On the Wuhan Virus in Disney World

Dec, 2020

In October 2020 I attended a medical conference in Disney World. My wife and I brought our daughter and two of our grandchildren for vacation. It was a disappointing trip. We have been going to Disney World since our honeymoon in 1976, and what draws us back is the extraordinary service. Admittedly that service ethic has slowly deteriorated as Disney has expanded, and as senior management has lost trust in junior management. Responsibility to please the customer is no longer delegated down to the lowest levels, and the employees act accordingly; they no longer use their initiative to create a better experience for the vacationer. Nevertheless, in comparison to other resorts, the treatment at Disney has always been good – until now. If the Soviet Union had designed a resort and amusement park this is how it would have been run. For example, you were required to wear a mask at all times, even outside in the 90 degree heat and 90% humidity. (Please show me the science on that!) All Disney employees were implored by management to enforce this edict, and about 20-25% did so. Some obviously enjoyed the role of face mask commissar. At the exit of Hollywood Studios, one Disney bus driver got out of his empty bus to march about a 100 feet to demand that my wife pull up her face mask while she was standing completely alone, waiting for me to pick her up. Another Disney employee caught my daughter leaving the roller coaster in Space Mountain to yell at her that she had been caught on camera not wearing her face mask on the ride.

We stayed in Disney’s flagship hotel the Grand Floridian for a week, and the staff refused to change our sheets. After repeated complaints they gave us fresh sheets and pillow covers that we could change for ourselves. They would not replace towels or take trash out of the room except upon demand. We were turned away from visiting the new Riviera Resort hotel by the parking guard there even though we were staying at the Grand Floridian -a first in our long experience – as exploring other hotels on property has always been part of the fun. No fun for you comrade!

Please comrade, pull your mask above your nose; think of the lives you will save. We cannot endanger our maids by having them change the sheets in your room; I’m sure you understand comrade. So many towels you use! Think of the environment comrade. Be a good citizen and don’t complain so much. We keep records you know. You have visited 33 Disney hotels, and your wife has taken the Disney Vacation Club tour 13 times – without ever buying a time share. We know who you are – Doctor!

Obviously Disney is hemorrhaging cash and has decided to cut service to staunch the bleeding. Unfortunately it is using public safety as an excuse. We would have welcomed an honest admission of financial distress to justify the cost cutting measures rather than the holier than thou public service proselytizing that has become so commonplace amongst our elites. That dishonesty left a bitter aftertaste. Two years ago I sent my 14 year old grandson to live in Poland for a year, and Eastern Europe is looking better and better. Ever been to the Croatian Riviera? No Euro there!

– Gary Gallo, MD