It feels like it’s been AGES since Disney World was anything close to “normal.”
Throughout the pandemic, the parks have either been closed entirely or operating with significant health and safety restrictions. But now that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state is moving into a new phase of reopening, will things at Disney World look different?
On September 25, DeSantis gave the green light for Florida to advance into Phase 3, which means:
- businesses like restaurants and bars can operate at 100% capacity, with limited social distancing protocols, for the first time since mid-March,
- Theme Parks are allowed to operate as normal, with limited social distancing protocols in place and no mandatory capacity caps, and
- fines and penalties for not wearing masks are lifted.
Considering Florida is basically the theme park epicenter of the planet, this could mean EPIC changes for the state.
Will Disney World Change Capacity Levels?
Naturally, all eyes are on Disney World to see what the Most Magical Place on Earth may or may not change, and if they’re willing to raise capacity restrictions with new allowances in place.
Disney, of course, was quick to respond. In an Email to Fox35, they said they are evaluating the executive order, but are not currently making any changes regarding capacity limits, social distancing, or mask mandates.
The parks are still requiring guests to wear masks at all times, and have their temperatures checked before entry.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer echoed Disney’s sentiments, expressing his understanding that the parks will move slowly with removing limitations in order to remain above-and-beyond with safety.
Throughout the pandemic, and especially since reopening in July, Disney World has been proactive with early action, adherence to protocols, and adaptation to guest behavior by implementing safety updates on a regular basis — such as altering overhead announcements at the parks and taking face mask requirements a step further.
What Will Happen As Crowds Continue To Rise?
In Florida and around the world, so many of us are approaching reopening with a mix of excitement and careful hesitation, and we know so many of you are feeling that mix of emotions as well. We CAN’T WAIT until the day when we can freely gallivant around Magic Kingdom with spring rolls without fear.
And we’re regularly hearing from you about your concern regarding the recent crowds in Disney World as well as wait times quickly rising for rides and attractions. (Just last night, one of our team members was nearly shut out of Disney Springs because it was so busy, with a line of cars that stretched down to the Hilton Hotel.) Disney World is obviously getting busier, and as we head into the holiday season we’re expecting crowd levels to continue to rise dramatically.
So what will Disney World decide? Will they reinstate FastPass+? Will they raise capacity in the parks or at the restaurants? Will we see mask mandate changes?
We’ll be following the developments and announcements from Disney World very closely, so please join our newsletter for immediate updates and keep following along here at DFB. We’re on the lookout for answers to all of your questions — we’re asking them, too!
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Do you think Florida theme parks are ready for Phase 3? Share your thoughts in the comments!