As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspends COVID-19 emergency mandates, and as Disney World announced they will continue operating under their current protocols, how are Guests and fans feeling? Here is what we have noticed!
In case you missed it, yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took action in suspending all local COVID-19 emergency mandates in the state. Additionally, DeSantis issued an executive order to “outlaw all local COVID-19 emergency mandates in the state effective July 1,” per CBS.
The Florida Governor expressed that this is because his administration wants people to “enjoy themselves” and “live freely in the state of Florida.”
Not long after the news broke, Walt Disney World issued a statement explaining that they will evaluate the latest guidance, but at this time, the parks will maintain the current health and safety measures they have in place. You can read more about that here.
As the news broke and as Disney released their statement, many fans and Guests are feeling divided when it comes to how Walt Disney World should proceed.
Inside the Magic reader Nancy explained that she feels Disney should follow the Governor’s lead:
I think Disney should follow whatever the govenor decides to do! So if he says no more masks then they should stop the masks but if they still want to keep 3ft apart I’m all for it.
It is important to note that even though Orange County (where Disney World is located) has stated the theme parks can reduce social distancing from six feet to three feet, Walt Disney World has not done so and the current social distancing measures in place are still set at six feet.
Another Inside the Magic reader Candace agreed with Nancy, writing:
I agree. At this point anyone who wants a vaccine can get one. Time to get our lives back. Those who don’t want a vaccine can certainly continue to wear a mask if that makes them more comfortable. As for me, I am vaccinated so I can have my life back!
Note that even Guests who have received the COVID-19 vaccine must abide by the current mask requirements at Walt Disney World, which you can read more about here.
John, another Inside the Magic reader, commented on our recent article, saying:
Masks should be an option, but not a requirement. I will not be visiting WDW until I can walk around without a mask. I tried it once and it sucked the fun right out of the day.
On the other hand, Inside the Magic follower Cheryl S. voiced her thoughts, saying:
Thank you for continuing with safety measures. There still aren’t enough vaccinated and many coming from out of state still are in the midst of pandemics and many cases of corona. I, for one, do not want to see regression because of foolishness and have the parks close again.
Inside the Magic fan Ted pointed out something that is very important to consider — Walt Disney World is private property and so the theme parks can implement the necessary rules and restrictions that they feel is best:
I believe that Disney World is a company which has the right to impose any guidelines and restrictions that it chooses to enforce on it’s property. So if they say they expect certain behavior to be admitted then people need to understand that they will be held accountable. If you don’t like it, don’t go.
And Inside the Magic reader Richard C. expressed:
I think Disney is wise in following CDC guidelines.
Thank you Disney for continuing to follow the science and not the almighty dollar. 35% capacity is still very crowded! I hope Disney considers reopening the Fast Pass system so everyone can ride at least one popular ride with a short wait time.
And lastly, Inside the Magic fan TB explained they think Disney already has a plan in mind and will most likely slowly pull back on restrictions when the time is right:
I’m sure Disney already has a plan to roll back their COVID protocols, but they probably won’t go at the State of Florida’s pace. It’ll be slow, but with them at least allowing masks off for outside pictures, the rollback has already started.
But don’t expect quick movement on Disney’s part. They’d rather be safe than sorry.
Recently, Disney World announced Guests can remove their face coverings for photos taken outdoors, while stationary, and at a safe social distance from others. You can read more about that here.
It is important to note, Florida Governor DeSantis has allowed the state to operate relatively close to “normal, since last year, including allowing Walt Disney World to operate under a higher capacity as well as lift other pandemic-era restrictions. However, Disney decided not to do so and continued to stay in line with the CDC Guidelines, now operating at a 35% limited capacity and continuing to require face masks and temperature checks.
Inside the Magic will continue to update you as we get information regarding the Orlando theme parks and the current safety protocols.
Current Disney World Protocols
If you are planning a Disney World vacation, be sure to familiarize yourself with the current protocols.
The official Disney World face mask policy reads:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
In regards to social distancing, the official Disney World website states:
Temporary adjustments are in place to promote physical distancing.
Physical distancing measures may include:
Signage and Ground Markings: Please follow directional signage and ground markings, which have been installed throughout Walt Disney World Resort to help Guests better navigate common areas while practicing physical distancing.
Physical Barriers: Physical barriers have been added in select places to help promote proper separation between people, including in queues and on transportation and attractions. Barriers may also be visible, for example, in areas around cash registers or at Guest Relations.
Party Size: Guests traveling in parties of more than 10 are asked to split into smaller groups in queues, dining locations and other areas around our parks and resorts to better allow for physical distancing.
Parking: Cashless payment is recommended at the auto plazas. Cars will be directed to park in every other parking space at the theme parks.
Training: Cast Members are trained to engage with Guests and promote physical distancing guidelines in common areas and queues.
Do you want to see Disney lift any protocols? Or do you feel safe the way things are? Let us know in the comments below.