The very real need to halt the spread of Coronavirus among the community has already shut down Walt Disney World’s theme parks and Disney Springs. It will shortly close the resort hotels and, we learned this morning, that construction work on-site has been halted as well.
The Orlando Business Journal quotes Mark Wylie, President of the Central Florida Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors, as confirming that all work will be halted.
Big projects underway at Walt Disney World right now include the Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge near Fort Wilderness, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel, a new road leading to the Ticket and Transportation Center parking lot, and the TRON Lightcycle/Run roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom.
EPCOT is the home to a handful of current and future projects. Major attractions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind are in the middle of construction while future projects include Spaceship Earth and Mary Poppins.
There’s also the new Play! pavilion, the rest of the France pavilion expansion, and a myriad of construction projects that will transform future world into three neighborhoods and add a new festival pavilion..
According to Wylie, it is not yet known if construction workers will be paid during the down time or when construction work will resume. It’s also expected that Disney won’t be alone in halting construction work as Central Florida’s theme parks have a variety of projects on the way, including an entire new park for Universal Orlando Resort.
There was some hope among fans that Walt Disney World would be able to get a lot of work done on its long list of construction projects during the Coronavirus related shutdown period. But new guidelines, and economic uncertainty, likely drove this shutdown.
When Disney originally announced the shutdown, the timeline for reopening was estimated to be 2-3 weeks, but with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommending social distancing for at least the next 6 to 8 weeks we’re in uncharted territory.