Walt Disney World is going to be increasing its capacity as new guidance from the Center for Disease Control has the park management comfortable with allowing more guests to roam together. Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed the decision to open up the Orlando parks to more guests during an investor call on Thursday, shortly after the CDC revealed that vaccinated persons need not wear masks or social distance, along with many states looking at June 15 as their date for lifting limits on capacity and mask mandates. It also seems Disney will not be enforcing the requirement of its guests to wear masks in the parks for much longer, as a result.
"In terms of the parks, and when we're going to sort of be able to raise our capacity limits, we've actually already started that, given the guidance that just came today, from the CDC, and earlier guidance that we got from the governor of Florida, we've already started to increase our capacities, those obviously 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," Chapek said on Disney's investor call. "It's 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. So we think that's going to make for an even more pleasant experience and we believe that as we're now bringing back a lot of people back to work, that it's going to be an even bigger catalyst for growth in attendance, and we've been quite pleased to date. So I think you're going to see an immediate increase in the number of folks that were able to admit into our parks through our reservation systems that we recently implemented. So we're very, very excited about that."
Recently, Disney World already showed signs of easing its rules on social distancing within the park. "Temporary adjustments are still in place to promote physical distancing. While we will reduce physical distancing measures for Guests across many areas with a gradual, phased approach, six-feet distancing measures will continue in all dining locations, merchandise stores, and in areas where Guests can temporarily remove their masks," Disney World announced on its official website on Wednesday.
"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," the park's website reminds attendees. "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."
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(Photo: Photo: Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)