COVID-19 Testing Site Established at Blizzard Beach for Walt Disney World Cast Members

Credit: Disney (left)

The Walt Disney World Resort is continuing to navigate its reopening following 2020’s closure due to COVID-19 , and a large part of the reopening process comes with keeping both Guests and Cast Members safe. While there are many safety precautions still in place for Guests around the Walt Disney World Resort, such as indoor mask and face covering requirements, increased sanitizing stations, and capacity limits, Cast Members may be especially prone to getting sick where they work with Guests visiting from around the country daily.

Blizzard Beach

The latest initiative in keeping Walt Disney World Cast Members safe as the Omicron variant rolls through Central Florida comes as a COVID-19 testing site is established at Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park. The park is currently closed for its annual refurbishment, while Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon remains open to Guests. While Blizzard Beach is closed, the company has set up the COVID-19 testing site and protocol for the exclusive benefit of keeping Cast Members healthy and slowing the spread of COVID-19 on property.

The COVID-19 testing site at the Disney park opens January 12, 2022, and Cast Members will be required to schedule appointments in advance of their visit. With 40,000 self-testing kits available to start, initial appointments will be limited to those with known exposure to COVID-19 or those who are showing symptoms.

Credit: Disney

If a Cast Member tests positive and needs to isolate, the Walt Disney Company does have plans in place to ensure access to sick time pay while they are unable to work. Unfortunately, as some Disneyland Cast Members have found, dates they were scheduled to work must be manually entered into the HUB (Disney’s internal web system for Cast Members) and as a result of high demand there have been some slow processing times in getting sick pay to the Cast Members who need it. Disney and local unions have been working on streamlining the process, however, and they are optimistic that it will not be an issue going forward.

Both Walt Disney World water parks have not been open a the same time since 2019. Currently, there is no end date announced for the refurbishment of Blizzard Beach or the COVID-19 testing site at that location, a decision that was likely intentional based on the changing needs of Cast Members in regards to the testing site.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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