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Disney Springs Prepares to Reopen

As Florida eases social distancing regulations, Disney Springs will be the first major attraction in Florida to reopen.

Courtesy of Walt Disney

As Florida eases social distancing regulations, Disney Springs will be the first major attraction in Florida to reopen.

On Thursday, May 7, Walt Disney World Company made a statement that they will begin to reopen the Disney Springs shopping center in accordance with the current government and CDC guidelines in place.

The parks had originally closed on March 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as an effort to help flatten the curve and keep guests safe. Late evening on Thursday, the Vice President of Disney Springs Matt Simon announced the partial reopening of Disney Springs. 

The area will begin opening by using a series of phases making sure to keep all cast members, employees, and guests as safe as possible. No word has yet been stated on what exact stores or restaurants will be opening at this time.

The reopening of the springs is scheduled to begin on May 20, 2020, while the rest of the theme parks are currently planning on remaining closed with no plan to reopen in the near future. The initial opening phase will include limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours. 

The reopening will have new implemented safety measures including increased cleaning procedures, face coverings required by members of the cast and the visiting guests, and limited contact with guest services. Cast members will be required to attend additional safety training to help prepare for the reopening and return to work.

Simon states that the company will begin to use “learnings and ideas from leaders in the health and travel industries” and has been communicating with their unions on the proper ways to go about the shopping center’s reopening.

According to FOX 35, the reopening of the center will be partially modeled after the reopening at Shanghai’s Disney Town, a modified version of Disney Springs, which had reopened in early March, and Shanghai’s Disneyland, set to open May 11. 

The measures that were put in place on this park included a limited capacity of 30%, requirements for getting guests temperature checked at all entrances, and mandatory masks to be worn by guests. FOX 35 also states that visitors will be required to pass a health screening via a mobile app.  Many await the results of this opening in hopes of it shortening the timeline of the phases, causing the parks to open quicker.

Disney plans additional information considering procedures and protocols to be announced closer to the opening date. As the date draws closer they recommend checking  DisneySprings.com for more up to date information.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Sherman Wins Advisor of the Year

Sherman poses with her award. She was grateful to recieve the honor.

Durant FBLA

Sherman poses with her award. She was grateful to recieve the honor.

On Wednesday January 22, the Durant high school’s Future Business Leaders of America, FBLA, club attended their yearly District Leadership Conference. This event is attended by all FBLA middle school and high school level chapters in District 9.

During the event the students participate in games, elect officers for their district, and announce who placed in the different competitive events. Twenty-four students in the club placed either first, second, or third in their events or competitions and will move on to states. 

Sherman, the club sponsor and advisor for Durant High School, was announced as “Advisor of the Year” for District 9. This information was announced during the awards portion of the event. Her first reaction when she received the award was,

“I was absolutely shocked, I had no idea I was going to be selected as the Advisor of the Year, and I think I turned bright red”.

Due to her job as a business teacher, she was already linked to the club when she began her job here at Durant, however, it was during her second year when she became an advisor to the club. Her role as advisor includes responsibilities such as making sure dues are payed on time, making sure club officers complete task in a timely manner, registering members for different events, organizing field trips, and making sure students are properly prepared for their competition or event.

Sherman came to Durant in 2017. Before working as a business teacher, she worked for the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” in California. This is a veterans’ service organization that was founded in the United States in 1946.

Looking back, Sherman describes one of her favorite FBLA memories being when she attended her first year with the team at states. On the last night of the event, the students all surprised her with meaningful gifts as a way of saying thank you to their new advisor. One particular gift that really touched Sherman was a stuffed banana, a reminder of the banana splits the team had shared the night before. Sherman believed the gift was a meaningful gesture.

Not only is the club a fun way to get involved, but Sherman also talks about how FBLA has benefitted her teaching career as well.  She explains it as a way to help connect the stuff she teaches in her classes to the outside world. She also explained in an interview how students who are serious about the club can carry on to the collegiate version of FBLA.

The title of “Advisor of the Year” has helped Sherman realize that the work she puts into the club is impacting so many more people than just her students. It helps her understand that her hard work is being recognized and appreciated on a higher level.

The students who placed in the districts will move on to the State Leadership Conference which will be taking place in Orlando in March.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

New ‘Harry Potter’ ride set to open at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure

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Universal Orlando is introducing a brand-new roller coaster to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The ride will be located in Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and is replacing the Dragon Challenge roller coaster that was torn down in late 2017.

Eager fans have been anxiously waiting for Universal to release more information about the supposedly “magical” new coaster and on Oct. 1 they were finally able to learn some more about it. Though the ride’s name has yet to be released, Universal dropped the first official promo art for the new coaster.

The artwork pictures the tracks of the ride weaving in between the trees of what fans think could be the Forbidden Forest. According to the Theme Park Insider, the coaster will likely contain multiple indoor elements as well as a drop track.

Though the attraction is still in the works, fans can walk by the construction site and get an idea of what the ride will entail. Hypable’s Stefanie Lis wrote “I walked by the construction site in August and can tell you that the amount of land this ride takes up is massive.”

The attraction has been in the works since early 2017 and is expected to be finished in early 2019.

Lightning Obtains New Minor League Affiliate

Lightning Obtains New Minor League Affiliate

Tampa Bay, Fla.–The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a new minor league hockey team from the Toronto Maple Leafs and this team will play in Orlando, Fla. as the Orlando Solar Bears.

In May 2017, the owners of the Orlando Magic basketball team agreed to purchase the Maple Leafs East Coast Hockey League’s hockey team. The Maple Leafs had ended their five season affiliation with the Solar Bears. Toronto had agreed to expand their minor league affiliate teams with a new team called the Newfoundland Growlers.

In 2018, the Tampa Bay Lightning agreed with the Orlando Magic owners to purchase the Solar Bears to a three-year agreement. Now the Lightning have two minor league affiliates, the Syracuse Crunch and the Orlando Solar Bears.

The Orlando Solar Bears now play at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. as the team becomes Orlando’s third hockey team in Orlando’s history. The head coach of the Solar Bears is Drake Berehowsky, with the owner of the team being RDV Sports, Inc. This puts the Tampa Bay Lightning in good hands with their minor league affiliates.

Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel
The Solar Bears’ Colby McAuley shoots during the team’s game against the South Carolina Stingrays Tuesday night at Amway Center.

On October 16, 2018, the Solar Bears lost a game to the South Carolina Stingrays, though it was a close game with the final score being 6-5. The goals for the Solar Bears came from Nolan Valleau, who scored two goals. The others came from Brady Shaw, Colby McAuley and Hunter Fejes. The Solar Bears almost pulled it off. The Solar Bears record is one win so far with two losses.

About the Contributor
Photo of Jordan Dabbour
Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

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