After shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Disneyland and Disney World may take guest's temperatures at the park entrances once they re-open. In an interview with Barron's, Disney Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger spoke about the situation, saying that things are being monitored closely, but no decisions have been made yet.
"One of the things that we're discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they're safe," he said. "Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions. Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people's temperatures, as a for-instance."
Iger continued: "We're studying very carefully what China has been trying to do in terms of their return to normalcy. And one of the things that's obvious is they've conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health. You can't get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there—and I'm sure this will be the case when their schools reopen—without having your temperature taken."
He then added: "So we've asked ourselves the question, let's prepare for a world where our customers demand that we scrutinize everybody. Even if it creates a little bit of hardship, like it takes a little bit longer for people to get in. Just as the case after 9/11 where people ultimately lived with the notion that in order for them to enter a building, if you're in an office building you have to show a picture ID or get your picture taken and be screened. Or in order to enter a park you have to put your bags out there to be checked and you go through some kind of metal detector. Or certainly what's going on in airports with the TSA."
In March, it was announced that Disneyland and Disney World would remain closed indefinitely while the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic. "While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains the Walt Disney Company's top priority," a Disney spokesperson said at the time. "As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice. The Walt Disney Company has been paying its cast members since the closure of the parks, and in light of this ongoing and increasingly complex crisis, we have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18."