Though Disney World has been officially reopened since mid-July, the theme parks are still adopting new health and safety measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
And recently, Florida’s Orange County government announced it would be sending “strike teams” to ensure that theme parks, including Walt Disney World, are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
According to Spectrum News 13 reporter Ashley Carter’s Twitter, recently, such strike teams did a surprise visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 9th and Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s shopping and dining district, on October 29th.
According to Carter, both Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs were found “to be in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures, according to documents from the county.”
Carter later tweeted that “the inspection document doesn’t have a lot of details,” but has notes for if the business is practicing social distancing, following face mask orders, and more.
And though the mask rules at Disney World are always changing, they fulfill the CDC’s guidelines.
Let’s take a look at the CDC guidelines that these strike teams are making sure Disney areas meet. According to the Business Compliance and strike team resources from the Orange County Government, there are a number of guidelines these teams inspect.
Strike teams are ensuring that businesses maintain the following:
- Practice social distancing and keep employees and patrons at least six (6) ft. apart when possible.
- Wear facemasks or coverings.
- Have checkout points and mark floors in high-traffic or customer areas to maintain six (6) ft. between patrons and employees.
- Post signage throughout location reminding patrons and employees to observe social distancing requirements.
- Train employees on COVID-19 safety procedures.
- Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.
The strike team’s satisfaction with Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios means that both areas are satisfactorily meeting the above guidelines.
Disney World’s Face Mask Policy
As we mentioned, Disney World’s face mask policy has been evolving since Disney Springs first reopened back in June. Periodically, we see updated signage or announcements that alter the face mask rules and expectations.
When Disney World reopened, the face mask policy was less specific than it is now. Since then, Disney has updated the policy to specify that face masks must cover your nose and mouth…
That’s not to mention the early changes to what KIND of face masks are allowed in Disney World. Initially, the mask policy didn’t specify different kinds of masks but has since prohibited the use of gaiters and masks with valves or holes.
Still, despite (or perhaps due to) all the changes, Disney’s face mask policy and the monitoring of face mask usage has been cleared by Orange County strike teams.
Crowds in Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs
Both Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios have been criticized as being two of the most crowded locations in Disney World. Ever since reopening, Hollywood Studios has seen significant crowding and trouble with pinch points. As the months have gone on, Disney Springs has progressively crowded to what often feels like pre-pandemic levels.
This crowding makes sense as both of these locations have also been some of the most often at-capacity spots in Disney World. Park passes repeatedly book up in Hollywood Studios well in advance (more than any other park), in part due to the draw of Rise of the Resistance.
Though Disney Springs does not require a reservation for entry, we have seen the complex reach capacity several times recently. Even with limited capacities, the max-capacity crowds in either area are notable and this has given some Disney guests pause from a health and safety perspective.
This crowding is why it’s so significant that the strike teams cleared these two areas. Despite the number of people, Disney is still doing a satisfactory job of maintaining social distancing, cleanliness, and mask usage.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on policy changes in Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs, and more theme park news from the Orlando strike teams. Whenever Disney World adds new health and safety regulations (or changes their capacity again), we’ll be sure to let you know!
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Have you been to Disney World since it has reopened? Let us know in the comments!