With the threat of the deadly Zika virus inching closer to the Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort will begin offering access to free “total isolation tents” for guests who are concerned the virus may disrupt their vacations.
“We are very excited to announce our new patent-pending ‘Quarantine Zones’ to each of our four theme parks,” Janet Tousley, Vice President of Walt Disney World Health and Social Services tells us. “Our guests will now have the choice to literally isolate themselves from other guests, should the thought of the possibility that there may be a chance of being exposed to an insect-carrying virus could maybe ruin their chances of enjoying their vacation.”
One quarantine zone will be added to each theme park by the end of next week, with the hotels and shopping districts to receive them within two weeks, Tousley tells us.
It will work like this – guests who find themselves experiencing a crippling panic due to the threat of a virus 230 miles away can check themselves into a makeshift tent that is completely cordoned and sealed off from the public. Guests who enter must “scrub in” by taking a decontamination shower. They will then be issued a hazmat suit with a bright Mickey head emblazoned on the chest. The guest will then be completely shut off from society for however long they deem necessary, even if that extends beyond the limits of their original vacation plans.
“Initially this will be a ‘first come, first served’ type quarantine zone,” Tousley said, “but eventually we will add FastPass+ capabilities, making it possible for guests to book time using our MyDisneyExperience app for Android and iOS devices.”
We spoke with one family who is already planning time in the Quarantine Zone for their trip in November.
“We’ve got FastPasses for Frozen at 1pm, Soarin’ at 2pm, and we’re keeping 3pm to 5pm open for a visit to the Quarantine Zone,” Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, father of eight tells us about his upcoming vacation plans. “One of my boys is a real germaphobe so he requested we spend a significant amount of time each day in the Quarantine Zone. We just may keep him in there!”
The Quarantine Zones will temporarily be made out of tents but permanent structures may soon replace those based on popularity.
The locations of the tents will be as follows:
- Magic Kingdom: Main Street, USA (next to Starbucks)
- Epcot: Innoventions West (next to Starbucks)
- Hollywood Studios: Backlot area (next to Starbucks)
- Animal Kingdom: Harambe (next to Starbucks)
“We are extremely excited to offer this unique experience for our guests,” Tousley concluded. “Our guests often ask for places where they can get away from the latest diseases that are being sensationalized by the media. First it was the Nile virus, then H1N1, then public breastfeeding, and today it’s the Zika virus. The Walt Disney Company wants people to know that we heard you, and we’re finally ready to deliver!”