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Friday, July 10, 2020

Disney Deploys Stormtroopers to Remind Patrons of Social Distancing

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While Disney World in Orlando won’t reopen until next month, the House of Mouse recently revived the outdoor shopping center at Disney Springs. New coronavirus safety measures include reduced capacity, mandatory face masks, and a pair of bumbling First Order stormtroopers reminding patrons to maintain social distancing.

In a video posted by Attractions Magazinethe stormtroopers are much closer to entertainment than security. They stand above visitors on a balcony, pointing prop guns skywards, while scripted dialogue is piped through loudspeakers. Even from the few snippets, their distinct personalities come through. The male trooper is a grating brown-noser, while the female soldier hates her job and wishes she could be anywhere else.

This tension between them provides an excuse for banter about social distancing. When the woman comments that keeping real-life Disney patrons moving is “like herding banthas,” her partner responds with some unwelcome bantha facts, including that males can grow to “3.9 meters long.”

“Yeah,” she replies, “I’m going to need you to move one whole male bantha’s length away, please.”

There are a couple of segments devoted to face masks, including when the woman wonders if the PPE worn by patrons are more comfortable than stormtrooper helmets. In another, the man points below and shouts “Hey, you with the face covering!” To which his exasperated partner replies, “They’re all wearing face coverings.” They also search for resistance spies, and get into a competition over who can say “Move along!” in a more authoritative manner. Check out the clip below.

Disney World opens on July 11th, although it will do so without fireworks, parades, character meet-and-greets, and other potentially crowded event. There is currently no time-table for the reopening of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and no word yet on whether Disney will follow Japanese amusement parks in instructing guests not to scream on roller coasters to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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