The resort, located in Orlando, Florida, announced Friday that masks and face masks for guests will be “optional in public outdoor areas” at Disney World, beginning Saturday. The exception is that guests “must wear front coverings at the entrances of all attractions, theaters or transportation and during these experiences,” the company said.
So that means that if you’re walking down Main Street, USA, you don’t have to wear a mask, but if you’re driving Space Mountain, you’ll still have to.
The news comes after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-1
9 should not wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances.
Adjusted safety requirements can have huge implications for Disney’s attendance and the theme park industry as a whole, as Disney’s parks are an industry leader. And as Disney is doing, so are other amusement parks.
Universal Orlando Resort, a competitor of Disney in Orlando, which houses attractions from Harry Potter and Jurassic Park, also announced on Friday that it was updating its safety measures Covid. Similar to Disney’s new requirements, it states that masks are not “mandatory” while outdoors, but are still “mandatory in all indoor areas, including shops and restaurants,” and mandatory for all attractions.
Disney’s parks and resorts have been an important foundation of the company’s media empire for decades. However, the division was particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. After a challenging year that led to prolonged closures and significant cuts, new mask rules, as well as capacity increases, could have a significant impact on park attendance during the vital summer season.
Disney generated more than $ 26 billion in sales in its parks division in fiscal 2019, the year before the pandemic, accounting for 37% of the company’s total revenue. Returning to those levels would obviously be a boon not only to the parks, but to all of Disney.
“This is the next step in their recovery,” Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told CNN Business ahead of Friday’s announcement. “They’ve built a foundation in the parks that they can expand. I don’t think you’re really going to see the result of that expansion in 2021, but you’re going to see the beginning of that.”
The Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world, with more than 20 million visitors in 2018, according to an AECOM report. The company has invested billions in its theme park division, opening new Star Wars lands in Florida and California in 2019. It also plans to debut Avengers Campus, a land based on the successful Marvel franchise, at Disneyland this summer.
Disneyland, California’s leading resort, opened last month after closing for more than a year.
Disney (DIS) he did not say if and when he would change the mask guidelines and safety measures in his other parks.