Closed until further notice.
Time for a Dad Rant. Haven’t done one of these for a while.
“Closed until further notice” are 4 of the saddest words in the English language. Disney announced that the US parks are closed until further notice, yesterday. Typically when a business says they are closed until further notice that pretty much means they are closed for good.
NO!!!!!! I”m not saying Disney World is closed for good. Where did you get that idea? Oh, ye of little faith. Go. Time out for you. Sit in the corner for the next 5 minutes and ponder the meaning of life.
We All Knew Disney World Would Not Reopen
We all knew, in our heads, maybe not our hearts, that Disney World was not going to reopen on April 1st. This week when Universal announced that they were closing through April 19, I think we all expected Disney to follow suit. April 19 made some sense. Aggressive. I like it. But Disney NEVER follows Universal. They are always trying to be the leader, not the follower.
So, yesterday, Disney became the leader. The first to announce that they won’t even guess when they will reopen, they are just going to put the nebulous, “until further notice” thing out there. How very “big corporation” and unspecific of you Disney. Sad.
“Closed Until Further Notice” Means Never
I want to address the rest of this specifically to Disney executives.
(It’s hard to do this nicely.) Dear Disney Guys in Charge,
I had some concerns with your announcement yesterday about closing the parks and I’d like to share those with you. Let’s start with this, when you say “until further notice”, you might as well hang out a sign that says we don’t care about you. We are going to dash all of your hopes that we will ever be open again. Because, to our minds, and we’ve seen it a bazillion times, “until further notice” pretty much means never.
I know that’s not what you meant to say, but that’s what I heard.
If I Were in Charge
If I were in charge, (wow what a great idea) I would have said, we are closing the parks through April 30 and will reevaluate over the next few weeks taking into consideration CDC guidelines and the safety of our guests. That would give us little people some hope. We need hope right now.
We need an ending to this. We need light at the end of the tunnel. We need our mojo back. Disney is our mojo, right? Until further notice… NOOOOOOO!!!! Tell me when that is!
Come on Bob (Chapek, not Iger), we CAN handle the truth. You’re a numbers guy. Don’t you like specifics? We like specifics. We all knew that April 1st was not going to happen, we were OK with that. It gave us HOPE. Keep hope alive. There’s nothing more hopeless than a business putting out a sign that says “closed until further notice”. Where’s the hope in that?
Pick a Date
Pick a date, any date and put it out there. April 30th, May 15th, June 1st, choose one. Shoot. UNIVERSAL had, let me say this nicely, the wherewithal to pick a date and put it out there. If they can do it…
Later, if it becomes obvious that that date is not going to work that’s OK. We’ll understand. Trust me. WE’LL UNDERSTAND! What we don’t understand is “until further notice”.
Yesterday you made an unforced error. Fix it. Don’t wallow in it, don’t allow it to fester. Fix it. Be the leader in giving HOPE!
Pick a TARGET date, any date and tell us something. You could make it April 10th (after the county ban is lifted and before Universal). OK, that one’s not very probable, but it’s also not TOTALLY impossible. Make it April 30, now we’re starting to get excited. If you really want to be safe, you could go all the way to June 1st. We’d be sad about June 1st, but there would be hope. There would be bookings (remember those). There would be much rejoicing (yeah).
If you choose something and the opportunity comes to open early, that’s the best of all worlds. But we are not going to blame YOU if you can’t open when the deadline comes. We are going to blame Hurricane Coronavirus. We don’t like it but we understand. Why do you think we are all staying home right now watching Disney+? We understand.
My Final Plea, Give Us Hope!
To whoever made the mistake yesterday, this is an opportunity. An opportunity to bring back the Magic. This country, this world is holding on by a thread. We only see the dark days ahead with Disney World, Disneyland and all the other parks “closed until further notice”. Those are scary words.
Make a decision. Choose a date. Yes, we might be disappointed if that date doesn’t happen, but we are more disappointed in “until further notice”. This is your chance to shine.
We need our Disney. We need our Magic. We need Hope.
Carl Trent (yes, me again)