United States President Joe Biden ordered new vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans on Thursday. With The Walt Disney Company requiring its employees to be vaccinated and with the push for vaccinations across the country, will we see changes coming soon at theme parks like Disney and Universal?
Here is the latest news on what President Biden has stated regarding COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and what theme parks may decide to do.
President Biden gave a speech from the White house on Thursday, sharing the COVID-19 vaccine requirements as well as imploring businesses to require a COVID-19 vaccine or a proof of a negative test for their patrons. Specifically, AP news reports, “Biden called for large entertainment venues and arenas to require vaccinations or proof of a negative test for entry.”
“To those of you running large entertainment venues, from sports arenas to concert venues to movie theaters, please require folks to get vaccinated or show a negative test as a condition of entry,” Biden said in a speech from the White House, carried on the major cable networks and broadcast outlets.
You can view the President’s action plan below, which shares that the country will call on large venues to require vaccinations.
With this comprehensive, science-based approach we can: reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, allow our children to go to school safely, and keep our economy strong by keeping businesses open.
Theme parks were not mentioned in Biden’s speech, But, as places like Disneyland and Universal Studios welcome tens of thousands of Guests per day — and many of the locations within the theme parks are indoor attractions — it makes sense that a theme park could fall under the “large entertainment venue” category. For example, in California, places like theme parks are categorized as “mega events” — read more here.
There currently aren’t any vaccine mandates for theme park Guests at Disney or Universal Parks and Resorts in the U.S. At this time, Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida do not require Guests to show proof of vaccination in order to enter. Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort also are not requiring Guests to be vaccinated. And none of the theme parks require any of their Guests to show a proof of a negative COVID-19 test (AKA a “vaccine passport”) for entry. But will this change?
It’s unclear if Disney and Universal are planning to change their policies for Guests entering the theme parks, or if they will be required to by federal law. Note that, currently, per Biden’s speech, the President is urging large entertainment venues to require their Guests to be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 in order to enter; however, right now, this isn’t a federal requirement for all venues across the nation.
Neither Disney nor Universal have issued any updated statements regarding their health and safety protocols in place. If Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or any of the Universal Parks in the U.S. decide to require COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests for Guests, we will update our website.
Do you think theme parks should require vaccines or negative COVID-19 tests in order for Guests to visit? Let us know in the comments.