VIDEO: Cast Members Give Warm Farewell to Final Family Leaving Walt Disney World After COVID-19 Closure
Friday, March 20 marked the final day of operations for all Walt Disney World Resort hotels due to the unprecedented wave of Coronavirus (COVID-19) related closures. While most guests were able to cancel, reschedule, or otherwise rework their vacations in order to get home sooner, some decided to simply hold out and enjoy the last few moments of their long-awaited family vacations. Such is the case for the Porter Family, which was actually the last family to check out of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel after concluding their stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
A heartwarming video has since gone viral, showing the Porter Family leaving the resort to a row of cheering and applauding Cast Members.
The Porter Family recollected their experience traveling during the beginnings of the outbreak:
“Once we arrived, we were told that all parks and hotels would soon be closing. This type of event had never happened in history. On our last day at Disney World, our resort manager at the Riviera Hotel told us that we were the last family in the resort and area to leave Disney World.
As we were walking to our shuttle, the entire staff lined up outside of the hotel to wave goodbye to my family and thank us for being a part of history. It was an amazing experience.”
Walt Disney World Resort has faced some scrutiny over the past two weeks due to what many believe was a delayed response to the outbreak, and a lack of social distancing amongst Cast Members and even management. While some believe they were merely attempting to keep guests happy in light of a burgeoning global health crisis, others believe that these delays will cause further repercussions in terms of transmission down the road.