KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A COVID-19 testing site opened Thursday at the Maingate Complex at Walt Disney World, offering free tests to employees and their family members, and soon the community at large.
The site, at 3010 Maingate Lane, lists its operating hours from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, but will only be available to Disney workers and their families on Thursday. The site opens to the general public Friday, but there will be a dedicated lane for Disney cast members, officials said.
Registration is available at DoINeedaCOVIDTest.com, which is operated by eTrueNoth, the lab conducting the testing at the state-run site.
Leaders said people getting tested can expect results within 72 hours after the samples are received by the lab.
State leaders said Thursday was the soft open at the testing site, and though many Disney workers could show up too, no one was turned away.
A Disney spokesperson said the Florida Division of Emergency Management will handle operations at the site.
“We have offered the location to help with community testing and any suggestion that this has been done as a result of anyone union is unfounded. The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the location which is available to Cast Members and their immediate families as well as Florida residents. Our actions support all Cast and our community at large,” a statement from the company read.
Those getting tested are asked to print out their test voucher and bring it with them to their appointment.
On Wednesday, the Actors’ Equity Association, a union representing many of Disney’s entertainers, said it was glad that testing will be available at the theme park.
“We have been consistent that testing is an important part of ensuring a safe workplace for Equity performers, and today, I’m pleased to see that Disney World has agreed,” Actors’ Equity Association president Kate Shindle wrote in a news release. “With the news that Disney will make testing available for Equity performers and others in the park, I’m happy to announce that Equity’s executive committee has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return.”
The union represents more than 700 Disney cast members, many who haven’t yet returned to work because they’ve wanted to see more safety measures. Shindle told News 6 the new testing site on property is good news and a step in the right direction.
“Our members have always wanted to work and the union has wanted to support that but we had to make sure we were sending people back to work as safely as possible,” Shindle said. “I just feel it’s an amazing thing and a responsible thing and we’re very happy to support that.”