Having previously being limited to only getting their Disney fix by watching movies and series at home, Disney fans were handed some positive news this week following the CDC’s announcement that masks were no longer required for vaccinated travelers.
As a result of the announcement, news broke yesterday that Disney was not only set to raise the capacity of their theme parks once more, but that they were looking into the possibility of removing their mask mandate for vaccinated guests. Here’s everything that we know about this story so far.
CDC’s Announcement – A Re-Cap For Travelers
During the week, the CDC made a huge announcement that represented perhaps the largest scaling back of Covid-19 influenced measures since the pandemic began, announcing that fully vaccinated people in the US no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors, and that they no longer needed to practise social distancing.
The news came as a relief to the 35.8% of Americans who are fully vaccinated, and could herald the dawn of future policy relaxation in the coming weeks. Whilst individual states and businesses may still pursue a mask mandate for everyone, it is a sign of how far the US has come in the battle against the pandemic, and it could have a significant impact on people’s travel plans – starting with Disney.
Disney Parks To Change Policies – Information For Travelers
Shortly after the CDC made their mask announcement just days ago, the decision-makers at Disney were exploring the option of operating their parks without a mask mandate in place. At present, Disney theme parks have a policy that requires guests to wear mask at all times, except for when they are eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo in Walt Disney World.
Reacting to the announcement, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek said:
“Today’s guidance that we got from the CDC in terms of those that were vaccinated do not necessarily need to wear masks anymore, both outdoors and indoors is very big news for us . . . Particularly if anybody’s been in Florida in the middle of the summer with a mask on. That could be quite daunting. We think that’s going to make for an even more pleasant experience.”
As well as potentially allowing guests to visit mask-free, Chapek also stated that park capacities at Disney would be set to rise too. “You’re going to see an immediate increase in the number of folks that we’re able to admit into our parks,” Chapek revealed on the company’s second-quarter earnings call.
The pandemic has hit Disney hard, leading to a 44% drop in revenue compared to the same time frame in 2020. Disneyland in Anaheim only reopened on April 30th following a 412-day closure, and has its capacity currently limited to 25% as a result of California’s Covid-19 restrictions. Florida’s site is currently operating at 35% capacity, and has done so since January. Florida is likely to see its capacity increase in the coming days, whilst the Anaheim park is only able to do so once California’s restrictions lift on June 15th. The company is yet to put a timeframe on when any changes will come into effect.
Disney also revealed last week that it would be phasing out its temperature checks and most of its social distancing requirements in its parks. With restrictions slowly being phased out, it looks as though the most magical place on Earth might just be getting its magic back.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories