shuttle, the entire staff lined up outside of the hotel to wave goodbye to my family and thank us for being a part of history," they continued. "It was an amazing experience."
The Porters were the last family to leave Disney World after the Walt Disney Company announced last week that the parks would all be shutting down. However, the company came under fire for the slow process of its closure.
The theme parks closed at the end of the day on March 15, yet Florida's Magic Kingdom was packed during its final event — a fireworks show. Photos of the milling crowds went viral online, with many noting that this completely defeated the purpose of closing the park.
Even the Disney family took notice, as Abigail Disney tweeted: "are you f—king kidding me" alongside the photo. Abigail is the granddaughter of Roy Disney, who co-founded The Walt Disney Company with his brother, Walt.
Disney theme parks all over the world are now closed, including Disneyland in Anaheim, California; Disneyland Paris and the entire Disney Cruise Line. According to a report by CNN, the U.S. may need to practice extreme social distancing for nearly a year to come, so there is no telling when businesses like this will be able to reopen.
For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC's website.