If you are a Disney Parks fan who enjoys traveling to both Disney World on the east coast and Disneyland on the west coast of the country, you may know that both parks are operating quite differently.
Each state has its own rules and regulations for pandemic-era protocols. Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has been much farther along in terms of returning to “normal” than its sister park Disneyland Resort in California. Recently, Florida Governor DeSantis has lifted all COVID-19 mandates, allowing Florida to return to normal.
That being said, major theme parks in the state like Universal Orlando Resort and Disney World have the ability to decide for themselves as to what mandates they want to instill in their theme parks because they are a private company. Orange Country, Florida, deemed it safe to remove temperature checks and reduce physical distancing to three feet to six feet. After this, we saw both Universal Orlando and Disney World follow suit based on the recommendation.
Recently, the CDC noted that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear face masks in most areas. Following this, Orange County, Florida, ended its mask mandate for all people (not only those who are fully vaccinated) — now, nobody in the county has to wear masks outdoors. After this news broke, both Disney World and Universal Orlando eliminated their rule for wearing face masks outside.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has said that the state will fully reopen on June 15, and the state will wait until then to ease mask rules. Per KRON4 news:
The updated rules are expected on June 15, which is when Gov. Newsom had said the state will fully reopen. Until June 15, all current reopening rules and mask policies will remain in place.
Dr. Mark Ghaly says they are waiting to give time for more people to become fully vaccinated. The state is still working through how to verify who is vaccinated and who isn’t.
“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings,” Ghaly said. “In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation and schools, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status.”
Voice of OC has also noted that Orange County (where Disneyland is located) face mask rules will remain in place for at least another month, even though the CDC has changed their mask wear guidelines for vaccinated people.
Although California plans to ease mask rules next month, we will still have to wait and see how the new guidance from the State of California will impact theme park operations. So far, it is unclear when Disneyland Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood will change their face mask rules, particularly when it comes to wearing masks outside, but presumably, once the state is “fully open” the theme parks will make operational changes.
That being said, good things are coming for Disneyland! According to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, in tier 4 of the state’s reopening plan, theme parks will be able to eropate at 35% capacity, Currently, the county is is meeting the requirements for tier 4, so very soon we should know whether Orange County is moving to tier 4 — and therefore whether Disneyland and Disney California Adventure can raise capacity from 25% to 35%. Los Angeles County, which is home to Universal Studios Hollywood, has entered tier 4 and now allows 35% capacity at theme parks.
Again, please remember that although it seems California is still on track to reopen to “normal” on June 15, we are still waiting for more information regarding how the loosened face mask restrictions (and other changes to the pandemic-era protocol in California) will impact Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. However, it does stand to reason that as the state reopens and moves “back to normal,” the theme parks can start to do so, as well.
For Disneyland’s most up-to-date mask guidelines, please click here.
Do you think Disneyland or Universal Hollywood will remove mask mandates for vaccinated Guests once the state reopens and allows for the change?