Coronavirus has caused a multitude of changes throughout the world and continues to do so. Recently, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland were both forced to close due to rising coronavirus cases in their areas.
We’ve been constantly watching for further updates from California’s governor for regulations that may impact Disneyland Resort, and we’ve also been keeping an eye out for updates from Florida’s Governor DeSantis on any regulations that may impact Disney World. Today, Governor DeSantis held a press conference and we got a better idea of the state’s direction in terms of coronavirus restrictions and more as COVID-19 numbers increase across the nation.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Governor DeSantis held a press conference today, his first in weeks, discussing COVID-19 and future restrictions in Florida. During the conference, DeSantis noted that there would be “no lockdowns, no fines, no school closures. No one’s losing their job because of a government dictate. Nobody’s losing their livelihood or their business. That is totally off the table.”
DeSantis has previously waived all outstanding fines for face-covering orders and prevented local governments from imposing mask mandates. During today’s conference, DeSantis said he is “opposed to mandates” and doesn’t think they work.
Note that this does not change anything at Disney World. Masks are and continue to be required to be worn at all times (including when taking photos) in Disney World unless stationary and actively eating or drinking. Guests who do not properly wear their masks at Disney World will be asked to leave.
In terms of the future of coronavirus precautions in light of the positive vaccine news, DeSantis noted that some say social distancing should continue until 2022 even with the vaccine, but he said that is “totally overboard.” He did note, however, that people should be aware that some of the proposed vaccines will require a booster shot and so that’s just something to keep in mind.
During the conference, DeSantis’ main focus was on schools. He indicated that schools will remain open for in-person instruction, but Florida will continue to offer virtual choices for parents who prefer that.
DeSantis also discussed theme parks and gave them praise for the way in which they’ve handled the pandemic. According to USA Today, DeSantis noted, “Everyone now acknowledges that theme parks have not led to any type of major outbreaks.”
DeSantis said that Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal have all “done very well” in their efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this year, an official from Florida’s Department of Health did note that no coronavirus cases had been linked at that time to Orlando theme parks.
DeSantis also talked about how Florida’s regulations differ from the more restrictive rules in California.
Click here to read about the theme park reopening guidelines issued by the state of California.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, positive coronavirus cases in Florida have been trending higher, “with 54,246 new cases and 509 newly reported deaths Sunday to Sunday in state health department data.” Florida also reported “7,363 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 58 more resident deaths on Sunday, with total cases closing in on 1 million and the death toll nearing 19,000.”
With the closures of other Disney Parks around the world and the continued closure of Disneyland Resort in California, we are keeping an eye out for coronavirus news as it may impact your future Disney vacation and the Disney parks in general. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Will you be visiting Disney World this year? Let us know in the comments.
Hi, I’m visiting Disney World, for New Year’s, from the Caribbean, I hope they won’t close anything and enjoy the parks
Just got back from a 10 day trip over thanksgiving. Disney may have signage to wear masks and markings for social distancing, but I rarely saw any Disney cast members enforce these protocols. Guests were blatantly not following the mandates and I regularly saw cast members look the other way. I had gotten into many confrontations asking others to socially distance and I thought some were going to turn violent because of people’s reactions. One guy got fairly aggressive, but no cast members monitoring. One night in Epcot I saw two cast members in a store chatting ignoring a family walking around with their masks off inside. I stood and watched for several minutes and the cast members acted oblivious. So if you go expecting Disney to be taking it serious, it’s a joke.
To Brian’s point – I just was at EPCOT on Monday and there were numerous times I was walking around when CMs were telling people to pull the mask up over their nose or to put it back on (even when one individual in Japan was actually seated, eating, with a can of Pringles on her lap!) In fact, it was the MOST enforcement I had ever witnessed in the parks up to this point.
As an AP, I have had a completely different experience than his. Disney has been the most strict, followed by Universal, and then SeaWorld. Though, I will say I witnessed some non-compliance in pockets at Disney Springs from time to time, but that is very hard to “police” at all times.
I think that, in all, the theme parks are doing their very best. You cannot control people 100% of the time in parks as large as ours are.
That being said, I would encourage guests NOT to get into confrontations with other guests – as Brian stated he did – about social distancing, mask wearing, etc.
Simply do your best, knowing YOU are complying and / or move away from the other party as best you can, if you feel that uncomfortable. And if you feel that uncomfortable, perhaps a theme park is not the place for you to be right now.
It’s not worth it to start a fight.
Brian makes an odd comment. We’ve made NUMEROUS trips to the Disney World parks since July (we are local), and we have NEVER seen blatant disregard for the mask rules at any of the parks. Also, we consistently see cast members asking patrons nicely to adjust their masks. I only see folks with masks off while eating,which is per the rules.
Jim c says
No new cases may be related to the theme parks but do you have families going home on airlines getting sick
I have been to Disney numerous times since they reopened probably 20 times with the latest being last week and I have to say that I did not in anyway experience what Brian says he did. I have not ever seen anyone in any of the parks not wearing masks even little children. Also all of the cast members had masks on at all times. I definitely do not agree in the least with what Brian is saying and in my experience Disney is doing a great job. I will be going tomorrow so I will post if I see anything different but as of now my experience is that they are doing an amazing job.
We’re here every week and I have to agree that SOME cast members do ignore some people not properly wearing masks. I know that when I see it, I report it. Confrontation isn’t a good idea because I’m sure no one wants to be kicked out along with the other guilty party (which they will kick you out just for being involved). I also see that because so many guests are very aggressive and nasty with the cast members who actually DO scold guests about masks, they’ve started to do it less(some cast members have been threatened and hit). Long story short, keep your mask on the right way at all times unless actively eating or drinking WHILE stationary (no more eating in queue lines) or don’t go to the parks. Please don’t ruin it for those who are following the rules and playing it safe.
We were there in October and they were enforcing the mask everywhere. I stood up from a table at a restaurant and took two steps with mask in hand and was asked to put it on. VERY VERY Nicely. I just forgot. What got me were the parents who were upset about having to keep their children six feet away from other people. They were tired of having to wrangle them and keep the children with them. I am a parent and I understand the kids are excited and both parents and children don’t want to see everything. For the most part parents were ontop of the situation, but others just didn’t seem to mind.
Which is why we’re not going. I want a real Disney experience that we’ve enjoyed over the past decade with all the trimmings. But obviously we all have our own limitation on what we will or can risk.
Anyone who visits here at this time, when we have a governor who doesn’t care about the health of anyone, is CRAZY! We are now over 1 million cases, and the death toll keeps going up. I have a friend who works for Orlando Health, and he said cases in the area on on the rise. And just be aware that Disney will never honestly let anyone know if they have had any cases. Visit at your own risk. The locals don’t go….
Brian is right, Disney only pretends to care….not a good situation.
Please Disney keep everyone safe.
Florida’s governor doesn’t seen too concerned about the health and welfare of his state’s residents or its tourists. According to medical experts, we are, or will be soon, in the midst of a surge within a surge. Seems DeSantis is going in the opposite direction of what is prudent. We have a Disney trip booked for April, but will not go if the situation in Florida is not under better control, despite Disney’s many precautions. I bet others feel the same.
C. Brady says
“no lockdowns, no fines, no school closures. No one’s losing their job because of a government dictate. Nobody’s losing their livelihood or their business. That is totally off the table.”–Right-just deaths and people in the hospital for weeks at a time. No cases reported to the theme parks? Ok-I personally know of someone who spent 46days in the hospital, lucky to be alive, after a 3 day visit to Universal Studios. Honestly, if you go to Epcot but also go to Walmart or the gas station, Florida will likely say that it couldn’t have come from Epcot. With the higher attendance levels and the holiday crowds my family will be avoiding Disney till January. And then it will be a watch and see. Everyone should do what they feel is right for them, but if you are coming here from somewhere else then you should be aware of the real risk-not the one Disney, DeSantis, and bloggers etc are trying to report.
Sally Grande says
I actually just returned three weeks ago from an 8 night stay at Disney. Never felt unsafe for one moment and everyone I observed were wearing masks and following standard practices for safety. Of course, as the week progressed It was obvious to me that Disney had increased capacity. That did make me a bit more cautious toward the end of the trip. The only unsafe feeling we experienced was on the ME returning to the airport. The driver wore his mask around his chin and coughed all the way to MCO. That’s another story.
We did quarantine for fourteen days when we got home and we are fine.
Would I return to Disney right now after the Governor’s recent update?—–No Way! Disney can only do so much!
At WDW now, cast members are enforcing masks and social distancing. I feel safe here.
We are booked for June 2021. We are thinking that things may be a little better by then. Even if we have to wear masks, etc….we are good with following these rules and visit Disney World again!
Bernie LaBorie says
I plan to be in Florida in February, Walt Disney World the first week of March
I refuse to patronize any business that does not *enforce* COVID-19 precautions to protect its customers. Disney…to its credit…has comprehensive measures in place, carefully thought out and continually reassessed. But they cannot work if not enforced! Covidiots and anti-maskers cannot be permitted to endanger other park visitors.
Three generations of my family are certified Disney-philes, several with over 100 extended visits (each) to Disney parks around the world, plus more than a dozen DCL cruises. We obviously love all things Disney and our most recent visit to Disney World was just a few months ago. But none of us will return as long as there are credible reports of Disney’s comprehensive COVID-19 precautions not being consistently enforced.
Maria Heredia says
My experience is the complete opposite of Brian’s. I saw cast members wearing their masks. Some wear masks and face shields. There are temperature checks prior to entering the parks. I saw guests being very polite and wearing their masks. Only once did I see a guest take off their masks for a picture and the photographer immediately asked them to put on their masks. None of the cast members , at any park , were relaxed with the mask policy. Rides have marks on the ground every six feet for social distancing. Rides are sanitized when riders exit the equipment. The parks are working at 35% occupancy so there is plenty of space for social distancing. There are hand washing stations if bathrooms are not close by. Best of all, since the opening of Disney World in July, no outbreak or single COVID case has been traced to Disney World. I felt very safe at all the parks. Disney World is taking COVID and keeping their guests safe very seriously. I won’t hesitate to visit again.
Sue HW says
Th reason that Disney World has not contributed to nay Covid outbreaks is because they are adhering to the protocols of social distant and mask wearing, despite their governor. Publishing this doesn’t help Disney keep guests compliant. A lot of people will read this and think “The FL governor says you cannot mandate me to wear a mask! I’m not doing it!” I know you throw in the reality sentence that Disney DOES require it, but seriously, you nor DeSantis are doing them any favors here.
I live 10 minutes from WDW and canNOT believe the amount of tourists around here. My son is one of the thousands of Disney cast members laid off, so you’d think I’d push for Disney to re-open all the resorts and parks. Nope. Not at all.
Governor DeSantis isn’t reeeeally paying attention to our Covid numbers. It isn’t just South Florida getting hit. Orange County (Orlando), Osceola County (Kissimmee), Polk County (Lakeland) – all our numbers have skyrocketed again. I’m sure the virus can’t be distinguishing guest from Floridians. Our stores (Publix, Walmart, Target) are filled with park guests….. you see the various and new theme park shirts, bags, hats, etc on wandering tourists. There is no way that a guest didn’t bring home a Covid souvenir. I’m also sure some folks returned home from their vacation, and did not quarantine or tell anyone they were out of state. Disney, Universal, etc cannot say, with surety, that a guest didn’t leave their resort without having or carrying Covid with them.
It’s truly scary. Governor DeSantis is a fool and he tied the hands of our local politicians. If the town mandated masks, DeSantis came along and negated the order. He is such a fool. DeSantis should be following the science and mandate masks, social distancing, hand washing, considering vaccines. He needs to (FINALLY) be proactive and take strong control of the situation, but he won’t when there is tourist money involved. He wants every dime a tourist is willing to spend at our parks and beaches.
Folks. I understand the draw and need to get that Disney fix…. its a powerful pull, I know. However, it’s not worth taking the chance on you or a loved ones life. Disney will still be there waiting, and you won’t have to wear a mask, figure out what rides and restaurants/quick service are open. Guests are not getting the full park experience… and when I return to Disney, I want to enjoy it ALL – withOUT a mask. (My husband & I canceled our 25th wedding anniversary vacation celebration in September – we needed to feel safe, and with neighbors, in our development, who have had Covid and for the two residents who passed away from it…. we were and are too nervous to go anywhere. Plus, it kept our kids safe)
Be careful if you still decide to come to Disney. Ignore our Governor, who has NEVER seen the true need to keep us safe. Get used to wearing that mask…. and shame on any cast member who doesn’t remind a guest (if it ticks you off to wear a mask, don’t take it out on cast members – they’re doing their job as Disney has mandated. Wait to go to Disney then.)
Be safe. WEAR A MASK. Social distance, as necessary. Wash your hands frequently. Stay healthy.
Capt. Jack says
I applaud DFB to allow the above comment! Other popular Blogs have repeatedly censored me for anything critical of Disney, all the while claiming to be unbiased
Larry Boschen says
Since you are obviously aware of the situation, get the cast member names and send a notice, otherwise the disregard will continue.
There is no doubt WDW is doing a fine job despite the Governor not requiring any safety guidelines. 1 million cases in Florida and 19,000 deaths is the tragic part of this hands off approach. I visited WDW in October and that was enough since you still pay full price for WDW “light.” No need to go back anytime soon.
We support Disney in must wear mask.We live in Florida and have visited Disney world in October and felt safe from covid more than our hometown.Desantis is a politician looking for vote he cares nothing about pandemic
I have seen PLENTY of cast members informing people to wear their masks the correct way. Felt very safe at the airport and the parks. Social distancing was hard in a few places but for the most part everyone followed the rules. We were here for 12 days and had a great and safe time.
I also live in Florida and I totally disagree with what Jan says regarding DeSantis. I think that he is doing a great job. There are mask mandates all over however he has enforced an order saying people can not be fined. It has also been shown that the lock downs don’t work. We know if they worked that the numbers would be down where they have had constant lockdowns. I have NEVER heard the governor telling people not to wear masks. Today out of all the states Florida is one of the states doing better. We are 44 out of 50. It has been proven that Disney is not a super spreader, there have been no mass breakouts related to any of the theme parks. All rational people know this is a virus. No one can stop it. We know what we need to do to keep safe. The bottom line is if you don’t feel safe, stay home. It’s really simple. Same with schools which have had no major breakouts but again if you don’t feel safe have your child live from home. I for one am very please with the handling of this in our state and I feel blessed to live in Florida.
Also to Jans comment DeSantis did not tie the hands of local politicians. They can mandate masks. I live in Hillsborough county and there are mask mandates and there are mask mandates all over Florida. I have not been in one business throughout this state that doesn’t have one. All DeSantis said is that the local government can not fine people and can not shut down any business. People have choice here. Wear your mask, social distance and stay home if you feel like it. I really don’t understand why some people think certain things should be shut down and certain things shouldn’t. I bet they would have a different tune if they closed essential things that they need. You do realize that people also work at those places, don’t you? I would really like to hear from all the people who complain about DeSantis what they would do if they were in his position.
How can that governor not care about masks, social distancing, etc. yet praise the theme parks for doing exactly that? That many cases and deaths…we definitely won’t be traveling to Florida from New Jersey until all of this is a distant memory.
Disney and other places have been trying very hard to make it possible to visit. However, the numbers in Fla. continue to rise. We had no cases in the community I live in since the beginning until a number of resident s decided that since there would be no consequences as ordered by the Governor they just went unmasked to gatherings, eating out, shopping and just in general acting as if everything was fine. and as of yesterday, in one day we had 18 cases and growing. I would have like to use my pass and visited WDW. But, although the company and cast members are doing their best, there are some very selfish people out there and some of us can’t take chances on theit behavior.